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Lea Grundig: A tribute to the human being

Exhibition at the Humboldt-Universität is dedicated to the GDR artist

Her works denounced the Nazi regime at an early stage and dealt critically with social issues. Lea Grundig was one of the best-known artists of the GDR. From September 8 to October 28, 2022, an exhibition at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin will focus in particular on the early work of the Dresden-born artist.

Lea Grundig created around 4,200 works in the course of her life. 1,200 works alone were created in Palestinian exile, which she was able to achieve during the Nazi era as an endangered Jew after two prison internments in Dresden in 1940. When she returned to Dresden in 1949, the artist asked herself what the "new" Germany in the Soviet occupation zone and later the GDR was producing and which people were shaping it. Works on the industry of the GDR, agriculture, as well as numerous portraits of women, men and children are created, which are shown in exhibitions at home and abroad. The complete works consist of drawings, linocuts, drypoint etchings, lithographs, watercolors and illustrations. It is kept in various archives, museums and state and private collections worldwide.

For the exhibition, students from the Institute of European Ethnology at Humboldt University explored the life and work of Lea Grundig during the summer semester of 2022. The research included a ten-day search for traces in Israel to find those places where the artist had lived and worked from 1940 to 1948. The Jerusalem National Library holds 20 children's books that were illustrated by Lea Grundig. The students were supported by Dr. Maria Heiner from Dresden, who is one of the artist's best-known collectors and is compiling the catalog raisonné.

The exhibition is spread over three locations: the atrium in the main building of the university, the courtyard of honor in front of it, and the House of the Representation of the Free State of Saxony to the Federation at Brüderstraße 11/12 in Berlin-Mitte.


September 8 to October 28, 2022
Locations: Lichthof in the HU main building, Ehrenhof in front of the HU main building, and in the House of the Representation of the Free State of Saxony to the Federation, Brüderstraße 11/12,

Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is free of charge.


Prof. Dr. Sigrid Jacobeit
Institute of European Ethnology
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Phone: 030 2093-70865