Above: The Merzbarn in the 1950s, Themerson Archive Warsaw, photographer unknown

June 1945

Schwitters and Wantee arrive in Ambleside, make a living by selling portraits and local landscapes  Read more

April 1947

Schwitters and Harry Pierce meet through a portrait commission  Read more

May 1947

Agreement made for Schwitters to use Mr Pierce’s barn to create a new Merzbau Read More

July 1947

Grant offered by Museum of Modern Art, New York  Read more

August – November 1947

Schwitters and assistants work on the Merzbarn  Read more

December 1947

Schwitters collapses and is taken into hospital  Read more

January 1948

Schwitters dies without returning to the Merzbarn. His son Ernst takes photographs in the barn.  Read more

February 1948

Mr Pierce takes action, clears the barn and prepares the Merzbarn for exhibition  Read more

May 1948 – 1951

Merzbarn exhibition open to the public  Read more

1952 – 54

The barn mostly used for storage Read more

1955 – 59

Merzbarn exhibition open to the public again Read more

1960 – 65

The barn mostly used for storage again  Read more

1960 – 65

Negotiations to save the Merzbarn  Read more

March 1965

Mr Pierce signs Deed of Gift to University of Newcastle Read more

May 1965

Richard Hamilton leads students to make a pre-removal survey  Read more

July – September 1965

Contractors prepare the Merzbarn to be moved  Read more

September 1965

Merzbarn removed from Cylinders to Newcastle University Read more

June 1966

Merzbarn installed in the new Hatton Gallery  Read more

1966 – 67

Restoration and conservation work  Read more

1967 – 2002

Merzbarn on public exhibition, in and out of view  Read more


Hatton Gallery threat of closure  Read more


Merzbarn attacked by a gallery visitor Read more


Agreement with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums to take over management of the Hatton Gallery  Read more

2015 – 2017

Re-design of the Gallery and major conservation project for the Merzbarn Read more


The Hatton re-opens, with the Merzbarn conserved and presented anew  Read more


Launch of Merzbarn history website