It might be this special light, which makes the faces of the old villas timeless beautiful, say artists from any kind. And there are many of them, who lost their heart in the “3 Seaside Resorts”, or found in them their muse, which they tried to confess their love to by devoting to paintings and sculpture and using the strongest colours and the most expressive forms. So did the American-German painter, Lyonel Feininger, who nearly obsessively painted almost every day in one of the most beautiful Seaside Resort Architecture villa, the Villa Oppenheim. Still today there is an unbroken force of attraction of Seaside Resort architecture combined with the force of Nature of the sea.
Art lovers and friends of art can dive in the “3 Seaside Resorts” in the variety of exhibitions and cultural places. In each of the three Spas there are small galleries, museums and art houses, where exhibitions, lectures and sometimes even concerts take place.
In one of the oldest houses in Ahlbeck, some say even in the oldest in town, in a small fisher’s hut still covered with thatch, there is one of the most original galleries in the “3 Seaside Resorts”, the Köpp Gallery.
The painter and graphic artist Volker Köpp is a real islander, and the love to his homeland is visible in every single of his works. The wideness of the landscapes, the light over the Baltic sea, the dunes, the hurly-burly of the resorts – all those things have influenced Volker Köpp. Still today motives such as the sea and also the people, who live in its neighbourhood, are the main components of his painting. Despite his five-years-studies in arts in Dresden and his leaving of East Germany, the islander has been attracted back to his homeland and to the Baltic sea after the collapse of the GDR.
In every classical topic of painting is Köpp running free: paintings, portraits, group portraits, still life, houses, streets, landscapes. Sometimes powerfully coloured. Sometimes in muted shades. Sometimes his paintings remind of the New Objectivity, and sometimes of the Cubism. Köpp’s view is a view of a person coming from here. Because if someone observes the island as good as him, he can also notice the arborists, who prune the willows along the promenade each year in spring, or the long bars with their red flags, which are used by fishers to stretch their fishing nets every morning, or the street canyons, at the end of which you can notice a tiny piece of sea. Köpp paints his homeland exactly the way it is. He doesn’t do anything for someone’s pleasure. The decline and the miserableness are next to the luxury and charm of the Seaside Resorts.
In the year 2002 Köpp bought an old fisher´s cut in the town centre, he renovated it and he opened there his gallery in 2006. It is somewhat hidden. You can reach a car park from the promenade near the hotel Ostende, where the dunes become the Strandstraße-street. From the car park you take the Fischerweg directly to the small house, which is a protected historical monument: the Köpp Gallery.
From May till September
From Tuesdays till Sundays from 12 p.m. till 6 p.m.
Closed on Mondays
From October till April
From Tuesdays till Sundays from 12 p.m. till 4 p.m.
Closed on Mondays
Museum Villa „Irmgard“
17424 Seebad Heringsdorf
phone: 0049 38378 22361
It is a real original. The Irmgard Villa is one of the few villas, which nearly entirely looks exactly the same as it looked like when it was built in 1906. While walking along the street Maxim-Gorki-Straße, parallel to the Heringsdorf’s promenade, you can recognize it immediately. It sits enthroned on a tiny high ground. The two-storey Villa has been built as a guesthouse in a neo-classicist style, decorated with many Art Nouveau elements.
Its most famous guest up to now was surely the Russian writer Maxim Gorki. He stayed at this villa with his children a few months – from May till September 1922 – in order to recover from tuberculosis. While staying here, he kept working. He was corresponding with his Russian and French friends and he was highly inspired by life in the “3 Seaside Resorts”. He also welcomed here Lev Tolstoi and the opera singer Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin, whose daughter has been convinced to stay here for a longer period of time.
The pen holder is on the desk, and the couch, which Gorki himself was lying on, shows clearly the imprint, that his body was leaving on it while getting up, as if the writer left the room only for a short walk on the beach. His living room and his studio are partly unchanged till today and may be visited by tourists. Since 1948 is Villa Irmgard a memorial for the famous Russian poet.
