Bernhard Hoetger

Bernhard Hoetger (*4 May 1874 in Hörde, †18 July 1949 in Interlaken, Switzerland), sculptor, painter and craftsman, was a prominent exponent of Expressionism. After completing his apprenticeship as a sculptor in Detmold from 1888-1892, Hoetger became the director of a workshop for artistic cabinetmaking. After studying at the Art Academy of Düsseldorf, Hoetger went to Paris. There he met Roding as well as Paula Modersohn-Becker, who brought him to Worpswede in 1914. Here is where his friendship started with the Bremen coffee merchant Ludwig Roselius, for whom he designed Kaffee Worpswede from 1925 to 1927 and Große Kunstschau. As early as 1922 he built the Niedersachsenstein in Worpswede, an expressionistic brick monument commemorating those who died in the First World War. Roselius also assigned the self-educated architect Hoetger with the task of redesigning Böttcherstrasse, a lane in Bremen which Roselius had bought up, and which was completed in 1931. Like his patron, Hoetger sympathised with National Socialism and became a party member. He was unsuccessful at winning over the Nazi party to his art, as it rejected his pursuit of an idealized world of Nordic folklore. For that reason his work was denounced in Hitler’s address at the Nuremberg rally in 1936 and was henceforth regarded as degenerate art. Hoetger was expelled from the party. After 1934 he continued his work in Berlin and then moved to Switzerland in 1946, where he died in 1949.