1850 - 1912
In 1875, the German carpenter's apprentice Karl Junker made his way from Lemgo via Hamburg to Munich, where he studied first at the Kunstgewerbeschule and later enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts. The same year, an inheritance provided him with financial independence, and in 1877 he made a visit to Italy that would last several years and during which he produced many drawings and architectural designs. Junker returned to Lemgo in 1881, and in 1889 he began to build a house there into which he moved in 1891. Junker worked on this half-timbered house throughout the rest of his life. He reworked every corner with carvings; he painted, built furniture, and in the process created an unusual lived-in sculpture. Although in terms of both size and furnishing the house was evidently intended as a family domicile, Junker lived alone there until the end of his life. Although he was naturally reclusive, he was nevertheless willing to show his residence to interested visitors. His unusually persistent and isolated artistic activity underscored Junker's reputation in his provincial surroundings as a hermit and eccentric. Experts still discuss whether he exhibited signs of a schizophrenic disorder. Junker's lifework has been the property of the City of Lemgo since 1962 and is open to visitors as the Museum Junkerhaus Lemgo.