Amsterdam Jewish Museum Exhibit Avant-garde Husband Wife Painters

When in Amsterdam…visit the Jewish Historical Museum. The museum recently unveiled the first exhibition of Else Berg and Mommie Schwarz. The Avant-garde husband and wife painters were representative of the Dutch modern art scene 1900-1913. They lived in Amsterdam and the Netherlands from 1910 – 1942.
Else Berg Self Portrait 1917
Mommie Schwarz Self Portrait 1917

The exhibition, the first of its kind, explores the lives of the two artists through their paintings. The paintings show Berg and Schwarz influence and subjects changing through their paintings during their lives together.The couple met in Berlin in 1908, travelling to Paris before becoming part of the Amsterdam and Bergen art scenes. The Bergen School was a Dutch school of expressionist painters who used cubism with characteristic dark colours.

 In their early art 1900-1913 their paintings were characteristic of this expressionist style with colour and intense hues.

Woman in Red Pinafore- Berg 1913

In 1914 the pair took a trip to Majorca, Spain where their style changed again. Landscapes became composed of entire impressionist colour segments.

Majorca - Else Berg 1914
From 1922-1931 the couple travelled together and apart throughout Europe. They visited Belgium, Czech, Yugoslavia, France and Italy. Berg painted more magical themes while Schwarz depicted more formal issues with his paintings developing strong structure with dark colours, influenced by the Bergen School.

Sardine Fishers - Schwarz 1923

From 1931-1940 Schwarz liked to paint harbour views and fishermen. Berg moved to a style more akin of the populist realist movement of the day with images of ‘people and environment’.

Belagebrug - Schwarz 1936

As Amsterdam became occupied by the Nazi-Germans the couple sent many of their paintings to friends. They returned to Amsterdam in 1942 for an unknown reason and continued painting. Schwarz would paint the view of Sephati Park from their studio window. Painting in dark colours depicting the mood of the time. Berg on the other hand painted children playing care free in the park.

On November 1942 the couple were captured and sent to Westerbork and then onto the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp where they were murdered on their arrival.

The exhibition runs March 23 until June 24. It is a beautiful life story of two artists who shared a passion for each other and for painting.

View of Sarphati Park - Berg 1942
When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

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