The ‘Blue Rider Post’ and the Max von Stetten Collection (1893 - 1896) from Cameroon in the Museum Fünf Kontinente, Munich

Funding area:
Colonial contexts
Funding recipient:
Museum Fünf Kontinente
Federal state:
Contact person:
Dr. Karin Guggeis


Tel.+49 (89) 210 136 140

Type of project:
long-term project

Project management in Cameroon: Professor Albert Gouaffo, Université de Dschang, Cameroon.

Research assistants in Cameroon: Francophone regions: Yrine Matchinda and Lucie Mbogni Nankeng, both Université de Dschang. Anglophone regions: Professor Joseph Ebune and Dr. Ngome Elvis Nkome, both University of Buea.

The aim of this proactively designed project is to make a detailed study of the circumstances and locations in Cameroon in which the colonial officer Max von Stetten acquired the objects in the collection in the Museum Fünf Kontinente, taking his specific positions and activities into account. The collector had participated in several so-called punitive expeditions in a leading position, last as commander of the “Schutztruppe”. The person and the collection of Max von Stetten will serve to illustrate the entangled history of Germany and Cameroon in the early phase of the occupation of Cameroon under the German Empire. An intensive, long-term collaboration with scholars in Cameroon, as well as with descendants of the communities of origin there, is the core of this post-colonial project.

The collection, which Max von Stetten donated to the museum in six instalments between 1893 and 1896, comprises over 200 objects. The project is focused on the so-called “Blue Rider Post”, which is shown in the almanac “Der Blaue Reiter” (The Blue Rider) edited by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc (1912). In the course of research, the suspicion that parts of the collection were acquired in a violent context has been substantiated or newly established in some cases, and refuted in others. The aim of the project in the coming months, on both the German and the Cameroonian side, is to expand and verify these findings and to continue the dialogue.

(c) Museum Fünf Kontinente

Gouaffo u.a.: "Die Antworten sind so unterschiedlich wie die Personen selbst", 2020.