Besides that, the villa houses on the second floor constantly different exhibitions and invites to a multitude of smaller events such as lectures, concerts and also theatre performances. Very popular are the concerts by candlelight.
It is a really unconventional construction – the Heringsdorf’s Art Association rotunda made out of glass, directly on the promenade. It makes the people who pass by very curious. Its large windows invite you to look in it openly.
If the dreams of the East German master builder star Ulrich Müther came true, it should become an export hit into the Western countries. In the 1960s the engineer, famous for his experimental building methods, designed the prototype of an exhibition pavilion. It consisted of a supporting structure and a wafer-thin concrete coating, which encircled a stub-free area. Besides Warnemünde, Saßnitz, Potsdam and the Alexanderplatz in Berlin also Heringsdorf received this pavilion made out of glass. It’s got a 51-meters-perimeter, and it is 4,60 meters high. It’s a protected monument now.
On August 21, 1970, the building with the avant-garde roof was opened in the Seaside Resort during an exhibition by nine artists, residents of the Usedom island. The official opening however occurred in 1971 during an exhibition by Otto Niemeyer Holstein on the occasion of his 75th birthday. After the collapse of the GDR some artists established the Usedom Art Association (Kunstverein Usedom e.V.) in order to drive forwards this art space. To this group belonged among others the artists Matthias Wegehaupt, Sabine Curio, Oskar Manigk, Peter Dulke, later also Ricarda Horn and Volker Köpp.
Today is Heringsdorf’s art pavilion a desirable exhibition place for artists from whole Germany and not only for them. Famous artists have already presented their works here: Matthias Wegehaupt, Oskar Manigk, Eva-Maria Hagen, Wolf Biermann, Strawalde, Siegfried Krepp, Peter Makolies, Volker Köpp, Peter Graf, Jörg Bach and many more. On top of that, concerts and lectures are being organized by the art association. Once a year art lovers and art collectors meet up at the Heringsdorf art auction, where they can discuss about their favourite topic, and obviously also take bids on some interesting works from famous artists.
Tuesday till Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
January till June and September till December
Tuesday till Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
17429 Seebad Bansin
Telephone: 038378 / 47801
The small building with big red double door behind the former Bansin spa is already over 100 years old. It was once a fire station, and today it holds the heritage of the most famous son of Bansin – Hans Werner Richter, author, writer and initiator of the literary association
The famous literary critic, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, said about him in 1997: “It is sure: if you are interested in German literature after 1945, you must mention the “Group 47” and its founder Hans Werner Richter”.
He was born in 1908 as son of a fisher in Neu-Sallenthin, a quiet village just behind the fashionable resort and he grew up with his six brothers and sisters not far away from the small fire station at the street Seestraße 68. Beach motifs still today decorate the verandas, painted in white and bright blue. The words “Villa Paula” are written in blue on the gable front of this house, and under them the motto: “Whether East or West, at home is the best”. He described all those places of his childhood in the novel “Spuren im Sand” (traces in the sand). And even if the island became too small to him after some time and he established with his like-minded the “Group 47”, which members were also Heinrich Böll, Siegfried Lenz, Ingeborg Bachmann, Günter Grass and Marcel Reich-Ranicki, he remained a real island-child and he was related to his homeland until his death in 1993.
In 2000, the old Bansin fire station has been converted into a literature house in order to set up a monument him and his work. A great part of Richter’s heritage, his study with its furniture and books in it, is now available for visitors. In comfortable wicker chair you may bury yourself in the “Bansin histories” or even take them with you to the beach, which is a stone’s throw away behind the dunes. Besides that there is also the heritage and the memories of the journalist Carola Stern, born in Ahlbeck.
The Hans Werner Richter house of today is not only a museum and a library. In the room of Günter Grass, where original graphics and drawings of the Nobel-Price-awarded writer are being exposed, many lectures take place regularly and also other events such as the Hans Werner Richter literature days, which take place in November every year.