Two Rooms
of one’s
own

Maria von
Gneisenau
and Molsdorf
Palace

Exibition series hosted by the Kunsthalle Erfurt at Molsdorf Palace 2016
Curated by Silke Opitz

Two Rooms
of one’s
own



Maria von Gneisenau (1873 Mettmann–1926 Berlin) owned Molsdorf Palace from 1909 to 1923 and lived there mainly in the summer. Two of the countess’s unique private rooms from this period have been preserved: a sumptuous marble bathroom
and a fantastically decorated relaxation room
, which with its aquarium set before a high window resembles not so much a grotto as the bottom of the sea. The countess enlisted Paul Schultze-Naumburg and the Saalecker Werkstätten to design and execute the rooms in 1909/1911. These two exquisite artistic interiors are like walk-in time capsules secreted within Molsdorf Palace. They offer the opportunity to explore a more modern chapter in the estate’s building history and above all to research the life and work of a woman who is not yet widely known. Countess von Gneisenau had the garden pavilion converted into a garage for automobiles in 1914, a remarkable project that was, even more remarkably, entrusted to a woman: Emilie Winkelmann, who is considered the first independent female architect in Germany.

 The exhibition series Two Rooms of One’s Own will attempt to capture not only the biography but also the personality of Maria von Gneisenau as an author and a woman in the process of emancipation, and to reflect on her life and times through contemporary artistic approaches and media. A cabinet show will shed light on her biography and literary achievements. The countess made the acquaintance of Count Harry von Kessler at the Berlin home of her half-brother Karl von der Heydt, she knew Rainer Maria Rilke, and she was friends with Sophie Hoechstetter. Thanks to loans from the countess’s descendants and from the Swiss Literary Archives in Bern, historical personal documents and publications from her lifetime can now be exhibited for the first time.

In parallel with the show on the countess, changing exhibitions of works by international contemporary artists and designers will be featured in the Tower Room in the palace’s east wing, immediately adjacent to the countess’s marble bathroom. Installations, gouaches, silver objects and collages by Delphine Courtillot, Jorge Chamorro, Wiebke Meurer and Sarah Westphal have been carefully selected for this historic setting and context, or in some cases specially developed for the show. The solo exhibitions by these artists address the layers of time and the atmospheres that inscribe themselves into living spaces and look at how women are inspired by fashion and literature to try on different roles and identities. The artworks evoke a sometimes decadent penchant for all things decorative as well as the fracturing of typical gender stereotypes. These circumstances, properties and phenomena were all characteristic for Maria von Gneisenau as the former owner of Molsdorf Palace, and they have lost nothing of their fascination and topicality today. 

On the occasion of the exhibition series Two Rooms of One’s Own, not only the marble bathroom, which has been open to the public since 2002, but also the relaxation or “Aquarium Room” will be temporarily accessible on guided tours as the second of the countess’s private rooms still surviving at Molsdorf.
The exhibition series will be accompanied by a publication presenting the latest research on the life and work of the countess, the architectural history of her two special rooms at Molsdorf Palace, and the current artworks on view there. Thematically related lectures and guided tours will also be offered.


Marble bath of Maria von Gneisenau at Molsdorf Palace, ca. 1910
Design: Paul Schultze-Naumburg and Saalecker Werkstätten
© Stiftung Thüringer Schlösser und Gärten
Photos: Constantin Beyer

Relaxation corner of Maria von Gneisenau at Molsdorf Palace, ca. 1910
Design: Paul Schultze-Naumburg and Saalecker Werkstätten

© Stiftung Thüringer Schlösser und Gärten / Bildarchiv Foto Marburg

Visitor Information

Schlossmuseum Molsdorf
Schlossplatz 6
D-99094 Erfurt
T: +49(0) 36202 90505
schlossverwaltung.
molsdorf@erfurt.de


OPENING HOURS

Tue–Sun, holidays 10­am–6pm

ADMISSION

adults: 6 EUR
kids: 4 EUR

CAR

A4 Aachen–Köln–Olpe–Bad Laasphe–Bad Hersfeld–Eisenach–Erfurt–
Hermsdorfer Kreuz–Dresden–Görlitz exit Neudietendorf, continue in direction 
towards Molsdorf

TRAIN/BUS

Berlin-Munich and Frankfurt-Dresden (Stop in Erfurt) Bus line 51 from Erfurt main station direction Schloss Molsdorf

HOSTED BY THE KUNSTHALLE ERFURT AT MOLSDORF PALACE


Mit freundlicher Unterstützung von


COLOPHON

Fonts in use: Suisse Int.; Archive


Code: Valerian Blos

Concept/Design: 
Lukas Küng, Giulia Schelm

Im Burrow

Weichselstr.2

D–12043 Berlin

T: +49 (0) 30 22412286
www.lukaskueng.com

Visitor Information

Schlossmuseum
Molsdorf
Schlossplatz 6
D-99094 Erfurt
T: +49(0) 36202 90505
schlossverwaltung.
molsdorf@erfurt.de

OPENING HOURS

Tue–Sun, holidays 10­am–6pm

ADMISSION

adults: 6 EUR
kids: 4 EUR

CAR

A4 Aachen–Köln–Olpe–Bad Laasphe–Bad Hersfeld–Eisenach–Erfurt–
Hermsdorfer Kreuz–Dresden–Görlitz exit Neudietendorf, continue in direction 
towards Molsdorf

TRAIN/BUS

Berlin-Munich and Frankfurt-Dresden (Stop in Erfurt) Bus line 51 from Erfurt main station direction Schloss Molsdorf

HOSTED BY THE KUNSTHALLE ERFURT AT MOLSDORF PALACE



COLOPHON

Fonts in use: Suisse Int.; Archive


Code: Valerian Blos

Concept/Design: 
Lukas Küng, Giulia Schelm

Im Burrow

Weichselstr.2

D–12043 Berlin

T: +49 (0) 30 22412286
www.lukaskueng.com
 

Delphine
Courtillot
04/17—
06/05/16

Jorge
Chamorro
06/19—
08/07/16

Wiebke
Meurer
08/21—
10/9/16

Sarah
Westphal
10/23—
12/11/16

Delphine Courtillot

Delphine
Courtillot
04/17—
06/05/16

Delphine Courtillot, Raptures of the Deep, 2009, Gouache and watercolor on paper, 60×80 cm
© the artist

Jorge Chamorro

Jorge
Chamorro
06/19—
08/07/16

Jorge Chamorro, from the series Puppets and more, 2015, Collage on paper, 21,5×15,5 cm
© the artist

Wiebke Meurer

Wiebke
Meurer
08/21—
10/09/16

Wiebke Meurer, White, 2014, 800 silver, butterfly, porcelain, 28×21×2cm
© the artist

Sarah Westphal

Sarah
Westphal
10/23—
12/11/16

Sarah Westphal, Stilleven, 2008, Series of four photographs, inkjet prints mounted on Dibond, each 52×77,3 cm or 52×78 cm
© the artist