“Through the senses to the spirit”

“Through the senses to the spirit”

21 June 2024 Sebastian Jüngel 192 views

Art opens up new worlds. The Visual Arts Section at the Goetheanum has developed an Art Study Year and an Art Intensive Week to show how this works. The focus is on perception, activity and the sharing of experiences.


The Goetheanum offers a wide range of publicly accessible art forms in fields such as architecture, sculpture and painting. These disciplines have in common that the works of art open up worlds of creativity through form and material. Barbara Schnetzler, a visual artist, describes this as follows, “The works of art first introduce us to sensory experiences – and then lead us through the senses to the spirit.” Together with Christiane Haid, head of Visual Arts at the Goetheanum, she is responsible for the newly created Art Study Year at the Goetheanum. In each term of this full-time study year, the students immerse themselves in one of the arts – architecture, sculpture or painting. They explore Goetheanism in exercises and nature observations and deepen this experience through anthroposophy by studying Rudolf Steiner‘s basic works.

The Art Intensive Week offers an introduction to artistic design principles or deepens existing skills based on the Second Goetheanum, one of the world’s most famous pioneering buildings made of concrete. It was newly built after the First Goetheanum was destroyed by fire in 1922, albeit on the basis of a radically transformed design: while the First Goetheanum was a rather introverted wooden building that was to make the content of anthroposophy visible through the arts, the second building is expressively formed and made of concrete.

Expert lecturers representing various disciplines accompany the students during the Art Study Year and the Art Intensive Week, while the students actively contribute to shaping the learning processes, the lessons and the space they use.

The Visual Arts Section also regularly organizes public exhibitions at the Goetheanum. The exhibition ‘Wake-up Call to Our Time,’ which marks the 100th anniversary of Edith Maryon’s death, is open until 15 September (with supporting programme). Works by Walther Kniebe will be on display from 18 October 2024 to 16 March 2025.


English by Margot M. Saar

Art Intensive Week
The Step Leading to the Second Goetheanum (German, English) 18 to 25 July 2024, Goetheanum

Art Study Year (German)

1st term: Sculpture, 7 October to 20 December 2024)
2nd term: Architecture, 6 January to 21 March 2025
3rd term: Painting, 7 April to 20 June 2025
It is possible to attend individual terms

Image Working with substance (Photo: Barbara Schnetzler)