An ailing Friedrich Nietzsche spent his final years at the “Villa Silberblick” in the care of his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. After his death, she commissioned Henry van de Velde to refurbish the building, especially the rooms of the archive. The interior designs and furnishings are among the most exquisite creations ever made by the Belgian architect and designer.

Exhibition

The tour takes visitors through the rooms designed by Henry van de Velde: the former dining room, the library and meeting room, and the archivists’ study. The room ensemble is a Gesamtkunstwerk which is almost completely preserved in its original condition. Van de Velde designed the interior furnishings from top to bottom – not only the wooden fixtures and flooring, but also the furniture and upholstery, doors, ovens, lamps and decorative vases.

The centrepiece of the presentation is the library with Max Klinger’s marble herm of Nietzsche and Van de Velde’s interior furnishings. An exhibition in the former dining room documents the ambivalent history of the building and the role it played in the Nietzsche cult during the Nazi era. Since 1999 the Kolleg Friedrich Nietzsche has conducted research in upstairs rooms of the villa and regularly holds public events at the Nietzsche-Archiv.

History

The Nietzsche-Archiv was founded in Naumburg in 1894 by Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche and relocated to Weimar in 1896. She moved into the “Villa Silberblick” in 1897 where she cared for her ailing brother. Friedrich Nietzsche died in the house on 25 August 1900. At the recommendation of Harry Graf Kessler, she commissioned Henry van de Velde to renovate and refurbish the villa in 1902. His proposed modifications to the entry way and vestibule, library, meeting room, study and dining room made better use of the available space and increased the overall aesthetic quality. Nietzsche’s written estate was stored at the villa until 1950. With the exception of selected historical items, the estate is now stored in the archives, stacks and storage rooms of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar.

Projects of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Free State of Thuringia, represented by the State Chancellery of Thuringia, Department of Culture and the Arts.

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