The Münter House
The 'Russian House' retreat of Gabriele Münter (1877-1962), where she lived with Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) and, later, the art historian Johannes Eichner.
Münter and Kandinsky frequently came away together to the 'Russenhaus' between 1909-1914. They furnished and decorated it together, and together they laid out the surrounding gardens. The couple's collection of folk art complements Kandinsky's frieze of horsemen climbing the stairs, and the house and its landscape inspired them both in their own work, especially in Kandinsky's move towards abstraction. Münter House also became a focal point for the 'Blue Rider' group, including Franz Marc (1880-1916), August Macke (1887-1914), and Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951).
When he was forced to flee the country in 1914, Kandinsky left most of his possessions behind at the Russenhaus. She in turn travelled through Sweden and Copenhagen, before returning there in 1931, with Eichner, her new lover. Throughout the Second World War, Gabriele Münter kept major collection of works by Kandinsky and other Blue Rider members hidden here in the basement, behind false walls, thus protecting it from the Nazis. On her death, she bequeathed large parts of the collection to the Lenbachhaus, and established in her will the Gabriele Münter and Johannes Eichner Foundation. Meanwhile, the Münter House opened to the public, in accordance with her wishes, first in 1984, as a couple of rooms, and later as a whole in 1999. It was then restored to its appearance as it had been during its golden years of 1909-1914.