TheKunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr is located in the middle of the city. Since 1994, the listed building of the former main post office has been the home of numerous works of art: It has everything from Expressionism to Pop Art to contemporary works. For a few years, exhibitions by young artists from the international art scene have been incorporated into our programme. Looking from the outside, you probably wouldn’t suspect anything experimental – so: Don’t be deceived by the building’s historic appearance, but look beyond the facade of the pretty building.
Three areas of focus determine the exhibitions in the Kunstmuseum Mülheim
To be a work of art in the museum’s collection and ultimately be in an exhibition in the Mülheim Art Museum, it should either be painted in the Expressionist style, be international graphics or be the work of an artist from Mülheim or the Ruhr region. The museum came by this focus in the 1980s thanks to the Nobel Prize winner Karl Ziegler and his wife Maria. The chemist bequeathed the city, in which he spent the last year of his life, an art collection which includes works by Franz Marc, Emil Nolde, Max Beckmann, August Macke and Lyonel Feininger. Particularly appealing: The selection of pictures concerned places with which the couple had an emotional collection.
Without the collection history, Mülheim would have nothing to do with art
The Ruhr region’s many museums wouldn’t exist if there hadn’t have been collectors and art patrons who loved art so they invested in it and ensured that the art remained in the region. So it is in Mülheim an der Ruhr: The history of the building is connected to the private collection of the Mülheim local historian Robert Rheinen (1844–1920). The acquisition of the collection in 1909 was ground-breaking for the museum. The first full-time director Werner Kruse in 1922 laid the emphasis on current exhibitions. From the setbacks thanks to the seizure of ‘degenerate’ artworks, the Mülheim an der Ruhr Art Museum could only recover them in 1970 when it moved into its own building. Thanks to the donation of the Zieglers’ illustrious works in the 1980s, the museum was back on track. Since then, modern art has had a new home under the roof of the old post office in the city centre, a change no longer stands in the way of exciting exhibitions. A particular highlight: The foyer of the museum in which you can make out the former ticket hall of the post office. Today, the tills and the museum shops are located here.
Mülheim an der Ruhr Art Museum is one of the 20 RuhrKunstMuseen.