White Wedding

The Reiner Winkler
Ivory Collection
at the Liebieghaus

About the exhibition

The Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung is to be enriched by a magnificent addition: The Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, the Städelscher Museums-Verein, and the Städel Museum, with the support of the Kulturstiftung der Länder and the Hessische Kulturstiftung, have acquired for the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung a collection of over 200 valuable ivory sculptures owned by Reiner Winkler. With this acquisition, which was made possible through the generous gift of a large part of the collection by Reiner Winkler, the Liebieghaus has achieved the most important expansion of its own holdings in the history of the museum.

From 27 March 2019, some 190 artworks will be shown on view in the exhibition “White Wedding: The Reiner Winkler Ivory Collection Now at the Liebieghaus – Forever.”. The ivory works from the Middle Ages and the Baroque and Rococo periods will be presented in theme-based chapters.

With the exhibition, the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung presents almost all the pieces from the Reiner Winkler Collection, thereby demonstrating their artistic range. The works within the collection enter into a dialogue with objects from the museum’s own collection. Ivory works from the Liebieghaus are juxtaposed with those from the Reiner Winkler Collection, and museum exhibits by the same artists but made of other materials are also on view. Some 190 exhibits trace the history of small sculpture in the Baroque and Rococo ages.

The publication and exhibition are supported by the Stiftung Reiner Winkler, the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, and the City of Frankfurt
The acquisition was made possible by the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung, the Städelscher Museums-Verein, the Kulturstiftung der Länder, and the Hessische Kulturstiftung

„[it] is the largest addition to the collection in its history”

The Art Newspaper, Catherine Hickley, 21. February 2019

Worth Knowing

    Masterpieces from the Reiner Winkler Collection

    Certain masterpieces from the Reiner Winkler Collection are the subject of a special focus within the exhibition. These include, for example, “Fury on a Charging Horse” (1610) by the so-called Master of the Furies (active ca. 1600–1625), a central work from the Reiner Winkler Collection. Also on view are “The Three Parcae” (ca. 1670) by Joachim Hennes, Francis van Bossuit’s “Mercury, Argus and Io” (ca. 1670/75?), the relief panels carved by an unknown Augsburg sculptor “Minerva introducing Sculpture and Painting to the seven Free Arts” (second half of the 17th century), as well as the “Depiction of eight Cardinal Virtues” (second half of the 17th century), together with Matthias Steinl’s “Chronos on the Globe” (ca. 1720/25?), the “Allegory of Damnation in Hell” (1736) by Johann Christoph Ludwig Lücke, and the “Fall of the Rebel Angels” (first third of the 18th century), carved by an unknown ivory artist from southern Italy or Sicily.

    Germany and Austria played an important role in ivory art, as can be clearly seen in the Reiner Winkler Collection. Therefore important artists such as Leonhard Kern (1588‒1662), Georg Pfründt (1603‒1663), Jacob Dobbermann (1682–1745), the Lücke family, and the Schencks are awarded their own chapters within the exhibition.
    A special section unites medieval works, representations of saints, and works which convey Biblical content, which are combined to form a group. Works dedicated to themes from antiquity and those which were created by court sculptors or “Kammerbildhauer” are also displayed as an ensemble. Three art regions are presented: the Netherlands, Southern Italy/Sicily, and Dieppe.


„a dazzling display“

The Burlington Magazine 163, Aileen Dawson, May 2021