Skip to content Skip to footer


Gerd Ludwig photographs …

Beuys in a pasture. In the background molehills and cows, behind hedges and rows of trees in the foggy gray. And in front with blown up coat Beuys, stretched out holding a dead hare at the hind legs. Next to him in the pasture a crib.

Photo link

Gerd Ludwig: Joseph Beuys with cradle and hare in the village of Mehr, 1978. (Kinderbett/crib).

Peter Sager writes:

“The hare is my animal,” says Beuys, “extremely fertile and agile, a criss-corsser and border crosser, at home across the steppe, burrows into the earth, has a dark character, a completely different blood chemistry than other animals.” (…) When Beuys drives out in his Bentley, the rabbit always hops ahead of him as a radiator figure.

On the lawn stands a bed in which Beuys lay as a child: pure Biedermeier, to the surprise of the artist, whose style does not correspond at all to bourgeois taste. The owner of the Beuys cradle, the farmer and art collector Leni van Heukelum from Mehr in the Lower Rhine region, speaks Klever dialect to her prominent compatriot. (….)”

That he, Beuys, should have lain in this bourgeois style furniture does not please him at all. Three people claim in the meantime that they have my cradle!” (…)

Biedermeier appreciates Leni van Heukelum more than Beuys, of whom she has no artwork. “We have only collected what we find beautiful, and to find Beuys beautiful, you have to make quite an effort!”

For his part, Beuys, compelled to admire her picture gallery, remarks, “Good throwaway formats!” Leni van Heukelum gulps, the “Herr Professor” downs another home-made Schnaps, “‘nen Bees””, speaks knowledgeably and in Klever dialogue about livestock and plants, and leaves. Leni van Heukelum is at a loss: “When you talk so intelligently that you then do such crazy things, I can’t get over. (ZEIT magazine 1978) 


The hare is my animal, says Beuys. He draws hares, paints with hare’s blood, acts with dead hares, explains pictures to him, installs hare graves, melts a gold crown to the peace hare, spreads multiples with hare sugar. In his actions Beuys often uses the hare as a sign. Like the shamans, he establishes a connection with nature with him and through him.


Trailer for the radio play Joseph Beuys and the Hare

Museum Moyland, 2017

Duration: 1:19 min. 

And today …

The Dassendonkhof is no longer a farm. There are fewer farmers. Are there then also fewer cows? And more moles and field hares because there are fewer cows?

Cycle route to the next station:

– U-turn Nieler Str.

– left into Wibbeltstr.

– straight ahead over traffic circle in Stüvennest right into Landscheidt 

– turns into Lange Hufen 

– right into Bruchsche Str. (direction Nütterden) 

Station: in the Poplar Avenue

Art and Climate Change © 2024. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.