Campendonk exhibition in the Villa Merländer

The secret of the connection between Merländer and Campendonk

Richard Merländer and Heinrich Campendonk both lived in Krefeld in 1924. After his time in Bavaria, Campendonk had had a house built by a patron at Nieper Straße 34 in Traar. There he lived with his wife Adelheid ("Adda") and their children Gerda and Herbert practically rent-free. As a freelance artist, however, Campendonk did not have sufficient income to cover the other needs of a family of four. Therefore, the painter was looking for a regular job and commissions in the field of applied arts.

Heinrich Campendonk, for example, designed stage sets, porcelain for the Royal Prussian Porcelain Manufactory and gave lectures to textile industrialists on the use of colour in fashion.
A whole series of lectures took place in the House of the Silk Industry, near Villa Merländer. This is one of the possible occasions on which Heinrich Campendonk and Richard Merländer could have met.
But perhaps it was also the architect of the house, Friedrich Kühnen, who recommended his acquaintance Heinrich Campendonk to the builder Richard Merländer. In 1925 Campendonk sent several photographs of the finished work to his American girlfriend Katherine S. threesome. The originals with the inscriptions "Decke im Haus R. Merländer", "Kartenzimmer, Krefeld 1925" and "Smoking Room" are in the estate of Katherine S. Dreiers in the "Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library" at Yale University in New Haven (Ct). But he did not write to her either as he met Richard Merländer.

In the late 1920s Richard Merländer had the pictures covered in his playroom. The room now became a living room for the staff. The pictures fell into oblivion due to the many changes of ownership of the house - until they were rediscovered in 1989. At that time a catalogue raisonné was drawn up for an exhibition to mark Campendonk's 100th birthday. Today, Campendonk's works can be viewed as part of the open exhibition in the villa. The Villa Merländer also regularly opens its doors for the open day of the open monument.

Opening hours of the exhibitions in the NS-Documentation Centre:

Villa Merländer e.V.



Opening hours:


Wednesday 9 am to 1 pm (last admission 12 pm) Every fourth Sunday of the month According to agreement