Gabriele Münter

Gabriele Münter

1877–1962

Artist Details

Birth Place
Berlin
Death Place
Murnau, Germany
Phonetic Spelling
gah-bree-AY-luh MOON-tuh
Medium
Drawings and prints; Painting; Sculpture
Style
Expressionism; Fauvism
Places of Residence
Stockholm, Sweden; Murnau, Germany
Training
Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris, 1906–07; Phalanx School, Munich, 1902–04; Damenakademie des Münchener Künsterlinnen, Munich, 1901; Women Artists School, Düsseldorf, Germany, 1897
Retrospective Exhibitions

Gabriele Münter: The Search for Expression 1906—1917, The Courtauld Gallery, London, 2005; 

Gabriele Münter 1877–1962 Retrospektive, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany, 1992;

Retrospektive, Museum Braunschweig, Germany, 1949;

50 Paintings in 25 Years 1908–1933, Künsthalle Bremen, Germany, 1933–35; Le Salon des Indépendants, Paris, 1907

NMWA Exhibitions

Trove: The Collection in Depth, 2011

Four Centuries of Women’s Art: The National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1990

About the Artist

Artist Gabriele Münter, together with Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc, was a founding member of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), an influential group of German Expressionists.

Münter was born in Berlin to upper-middle-class Protestant parents. Despite being raised in a family and country that discouraged women from a career in the arts, Münter eventually attended Munich’s progressive new Phalanx School, where she studied sculpture and woodcut techniques.

In 1902, Münter began a 12-year professional and personal relationship with the Phalanx School’s director, Wassily Kandinsky. They traveled together and in 1908 discovered the Bavarian village of Murnau, where Münter later bought a house.  Münter helped establish the Munich-based avant-garde group Neue Künstlervereinigung (New Artists’ Association) in 1909, and in 1911 she, Kandinsky, and several other artists left that group to form Der Blaue Reiter (the Blue Rider), an important Expressionist organization.

During World War I, Münter and Kandinsky went to Switzerland, but due to his Russian nationality, Kandinsky was considered an enemy alien, and returned to Moscow in 1914. Shortly thereafter, Kandinsky obtained a long-sought divorce from his first wife—but wed another woman instead of Münter.

After a period of relative artistic inactivity during the war, Münter returned to Murnau and started painting again seriously in the late 1920s. She continued to work in the highly stylized manner of her early career, which emphasized simplified forms and expressive use of line and color.

National Museum of Women in the Arts