The Berlin Secession (German: Berliner Secession) was an art association founded by Berlin artists in 1898 as an alternative to the conservative state-run Association of Berlin Artists. That year the official salon jury rejected a landscape by Walter Leistikow, who was a key figure amongst a group of young artists interested in modern developments in art. Sixty-five young artists formed the initial membership of the Secession.
Max Liebermann was the Berlin Secession’s first president, and he proposed to the Secession that Paul Cassirer and his cousin Bruno act as business managers.
In 1901 Bruno Cassirer resigned from the Secession, so that he could dedicate himself entirely to the Cassirer publishing firm. Paul took over the running of the Cassirer gallery, and supported various Secessionist artists including the sculptors Ernst Barlach and August Gaul, as well as promoting French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism.
Notable members of the Secession included: Max Beckmann, Lovis Corinth, Lyonel Feininger, Georg Kolbe, Käthe Kollwitz, Julie Wolfthorn, Hermann Struck, Adolf Eduard Herstein, Ludwig Dettmann, Max Slevogt and Edvard Munch.
- Paret, Peter: The Berlin Secession. Modernism and its enemies in Imperial Germany, Harvard University Press 1980