BNU - Salle d'exposition
Catalogue de l'exposition : 152 p.,20 €
Le monde fraternel d’Albert et Adolphe Matthis : Strasbourg et l’Alsace de 1890 à 1940
From 5 April to 17 June 2006 the BNU is proposing an exhibition entitled Le monde fraternel d’Albert et Adolphe Matthis: Strasbourg et l’Alsace de 1890 à 1940 (the brotherly world of Albert and Adolphe Matthis: Strasbourg and Alsace from 1890 to 1940), which brings to life, through the poetry of these twin brothers, a number of decades of life in Strasbourg and more generally in Alsace.
Nowadays these two poets are relatively unknown by anyone who does not speak the Alsatian dialect. A bridge over the Ill bears their name, and there is a plaque on a building in the Finkwiller district. Albert (1874-1930) and Adolphe (1874-1944) Matthis were brilliant defenders of Alsatian culture and Strasbourg dialect, and they created a body of work that is of exceptional interest both for the specific nature of their language and for the nostalgic view they give us.
At the heart of the exhibition, the BNU has placed the Matthis archives; they were bequeathed by Prof. Albert Schlagdenhauffen. They include not only manuscripts of their poems, correspondence, and first editions of their works, but also a number of their private photographs and a number of personal objects that help us to discover the universe of these artists. The curator of the exhibition, François Petry, who is responsible for ethnology and the heritage of memory at the Alsace DRAC, has recreated the atmospheres their poems evoke by setting them alongside photographs and paintings by contemporary artists. This will enable the public to discover the works of Lothar von Seebach, many of whose works are on display here on loan from private collections.
The Matthis brothers were writing at a particular point in time, Alsace's "Belle Epoque", with a degree of emulation in respect of Alsace and all things Alsatian. At the time, Strasbourg was at the heart of considerable literary and artistic effervescence such as it has rarely experienced; it was also a time of major social and economic evolution. The Matthis brothers were not only witnesses to this era; they were also players in it. The Finkwiller and Petite-France district constitutes the centre of gravity of their existence. Thus in their poems they use the full-bodied language of the ordinary people and spend their time like them: the countryside is just beyond the Ponts-Couverts, everyone boats on the Ill, and walks alongside the canal, to reach the Fischerinsel / l'Ile des Pêcheurs. Very special links that the Matthis brothers wove with the group of painters in the Saint-Nicolas district (Achener, Beecke, Blumer, Braunagel, Haas, Ritleng, Schneider, etc) are also illustrated by works produced before the poets' very eyes.
The exhibition enables the BNU to display its very rich collection of documents on Alsace alongside loans from private collectors and the Strasbourg Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain. It coincides with the publication by Editions Arfuyen of the collection entitled "Ziwwelbaamholz / Bois d’oignon", translated by Gaston Jung, which earned him the Nathan Katz heritage prize. The exhibition will be accompanied by a number of readings, meetings and a lecture on the theme of translation. Guided visits will also be available for the public.