History of the HAGENRING e. V.
The history of the HAGENRING association is closely linked with the city of Hagen. In the beginning of the 20th Century until 1921 the industrialist and patron Karl-Ernst Osthaus made Hagen to an experimentation field of the „Neuen Bauens“. Considerable architects such as Henry van der Velde, Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Charles Edouard Le Corbusier and many others supported by Karl-Ernst Osthaus could carry out their venturous buildings. Thus they made the city of Hagen interesting also for other artists, sculptors and painters. The unique ensemble of art nouveau houses at the „Stirnband“ arose at that time in Hagen.
After the death of Karl Ernst Osthaus in the year 1921 and the sale of the Folkwang museum to Essen in 1922 a cultural vacuum arose. Artists like Lauweriks, Prikker and Milly Steeger left the town. To close this gap young Hagen artists founded in 1924 a free, informal union – not limited to any style direction and not fixed ideologically either – the HAGENRING. Well-known founders were e. g. :
Karel Niestrath, Theo Brün, Reinhard Hilker and August Müller-Lamberty. Honorary member was Christian Rohlfs.
Until 1933 there were many important exhibitions. From then on it became also for the HAGENRING members heavily to compete with the intolerance of the Nazi-Regime. On the exhibition „Entartete Kunst“ 1937 in Munich also the work of four HAGENRING members was issued:
Christian Rohlfs, Theo Bruen, Karel Niestrath and William Nagel.
After the war the artists of Hagen found together again and already in 1946 the first „Grosse Kunstausstellung des HAGENRING und anderer Hagener Kuenstler“ took place. Since then, many artists from whom the most famous one surely was Emil Schumacher represented the HAGENRING at home and abroad with successful exhibitions.
In 2014 the HAGENRING celebrates its 90 anniversary.