The kunst:raum sylt quelle carries on the tradition of Sylt as an artist’s Island

The Artist’s Island of Sylt

“This afternoon my lowly thatched roof will have the honour of sheltering Thomas Mann“ Siegfried Jacobson, publisher of the internationally known Berlin weekly, Weltbühne, wrote to his friend Kurt Tucholsky in 1922.  ”The old northerner has never been here before and is so taken with  the island that he wants to buy an old Friesian house or at least a piece of land”. In fact, he never did, but Sylt became a favourite summer resort for him. ,,I have lived intensely at this tormenting sea“, he wrote in the guest book of his summer landlady, the actress Klara Tiedemann in1928. when he felt the need for cultivated conversation, the “magician” didn’t have to look far. Regular guests on the island  included the composers Otto Klemperer and Friedrich Hollaender, the sharp-tongued Berlin Theatre critic Herbert Ihering, and the dancer Valeska Gert, who loved Sylt so much that she returned to the island after war and exile, and remained here until her death in Kampen in 1978. The writers Max Frisch und Carl Zuckmayer liked to meet their publisher Peter Suhrkamp here to discuss plans and visions or simply to talk about their latest texts. In fact, almost everyone who is anyone in the world of culture was here at some point — as Jacobson wrote Tucholsky, “from now on I shall write you about who isn’t here as they are in the minority. It is not surprising then that so much of the creative thinking of that time – which had such a profound impact later on – had its beginning, or was put on paper, here. It is the purpose of the Sylt Quelle Foundation to pick up and continue this tradition of open mindedness.