Two adjoining houses belonged to the two creators of Böttcherstrasse. The older house, a patrician’s townhouse dating to 1588, was owned by Ludwig Roselius, who financed the construction of the street in the 1920s; he filled the house with Northern European art and furnishings from the medieval through baroque periods. The idea was to create the feeling that a 16th-century family was still in residence, and he succeeded with altarpieces, glorious wooden sculptures by Bavarian master carver Tilmann Riemenschneider, and paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Walking though these rooms so rooted in the distant past, it’s ironic to note that the Roselius fortune came from a modern commodity: in 1906 Ludwig patented a process for removing caffeine from coffee beans. (Ludwig vowed to add a healthful twist to the business after his coffee importer father died suddenly at age 59, supposedly from drinking too much of his own product.) The house next door was designed by Bernhard Hoetger (1874–1949), the sculptor and architect who created Böttcherstrasse under Roselius’ patronage. Like his boss, Hoetger hoped to ingratiate himself with the Nazis, who found his elongated nudes and fantastical animals to be degenerate; some are displayed on the top floors. Most the house is filled with paintings, drawings, and prints of Paula Becker-Modersohn (1876–1907), who lived and worked in Worpswede, a village north of Bremen that has been an artist colony since the late 19th century. Though Becker-Modersohn died young, she is considered a pioneer of modern European art with her imaginative use of color and bold subject matter (she was one of the first women to paint the female nude).