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On the eastern edge of the Spreewald, Brandenburg, Germany
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Art on the Edge of the Spreewald

Jamlitz in Lower Lusatia, owned by the Lieberose Counts von der Schulenburg from 1622 to 1945, was at the turn of the last century a small industrial village rather than a farming village—characterised by ponds and forestry, water mills, a sawmill, a brewery and a glassworks. But with its idyllic location on the edge of the Spreewald, its gently undulating landscape, meadows, ponds and lakes, springs and streams, sandy hills and wet valleys, heathland, birch trees and pines it offered—and still offers—an abundance of picturesque motifs.

This view was shared by the aspiring artists of the Charlottenburg school of painting run from 1896 to 1912 by Franz Lippisch, a co-founder of the Berlin Secession. Lippisch and his students first stayed in Jamlitz in 1902 at Paeprers Inn, which was later called “Zum kühlen Grund” (roughly, “The Cool Ground”). They liked it so much that they returned regularly in the years that followed. The inn, which sadly no longer exists, advertised itself with postcards depicting members of the artists’ circle posing in a Mediterranean-style garden, and it documented their visits in a guest book that includes an entry by Walter Trier, illustrator of the popular children’s books of Erich Kästner. The painter Dr. Walter Kühne and Lippisch, his former teacher, finally settled in Jamlitz, followed by various pupils and friends. That resulted in a small artists’ colony which lasted until the early 1960s.

In 1943 the SS began to establish the Kurmark military training area in the vicinity. To this end, it built a concentration camp in the middle of the village that after World War II continued until 1947 as a Soviet internment camp. Until 1992 Jamlitz was at the centre of the largest Soviet military site in the GDR. In Jamlitz, the upheavals of 20th-century German history can be seen as if under a magnifying glass. The history of the local artists is directly interwoven with it, moving between idyllic beauty and ideological fervor, between idealism and political entanglement. Seemingly untouched by this, the charm of Jamlitz persists to this day. Artists have lived here again since 2010.

– Franz Lippisch: Harvest Morning in the Mark, 1902, Oil on canvas, 109,5 x 127 cm. Photo: LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Westfälisches Landesmuseum, Münster/Sabine Ahlbrand-Dornseif

– Walter Kühne: Meadow Springs (Jamlitz), 1911, Etching, 22×33 cm. Private collection
– Bianca Commichau-Lippisch: Young Woman from the Spreewald, ca. 1928, Oil on canvas, 57 x 45 cm. Private collection
– Paeprer’s garden in Jamlitz, postcard around 1906
– By Clemensfranz – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
– Rudolf Grunemann: Germany, united Fatherland, Mural in the school of Jamlitz, 1954, Gold leaf on metal plates with iron mennige lacquer, 300 x 600 cm. © Michael Grunemann, Frankfurt (Oder), Photo Stephan Schulz, Berlin
– Entry by Walter Trier in the guestbook of Paeprers Inn “Zum kühlen Grund”, Jamlitz 1927. In the back of the car, wearing a red cap: Walter Trier (Private archive / © The Estate of Walter Trier, Vancouver, Canada)

The main artists who lived and worked here:

Dr. Walter Kühne (1875–1956)
Franz Lippisch (1859–1941)
Johanna Feuereisen-Oeltjen (1873–1947)
Johanna Meyer-Ottens geb. Brinkhaus (1886–1941)
Alexander Lippisch (1894–1976)
Dorothea Lippisch-Ansorge (1892–1958)
Ernst Müller-Braunschweig (1860–1928)
Paul Schröder (1874–1963)
Rudolf Grunemann (1906–1981)
Erich Seiffert (1898–1944)
Bianca Commichau-Lippisch (1890–1968)
Kurt Herbst (1922–2018)

Kunst und Kultur Jamlitz gemeinnützige UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
Keltenstr. 4
86922 Eresing
c/o Hauptstraße 15
15868 Jamlitz
+49 (0)176 24200640
Jamlitzer Kunstgeschichten
Friederike Seiffert, stellvertretend für die Nachfahren des Jamlitzer Künstlerkreises
Keltenstr. 4
86922 Eresing
c/o Hauptstraße 15
15868 Jamlitz
+49 (0)176 24200640
brandung e.V.
Kastanienallee 1
15868 Jamlitz
+49 (0)33671-2297
Tourismus-Entwicklungsgesellschaft Lieberose/Oberspreewald mbH
Am Bahnhof 27
15913 Schwielochsee
+49 (0)35478-179090
Audioweg Jamlitz
Im Wald und auf der Heide. Die Schicksale des Dorfes Jamlitz.
Ein Jahrhunderthörspiel von Kai-Uwe Kohlschmidt und Andreas Weigelt
Dokumentationsstätte Lager Jamlitz
15868 Jamlitz
+49 (0)33671-280032

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