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Museum Folkwang

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Founding in Hagen
The museum was built from 1899to 1902 under the management of the Berlin government building officer Paul Gérard in Neo-Renaissance style. The interior was done by the Belgian artist Henry van de Velde. The Museum Folkwang was opened as an art museum on the 9th of July 1902.
Apart from works by Georg Minne, Auguste Rodin, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustave Courbet, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin was it most of all the painting school at the Folkwang-Museum that gave the museum a good reputation. Artist like Christian Rohlfs, Jan Thorn-Prikker, Emil Rudolf Weiß and Milly Steger were invited to Hagen by Osthaus and were given the possibility to develop further liberated from economical hardship.
When Osthaus died in the year 1921, his heirs sold his art collections already one year after his death to the city of Essen, attracted by its higher financial power and the supporting coalsyndicat. The Karl Ernst Osthaus Museumhas beensituated in the Hagen Folkwang-Building since 1955.
The Folkwang-Museum in Essen merged in the year 1922 with the Essen Art Museum that was founded in 1906 and operates ever since under the nameMuseum Folkwang.
In the thirties the museum was able to round off the French inventories (mostly impressionists) through acquisitions of German paintings and sculptures, so that the already outstanding name of the collection could still gather further international recognition.Picture Copyright: Spekking

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Germany's art politics during the time of the third Reich destroyed these works. 59 paintings were seized in the year 1937and at the another confiscation action in the course of 'degenerated art' the museum lost over 1.000 artworks. Thus the museum had no more any artworks from the 20th century.
The museum, destroyed in the 2nd World War, was only able to re-open in 1960. As parts of the still preserved artworks from the pre-war time could be bought back from foreign museums and historical collections could be restored one senses hardlythe setbacks from the thirties and forties.
Apart from the painting collection there is one graphic and one photographic collection, which form individual sections. While the graphic collection concentrates mostly on German expressionism, the photographic collection orientates itself to international art.It encompasses among others the legacyfrom Helmar Lerski, Germaine Krull, Otto Steinert and Peter Keetman.
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