The holdings of the Museum Kunstpalast captivate by virtue of their immense variety: the venue, the former Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, houses the municipal art collection, established mainly through the commitment of Düsseldorf’s citizenry on the foundation of the remaining portions of the collection belonging to the Elector Johann Wilhelm von der Pfalz and through the consolidation of the former Museum of Arts and Crafts. A major aspect is the holdings of 19th-century art, within which the Düsseldorf school of painters is accorded considerable space. Equally important are the classical modernist paintings and the collection of contemporary art, assembled after World War II. Found together in the Museum Kunstpalast is a pair of large-format paintings by Peter Paul Rubens and the well-known multipart “Light Room,” created by the artist’s group ZERO. Additional highlights include an internationally renowned collection of graphic art which includes a large number of important Italian Baroque drawings, as well as the rich holdings of the glass museum.
The guiding principle of the Museum Kunstpalast is the unification of collecting and exhibition activities in one location. Creativity and experience in organizing major international exhibitions is joined with the maintenance and expansion of the collections, whose foci are both regional and international. In biannual presentations, the exhibition series Spot, inaugurated in 2007, features artists and works with special links to the museum’s collections or to the city of Düsseldorf. Also featured are newly discovered or rediscovered works or work ensembles, including new acquisitions for the collection, new research results, or the result of restoration activities.
General Director: Felix Krämer
Art in Düsseldorf: A special perspective
Johan Thorn Prikker Mosaike
On the premises of the cour d’ honneur, at the gate porticos of the Museum Kunstpalast and the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf lying opposite, the walls are decorated by a pair of monumental: “Day” and “Night,” created in 1925 by Johan Thorn Prikker (1868-1932). Beginning in 1904, this Dutch artist taught at the School of Trades and Applied Arts in Krefeld and later belonged to the Deutsche Werkbund. The mosaics are designed according to purely abstract geometric principles. “Day” is characterized by a rhythmical structure of movement, “Night” by the explosive dissolution of forms. An additional highpoint is formed by the large-format glass window in the foyer of the collection wing of the Museum Kunstpalast. It contains 35 window sections and endows the tall space with the character of a cathedral.