The Villa Lassen in Erkner
The Villa Lassen in Erkner

Gerhart Hauptmann

Author and Nobel Price Winner

Born on November 19th, 1862 in Silesia, a place he would have a special bond with throughout his life. There in Silesia there were three poles that had an impact on him: The Giant Mountains, Italy and the Baltic Sea. The big city of Berlin was the source and reassurance of his artistic success; it made him famous, but he never lived in a large city for very long. Throughout his life, he was an inquiring, long-term, and avid traveller.

Originally, Hauptmann wanted to become a sculptor. He visited the art schools in Breslau and Dresden, and was inspired by the Greek and Roman antiquity of Italy, but he also attended lectures on philosophy, science, and history, and even took acting lessons, in Jena and Berlin,
When he got married at the age of 23, he didn't have a degree, but was persuing his artistic talent on his own. His marriage to Marie Thienemann, daughter of a rich merchant from Dresden, assured him financial security, so he was able to build a life for himself as a freelance author. In 1889 he became famous "over night" for his first drama "Before Dawn" at the Berlin Lessing theatre. His enthusiasm and denial were equally great. Theodor Fontane recognized Hauptman's talent; he wrote that what made the piece stand out was "the innovativeness and boldness of its plot, the artistic simplicity of its language, his gift for characterisation, and at the same time his a consequential realisation of the action". He also called Hauptmann a classy realist from beginning to end. Hauptmann had just turned 27 at the time and soon after that began acting as a representative, and was in great demand by many groups. Ultimately, he went his own way, following "his inner code".

Celebrated as . The Nazi regime didn't approve of him but did honour his work and allowed selected pieces to be performed. After the end of the war, Hauptmann was supposed to be named honorary chairman of the culture alliance in Berlin, but unfortunately he died before that could happen.

During Germany's divided period, his work was performed and printed in the East and West because his work maintained main themes on human life, suffering and the search for happiness. His work has been translated in forty different languages, but a complete edition including all his later works was not released until 1962. The edition with his personal letters had not seen the light of the day up until now. At the beginning of the 21st century his pieces are going through a rebirth on stage.

Announcement 

Events & Notes 

  • 27. October 2017

    Der besondere Film

    Kino der Attraktionen – Das kuriose Kino um die Jahrhundertwende

    mit Dr. Katrin Sell (Filmhistorikerin) cinephil


  • 29. October 2017

    Sonntagsf├╝hrung im Museum

    Öffentliche Führung