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History & milestones

After the border was opened in 1989, Klaus Finger (1941 to 1999), an artist from the Altmark, sought contact
with like-minded people in West-Germany. He found a committed supporter in the then chairwoman of the
Wittingen Culture Club, Barbara Berger (1925 to 2010). Five artists from east and west worked together at Easter 1990 in a Wittingen warehouse owned by publishing company Neef + Stumme.

The city of Wittingen then took over the sponsorship of the 1st International Workshop for painters and graphic artists, organized by Klaus Finger and hosted by the Culture Club and Barbara Berger, which was held in Lüben with 14 artists in July 1991.

Klaus Finger

“A unification ...

can never be acchieved from top to bottom, it has to grow starting from the foundation upwarts. After the German reunification my goal was to contribute now to the interpersonal relations as well. We all have different experiences. During this week we can develop a better understanding for each other: artistically, humanely, internationally.“

Barbara Berger

“The group of artists ...

soon became a common sight in Wittingen. The painters were spotted by the citizens sitting somewhere in the landscape at their easels or sketching some appealing building. People were able to witness and experience firsthand how an artist’s eye captures the well known
countryside. This open-mindedness as well as the feeling of being accepted inspired the artists’ work.“

Expansion abroad ...

In 1998 for the first time artworks from Lüben was presented abroad, in the Czech Republic. Since then, there have been foreign exhibitions in Latvia, Poland, Austria and the Netherlands, where the Van-Tynaarlo artist’s association, inspired by selected results from
the 11th International Workshop, created works in response in 2012, which then were presented in Lüben in 2013.

From 2003 with school day...

From 2001 to 2017 Ursula Brüns was chairwoman of the Culture Club and run the 7th to 14th International Workshops together with an organization team. In 2003 the Pupil’s day was introduced for the first time, which offers interested pupils from the region the opportunity
to work with the artists.

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Workshops as complement

In 2017 Stefanie Barnieske took over the chairmanship of the Culture Club. The 15th International Workshop 2019 was organized and carried out by a newly established, highly motivated team under the direction of Regina Oldenburg. In addition to the Pupil’s day, there were workshops for elementary school pupils and adults to give the population more opportunities to come into contact with artistic

Due to the corona pandemic and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the 16th International workshop had to be postponed until 2023. Annette Ohst headed the Wittingen cultural association from 2021 until spring 2023. Elke Bruns-Tober has been the chairwoman since April 2023.

Friedo Stellfeldt & Regina Oldenburg
Young Generation of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
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New Alignment

In the fall of 2023, Friedo Stellfeldt took over the coordination of the workshop week from Regina Oldenburg. The team decided on an organic reorientation with stronger support for young international artists, which will take place in the next workshop weeks. In spring 2024, a cooperation was agreed with the Young Generation of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg to strengthen young talent and implement new workshop formats.


GISELA BARTELS (1940–2023)
THEA PINI (1933–2022)
HANS BOTH (1935–2023)
WOLFGANG HAU (1938–2022)

Four artists who have been participating since the first Werkstattwoche and have significantly shaped and enriched it passed away in 2022 and 2023: Gisela Bartels from Knesebeck, Thea Pini from Suderwittingen, Hans Both from Schönebeck (Calbe) and Wolfgang Hau from Braunschweig.

„To be an artist is to believe in life.“

Henry Moore