Art in the Ruhr Region

The Ruhr Metropolis has an astounding number of museums, with interesting collections of modern and contemporary art. Here we’d like to show you three of the most beautiful museums in Essen, which also enjoy an excellent reputation reaching far beyond the limits of this province.

07. January 2017 /

Museum Folkwang

One of the most famous art museums in Germany.

The history of the Museum Folkwang dates back to 1902. From its beginnings in the city of Hagen as an art collection with departments of natural history and arts and crafts, it soon developed into a trailblazing museum for modern art in Germany. After the death of the museum’s founder in 1921, the Osthaus collection was acquired for the city of Essen from the newly founded Folkwang Museum Association and united to become the Museum Folkwang. Today, the Museum Folkwang is one of Germany’s most famous art museums, with outstanding collections of paintings and sculpture of the 19th century, classical modernism, art after 1945 and photography, which has existed as its own department since 1979. The museum is now housed in a new building designed by David Chipperfield, and was officially opened on 28 January 2010 as part of the Cultural Capital Year RUHR.2010. A definite item on the agenda for every city tour taken in the Ruhr Region! By the way: Admission to the Museum Folkwang’s permanent collection is free.

Ruhr Museum

A marvellous permanent collection which must be visited on every short trip.

Even the entrance to the Ruhr Museum is a highlight when you ascend the glowing red stairs of the former coal washing plant in Shaft XII of the World Heritage Site Zollverein. Waiting inside is an amazing permanent collection featuring the entire natural and cultural history of the Ruhr Region. From fossils to the mining industry. The Ruhr Museum was ceremoniously opened on 9 January 2010, in the presence of then Federal President Horst Köhler, together with the Cultural Capital RUHR.2010. And if you think a museum always has to be boring, the Ruhr Museum will surprise you with a different kind of tour, for here you can experience history from the present into the past and back. Interactive elements and animation make the region come alive: Smelling stations smell like the air at that time, and “sound showers” play the sounds of the region, to which the A 40 belongs just as much as the fitness centre. The Ruhr Museum is now one of the top attractions in the Ruhr Metropolis and a highlight of many group tours and short trips. 

Red Dot Design Museum

A product design collection that is unique in the world.

A great combination: the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein and the fascinating world of design. From the outside: vertical tube boilers that have been gutted (but maintained according to monument preservation regulations), paired with rusty steel girders and red brick walls. From the inside: around 2,000 exhibits make this the largest exhibition of contemporary design in the world, and an extravagant event location to boot. The Red Dot Museum’s permanent collection runs the gamut of current product design. Innovative and well-designed everyday objects from around 45 countries show their particular cultural features to approximately 150,000 visitors a year and bring award-winning designs from the immediate area to life in a hands-on exhibit. If you’re planning an event, the atmospherically unique spaces can be flexibly combined with each other at your request to give you an individual look that will match the character of your event: a standing reception in the foundation, meeting in the conference room, presentation in the White hall or an elegant dinner at the Schürerstand (stoker’s position).



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