The Folkwang Museum in Essen celebrates its 100th anniversary. Federal President Steinmeier is invited to a ceremony the day before the official opening of the impressive anniversary exhibition.

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On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier underlined the importance of the building.

In his speech at the ceremony, he recalled the era of industrialization at the beginning of the 20th century and the origin of the collection. At that time, something began to shine in the Ruhr area “which has not ceased to fascinate visitors to this day,” Steinmeier said Saturday evening in the Philharmonic Hall in Essen. The Folkwang is “one of Germany’s most important modern art museums”.

Essen could serve as an example for other places in the country to emulate, Steinmeier said. He stressed that the extension was on schedule and on budget. “If you’re from Berlin, that alone is reason to be amazed,” Steinmeier said and drew plenty of laughs for the hint. The Federal President particularly pointed out that admission to the permanent exhibition in the “Volkshalle” for art is always free. The city of Essen is waiving entrance fees. “She obviously knows what kind of treasure she has here – and that this treasure should be available to everyone if possible. My congratulations on the centenary therefore come with a big thank you for this exemplary commitment.

Steinmeier had previously admired the anniversary exhibition “Renoir, Monet, Gauguin – Images of a Fluid World” together with the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Hendrik Wüst (CDU) during a visit to the museum. “We in North Rhine-Westphalia are proud of the Folkwang Museum. It radiates far beyond the borders of Essen,” Wüst said. North Rhine-Westphalia and the Ruhr area have over the years become a cultural center with a wide range of activities. In the last two years of the pandemic, however, “art and culture have suffered”.

The more than 120 works, including famous French artists, but also other international artists, are open to the public from this Sunday until May 15 in the 1,400 square meter museum in the Ruhr metropolis in 14 showrooms.

The major Impressionist exhibition with the collections of Folkwang founder Karl Ernst Osthaus and Japanese art collector Kojiro Matsukata from the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo marks the start of many events in the anniversary year of the museum, which moved from Hagen in Essen in 1922. . (dpa)