Driehaus Museum acquires 80 prints from PAN, essential journal of the Avant-Garde

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Driehaus Museum acquires 80 prints from PAN, essential journal of the Avant-Garde
Artur Illies (German, 1870-1953), Mondaufgang/Rising Moon. Color etching and aquatint. Published in PAN Volume II, Issue 3, 1896.

CHICAGO, IL.- The Richard H. Driehaus Museum announced today that it will acquire a major collection of prints originally published in the influential periodical PAN—an important addition to the Museum’s collection of works that trace the history and interconnections between art, design, and architecture in the late-19th and early 20th centuries. PAN was published in Berlin by writer and editor Otto Julius Bierbaum and art historian Julius Meier-Graefe between 1895 and 1900, and is considered an early example of avant-garde magazines with an approach that sought to embrace and engage its readers by sharing a wide array of art, design, and literary styles and trends. The Museum will acquire the collection of 80 prints from Denenberg Fine Arts.

“This is such an exciting acquisition for the Driehaus Museum, an excellent addition to our collection of material culture that furthers our ability to engage and educate audiences about printmaking, and the Jugendstil and Art Nouveau in Europe,” said Anna Musci, Executive Director of the Richard H. Driehaus Museum. “Richard Driehaus, who died a year ago, was an avid collector of Jugendstil graphic art and interior decoration. He had always admired PAN and was excited to present the exhibition PAN: Prints of Avant Garde Europe, 1895-1900. With the availability of this full set presented to us, we are acquiring it in his honor. I want to thank the team at Denenberg Fine Arts for their collaboration with us to make these works part of the Museum.”

During its five years of publication, PAN included lithographs, etchings, and woodcuts, along with written vignettes, in both black and white and full color. It featured work by some of the most important painters and graphic artists of the time, including Aubrey Beardsley, Käthe Kollwitz, Auguste Rodin, Georges Seurat, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Max Liebermann, and their work for the journal reflects the period of cultural and artistic transition towards modernism at the end of the 19th century. It also demonstrates the desire of the journal’s founders to elevate graphic arts to the same level as the academic fine art of its day.

PAN’s literary contributors included such figures as Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Stéphane Mallarmé, Henrik Ibsen, and Paul Verlaine. Bierbaum and Meier-Graefe’s eye for talent also makes the journal an important source for brilliant works by artists whose names are less well-known today, such as Walter Leistikow, Hans Thoma, Wilhelm Volz, Otto Eckmann, Eugen Kirchner, and Albert Krüger. This inclusion of such a diverse array of artistic contributors with myriad styles and interests also picks up both the playfulness of the ancient Greek mythological figure of the god Pan and the etymology of the Greek prefix pan, meaning “all.”

The works in this collection were on view at the Driehaus Museum from September 2020 through March 13, 2022, as part of the traveling exhibition PAN: Prints of Avant Garde Europe, 1895-1900. Curated by Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator Emeritus, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Art, San Francisco Museums of Fine Arts, and organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA in association with Denenberg Fine Arts, West Hollywood, CA, the exhibition has been presented at several venues around the U.S. Its next presentation will be at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown, MD from October 8, 2022 to January 29, 2023.

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