Project title
Emil Maetzel
Object description

* 5 May 1877 in Cuxhaven; † 23 June 1955 in Hamburg
German architect, painter, graphic artist and sculptor
The body of Emil Maetzel’s painting is principally influenced by painters of the “Brücke” style and by African sculpture. In the cultural life of Hamburg in the 1920s he is one of the central figures.
After his architectural studies, Maetzel is head of the Urban Development Department of the Hamburg Construction Deputation from 1907 until 1933. He represents a moderate version of “New Building”, which is also exemplified in his design for his own villa in Volksdorf (near Hamburg) to where he moves in 1926. In 1910 he marries the painter Dora Johannsen (Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen). In 1919 they are among the founding members of the Hamburg Secession, where, to begin with, representatives of Expressionism, Expressive Realism and New Objectivity come together. Works by Maetzel and his wife are regularly shown in the Secession’s exhibitions. From 1928 until 1933 he serves as the Secession’s chairman. After the National Socialists come to power, one of the first exhibitions they close in Hamburg in March 1933 is the Secession’s annual show. In the same year Maetzel is forced by NS-officials to retire. Five of his wood cuts are denounced as ‘degenerate’ in 1937 and removed from the Kunsthalle Hamburg. After WW2, Maetzel is retrospectively appointed Hamburg’s Director for Architectural Services. From 1948 he becomes Vice Chairman of the re-established Hamburg Secession. Between 1945 and 1955 approximately 100 oil paintings and more than 200 watercolours are created. Among the locations where Maetzel’s works are exhibited are the Kunsthalle Hamburg, the Hamburg Museum for Art and Crafts and the Kunstsammlung of Hamburger Sparkasse.