Fostering of the association so far
The composite notion as institutional network idea is new, but is based on the long-term feeling of togetherness among the Schumann cities which is shown in numerous joint project throughout the past decades.
It started in 1981 in the field of exhibition, thus with public effect, with “Robert Schumanns rheinische Jahre”, an exhibition accompanied by a catalogue (today available in the second edition as publication of the Heinrich-Heine-Institut Düsseldorf, published by Joseph A. Kruse). This exhibition was shown in the Schumann cities Düsseldorf (Heinrich-Heine-Institut) and Bonn (Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Haus, nowadays linked to the StadtMuseum Bonn).
The exhibition “Robert Schumann und die Dichter. Ein Musiker als Leser“ was presented in 1991 (again with a catalogue edited by Heinrich-Heine-Institut) in Düsseldorf (Heinrich-Heine-Institut), Bonn (Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Haus/StadtMuseum Bonn) and – the post-Wende was finally allowing it and proving that the opportunity was waiting to be seized – in Schumann’s native town Zwickau (Robert-Schumann-Haus).
The exhibition “Clara and Robert Schumann. Zeitgenössische Porträts” (catalogue edited by Heinrich-Heine-Institut in Düsseldorf) in 1994 was even shown in four Schumann cities: Düsseldorf (Heinrich-Heine-Institut), Leipzig (Deutsche Bücherei Leiozig), Bonn (Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Haus/StadtMuseum Bonn) and Zwickau (Robert-Schumann-Haus).
More Schumann cities presented the exhibition “Clara Schumann 1819-1896” in 1996: Bonn Bonn (Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Haus/StadtMuseum Bonn), Düsseldorf (Heinrich-Heine-Institut), Frankfurt (Holzhausen-Schlößchen), Leipzig (Stadtgeschichtliches Museum) und Zwickau (Robert-Schumann-Haus). With an entire department of exhibition, the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde was contributing to this in Vienna, the place where back then unmarried Clara Schumann was already celebrating triumphs. The catalogue which was published by the StadtMuseum Bonn is unfortunately no longer available. It was out of stock already in the year of exhibition!
These activities visible for the public – despite the long lasting collaboration in scientific fields as well as conferences and symposia – prove that particular researchers and responsible persons for collections and exhibitions in Schumann cities always used to think out of the box and established close and trustworthy contacts to colleagues in other cities. These relations existing for decades already – since the first joint exhibition in 1981 25 (!) years passed – did not need to be built up first, but were the base for the newly founded, by the representative of the federal government for culture and media initiated and financially as well as ideally supported Schumann Netzwerk. These contacts allowed to present the network clearly outwards, strengthened it, and especially direct the attention of the public to it. This internet portal is therefore an important first step, it shows the potential of the institutions linked to it, which present themselves deliberately in the alliance and cooperate in the future on a tighter base than before and also get joint projects going on so far unexplored fields. (I.B.)
Translation: Katharina Ma