Goethe’s Faust, Noah’s Arc, Grimms’ fairy tales, Hauff’s The Tale of Caliph Stork, the stories of Heinrich Kleist: Josef Hegenbarth (1884–1962) worked on them all. In his Dresden house where he lived from 1921, he illustrated the classics of world literature. With a few quick strokes of his pen, Hegenbarth breathed life into coffee house scenes, exotic animals in zoos and circus acrobats.
Today the ink in the little glass bottles in his studio has long dried out, but aside from that, his living and working spaces at 2 Calberlastraße, in Dresden’s Loschwitz district have hardly changed at all since his death: Alongside countless illustrated books and Hegenbarth’s drawing utensils, the desk where he worked still stands with a view of the Elbe slope in Loschwitz. It was his widow Johanna Hegenbarth who bequeathed the artist’s estate to the Kupferstich-Kabinett – under the condition that it be made accessible to the public.
Following careful renovation work, the Josef-Hegenbarth-Archiv opened in 1998: On the 2nd floor, there are now guided tours of the artist’s living and working spaces, while on the 1st floor, five exhibition spaces serve as a platform for temporary exhibitions on Hegenbarth and other graphic artists, draughtsmen and illustrators of his time and beyond, all the way to contemporary artists. Workshops and lectures are also hosted in these spaces. The house further holds Hegenbarth’s extensive artistic and archival estate, which includes 13,700 drawings, prints and paintings as well as publications, his library, photographs and his letter exchanges.