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Gesellschaft Abendländische Kunst des XX. Jahrhunderts e.V.

On April 28, 1953 the society was founded by Arnold Bode together with the "Club 53", which was also initiated by him. The society started to operate in 1955 and initiated the first documenta.


The Raiffeisen director Heinz Lemke took over the chairmanship, the former court president Erich Lewinski became his deputy. Further members were the parliamentarians of the Bundestag Adolf Arndt, Ludwig Preller, August-Martin Euler; the feature editor of the HNA, Hilde Roemer-Bergfeld; the curator of the Hessisches Landesmuseum Herbert von Buttlar;  the director of the German Design Council in Darmstadt Ulrich Gertz; the director of the Kasseler Staatliche Werkakademie Stephan Hirzel; the regional chief executive Fritz Hoch; the county commissioner Hans Kuprian; the Lord Mayor Lauritz Lauritzen; the professor for landscape planning Hermann Mattern; the director of the Staatstheater Manfred Schaffner; the director of the Staatliche Kunstsammlung Kassel Hans-Erasmus Vogel and the architect Robert Völker.


The advisory committee consisted of Werner Haftmann; the director of the Hannover Kestner Gesellschaft Alfred Hentzen; the director of the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe Kurt Martin; and the sculptor and director of the Frankfurt Städelschule Hans Mettel. Ulrich Gertz, who was replaced by Herbert von Buttlar in 1955, initially acted as secretary.


The society succeeded in winning over the Federal President Theodor Heuss for the patronage of documenta. The Ministry for All-German Afairs and the Federal Ministry of the Interior agreed to support the art exhibition with DM 100,000 each. The state of Hesse subsidized the society with DM 100,000 from the funds from the state sports bets.