Kurt Schwitters was an artist and sculptor of international significance in the history of art. Born in Hanover in 1887, influenced by the DADA movement he developed 'a new label' for his art - Merz. The most influencial part of his work was 'installational sculptures" begun in 1920s culminating in the 'unfinished Merz Barn' in Elterwater, Cumbria. "In 1941 after a period of internment on the Isle of Man he went to London, before moving to Ambleside. His work encouraged different and differing views and perspectives and at the Merz Barn this consisted of a curved wall sculpture installation. Following his death in 1948, the barn was neglected. The sculpture installation was physically removed by crane to the Hattan Gallery at the University of Newcastle in 1965, a move which today would not have been acceptable as the whole building as well as the installation was fundamental to his approach. What was special about the Merz Barn was that it was an art work that you could actually walk around inside and experience different spaces, grottos, and sculptural features."
There are currently plans afoot to preserve the Barn and encourage art workshops. (Information from Kurt Schwitters Merz Barrn Leaflet, & other sources.) For full information contact: www.merzbarn.net