Münchenbuchsee bei BernLocarno-Muralto



On December 18, Paul Klee is born in Münchenbuchsee near Bern, the second child of Hans Klee (1849-1940) and Ida Klee (1855-1921), née Frick.


Moves to Bern. Instructed in drawing and coloring by grandmother Anna Catharina Rosina Frick.


School years in Bern. During this time, he decides to pursue a career as an artist. For a long time, he wondered whether he wanted to become a musician or a painter.


On October 13, moves into an apartment in Munich to study at Heinrich Knirr's private drawing school, and from fall 1900 also at the Academy under Franz von Stuck.


Klee makes the acquaintance of the pianist Lily Stumpf (1876-1946).


He leaves Stuck's painting class and travels to Italy, including Genoa and Rome, with the Bernese sculptor Hermann Haller for a six-month study trip.


Engagement to Lily Stumpf. He lives with his parents in Bern for the next four years, as he is unable to earn his own living as an artist. His most important source of income at that time is engagements as a violinist.


Together with his childhood friends Hans Bloesch and Louis Moilliet, Klee travels to Paris for two weeks.


Resumes his stay in Berlin. On September 15, he marries Lily Stumpf in Bern; two weeks later, the couple moves to Munich.


Son Felix Paul is born.


In the spring, Felix falls seriously ill; Paul Klee takes over his care. The young family spends their summer vacations in Bern and the surrounding area, especially on Lake Thun, that year as well as in the following years until 1915.


Participates in a group exhibition of 56 works; it begins at the Kunstmuseum Bern and continues at the Kunsthaus Zürich, the Kunsthandlung zum Hohen Haus, Winterthur, and the Kunsthalle Basel.


In February, Klee begins to record his previous works in a handwritten œuvre catalog. From now on, he will keep meticulous records of his artistic production until shortly before his death. In the fall, through the mediation of Louis Moilliet, he meets fellow artist Wassily Kandinsky and becomes familiar with the aims of the Blaue Reiter.


Klee is invited by Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky to participate in the second exhibition of the Blaue Reiter at Hans Goltz's bookstore in Munich, where he is represented with 17 works. In April, he travels to Paris for the second time and visits the artists Robert Delaunay, Henri Le Fauconnier and Karl Hofer in their studios.


With his artist friends August Macke and Louis Moilliet, Klee travels to Tunisia over Easter. The trip takes him via Marseille to Tunis, St. Germain, Hammamet and Kairouan. After his return, Klee exhibits together with Marc Chagall in Herwarth Walden's Berlin gallery Der Sturm, and in October he presents his latest watercolors created in Tunisia as part of the New Munich Secession, of which he is a founding member. The assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne in Sarajevo on June 28 leads to the outbreak of the First World War. On September 26, 1914, Macke was killed at Perthe-les-Hurlus in Champagne.


On March 4, Klee's friend Franz Marc is killed on the front at Verdun. Klee is deeply affected. On March 11, he himself is drafted into the German army as a Landsturmmann.


Exhibition at the Berlin gallery "Der Sturm" together with Georg Muche becomes a sales success.


After his discharge from military service, Klee rents a studio in Munich. At the Stuttgart Academy, Oskar Schlemmer and Willi Baumeister campaign unsuccessfully for Klee to be appointed. On October 1, Klee signs a general agency agreement with Hans Goltz, owner of the Galerie Neue Kunst - Hans Goltz in Munich.


From May to June, Hans Goltz organizes the largest Klee exhibition to date, a retrospective of 362 works. On October 29, Klee is appointed to the Bauhaus in Weimar by Walter Gropius. Publication of two monographs on Klee.


On May 13, Klee takes up his academic teaching position at the Bauhaus. As master of form, he presides over the workshop for bookbinding.


Klee takes over from Johannes Itten as artistic director of the Gold-Silver-Copper Workshop, which he swaps with Oskar Schlemmer for the Stained Glass Workshop in the fall.


