Berlin magazine Der Sturm. Wochenschrift für Kultur und die Künste (Storm. Weekly magazine of culture and art) was one of Germany’s flagship publications from the early twentieth century. Its pages helped with the emergence of Expressionism and became a means of spreading the work of a number of artists and writers who became widely recognised in the following decades.
First published on March 3, 1910, Der Sturm launches with a circulation of thirty thousand weekly copies. For ten cents of a Deutschmark citizens have access to eight pages, which include: literary essays, poetry, theatre, artwork, sheet music and artists' monographs.
Its founder, writer and composer Herwarth Walden, plays an important role in editing that leads to his recognition as a promoter of German avant-garde art, given his work discovering young artists to whom he offers opportunities to be part of the publication. Among his literary collaborators are playwrights, novelists and poets, names such as: Richard Dehmel, Anatole France, Arno Holz, Else Lasker-Schüler, Karl Kraus, Peter Altenberg, Max Brod, Heinrich Mann, Paul Scheerbart, Selma Lagerlöf and Knut Hamsum, the latter two received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1909 and 1920 respectively.
Walden commissions the artists with covers and inside illustrations, often double page. Out of the dozens of artists who collaborate with Der Sturm are names such as: Franz Marc, Max Ernst, Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee, Gino Severini, Georg Muche and Emil Maetzel. One of the artists who deserves a special mention for having worked extensively in Der Sturm is Oskar Kokoschka. The architect Adolf Loos is the person who puts Kokoschka in contact with Walden, who asks the Austrian to participate in the magazine from the first editions.
Der Sturm publishes its last issue in 1932 after many difficulties that lead them to progressively reduce their frequency. That same year another flagship German magazine Die Aktion, which specialises in literature and politics also stopped publishing.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía has recently acquired the complete collection of Der Sturm copies. The incorporation of this publication to the Museum's collection is proof of the Museum’s interest in reconstructing the context in which the avant-garde emerges, the beginnings of contemporary art as it is known today. As a result of this acquisition, the Museum’s Library and Documentation Centre has organised this exhibition comprising a selection of some of the most important numbers in terms of their contribution to the arts. Also, every edition from the Der Sturm magazine is available in the Museum’s Library where researchers or anybody interested can access them for reference.
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