The first event of the recently founded James Loeb Gesellschaft e.V. focused on the building of the Loeb Villa and its architect, Carl Sattler. Dr. Hermann Mayer, the director of Hochried Clinic and Chairman of the James Loeb Gesellschaft e.V., succeeded in engaging the grandson of the builder, the architect Christoph Sattler from Munich, to give a lecture on the subject “100 Years of the Loeb Villa”. Mayer welcomed over 50 art lovers to the event in the rooms of the Loeb property, which had been redesigned in cooperation with the State Collections of Antiquities, Munich.
Carl Sattler, also known as Carlo, was born in 1877 in Florence. He studied architecture at the Technical University Dresden and worked with his father-in-law, the famous sculptor Adolf von Hildebrand, in Munich and Florence, until 1906, when he established his own architects’ offices in Munich. There he came into contact with James Loeb, who commissioned him to build his villa in Maria-Josepha-Strasse in Munich, which is still standing today. When Loeb discovered Murnau during one of his sojourns in Upper Bavaria, he soon realised that we wanted to settle in this beautiful region.
He purchased several plots of land, most of them quite small, until he had acquired a park covering an area of almost 25 hectares. The corresponding deeds of purchase are preserved in Hochried to this day. Once again, he commissioned his architect Carl Sattler to produce the first preliminary sketches. These drawings of the façade, some of them coloured by hand, have survived and Sattler’s grandson Christoph presented them for the first time in his lecture. He spoke of the very close personal relationship between Loeb and Sattler, who developed the villa and the park together in intensive discussions. Christoph Sattler explained that it is evident that the villa was not designed in line with the traditions of the time, but that it resembles instead villas on the East Coast of the United States or the style of English country houses, so that the highly personal signature of James Loeb is clearly recognisable.
The listeners were provided with convincing proof of this by a series of photographs of elegantly furnished rooms, in particular the spacious terrace room with its pictures, furnishings and the large concert grand piano. Sattler’s lecture, in fact, was held in this very room. Further photos of the artfully designed park pointed to the links between stylish architecture and nature. Additional examples of the professional activities of the architect Carl Sattler in the region surrounding Murnau which delighted the audience were the drawings and photographs of Schloss Elmau, which was also designed and built by him in 1916.
The construction of the villa and the design of the park began in Hochried in 1911. The work was completed in 1912, whereafter James Loeb moved entirely to Murnau.
At the end of his lecture Christoph Sattler went on to speak about James Loeb personally. Loeb not only indulged in his love for art, architecture and music, but also combined it with outstanding social commitment. These are aims which the James Loeb Society has also laid down in its statutes: to maintain the villa and park which comprise Loeb’s property; to support children, young people and families who seek help in the clinic; and to preserve the memory of James Loeb as an outstanding individual.
The audience was particularly delighted by the musical accompaniment to the event, which was performed to a very high standard by Annemarie and Max Speermann from Murnau, Bernd Gellermann from Garmisch-Partenkirchen (formerly the artistic director of the Richard Strauss Festival) and a young Japanese music student, Tsuyoshi Yamauchi. The four musicians played the Italian Serenade by Hugo Wolf, and Annemarie Speermann performed excerpts from a Bach Suite for ’cello, James Loeb’s favourite instrument. Following Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart the event ended with enthusiastic applause from the audience.