Situated directly next to Schloss Strünkede, a moated castle surrounded by greenery, the Städtische Galerie Herne (municipal gallery) is to be found in one of the most beautiful corners of the city. When it comes to culture in the Ruhr area, this is a real insider tip.
The gallery forms one of three parts of the Emschertal-Museum, which also includes the Heimatmuseum Unser Fritz, that re-opened in spring 2017 in the Wanne-Eickel district of Hamm, and Schloss Strünkede, which boasts its own collections.
The Städtische Galerie Herne is housed in a pretty villa which was built in the art nouveau style. The Forell family, who commissioned the villa to be built in 1896, only lived there for four years before leaving Herne in 1900, never to return. Since 1978, it has been used for exhibiting the works of primarily contemporary artists. The villa's collection includes naturalistic works, as well as expressionistic and subject-related works.
Its main focus is made up of more than 3,500 individual sheets of paper which feature hand drawings and other works – a collection of national significance which includes artwork from Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall. Its print collection includes more than 150 works by Albert Kelterbaum, as well as more than 60 lithographs from Andreas Paul Weber. Salvador Dalí also has a place in the collection, which features 100 of his lithographs based on Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy.
The works of local artists are exceptionally well-represented within the gallery's own collection. This includes, for example, works from the "Herner Künstler" group, founded in 1949, with art from painters such as Bruno Foltynowicz, Lothar Gambke and Jupp Gesing. Names such as Gustav Deppe, Emil Schumacher or Thomas Grochowiak are synonymous with the "junger westen" group, which was formed in Recklinghausen in 1948. However, one group of artists relevant not only for the local art scene but also on a level which extends beyond this was the "B1" group, which featured artists such as Helmut Bettenhausen, Rolf Glasmeier and Kuno Gonschior, among others. The Emschertal-Museum is also particularly interested in following trends in the local art scene. In doing so, the exhibition organisers focus on artists from the Ruhr area as well as on from north-west Germany as a whole.
What's more, the Emschertal-Museum hosted a true star of the art world in 2018. As the gallery was closed for restoration, it joined the Schloss Strünkede in taking part in the large joint exhibition "Kunst & Kohle", which discussed the fossil-fuel phase-out so controversial for the Ruhr area, where coal mining once played such a vital role. As part of the exhibition, Ibrahim Mahama, star of the 2017 documenta, covered the façade of the Schloss Strünkede in jute sacks, catapulting the city of Herne into headlines around the world.
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