Paul van Ostaijen in Berlin


For its autumn of art, the Stadtmuseum Berlin is holding an exhibition at the reopened Museum Ephraim-Palais on renowned Flemish Expressionist, Dadaist and Surrealist Paul van Ostaijen (1896–1928), who spent the revolutionary years immediately following the First World War in exile in Berlin.

Museum Ephraim-Palais
Poststraße 16
10178 Berlin

6,00 € / 4,00 € (reduced)
Free admission under 18 years

Opening Hours
Tue – Sun | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Mon closed

Who was this artist? What does he have to say to a contemporary Berlin audience?

His poetry collection “Bezette Stad” (“Occupied City”), written in Berlin, was a major literary achievement that broke with conventional forms of poetry and typography and laid the foundation for modern Dutch-language literature. Today, he is considered one of the most important poets to have written in the Dutch language.

Art as a driver of revolution

van Ostaijen was convinced that art can and must be a driver of revolution. The subjects of his works include the First World War, the downfall of the bourgeois order, his vision of independent nations in a socialist Europe, as well as loneliness and fear. He returned to Belgium in the spring of 1921, disappointed by the failed revolution and the artists who he viewed as insufficiently radical – but also due to the end of his relationship with Emma Clement, a self-employed woman who had provided for their joint livelihood.

„Das Liebespaar“ (1919/20) von Fritz Stuckenberg zeigt Paul van Ostajien und Emma Clément. Das Gemälde ist eine Leihgabe des Landesmuseums für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Oldenburg.
© Stadtmuseum Berlin | Foto: Alexander Rentsch


Best known for his novel rhythmic poetry, van Ostaijen has been appreciated as a rebel and outstanding artist in Belgium and the Netherlands since the 1950’s, though he remains a relatively obscure figure in Germany.

The exhibition, whose Flemish title “Boem!” (“Boom!”) is borrowed from one of his poems, explores both the artist himself and the work he created in Berlin.

Highlights include original handwritten manuscript pages, “Das Liebespaar” (The Lovers) by Fritz Stuckenberg (a portrait of Paul van Ostaijen and Emma Clement) and a contemporary work by Hanaa el Degham.

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Info & Service

Opening Hours

temporarily closed

From 4 June 2023:
Tue – Sun | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Mon closed


Poststraße 16
10178 Berlin


+49 30 24 002-162
Mo – Fri | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
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The Ephraim-Palais is accessible without steps. All exhibition areas are accessible via an elevator. There are barrier-free toilets in the building.



Tickets will be available again from June 2023.

4 – 15 June: free admission
from 16 June: 7,00 € / 4,00 € (reduced)