Das Element Wasser verbindet die MuSeenLandschaft
Expressionism and water

The Buchheim Museum in Bernried on Lake Starnberg forms the "MuSeenLandschaft Expressionism" together with the Lenbachhaus in Munich, the Franz Marc Museum in Kochel, the Schlossmuseum Murnau, and the Museum Penzberg.

Reading time: 10 minutes

Art enjoyment in perfect flow

A viewing platform twelve metres above the ground. Daniel J. Schreiber stands at the top and looks over Lake Starnberg. The walkway is the architectural highlight of the Buchheim Museum of Phantasy in Bernried, which he oversees as director.

The art historian finds that the museum's picturesque location on the water, the enjoyment of art and the experience of nature combine to create an aesthetic flow experience.  The walkway becomes a bridge that leads from expressionist paintings out into the Upper Bavarian foothills of the Alps.

Schreiber has been the doer in Bernried since 2013. As a child, he’s bitten by the expressionist bug and today he leads one of the main museums of German expressionism. His vision: "I want to create spaces and places where people can find themselves. Experiencing beauty provides strength for recognising the good in life."

Vom Museumssteg hat man einen tollen Ausblick über den Starnberger See
Das Buchheim Museum in Bernried am Starnberger See

Walking in the footsteps of the "Blaue Reiter"

"The frequency of expressionist art in our region is unique," Schreiber is pleased to say. He likes to send his guests to the sites of the Blauer Reiter like Murnau, Kochel am See or Sindelsdorf. "These wonderful places offer art walks, where many motives of the artists around Wassily Kandinsky or Franz Marc can be rediscovered in the landscape today."

The Buchheim museums and its four "siblings" are all located on lakes or rivers, hence the name "MuSeenLandschaft” (museum landscape).  "It's a unique aesthetic pleasure to visit, hike, bike or experience this beautiful corner of the world," Schreiber says enthusiastically.

"Everything enhances itself. The paintings in the museums invite aesthetic contemplation. We then take this gaze with us into the landscape. We become more open to the beauties of nature. We notice the many tones that the water of the lake takes on. It's constantly changing."

Daniel Schreibers Ausflugstipp: Osterseen

The epitome of alpine landscape

Schreiber does not have a favourite expressionist painting. "All the paintings are my children," he says. But he does cite two particularly beautiful examples. The first is called "Red Dune" and was painted by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff in 1913. It depicts two female nudes in a dune landscape on the Curonian Spit in the Baltic Sea. The shapes and colours of the two bodies merge into the landscape. Man and nature come together in harmony.

The second work of art is three by six metres in size. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner conceptualised the "Great Mountain Landscape" as a stage set in 1931. The painting is the epitome of an alpine landscape. “I flourish in this painting," confesses the art historian.

Lenbachhaus: Wenn die "Verpackung" der Kunst selbst Kunst ist

The lake: sometimes black, sometimes green, sometimes blue

Schreiber often stands on the viewing platform of his museum, floating 12 metres above the water. "It's as breathtaking as being on a mountain top. I can see the bottom of the lake, the sky and the mountains. Here, I feel like I'm becoming part of the foothills of the Alps, which were shaped by the glaciers of the Ice Age."

The variety of colours of the water inspires him so much that he has shot an entire series of photographs from the same position. "The lake looks different every day, sometimes black, sometimes white, sometimes green, sometimes blue. That fascinates me!"

The art and nature of the MuSeenLandschaft inspire the director again and again every day, which also applies to his own works. “You could say that I draw in the style of expressionism: spontaneous, gestural, primarily flowers and figures. And animals too, I love dogs." If you want to discover your inner artist, the "MuSeenLandschaft" is the place to be.

More information: MuSeenLandschaft Expressionismus in Oberbayern (only in German)

Im 'Drei Rosen' in Bernried esse ich gern Wurstsalat oder Schweinekrustenbraten

... from Daniel J. Schreiber

Wieskirche in Steingaden
I’m passionate about Bavarian baroque. Visit the Wieskirche in Steingaden, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or the Ettal Monastery in Oberammergau. In the state capital, I can recommend the Asamkirche. The dynamics of the rooms, the overgrowing architectural sculpture, the murals on the ceilings, the dramatic lighting, and the composition is absolutely grandiose. It’s an architecture much like the Brandenburg concerts.


In the summer, we like to take our little old caravan to a campground on a lake in the area. This year we were right around the corner, at the Oster Seen. It is wonderful there! From there we go on hikes, bike rides and search for mushrooms.
osterseen.de (only in German)

Inn "Drei Rosen" in Bernried
The inn "Drei Rosen" (three roses) in Bernried is something like the "Bar Centrale" in an Italian village. I always meet very nice people to talk to there. I love the Bavarian cuisine.

I like to eat Wurstsalat (sausage salad) or Schweinekrustenbraten (roast pork crust) there and drink a lovely pale beer.
dreirosenbernried.de (only in German)

Park of Klinik Höhenried
The Höhenried Clinic is our museum’s neighbour. In the park the former owner, Wilhelmina Busch, had a completely outlandish little castle built in the romantic tradition. The park landscape, in which the little castle sits, is dreamlike. As of recent you can even rent some of the rooms and live in the tower with lake access included.


All houses of the Expressionism Museum network at a glance:

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