Journal or Book Title
The Junkerhaus in Lemgo, Germany, is very eccentric, even rather eerie. Slowly built by the reclusive architect Karl Junker over the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was whittled and carved into existence, its textures knobby and web-like, its walls andfurnishings coated in uncanny forms and dreamy images. Fordecades after the death of Junker, rumors of his insanity werecited to explain the form of his home. These rumors were notmerely local legend, but rather were bound up in a strain of early Modernist discourse that sought to theorize and celebrate the art of the mentally ill. In recent years, a few historians andcritics have labored to push beyond the mythology and analyzeJunker with a more scholarly rigor, chipping away at the notion that the Junkerhaus was formed by a totally unfettered mind.They have situated the building in a larger context, comparing it to the artists’ residences and artists’ studios then prominentin Germany and Austria. There is undoubtedly much insight in this, but something is still missing; artist spaces of these typestended to exhibit either Classical order or Romantic chaos, but Junker’s work exudes both. Gaining a better understanding of the Junkerhaus will require not only ongoing reconsideration of its impassioned expressiveness, but also a more direct confrontation with its academic Classicism. The latter has been neglected for too long.
Society of Architectural Historians Southeastern Chapter
Muecke, Mikesch W. and Walker, Nathaniel R., "Madness and Method in the Junkerhaus: The Creation and Reception of a Singular Residence in Modern Germany" (2015). Architecture Publications. 94.