"Eggert Gustavs is the most famous Hiddensee painter and graphic artist. He has captured the motifs, colors, and moods of the island in all its diversity like few others. He has portrayed its windswept beauty and rough charm with great skill."
(Former Prime Minister of the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Erwin Sellering)
House – Tree – Boat, woodcut, ca. 1960
In his impressive watercolors and masterful woodcuts, Gustavs limits himself to the essentials. In his portraits and caricatures, he also aims to capture the typical with sparse means. He was fascinated, as he put it, by the "face of the landscape" and the "landscape of the face."
Eggert Gustavs – son of the "Inselpastor” (island’s pastor) and expert in Ancient History and Oriental Studies Arnold Gustavs – was born in the parsonage on Hiddensee. From an early age, he was drawn to the Landeskunstschule (University of Fine Arts) in Hamburg and the Bauhaus in Berlin. Since 1934 he then went his own way – as a self-taught and freelance artist. For many years, he lived and worked on Hiddensee in summer and in Neuruppin with his family in winter.
On the occasion of the artist’s 100th birthday, the Eggert Gustavs Gesellschaft e.V. was founded in 2009 and it honored his life's work with the publication of the book "Eggert Gustavs – Leben und Werk eines Hiddenseer Künstlers" (Eggert Gustavs: The Life and Work of a Hiddensee Artist). The museums in Neuruppin and on Hiddensee showed extensive exhibitions, as well as the Royal Artistic Circle in Barcelona in 2010.
The private museum presents original works of the artist in various techniques (watercolor, linoleum and woodcut, brush and pen and ink drawing, oil, pastel, pencil, glass print), figure wood carvings, printing plates, photo and film recordings, and an exhibition on the history of the landmarked building. The preserved tools, forge, and transmission drill testify to the long craft tradition of blacksmithing on the Island of Hiddensee.