Between 1899 and 1914, the Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt was the site of the legendary Artists’ Colony, founded by the young Ernst Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse. Situated close to the city centre, it became a sensational experimental field for artistic innovations in which the open-minded sovereign and a group of young artists realised their vision of a fusion of art and life. Their intention was to revolutionise architecture and interior design in order to create a modern living culture. The whole human life-style was to be reformed to gain in beauty and happiness as well as in simplicity and functionality.
This ideological aspect was particularly important in the euphoric beginning, when the Artists’ Colony still stood under the influence of an elitist aestheticism. After 1901 the program became gradually more rational and realistic. The change of ideas is visible among other things in the numerous buildings created on the Mathildenhöhe between 1900 and 1914. They were presented to the general public in four comprehensive exhibitions in 1901, 1904, 1908, and 1914. Though the artists had at first exclusively projected the construction of private villas, they later also created apartment houses and workers’ homes as architectural life size models on the Mathildenhöhe, documenting their efforts to face the arising questions of their time’s life and housing.
The ensemble of the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony is considered today to be one of the most impressive records of the dawning of modern art. Its appearance today is still marked primarily by the buildings of the architect Joseph Maria Olbrich, who notably created the remarkable silhouette of the Mathildenhöhe, as it presents itself to the city, consisting of the Wedding Tower and the Exhibition Building, both completed in 1908.
The Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt is a kind of “open-air museum” where the artwork is present in the buildings, fountains and sculptures. At the same time, in the former studio house and spiritual centre of the artists’ colony, the “Ernst-Ludwig House”, created 1901 by Joseph Maria Olbrich, is today a museum that presents fine and decorative art from the members of the artists’ colony.
The unique integrity of the building complex is today a first-class cultural attraction. Moreover, the Mathildenhöhe is today a lively and contemporary centre of the city’s cultural landscape, supported namely by the Institute Mathildenhöhe.

Image artist function date
Peter Behrens designer, architect, graphic artist, painter 1868-1940
Rudolf Bosselt sculptor, engraver, medal-coiner 1871-1938
Paul Bürck painter, graphic artist 1878-1947
Hans Christiansen painter, graphic artist, designer 1866-1945
Johann Vincenz Cissarz painter, graphic artist 1873-1942
Daniel Greiner sculptor, painter, graphic artist 1872-1943
Ludwig Habich sculptor 1872-1949
Paul Haustein designer, graphic artist 1880-1944
Bernhard Hoetger sculptor, architect, painter, graphic artist, designer 1874-1949
Patriz Huber architect, designer, graphic artist 1878-1902
Heinrich Jobst sculptor 1874-1943
Friedrich Wilhelm Kleukens typographic artist, graphic artist, designer, painter 1878-1956
Christian Heinrich Kleukens painter, graphic artist 1880-1954
Edmund Körner architect, designer 1874-1940
Emanuel Josef Margold architect, graphic artist, designer 1888-1962
Albin Müller architect, designer, painter 1871-1941
Joseph Maria Olbrich architect, designer 1867-1908
Fritz Osswald painter 1878-1966
Hanns Pellar painter, illustrator 1886-1971
Ernst Riegel gold- and silversmith, ceramic designer 1871-1939
Jakob Julius Scharvogel ceramist 1854-1938
Josef Emil Schneckendorf glassmaker 1865-1949
Theodor Wende gold- and silversmith 1883-1968
Cover Author Description date Link
Ralf Beil Künstlerkolonie Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt. 1899-1914. Das Buch zum Museum
Darmstadt, Institut Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt ISBN: 3-9804553-6-X
Christiane Geelhaar u.a. Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt. 100 Jahre Planen und Bauen für die Stadtkrone (3. Bde.)
Darmstadt, Ed. Justus von Liebig Verlag ISBN: 3-87390-188-9, 3-89552-073-X, 3-87390-185-4
Various authors Die Darmstädter Mathildenhöhe
1998, 2003
Darmstadt, Magistrat der Stadt Darmstadt, Denkmalschutz – Kulturamt ISBN: ISBN: 3-8739-0307-5
Renate Ulmer Jugendstil in Darmstadt

Darmstadt, Ed. Eduard Roether Verlag ISBN: 3-7929-0222-2
Hans-C. Hoffmann Darmstadt und der Jugendstil

Bremen, Ed. Mader
Peter Haiko, Caterina Iezzi, Renate Ulmer Joseph Maria Olbrich. Secession Wien – Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt. Ausstellungsarchitektur um 1900

Berlin, Ed. Deutscher Kunstverlag ISBN: 978-3-422-06659-5
Caterina Iezzi, Renate Ulmer Josef Emil Schneckendorf und die Großherzogliche Edelglasmanufaktur

Stuttgart, Ed. Arnoldsche ISBN: 3-89790-227-3
Renate Ulmer
Emanuel Josef Margold

Stuttgart, Ed. Arnoldsche ISBN: 3-89790-200-1
Kai Buchholz, Rita Latocha, Hilke Peckmann, Klaus Wolbert (ed.) Die Lebensreform. Entwürfe zur Neugestaltung von Leben und Kunst um 1900 (2 Bde.)

Darmstadt, Ed. haeusser-media / Verlag Häusser ISBN: 3-89552-081-0, 3-89552-080-2
Renate Ulmer (ed.) Art Nouveau. Symbolismus und Jugendstil in Frankreich

Stuttgart/New York, Ed. Arnoldsche ISBN: 3-925369-57-0
Gerda Breuer (ed.) Arts and Crafts. Von Morris bis Mackintosh – Reformbewegung zwischen Kunstgewerbe und Sozialutopie. Impulsgeber für Jugendstil, Werkbund und Bauhaus

Darmstadt, Ed. Stadt Darmstadt
Renate Ulmer, Hans-Dietrich zur Megede Jakob Julius Scharvogel: Keramiker des Jugendstils

Stuttgart, Ed. Arnoldsche ISBN: 3-925369-52-X
Vera Losse Rudolf Bosselt. Bildhauer und Medailleur. 1871-1938

Darmstadt, Institut Mathildenhöhe
Renate Ulmer Patriz Huber. Ein Mitglied der Darmstädter Künstlerkolonie

Darmstadt, Institut Mathildenhöhe
Bernd Krimmel (ed.) Tschechische Kunst 1878-1914
Darmstadt, Institut Mathildenhöhe
Renate Ulmer Museum Künstlerkolonie Darmstadt.
Darmstadt, Institut Mathildenhöhe
Bernd Krimmel (ed.) Joseph Maria Olbrich. 1867-1908

Darmstadt, Institut Mathildenhöhe
Bernd Krimmel (ed.) Charles Spindler. Jugendstil im Elsaß

Darmstadt, Institut Mathildenhöhe
Bernd Krimmel (ed.) Alfons Mucha 1860-1939

München, Ed. Prestel-Verlag
Various authors Ein Dokument Deutscher Kunst 1901-1976 (6 Bde.)

Darmstadt, Ed. Ausstellungsgesellschaft “Ein Dokument Deutscher Kunst” ISBN: 3-7929-00088

Institut Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt
Olbrichweg 15
D-64287 Darmstadt
Phone: +49 6151132778
Fax: +49 6151133739

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