Arts and Culture at the German Riviera

Hotel Polar- Stern

Culture and fine arts up close

Culture and the Arts pervade "Polar-Stern" hotel wherever you go:

The high-ceilinged walls are decorated with black-and-white photographs of historic views, post-cards and old travel brochures. Painting and sculpture kindly donated by grateful resident artists, whom we traditionally harbou during the winter months, adorn hallways and public rooms. As part of our stipend "Art on the Baltic Sea" artists and musicians from all over the world are provided free room and board during the quieter season, enabling them to concentrate on their work, hold vernissages and work-shops and obtain valuable cultural input, ideas and insights in conversation with hotel guests. Musical virtuosi amongst our guests are invited to practice or just dream away the time playing their favourite pieces on our superb "Blüthner" baby grand piano.


Swedish painter Lars Baeckman works and exhibits at "Polar-Stern" hotel


"Polar-Stern" hotel considers itself not only a temple of good hospitality but also as a meeting place and melting pot for art and culture from all over the world. Over the years we have been pleased to host painters, sculptors, musicians and writers of prose and poetry from the most divers countries and cultures and we are pledged to keeping this tradition up and building on it in the years to come.

It all actually began with the visit in Winter of 1995 of Lars Bäckman, perpetually youthful painter from Sweden. Lars, who like so many of our other resident artists, remains a true and loyal friend of "Polar-Stern" hotel right up to the present day, has the unique ability of being able to reveal incredible detail and plasticity in his oils using only crude brush strokes. Seeing is believing and you can see outstanding examples of Lars' work right here at our hotel. Indeed, if you're really lucky, you may even find one of his masterpieces gracing the wall of your own hotel room!


An exceptionally gifted painter and an old friend; Lars Bäckman from Sweden. Paul Kurbjuhn, late father and father-in-law of current owners Albrecht and Dagmar Kurbjuhn, was permanent guest at the hotel right up to his passing in 2003. Now he smiles warmly at guests from this oil portrait by Lars Bäckman. Another example of how Lars Bäckman manages to produce incredible detail using only bold brushstrokes! Seascapes by Swedish artist Lars Bäckman represent some of his most impressive works. Our Swedish artist friend Lars Bäckman with one of his prominent admirers, the President of Peru.

Master artisan Klaus Grosser presents copper and stainless steel sculpture "Pot Still" commissioned by "Polar-Stern" hotel!

Website: www.adem-galerie.de


Amongst other things, "Polar-Stern" hotel sees itself as the home of Scots single malt whiskies on the Mecklenburg Baltic coast and is seat of the "German Clan MacLeod Society". Thus it made perfect sense when owners and proprietors Albrecht and Dagmar Kurbjuhn decided to set a landmark to this outstanding aspect of their hotel by commissioning a very special work of art that would bear witness to an important part of "Polar-Stern" hotels identity and character whilst at the same time laying ground for the hotel's new "Kunstgarten".

It soon became clear that none other than Klaus Grosser of Kuehlungsborn, whose metal sculptures are renowned both near and far, was the only choice in realising this ambitious project. Klaus Grosser creates masterpieces of sculpture using metals such as copper, bronze and stainless steel at his own atelier and art exhibit right here in Kuehlungsborn.

Months of painstaking work, over 100,000 swings of the hammer and countless copper rivets driven in by hand resulted in an highly artistic rendition of a so-called "pot still" in which, amongst other things, Scots produce that elixir of life known as single malt whisky. Klaus Grossers masterpiece now stands proudly outside the reception entrance in inimitable greeting to our esteemed guests. We are greatly indebted to meister Grosser for this outstanding example of his art!


Pot Still in the Wind outside Polar-Stern hotel Constructors and commisioners of the Pot Still sculpture at its unveiling. Metal sculptor Klaus Grosser with proprietors and friends at the unveiling of his sculpture Pot Still near the hotel entrance.

