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Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universität Bochum: Campusmuseum

Where antiquity meets modernity: the Campusmuseum within the Kunstsammlungen der Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Art Collections of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum)  is an impressive, stand-alone museum without equal. It offers the perfect backdrop for special artistic experiences – and not only for the university's art history students.

The Campusmuseum is located in the basement of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum library and is unlike any other museum to be found within the German higher education sector. Art critic Albert Schulze Vellinghausen bequeathed his collection of gestural abstract art and constructive-concrete art, which forms the basis of the collection, to the Ruhr-Universität only two years after it was founded.


From Action Painting to industrial photography

Prof. Dr. Max Imdahl, founding professor of the university's Institute of Art History, expanded the museum's inventory through a serious of acquisitions of concrete art. This means that, today, in addition to some of the big names in the field of action painting and the Informel, the collection also features significant works from Josef Albers, Sam Francis, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Giacometti, Richard Serra, Frank Stella and Günther Uecker.

Since the 1990s, photographs from Bernd and Hilla Becher, Andreas Gursky and Mischa Kuball, as well as works from artists such as Gerhard Richter and Bruce Nauman, have made their way into the collection in the form of acquisitions or donations. Today, the museum displays approximately 1,000 works of art in its presentations and exhibitions, which are changed regularly.


Antiquity and modernity

From the very beginning, the concept behind the Campusmuseum has been to lay out the museum in such a way that its collection of antiquities – largely acquired through generous gifts and donations – is combined with its collection of modern art, allowing for the artworks from both of the collection's areas of interest to be contrasted with one another at the same time. This is something which results in new, interesting perspectives for the visitors.

2012 marked the year in which the Ruhr-Universität Bochum's Campusmuseum was able to celebrate the opening of a permanent exhibition based on two significant donations of ancient Persian art. In total, these donations amount to almost 600 objects, with a focus on ceramics from across five millennia as well as on exceptionally high-quality objects called Luristan bronzes. Since the opening of the exhibition, these Persian objects have – alongside the Greek, Roman and Etruscan works of art which already featured within the museum – provided a fourth focus for the antiquities museum's inventory in terms of its collections of art.

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