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Paul Klee
The Bürgi Collection
5 May - 23 July 2000


Bürgi Collection is - next to that of the Klee family - the largest and most important private collection of Paul Klee's work.
Gathered together during the lifetime of the artist (1879-1940) and that of his widow Lily Klee (1876-1946), this collection of some 130 works represents an otherwise unparalleled cross-section of the different periods of Paul Klee's artistic career.

This first - and perhaps last - presentation of Bürgi Collection not only offers the viewing public an excellent survey of Klee's art, it also illustrates a long-term commitment to the support of art which had a major influence on the life and work of Paul Klee and his artistic estate over more than four decades are to be demonstrated and acknowledged in the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue. Johanna Bürgi-Bigler (1880-1938) was not only the first collector of Klee's work, she also laid the foundations of the largest private Klee collection in the world, which by the late 1930s already amounted to more than 50 works.
After her death her son Rolf Bürgi (1906-1967) continued to extend the collection.

Following Paul Klee's emigration to Berne from Düsseldorf at the and of 1933, he and his wife Lily formed a close friendship with Johanna Bürgi-Bigler, and it was on her initiative that the Kunsthalle Berne held the first major exhibition of Klee's work in Switzerland in 1935. From 1933 onwards Rolf Bürgi supported the Klees as their advisor in tax and financial matters, and after Paul Klee's death he became a kind of private secretary to Lily Klee. It was in this capacity that he arranged the sale of Paul Klee's complete artistic estate to the Berne collectors Hermann Rupf and Hans Meyer-Benteli shortly before Lily Klee's death, to prevent the works of art being converted into cash for the benefit of the Allies, in line with the Washington Agreement. In 1947 Bürgi, Rupf and Meyer-Benteli, together with the architect Werner Allenbach, founded the Paul Klee Foundation with the art from Klee's estate. Since 1952 the foundation has been based in the Kunstmuseum Berne. The exhibition was initiated and first shown in the Kunstmuseum Berne by Stefan Frey and Josef Helfenstein.
After Hamburg it will tour to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh (12 August - 22 October 2000). A comprehensive catalogue of the exhibition and a publication on the Bürgi sketchbook have been published.

The exhibition
The Bürgi Collection is - next to that of Paul Klee family - the largest und most important private collection of the art of Paul Klee (1879 - 1940) in the world.
Now, for the first and probably last time, the 130 or more paintings, drawings and watercolours from the Bürgi Collection are being shown on the public.
Hamburg is the only German venue for this important exhibition, which was initiated by the Kunstmuseum Berne.

Opening hours
Tuesday through Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday until 9:00 p.m.,
closed on Mondays.
June 1 and June 11/12 open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Adults DM 15, reduced price DM 10, groups DM 10, familiy ticket DM 21
Public tours (in German)
Saturday 3:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 p.m., additional price DM 4
Other tours
(also in English) by appointment. Registration through the Museumsdienst,
Tel. 040 - 428 54 325, information Tel. 040 - 428 54 31 80

An attractive package "Paul Klee in Hamburg" is offered by Tourismus-Zentrale Hamburg: One night incl. breakfast, Hamburg Card and ticket to the Kunsthalle per person from DM 54. Book at Hamburg Hotline daily from 8:00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m., Tel. ++ 49 - 40 - 3005 1804


Hamburger Kunsthalle Glockengießerwall 20095 Hamburg
Telephone 040 - 428 131 200 Facsimile 040 - 428 54 34 09