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Stark Contrasts

Museums in the Stuttgart Region

Great art is not only to be found in great cities. The museums in the Stuttgart Region present folklore, Classic Modernism, sculpture and literature – not to mention chocolate! 

Waldenbuch. This small town to the south of Stuttgart has a branch of the Württemberg State Museum. The “Museum der Alltagskultur” (Museum of Everyday Life) in Waldenbuch Castle is the largest museum of ethnology in any German-speaking country. Covering an area of 2,500 square metres, the exhibition focuses on daily living, illustrated by everyday objects from the 18th century up to the present day. “Quadratisch. Praktisch. Kunst.” (“Square. Practical. Art.”) might be a suitable motto for the Museum Ritter, in allusion to the Ritter Chocolate advertising slogan. Located directly adjacent to the Ritter Sport chocolate factory, its exhibits are a feast for the eyes rather than the palate: Marli Hoppe-Ritter's collection revolves around the Square and its representations in art in the 20th and 21st centuries. Closing on 11th April 2021, a special exhibition devoted to Vera Molnar gives insights into the extensive oeuvre of this artist, born in Budapest in 1924, who is regarded as an important pioneer of computer art. Also closing on 11th April 2021 is the show Highlights. Light Art from the Collection. The luminous highlights illustrate the broad scope of the use of light in art.

Schwäbisch Hall. The art collection of the industrialist Reinhold Würth from the 1960s formed the foundation of the Würth Collection, which today comprises some 17,000 works of art. Its main focus is on sculpture, painting and graphics from the end of the 19th century up to the present day. Classic Modernism is represented by works of prominent artists such as Max Beckmann, Edvard Munch and Emil Nolde, to name but a few. It also comprises whole blocks of works by artists such as Georg Baselitz, Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The Kunsthalle Würth presents selections from its collections to the public in a series of alternating exhibitions. Closing on 7th March 2021, the exhibition “Lust auf mehr” presents new works from the Würth Collection dating from 1960 onwards. Around 170 examples of contemporary art, most of them recently acquired, are on display by artists ranging from Georg Baselitz and Christo, Alex Katz, Anselm Kiefer, Maria Lassnig and A. R. Penck to Yngve Holen and Michael Sailstorfer.
The Johanniterkirche has a permanent exhibition of Old Masters from the Würth Collection. Its nucleus is the former “Fürstlich Fürstenbergischer Bilderschatz”, the Royal Fürstenberg Art Collection, which the Würth family acquired in the year 2003. It includes works by Lucas Cranach the Elder and numerous panel paintings by the Master of Messkirch.
Künzelsau. The Museum Würth in Künzelsau, which also has its origins in Reinhold Würth’s private art collection, presents selections of works from the Würth Collection in alternating exhibitions. Up until 10th January 2021 the current show is dedicated to Christopher Lehmpfuhl. Zwischen Pathos und Pastos (“Between Pathos and Pastos”). Christopher Lehmpfuhl paints en plein air, i.e. out of doors. The exhibition shows his land- and cityscapes.

Waiblingen. The principal focus of the Galerie Stihl is on works on paper, from classical drawings to comics and digital drawings. There are various alternating exhibitions each year of classic works on paper from the past to the present day, mass-produced works such as caricatures and posters, 
and drawings from the fields of architecture, design and technology. In 2021 the exhibition Im Rausch der Zeit. Expressionismus von Kollwitz bis Klee, focuses on Expressionist prints dating from 1893 to 1962. Works by Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Paul Klee, Alfred Kubin and Walther Bötticher will be on display. 

Ludwigsburg. The former royal palace of Ludwigsburg is home to no fewer than six exhibitions. The Ceramics Museum displays unique treasures of ceramic art, while in the Museum of Fashion articles of clothing from the 18th to the 20th centuries are on show. The Baroque Gallery contains mainly selected German and Italian paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. In Carl Eugen’s Apartment visitors can see the rooms that Duke Carl Eugen set apart as his private retreat, while the Theatre Museum gives insights into Württemberg’s theatre history and also has several original stage sets on display. In the hands-on “Kinderreich exhibition”, children aged from four years upwards can get to know the palace, using all their senses. 

Marbach am Neckar. Here in Friedrich Schiller's birthplace the great German man of letters is omnipresent. The museums of the German Literature Archive, the Museum of Modern Literature and the National Schiller Museum are the only buildings in the world used exclusively for exhibitions of literature. On an area of 450 square metres the National Schiller Museum presents literary testimonies from the 18th and 19th centuries, with the main focus on Swabian writers. In addition to documents from and about Schiller's life, other German writers, such as Hölderlin and Mörike, are also represented. Owing to the redesigning of the National Schiller Museum, the permanent exhibition has temporarily relocated to the Museum of Literature. The Museum of Modern Literature presents 20th-century and contemporary writings. In the permanent display, The Soul, 280 exhibits give insights into the history of literature. To commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Friedrich Hölderlin, the exhibition Hölderlin, Celan and the Languages of Poetry can be seen up to 1st August 2021. The show explores in an innovative way the composition of Hölderlin's poetry and the impact it has had on its readers up to the present day.

Bietigheim-Bissingen. Art is everywhere in this small town in the borough of Ludwigsburg. The historic town centre in particular is enhanced by works of 20th century sculptors. The principal focus of the Städtische Galerie (Municipal Art Gallery) is on collections of linocuts/relief prints, art from the region and contemporary works. Alternating exhibitions of Classic Modernism and contemporary art complement the collection.

Sindelfingen. The Lütze Museum, the city of Sindelfingen's art gallery, presents 1,200 works of South German art from 1870 up to the present day, giving varied insights into 20th century art in the genres of painting, drawing, prints and sculpture. Up until 30th May 2021, the special exhibition Beyond the Pain focuses on the universal theme of pain, and particularly on how to overcome it. The SCHAUWERK gallery shows the private collection of Peter Schaufler and Christiane Schaufler-Münch, who over the last three decades have built up one of the most impressive private art collections in Germany. It includes works of the ZERO movement, a group of Düsseldorf artists from the 1950s and 1960s, Minimal and Conceptual Art, painting and sculpture. In addition, Light Art, spatial installations and contemporary photography also occupy an important place in the bright, modern exhibition rooms. From 13th June 2021 to 24th April 2022 there’s a solo exhibition devoted to the British artist Antony Gormley. The central theme of his art is the human body and its interaction with the space around it.

(1137 words in article)

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