Klee's essay "Wege Naturstudium" (Ways of Studying Nature) appears in the publication for the Bauhaus Week events. essay "Ways of Studying Nature."


From January 7 to February 7, the first Klee exhibition in the USA takes place, organized by Katherine S. Dreier at the Société Anonyme, New York. On March 31, on the initiative of Emmy (Galka) Scheyer, the artist group Blaue Vier is founded, which exhibits mainly in the USA. In addition to Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky and Alexej Jawlensky belong to it. In September and October Klee stays with his wife in Italy, especially in Sicily. On December 26, after massive political pressure, the Bauhaus management declares the school in Weimar dissolved as of April of the following year.


Becshluss to move the Bauhaus to Dessau. In October, Klee's Pädagogisches Skizzenbuch appears as the second volume in the series of Bauhaus books edited by Walter Gropius and László Moholy-Nagy. Klee cancels the general agency contract with Hans Goltz and subsequently intensifies business contacts with Alfred Flechtheim, the owner of two galleries of the same name in Berlin and Düsseldorf. In November, Klee has his first exhibition in France at the Galerie Vavin-Raspail in Paris.


On July 10, Klee moves with his family to Dessau, where he lives with Wassily and Nina Kandinsky in one of the three two-family houses built by Gropius for Bauhaus masters.


From April, Klee teaches the Free Painting Workshop, also called the Free Painting Class, at the Bauhaus; from October, he teaches design for the weavers. In late summer, he travels to Porquerolles and Corsica.


In February, Klee publishes the essay "exakte Versuche im Bereich der kunst" in the Bauhaus magazine. Hannes Meyer becomes the new director of the Bauhaus. Four-week trip to Egypt.


Klee spends summer vacation in France and Spain with his wife. He is at the height of his success and is one of the most internationally respected artists in Germany. The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery and the Alfred Flechtheim Gallery in Berlin organize major exhibitions to celebrate Klee's 50th birthday.


On July 1, Klee takes up his position as professor at the Düsseldorf Academy. He rents a room in Düsseldorf, but keeps his Dessau apartment until April 1933. In the summer, he travels to Sicily with Lily.


At the request of the National Socialists, the Dessau municipal council decides to close the Bauhaus.


In January, the National Socialists seize power. Klee then loses his professorship at the Düsseldorf Academy. He signs a general agency agreement with Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, the owner of the Simon Gallery in Paris. On December 24, he emigrates to Switzerland - like his wife two days earlier - and initially lives in his parents' house in Bern. Son Felix Klee remains in Germany with his wife.


In November, the monograph Paul Klee. Handzeichnungen 1921-1930 in a Potsdam publishing house, which is confiscated by the National Socialists in April of the following year.


Klee falls ill; he is bedridden most of the time and hardly works.


Klee's health stabilizes. He is able to intensify his work again. On July 19, the exhibition "Degenerate Art" opens in Munich, which is shown on a smaller scale as a traveling exhibition in twelve other German and "Austrian" cities until 1941. There are 17 works by Klee on display in Munich. The National Socialists subsequently confiscate 102 works by Klee from public collections and sell most of them abroad. Visit by Pablo Picasso.


From this year on, the gallery owner J. B. Neumann and the two art dealers Karl Nierendorf and Curt Valentin, who had emigrated from Germany, organize regular Klee exhibitions in New York and other cities in the USA.


Visit by Georges Braque. Klee applies for Swiss citizenship. With 1253 registered works, the majority of them drawings, 1939 is the most productive year of his entire career.


Death of Klee's father Hans. Klee begins a stay at a health resort in Ticino. In June, his health deteriorates abruptly. He dies in Locarno-Muralto on June 29, a few days before he would have been granted Swiss citizenship. He had spent a good half of his life in Bern - a total of 33 years. The Bernese collector and friend of the Klee couple, Rolf Bürgi, supports the widow as asset manager and advisor in the care of the estate.