Our Project, inspiration, summary & outline

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Schwitters: ‘Yes, I was very ill, I became increasingly thin, but my spirit could not be beaten. I devoted every minute I could to my work. My Merzbarn is better and more important than anything I have done up to now’

The remarkable route

A little-known (not to mention unfinished and virtually inaccessible) piece of mid-twentieth century art, namely a wall in a barn, becomes derelict and threatens to crumble into oblivion.

No big deal, it happens a lot. End of story. However, in this particular story the local guardian of the piece of art ferrets around until he at last persuades a “leading art pope and professor in an art academy” of the importance of the piece of work.

In 1965 the wall was amputated from the barn and transported on a low loader along an adventurous route and deposited in a new, custom-built wing of the academy gallery.
In the last 40 years not only are the importance and significance of the piece slowly but steadily being grasped, but also the indissoluble connection between the work of art and its original surroundings is being recognized.

Quintessentially what we are left with is a
'wall without barn' and a 'barn without wall '.

All that remains are the two locations, revamped to accommodate the new perceptions, whose only link is a story and a ‘remarkable’ route slowly fading from living memory.

Just until 2011…see new developments.


The barn, Elterwater 1947
  The barn, Elterwater 2008

> summary of the Merzbarn story

> outline of the artgeographical research


New developments:

> 2011 "The third location

> 2013 "Lars Fiske's graphic novel on “Herr Merz"