In March 2018, the State museums of Berlin received the inheritance of art historian Barbara Gopel, consisting of two paintings, 46 drawings and 52 prints by Max Beckmann and paintings by Hans Purrman. These historically significant works are presented to the public for the first time. They were acquired in the 1940s – 1950s by art historian Erhard Gopel, Barbara’s husband, who died in 1966.
“Max Beckman. Barbara Göpel's Will- This is a significant addition to the collection of classic modernist works of the Berlin State Museums. The 46 drawings, for example, represent an almost complete representative sample of the various stages of an artist’s career, starting with studies in Weimar in 1900 and ending with the last year of his exile in Amsterdam. Over the past decades, many of these drawings have hardly been shown, and very few researchers have known about them.
Two picturesque paintings - “Self-portrait in a bar” (1942) and “Portrait of Erhard Göpel” (1944) - highlight the work of the artist in Amsterdam, where he moved after being declared a representative of “degenerative art” during the Third Reich. Beckman portrayed himself sitting at a table in a bar, tired and self-absorbed, and 38-year-old Erhard Gopel was presented as an intellectual, busy with his thoughts.