Examples- Institute of Physics

Einstein bust

Jenny Mucchi-Wiegmann (Genni):

A female artist between Italy and Germany created this bust of the physician Albert Einstein.

Jenny Wiegmann ist born in Berlin (Spandau) on 1. 12. 1895. She studies at August Kraus and Louis Corinth in Berlin, then in Munich and lives in Berlin afterwards until 1930.

During this period, she created numerous artworks and exhibits, amongst others, in Berlin’s Academy of Arts. After a longer stay in Paris she marries the painter, graphic artist and architect Gabriele Mucchi (1899 Turin – 2002 Mailand). The both move to Milano in 1934.

Jenny Wiegmann adopts the pseudonym ‚Genni‘ in the mid-1930s and uses it for signing her artworks from then on. In 1937, she is honoured with a gold medal on the world exhibition in Paris. From January 1944 unil the end of war, Genni participates in the Italien antifascist resistance; simultaneously she almost undiminished continues to work as an artist. She returns to Berlin the first time after the war in 1949. Her husband is a professor at the art academy Berlin-Weißensee from 1956 to 1961 and at the Caspar-David-Friedrich-Institute of the University of Greifswald from 1961 - 1963. The couple works and lives alternatingly in Milano and East Berlin from 1956 on where the National Galery dedicates an exhibition to her in 1962.

In 1958/59 she creates a bust of Albert Einstein based on a poster she had seen at the office of the Italian architect (1905 – 1984) in Naples in 1956. The casting is done by the art foundry Lauchhammer (Spreewald). The bust is installed at the Archenhold observatory in Berlin-Treptow am 13. 3. 1963, as there had been a friendly relationship between Friedrich Archenhold (1861 – 1939) and Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955).

She created other sculptures of famous persons, such as Rosa Luxemburg (1956), Arnold Zweig (1962), Patrice Lumumba (1961; on the Garnison church square in Berlin-Mitte since 2013) and Paul Dessau (1961; part of Kunsthalle Rostock’s collection). Gennis last major work was the ‚Swimmer‘ dated 1969, a life-size bronze sculpture. On cast of it is installed in Magdeburg’s public space; another one also at the Kunsthalle Rostock.

The artist died in Berlin on 2.7.1969. She is buried together with her husband Gabriele in the central cemetry Berlin-Friedrichsfelde.

A re-cast of the Einstein bust arrives at the Rostocker FDGB (Free German Trade Union Confederation) as present of an Austrian trade union delegation in 1975 and is, at first, installed at the Building of Trade Unions (Lange Straße). The district committee of the trade union Science (in the person of Richard Baumann) hands it over to the University of Rostock on a delegates‘ conference of the university trade union organisation in. The university had awarded the honorary doctorate to Albert Einstein on its 500th anniversary in 1919:

By the way the first he received and the only one awarded by a German university.

The bust is installed at the Institute of Physics at Universitätsplatz 3 in front of the entrance to the small physics lecture hall.

Gabriele Mucchi married again in 1973: Susanne Mucchi, neé Arndt. 1985 he is awarded the honorary doctorate of the Humboldt University Berlin.

The primal cast of the Einstein bust is stolen by unknown persons on 14. 9. 1991 in the Archenhold observatory. A related bust appears again at an antique dealer in Potsdam in 2003.

The dealers indicates that this is another cast and not the stolen copy. It is not possible to produce the counterevidence; finally the artwork is privately sold and the Archenhold observatory is left empty-handed.

The Institute of Physics of the University of Rostock moves into a new building at Albert-Einstein-Straße: thus, the bust arrives at its current site.


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