Without a doubt, the colourful masterpieces from the Classic Modernism period are the true stars of the diverse collections on display at the Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr. Graphic prints from artists ranging from Pablo Picasso to Andy Warhol, works from regional artists such as Otto Pankok and Dorothee Golz, as well as a large collection of the works of Heinrich Zille, are additional aspects which round off the museum's incredibly varied collection profile.
Though expressionistic paintings from the municipal collection are an important part of the collection, its centrepiece is undoubtedly the collection which was put together by winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry Karl Ziegler and his wife, Maria Ziegler, which provides a bright burst of colour. When gazing around the museum, works such as Franz Marc's abstract animal portraits, Emil Nolde's powerful flower designs and August Macke's watercolour landscapes are particularly pleasing to the eye. A candid portrait of a baby by Otto Dix and a simple sailing boat composition by Lyonel Feininger serve to express the genuine "joy in beauty" characteristic of the motif which runs through the Zieglers' collection – a disregard for art-historical considerations and a celebration of simple intuition.
The Kunstmuseum Mülheim can normally be found behind the historic façade of the old post office on Synagogenplatz. There, visitors are received in a generous foyer in the former main counter hall, whose roof is supported by green brick pillars.
However, until the museum is re-opened following extensive renovation works (which are expected to be completed in 2020) the Ziegler collection will first be displayed in the Kunstmuseum Moritzburg in Halle and then in the Kunsthalle Emden.
In the meantime, a "MUSEUM TEMPORÄR", or temporary museum, has been set up on the ground floor of the Hotel Noy in the city centre. In addition to presenting smaller gallery exhibitions, this temporary museum also serves as a function room, the museum shop, and above all as a base for tours of the city which explore public art in Mülheim, which the art museum will be offering regularly from March 2019.
Without a doubt, one of these planned tours will follow the Schlossstraße up to the square, designed by Otto Herbert Hajek and completed in 1977, which is to be found in front of the actual museum building. Featuring sculptural elements and a large fountain, this square is well worth a visit. The sculpture was restored in 2013 and, since then, has exuded its original radiance in powerful shades of blue, red and yellow.
However, the Synagogenplatz in front of the museum offers not only a sense of retro chic, it also features a modern city library, the art house cinema Rio, and Mülheim's tourist information office, making it a small cultural quarter in itself.
In addition to presenting permanent exhibitions which, in themselves are worth travelling to see, the Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr also knows how to put on outstanding solo exhibitions time and time again.
Some particularly memorable examples of these include visitor favourites such as "Das Kind in der Kunst" (2018, The child in art), which explored the depiction of children in art, or the large August Macke exhibition (2014). However, the art museum still consistently pursues projects which are less crowd-pleasing, for example its retrospective exhibition on Heinrich Siepmann (2018), an artist from Mülheim who helped found the "junger westen" group (young west), which was decisive for the creation of the Kunsthalle Recklinghausen. What's more, local works are also displayed in the two large exhibition rooms in the loft, and changed regularly.
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