The German city on the River Main might be world wide known as the home to the European Central Bank and to some of the world’s most important financial and banking organizations and institutions, yet Frankfurt’s also a great hub for culture. In this year 2015, its many museums will once again be presenting an interesting variety of shows and exhibitions highlighting the work of internationally renowned artists. Starting with what is a great shot for art enthusiasts: the 200th anniversary celebration of the world-famous Städel Museum.
High point of the celebrations will be an exhibition called “Monet and the Birth of Impressionism”. This show actually represents the first time that a Germany-based exhibition is dedicated solely to the creation and early development of the Impressionist movement. Aside from singling out Claude Monet as the key figure of Impressionism, the exhibition also draws attention to contemporaries like Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet and Camille Pissarro, who together revolutionized the art of painting in a few short years.
The exhibition puts on display more than 90 masterpieces come to Frankfurt on loan from various international art collections. In the works on display, artists deal with themes such as the relationship between mankind and nature, man’s love of leisure, and the acceleration of life through technical advancement (11th March to 21st June 2015). The museum has also developed a comprehensive digital exhibition for art enthusiasts to intuitively “stroll” through, supplemented by educational computer games for children, a prototype of a new digital art book and a range of online art history courses that allows visitors to prepare themselves for their upcoming museum visit.
Frankfurt’s cultural offer does not end with the Städel Museum. Much more awaits for the visitors. Let’s have a quick look at the rest of the cultural panorama.
The Museum of Applied Arts will kick off the year by showing an exhibition entitled “Buddha – 108 Encounters”, displaying Buddhist sculptures from India, China, Tibet, Southeast Asia, Korea and Japan. Buddha statues are said to exude spirituality in monasteries, home altars and hundreds of different places throughout Asia. For many, these sculptures embody the ideal of a peaceful world. Many of the artefacts on show have never been seen by the public eye (26th February to 07th July 2015).
On its side, the MMK1 Museum of Modern Art is drawing attention to one of Germany’s most internationally renowned contemporary artists, Isa Genzken. An artist living and working in Berlin, Genzken’s works are born of a critical examination of European and American art. Since early 2000, Genzken has been integrating objects of the consumer world into her works, combining them with industrial materials as well as photographs and image fragments taken from popular media. The core of the exhibition, entitled “Isa Genzken. New Works”, consists of 20 sculptural figures and figure groups that show highly abstracts self-portraits of the artist. (14th March to 31st May 2015). The MMK 3, meanwhile, will be showing “Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said”, an exhibition focussing on experimental music and video art created by the artist, musician and author, Hassan Khan. Here, culture-specific artefacts including articles of clothing, music and poetry are presented through multifarious layers of videos, sculptures, text and sound (30th January to 12th April 2015).
“The world has become a smaller place, because today we are able to circumnavigate it ten times more quickly than a century ago,” wrote Jules Verne in his bestselling novel, ‘Around the World in 80 Days’. A view shared by many a the end of the 19th century, a time when trains, steamships and the telegraph were making the world seem not quite as daunting and unconquerable as before. Starting March 26 (and until August 30), items like a portable desk, a walking stick with an integrated compass, a length of underwater cable and many more interesting artefacts are on show at the Museum of Communication, an exhibition titled ‘Around the World in 80 Things. The Jules Verne Code’.
If the Jules Verne’s exhibition at the Museum of Communications is a show of the energy and power of Europe those days, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt has chosen to pay attention to these very features – energy and power – in a contemporary German artist, Daniel Richter. Coming from the Germany’s northernmost state, Schleswig-Holstein, Richter is one of the most influential artists of his generation, having several years ago won one of Europe’s premier art awards. The presentation at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt will take the stage later this year (09th October 2015 to 17th January 2016). ‘Daniel Richter. Hello, I Love You’ – that is the name of the exhibition -, will feature images full of energy and potency, images that are gaudy yet secretive. Up until 2000, Richter’s works were of an abstract nature. Nowadays, they are more realistic .
One thing visitors should bear in mind while planning on their trip to frankfurt: on the last Saturday of every month, admission to the museums and participation in a guided tour are absolutely free of charge. These ‘Satourdays’ offer families the opportunity to take part in special workshops and theme tours. And with the convenient Frankfurt Card, available from the Frankfurt Tourist+Congress Board, visitors of the Main metropolis are able to use the city’s public transport system while also taking advantage of a wide range of cultural offers and other amenities at greatly reduced prices.