Japanese guest artist in residence at "Polar-Stern" hotel November 2007 thru March 2008


Promising young artist Shohei Kamada was able to concentrate solely on his work as our guest within the framework of a joint cultural stipend from the German-Japanese Friendship Association and Kyoto Art Centre in Japan. During the winter months Kamada-san had the opportunity of combining his own particular style of sculpture with influences collected locally during his stay on the German Baltic coast. The results were brand new synergies of German-Japanese culture! We at "Polar-Stern" hotel are grateful to Shohei for leaving us some of his finest works as an expression of heartfelt gratitude towards his hosts. They now adorn our hotel along with many other mementos of artist friends from all over of the world.


Our Japanese artist-in-residence Shohei Kamada working on a sculpture in 'Polar-Sterns' 'grillarium'. In winter of 2007 the region was honoured to play host to 4 Japanese artist-in-residence; Shohei, Akira, Watanabe und Michiko. One of our Japanese artist-in-residence's works by Shohei Kamada, which is on display at hotel 'Polar-Stern'.

MV inspires 2009


Chinese and Danish artists in residence at "Polar-Stern" hotel with exhibition of their works at the hotel; winter 2009

At the beginning of 2009, "Polar-Stern" hotel was privileged to host 4 chinese artists on a new artistic- and cultural stipend created by the "Initiative for International Tourism" ("IIT") and an endowment from "Mecklenburg Inspires" ("MV Inspiriert"). We are very happy that our chinese friends found an ideal setting for unfolding their full artistic creativity here on the German Baltic coast.

At the same time, "Polar-Stern" was also host to Elke Schmalfeld, photographer and Klaus D. Homrighausen, painter in divers media; both from southern Germany. Also in Kühlungsborn were Danish painters Ditte Knus Tönnesen und Margit Rosenmeier.

Highlight of this 2008-2009 "Cultural Winter" was a vernissage and exhibition of numerous and varied works by all our artist friends at the Kuehlungsborn Cultural Centre from March 13th to April 13th 2009. "Polar-Stern" hotel is proud to have made its contribution to the success of this cultural highlight on the Mecklenburg Baltic coast.


In winter of 2009 4 Chinese, 2 Danish, and 2 German artists were guests in the region. A flyer featuring our 4 Chinese artists-in-residence; Wang, Dong, Han and master Zhao. Our 2 German artist friends photographer Elke Schmalfeld and painter Klaus Homrighausen honoured us with their stay in early 2009. Avertising poster by 'Mecklenburg Inspires' for the 2009 international art exhibition at Kühlungsborn Art Centre. Our artist friends together with councellor Dong of the Chinese embassy in Berlin at the art exhibition in Kühlungsborn Art Centre.

A very special evening


Prof. Dr. Jochanan Trilse-Finkelstein reads Heinrich Heine accompanied by Michal Bialk on the Pianoforte

On the evening of October 12th 2007 "Polar-Stern" hotel was witness to one of the absolute cultural highlights in its almost 100-year history. We were deeply honoured to welcome Prof. Dr. Jochanan Trilse-Finkelstein, literary and music critic, author and thespian; one of the premier Heine biographers of the German-speaking region. Professor Finkelstein's reading was interspersed with musical intermezzi by Michal Bialk, recipient of the European Scholarship Prize for Young Artists and certainly one of Poland's best contemporary pianists whose CD of Chopin's "Nocturnes" got excellent reviews.

For over 2 hours a large audience of culture, poetry and music enthusiasts listened in rapture to this inimitable combination of Prof. Finkelstein's profound knowledge of Heine, presented as always in his own forceful yet delicate manner, and Michal Bialks mastery at our own "Blüthner" baby grand piano. An unforgettable evening, as all that were lucky enough to be present were agreed. We hope to have the honour of receiving Prof. Finkelstein and Mr. Bialk at "Polar-Stern" hotel again in the near future!


Prof. Dr. Jochanan Trilse-Finkelsteins reading of Heinrich Heine will always remain an absolute highlight in the hotel's cultural history. Brilliant young Polish pianist Michael Bialk whose CD-recording of Chopin's 'Nocturnes' recieved great critical aclaim and whom we are honoured to count as one of the numerous artist friends of our hotel from all over the world. Prof. Finkelstein with gifted concert pianist Michael Bialk who graced the professor's reading of heine with brilliant musical intermezzi Prof. Finkelstein was happy to give numerous autographs after the Heinrich Heine reading.