GRIMMWELT Kassel is celebrating its 5th birthday as the largest museum dedicated to the Grimm brothers. At the same time, it is the 15th anniversary of the recognition of their Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children’s and Household Tales) as UNESCO world documentary heritage.

More than 400 submissions in the open call for the GRIMMWELT Kassel group exhibition »Storytelling– Narrative Art Today and Tomorrow«

The Grimm brothers are the most famous collectors of fairy tales in the world – making them the “Godfathers of Storytelling” in their own right! Their fairy tales, motifs and figures are part of global cultural memory and continue to inspire artists of all disciplines. In an open call, GRIMMWELT sought narrative works from all areas of visual art for the Storytelling group exhibition, which will take place from 3 June to 18 October 2020. More than 400 submissions from 399 artists or collectives from a total of 10 countries were received by GRIMMWELT during the six-week call for entries which ended on 31 December 2019.
“The huge number of entries shows we have struck a chord,” reports Peter Stohler, Managing Director and Programme Manager of GRIMMWELT Kassel. “It’s really wonderful to see how many artists are still inspired by the Grimm brothers today. We’re really pleased about how huge and international the response has been – this clearly shows that the GRIMMWELT and the topic of storytelling has had an impact not only in Kassel, Hesse and Germany, but also far beyond.” Both new and existing works on the topic could be submitted. “Around 28 per cent of the submissions are new works, which allows us to act as both catalyst and pioneer. Artists were able to apply for a grant of up to 1,500 euro for their works,” Peter Stohler adds.

With 357 submissions, Germany, as expected, takes the lead, followed by Switzerland (42) and Austria (15). However, Italy, Poland, Russia, Turkey and the USA are also represented with individual submissions. From the Federal State perspective, Berlin with 76 submissions is just ahead of Hesse with 72. North Rhine-Westphalia (49), Baden-Württemberg (40) and Bavaria (37) follow. A total of 42 applications have been submitted directly from Kassel. With 250 submissions or around 59 per cent, women are slightly ahead overall. Around a fifth of the submissions come from the under 30 age group – so the next generation of artists is taking a stand.

One focal point of the entries is painting and installations, with 87 submissions each, i.e. 22 per cent each. This is followed by audio/video (63), illustration (42), photography (37) and sculpture (27). Performances are represented by 16 submissions.