Villa Waldberta, 1910
Albertus Willem Sijthoff with one of his dogs at the park of the Villa Waldberta, 1910
Waldine Sijthoff  in the park of the Villa Waldberta, 1910
Violonist "Blümchen", on the right Waldine Sijthoff, 1910
Familiy Schmeil, 1920
Franz and Bertha Koempel front of the shell fountain in the Villa Waldberta's Park, 1930
Displaced Persons (DPs) at Villa Waldberta: David Zwirn and Dora Zyndorf, 1948
Bertha Koempel on her terrace at the Villa Waldberta, 1955
Willi Daume with his family playing instruments in 1970

History of the villa

Construction of the private residence known by the name "Felsenheim" is completed.

The residence is purchased by the publisher Albertus Willem Sijthoff from the Netherlands; he and his wife Waldina name the residence "Villa Waldbert." They frequently invite artists to live with them and work there.

The manufacturer Karl Hugo Schmeil from Dresden, an important art collector, purchases the villa.

The New York doctor and founder of the Steuben Society Franz Koempel and his wife Bertha are the new owners of the house. The couple spend their summers in Feldafing. In the meantime the villa is called "Waldberta" and it has developed into a meeting place for the Koempels' international acquaintances. The guests include the family of Karl Scharnagl, the Lord Mayor of the City of Munich.

The Koempels avoid Germany after war breaks out in 1939. As of 1942 the Villa is placed under receivership as "property of the enemy" by the Nazi government; it serves as a military hospital under the end of the war.

After the war ends the villa is confiscated by the U.S. Army. "Displaced Persons," people who have lost their homes due to the war, are housed in the villa. Between 50 to 70 persons live there until the beginning of the 1950s.

"Villa Waldberta" is returned to its owner, Bertha Koempel. Once again, she spends her summer months in the villa until she passes away in 1966. Frank Koempel preceded her in death in 1950.1965Bertha Koempel bequeathes the house to the City of Munich as a trust. The purpose of the foundation is to "support art and culture while maintaining the character of the property as a monument to earlier and present-day domestic culture and property culture."

The City of Munich leases Villa Waldberta to Willy Daume for his preparations for the Olympic Games in Munich. During the Olympic Games in 1972 Willy Brandt stays in the villa and receives his guests here, including Henry Kissinger, Edward Heath, and Georges Pompidou.

Villa Walberta is allocated to a Montessori education reform association for educational seminars and family weekends.

Since 1982
The city council passes a resolution that the artists can stay at Villa Waldberta for a specific limited time. The Department of Art and Culture of the City of Munich develops an "artist-in-residence program."

History of the grant program

Starting in 2005 guests will be invited based on the respective project and they will come from every art field, including areas of science that are closely connected to culture. On the one hand, this will strengthen the international network of the culture scene in Munich, and on the other hand, it will allow the culture scene in Munich to profit from the special creativity that this interdisciplinary, cross-genre approach will provide.

Literature tip: "Cosmopolite Meeting Place and Artists' House The Villa Waldberta: A Mirror of the 20th Century" by Tobias Mahl