Lehmbruck Museum

Duisburg, Germany

Well known throughout Europe for its outstanding collection of modern international sculpture, this museum offers an unusual combination of exceptional architecture placed in a sculpture park, as well as sculpture sited within the urban environs. Commencing with the life work of Wilhelm Lehmbruck and his contemporaries, the world of art encounters sculpture from all over the world in an exhibition space of 5000 square meters. Monographically and thematically grouped exhibition rooms are sequentially arranged in an open space. Paintings, works on paper and the new media complement the sculptural collection. The goal of all museum activities is to convey a vivid impression of the quality, development and range of modern sculpture to visitors from all walks of life. Since its opening in 1964 the LehmbruckMuseum nearly holds the complete lifework of Wilhelm Lehmbruck in every genre. In 2009 it has been accomplished to secure the sculptor’s family-owned legacy permanently. Thus, the LehmbruckMuseum lays claim and pursues the goal to represent a leading center of expertise for international sculpture and object art of the 20th and 21st century in Germany. The collection’s main areas result from approximately 900 sculptures, which have been executed by nearly every internationally renowned sculptor and by means of a variety of techniques and materials. To these belong outstanding examples of primitivism and cubism (André Derain, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Henri Laurens, Jacques Lipchitz, Pablo Picasso), early abstraction (Rudolf Belling, Otto Freundlich, Erich Buchholz, Hans Arp), expressionism in Germany (from Ernst Barlach and Käthe Kollwitz to Ewald Mataré) and also constructivism and minimalism (from Constantin Brancusi and László Moholy-Nagy to Georges Vantongerloo, Max Bill, Antoine Pevsner and Naum Gabo, Erwin Heerich, André Volten, Sol Lewitt and Donald Judd). Its inventory of surrealist sculpture as well as the work groups by Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore are preeminent. Equally excellent are the steel and ferric sculptures by a range of artists including Alexander Calder, Julio González, David Smith, Berto Lardera, Eduardo Chillida, Hans Uhlmann, Norbert Kricke, Georg Uecker, Richard Serra, Heinz-Günter Prager and Ansgar Nierhoff. Of special substance are its works of object art that have been created after 1945, exemplified by artists such as Christo, Jean Tinguely (two large mobile Maschinen-Reliefs), Antoni Tàpies, Daniel Spoerri, Nam-June Paik, Paul Thek, Rainer Ruthenbeck, Geoffrey Hendricks and Klaus Rinke. Hyperrealistic and anthropomorphic figuration from the post-war era up to the present day is represented by works of Duane Hanson (WAR) and George Segal, A.D. Christian, Franz Bernhard, A.R. Penck and Magdalena Jetelovà. They accompany the ample collection of Informel with extensive work groups by Bernard Schultze, Germaine Richier, Otto Herbert Hajek, Gerhard Hoehme, Emil Schumacher and Karl Otto Götz. Own rooms are dedicated to Joseph Beuys, Mario Merz, Richard Long, F.E. Walther, Christian Boltanski and Jannis Kounellis, but also to A.M. Kaufmann, Aernout Mik and Yves Netzhammer. Incorporated in the exhibition of international sculpture is a select collection of German painting, ranging from the turn of the 20th century through to the 1960s. The collection is noteworthy for the high quality of its individual works, all of them bearing witness to artistic development from Expressionism through to the Informal movement. The masterpieces include paintings by members of the Die Brücke movement, namely artists Kirchner, Heckel, Schmidt-Rottluff, Pechstein and Mueller, as well as Emil Nolde, who was affiliated to them. Paintings by Jawlensky, Kokoschka, Campendonk, Macke, Rohlfs, the "Sturm" artists Molzahn and Ring round out the expressionism of the "Brücke" association. The works that make up the next group, which initially derived its productive impetus from Cubism, were all linked by constructive trends. Schlemmer, Dexel, Feininger and Muche represent among other things "Bauhaus"; Max Beckmann's "Rugby Players" and Max Ernsts' "The Temptation of St. Anthony" are considered today to be outstanding individual examples of Expressionism, New Objectivity and Surrealism. Following the end of WW II the art of the "Informal" emerged as an international artistic phenomenon. Many German artists considered abstract painting to be a liberation from, and the only valid alternative to, realistic art, which had been used as an instrument and perverted by Fascist ideologies and had acquired a new dogma through Socialist Realism. Even today the powerful, often anarchic desire for expression and the feeling of liberation after dictatorship and war can be felt in the works of Baumeister, Nay, Schumacher, Götz, Hoehme and Schultze. The struggle for new forms and new functions for art reveals itself to be a process of creating pictures from gestures or material, which towards the end of the 1950s imbued art with a new objective character. The borderline between art and objects and sculpture began to become blurred. The museum is girded by a park which harbours about 40 large sculptures (from Henry Moore to Hans-Peter Feldmann, Magdalena Abakanowicz and Meret Oppenheim).

Show lessRead more

In This Collection

View all
48 items

Opening hours


Lehmbruck MuseumDüsseldorfer Str. 51
47051 Duisburg
Visit Lehmbruck Museum's website