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Grote, Ludwig

    Full Name: Grote, Ludwig

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1893

    Date Died: 1974

    Place Born: Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

    Place Died: Gauting, Bavaria, Germany

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Subject Area(s): Modern (style or period) and museums (institutions)

    Career(s): directors (administrators) and museum directors


    Museum director; modernist art historian. Grote’s father owned a construction firm and his mother was a pianist. He studied art history briefly at the university in Jena in 1912 before switching to architecture in Braunschweig (1912-1919), with time off for military service in the First World War. After the war he studied art history in Munich and then at Halle. He wrote his dissertation at Halle under Paul Frankl on the printmaker Georg Lemberger in 1922. In 1924 he accepted a position as a conservator (Landeskonservator) at the Gemäldegalerie in Dessau, rising to director. He was a motivating force in the move of the Bauhaus to Dessau from Weimar. His connection with the Bauhaus resulted in his dismissal in 1933 by the Nazis at the ascension to power. Grote moved to Berlin where he taught privately and consulted. He was part of the circle of Berlin intellectuals that included Carl Georg Heise, the cultural minister Theodor Heuss (1884-1963), and Leopold Reidemeister. Despite his dismissal by the Nazi government, Grote fought for Germany as a soldier, assigned to the Eastern front. After the war Grote was an art dealer in Munich 1945-49. In 1949 he curated one of the first post-war exhibitions of German Expressionist art, “Der Blaue Reiter/München und die Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts.” Other important modernist exhibitions followed resurrecting the art that the Nazi’s had termed “degenerate.” These included “Die Maler am Bauhaus” for the Haus der Kunst gallery and “Oskar Kokoschka” both in 1950, and one of Max Beckmann 1951. He was appointed the first director of the Germanischen Nationalmuseums in Nuremberg in 1951, launching other important exhibitions including Ludwig Kirchner (1952), a traveling show on Walter Gropius to the United States, and a Picasso graphics exhibition. Grote’s interest was in variety of areas of German art, including the Romantic and modern periods, as well as that of Albrecht Dürer.

    Selected Bibliography

    Europäische Malerei in deutschen Galerien. 3 vols. Munich: Prestel 1961-1965, English, European Paintings in German Art Galleries. 3 vols. Munich: Prestel Verlag 1961-1965; edited, Die Deutsche Stadt im 19. Jahrhundert: Stadtplanung u. Baugestaltung im industriellen Zeitalter. Munich: Prestel, 1974. 0.Metzler


    Wendland, Ulrike. Biographisches Handbuch deutschsprachiger Kunsthistoriker im Exil: Leben und Werk der unter dem Nationalsozialismus verfolgten und vertriebenen Wissenschaftler. Munich: Saur, 1999, vol. 1, pp. 251-5.


    "Grote, Ludwig." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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