The sun shines glaringly bright and makes the sea glow in seductive shades of blue and green. On the warm, white sand, small groups of beach vacationers are cavorting. Near a beach chair, a larger gathering of summer visitors enjoys the fresh sea breeze together. A multitude of impressions combined to create an atmospheric snapshot: the girl playing in the sand, the seemingly carelessly left shovel, the yellow straw hat with blue ribbon.


left: Max Liebermann, By the Sea – Beach Picture, 1911, long-term loan from a private collection/ right: Floris Arntzenius, Summer Visitors on Scheveningen Beach, n.d., Museum Kunst der Westküste, photo: Lukas Spörl


Conviviality, light-heartedness, leisure pleasure - Max Liebermann's painting “On the Beach at Nordwijk/By the Sea - Beach Picture“ (1911) embodies much of what we wish for the year 2021. Here, at Museum Kunst der Westküste, you can see this wonderful painting in the exhibition "New Treasures at the MKdW. From Max Liebermann to Jochen Hein" together with over sixty other high-quality works of art. For the moment, due to the measures taken to contain the Corona pandemic, this is only possible in our MKdW-3D digital tour. However, don't let that discourage you! It's worth keeping an eye out on our website and social media channels for news from MKdW. As soon as we are allowed to open our doors again, you will be able to enjoy the original "New Treasures at the MKdW" exhibition.


In the case of Liebermann's painting, when you visit us, the work method of the important Impressionist artist is literally traceable. For in “On the Beach at Nordwijk/By the Sea - Beach Picture“, you can clearly see the imprints of Liebermann's brush and palette knife in the thickly applied paint. Combined with the fresh color scheme, which is difficult to capture in digital images, this impasto application of paint gives the artwork an extraordinary impact: the picture radiates an almost infectious spontaneity and liveliness that really makes you want to go out and enjoy the summer.


Max Liebermann, By the Sea – Beach Picture, 1911, (detail), long-term loan from a private collection, photo: Lukas Spörl


When I started my academic traineeship at Museum Kunst der Westküste five months ago, the exhibition preparations for 2021 were already in full swing. The work behind the scenes is incredibly varied and exciting. Whether it's communicating with the contemporary artists whose artworks we exhibit or the chance to watch our conservator at work, I've experienced a new facet of the museum's operations every day.


By preparing the exhibition "New Treasures at the MKdW," I also learned a lot about the museum and its unique collection. Did you know that the MKdW's collection holdings have been expanded in the past five years by more than 200 works of art?


Liebermann's magnificent beach painting even came to the museum only last year, and that is only because the descendants of a Rhineland art collector became aware via the MKdW website of our Liebermann collection. They called us, the team got into conversation with the family - and the owner decided to give the picture into our care as a permanent loan. Thanks to this trusting gesture, we are able to present the painting to you alongside other "New Treasures" and artworks that have been part of the collection for some time.


We are not only showing more works by Max Liebermann but also, for the first time in the history of the museum, three paintings with expressionist North Sea and harbor depictions by Erich Heckel.  Artworks by the important Skagen painters Michael Ancher and Christian Krohg, as well as paintings by North Frisian artists such as Hans Peter Feddersen and Emil Nolde, can also be immediately admired here. In addition, contemporary art is represented in the form of Jochen Hein's monumental paintings as well as photographic works by Mila Teshaieva, Anja Jensen, and Denis Rouvre. Two video works by Nan Hoover and two small bronze sculptures expand the artistic media represented in the show. So there is something for everyone! For this reason, I particularly enjoyed writing exciting audio guide content and wall texts, in which we bring you closer to the artists and their works.


Be sure to plan some time when you come to visit us on site. Parallel to the show "New Treasures at the MKdW", two other exhibitions will start at the end of February. They tie in with our artist-in-residence program: “Sjoerd Knibbeler. In Elements“ and “Made on Föhr. Photography from the Artist-in-Residence Program“ with Nicole Ahland, Elina Brotherus, and Thomas Wrede.


The entire team of the MKdW is already looking forward to your visit - be it sometime during the year here in Alkersum on Föhr, be it from now on in our 3D tour, where you can enjoy numerous short tours, artist talks, workshop offers, and other surprises in addition to the artworks.

Click here for the 3D tour:


Dr. Sophie Dietrich, Research Assistent, Museum Kunst der Westküste, im Februar 2021