Dinner with Harry Graf Kessler and Henry van de Velde //
A table of exquisite elegance – the amalgamation of passion, function and beauty couldn’t be more strikingly expressed than with this central piece featured in the 150th-anniversary exhibition commemorating Henry van de Velde at the Neues Museum in Weimar. A table, set for ten, arranged like a musical composition, from the knife handles to the soup tureens – every piece an original, designed by the Belgian »all-round artist« – specially created for the illustrious guests at a dinner party held at the home of Harry Graf Kessler.
Even more astonishing is the list of guests who gathered here – or could have gathered here, as this story is somewhat fictional. But they could have met each other here, for they were all frequent visitors at Kessler’s home around the turn of the 20th century, as well as the Van de Velde family well until the outbreak of World War I. These individuals represented Weimar’s artistic and philosophical elite of the time – the sculptor and painter Max Klinger, the journalist and theatre critic Maximilian Harden, Auguste Rodin, Hugo von Hoffmannsthal, Nietzsche’s sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, Rilke, the Werfels, the young, expressionistic poet and future Minister of Cultural Affairs in the GDR Johannes R. Becher, the Impressionist Max Liebermann, the writer, diplomat’s wife, salonière and poet friend Helene von Nostitz and many others.
Inspired by this exhibit, the young director Julia Hoppe will be setting up a lavish table four times in this season. We cordially invite you to take a seat and, together with the hosts Harry Graf Kessler and Henry van de Velde, witness the revival of those artists and intellectuals sparring philosophically as they cut their food with Henry van de Velde’s famous silverware.
Coulinary delicacies are already comprised in the ticket.