Kahnweiler & Rupf.
A friendship between Paris and Bern

Hermann und Margrit Rupf in ihrer Wohnung an der Brückfeldstrasse 27, Bern, ca. 1955  Foto: Kurt Blum

The Rupf Collection, on permanent loan to the Kunstmuseum Bern, is closely associated with the story of the important gallery owner and defender of the Cubists, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Bern businessman Hermann Rupf’s activity as a collector began around 1907 – as the first client of Kahnweiler’s gallery in Paris.

Hitherto unpublished archive material reflects for the first time the precarious years between 1933 and 1945, when in spite of adverse circumstances Rupf and Kahnweiler maintained their close contact, corresponded about artists and art or conversed about everyday matters such as condensed milk and illnesses. From 1940, it was some correspondence ‘in the shadow of the crematoria’, as Kahnweiler later put it. Thanks to his lifelong friendship with the collector couple from Bern, Kahnweiler survived the worst crises of the time. The exhibition casts light on the collection with particular reference to this friendship in extraordinary times.

Curator: Susanne Friedli, Konrad Tobler

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