Herwarth Walden—founder of "Der Sturm" journal and gallery—was the most influential cultural impresario of the Expressionist decade. A musician and composer, Walden had edited a number of avant-garde journals before creating Der Sturm (The Storm) as a forum for literature and art in March 1910, and he continued to publish the journal until 1932. Its pages were a meeting place for writers, poets, and artists from all over Europe.

In 1912 Walden opened the gallery Der Sturm, intensifying his impact on the dissemination of avant-garde art in Berlin. Walden not only exhibited the leading contemporary German artists—affiliated with Expressionist groups such as Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter, and the Berlin group Die Pathetiker—but he assembled works representing most of the innovative artistic movements throughout Europe. Walden's exhibition of the Italian Futurists and publication of the Italian Futurist Manifesto in German translation as well as his commitment to the art of Robert Delaunay influenced a number of German artists, such as Ludwig Meidner, Jakob Steinhardt, Franz Marc, and August Macke.

The works on view in these galleries—a number of which belonged to Walden and his second wife, Nell—indicate the range and quality of the art that Walden brought to the Berlin public. The first gallery presents artists and works exhibited by Walden during Der Sturm’s first year; the second gallery includes paintings shown at the Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon (the First German Autumn Salon) in 1913. A landmark exhibition in the history of modernism, the Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon comprised 366 works by 75 artists from 12 countries.

To bring modern art to as wide a public as possible, Walden expanded his publishing and gallery enterprises to include an art school in 1916 and, in 1917, a Sturm theater and acting school. He published Sturm picture books and postcards with reproductions of artworks and photographs of Sturm artists, and he established a lending gallery stocked with original works of art. Having brought modern art to Berlin, Walden then organized traveling exhibitions that circulated to other German and European cities.

Robert Delaunay
Windows in Three Parts, 1912
Oil on canvas
13 7/8 x 36 1/8 in. (35.2 x 91.8 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art.
A. E. Gallatin Collection
Giacomo Balla
Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash, 1912
Oil on canvas
35 3/4 x 43 3/8 in. (91 x 110 cm)
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. Bequest of A. Conger Goodyear and Gift of George F. Goodyear, 1964
William Wauer
Portrait of Herwarth Walden, 1917
20 1/2 x 12 5/8 x 13 3/4 in.
Indiana University Art Museum