Frankfurter Kunstverein

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The Frankfurter Kunstverein eV . in Frankfurt am Main is a non-profit association dedicated to the mediation of contemporary art . It is one of the oldest German art associations .

Stone house, seat of the art association since 1962


Share of the Frankfurter Kunstverein from January 1, 1855

The Frankfurter Kunstverein was founded in 1829 by a group of influential citizens of Frankfurt am Main, including the senator and later mayor of the Free City of Frankfurt , Johann Gerhard Christian Thomas , the historian Johann Friedrich Böhmer and the art historian Johann David Passavant . Almost all of the city's important citizens and artists soon belonged to the association. Its purpose was to promote the arts and the sense of art in the merchant town, as well as the purchase of works of art for the public.

Since the financial strength of the Frankfurter Kunstverein was limited, it was dissolved in 1855. The newly founded joint-stock company "Frankfurter Kunstverein" took its place.

On December 15, 1926, the Kunstverein opened its large raffle exhibition on Junghofstrasse, winning works by Joseph Kaspar Correggio , Friedrich Mook, Joachim Ringelnatz and Carl Stoltz. In 1936 the "Städelschule exhibition in the Frankfurter Kunstverein" was shown, graphic design from Albert Windisch's class was also shown .

The Kunstverein building on Junghofstrasse, erected in 1861, was destroyed in a bomb attack in 1944. The Kunstverein had already been weakened by the Nuremberg Laws and the persecution, expulsion or destruction of its Jewish members. As an institution affiliated with the Reich Chamber of Culture , it was temporarily banned by the American military government in 1945 . In 1948 the art association moved into a new domicile on the Eschenheim facility . The art association set itself the task of showing especially artists who were not shown during the Nazi era. But the income was hardly enough to cover the running costs. In the mid-1950s, the Kunstverein had to close these rooms.

Stone house

Art association in the stone house with a modern extension next to the reconstructed Alt Nürnberg house

In 1962, after temporary quarters, the Kunstverein moved into the Steinerne Haus am Römerberg , which had been in the association's possession from 1905 until it was destroyed in the air raids on Frankfurt am Main in 1944. During the reconstruction, the building was given a modernist cubic extension on the site of the former Mohrenkopf house, which significantly increased the exhibition area to around 900 square meters and created space for offices. With increased financial support from the city and under the new director Ewald Radtke, the exhibition of international art of the 20th century was now possible.

The entire ensemble is now a listed building. A striking element of the architecture of the Frankfurter Kunstverein is the curved staircase in the interior of the new building, which is also the location of the mural “Staircase II Experimenta 4 1971” (reconstruction 1999) by Blinky Palermo . The architectural office Turkali-Architekten was responsible for extensive modernization measures in the entrance area and foyer in 1993. The arcades on the ground floor of the Stone House, originally used as exhibition space, have since been home to a café.

As part of the Dom-Römer project , the historically important streets Markt and Hinter dem Lämmchen with their small-scale buildings, some of which were reconstructed according to historical models, were rebuilt from 2013 to 2018 . As part of the project, the Frankfurter Kunstverein added a second entrance to the modern extension, which opens to the east to the Gasse Hinter dem Lämmchen . Since 2014, under the direction of art historian and curator Franziska Nori , the Kunstverein has also created outdoor sculptures by Joko Avianto (2015) and the artist duo Winter / Hörbelt (2018), which have a direct reference to architecture and could be viewed over a period of several months. Today the association has around 1750 members.

The Art Association will be awarded the Binding Culture Prize in 2019 .

Directors of the Kunstverein (since 1945)

  • Curt Gravenkamp (1945–1961) Exhibitions a. a. Frankfurt Contemporary Art , 1947 ff; , Fritz Winter , Mateo Cristiani , 1952; Ernst Wilhelm Nay ; 1952, Georg Meistermann , 1953; Mateo Cristiani , Hanny Franke ; 1955 Hann Trier , Joseph Kaspar Correggio , 1960
  • Ewald Rathke (1961–1970) Exhibitions a. a. Edvard Munch , 1962; Amedeo Modigliani , 1963; Arnold Böcklin , 1964; Picasso hand drawings , 1965; Wols - paintings, watercolors, drawings, photos , 1965/1966; Constructive painting , 1966/1967; Alexej Jawlensky , 1967; Compass New York , 1967/1968.
  • Georg Bussmann (1970–1980) Exhibitions a. a. Art and Politics , 1970; Renato Guttuso , 1974; Art in the 3rd Reich. Documents of submission . 1974; George Grosz , 1975
  • Peter Weiermair (1980 to 1998) exhibitions a. a. Robert Mapplethorpe , 1981; Abraham David Christian , 1983, Franz Mon , 1986; Positions in Swedish Painting 1873–1995 , 1995; PROSPECT international exhibitions of current art , 1986, 1993, 1996; Lynn Davis , 1990; The Image of the Body , 1993; Luigi Ontani , 1996; Alfred Hrdlicka , 1997; Helen Levitt , 1998.
  • Nicolaus Schafhausen (1999 to 2005) exhibitions a. a. Liam Gillick , 1999; To the people of the city of the Euro , 1999; Video installation Kino der Dekonstruktion , 1999 to 2000; Stephen Prina , 2000; Christa Näher , 2001; Marcel Odenbach , 2002; fresh and upcoming , 2003; Nation , 2003; deutschemalereizweitausenddrei , 2003; Cerith Wyn Evans , 2004
  • Chus Martínez (2006–2008) Exhibitions a. a. The Martha Rosler Library , 2006; Whenever It Starts It Is The Right Time, Strategies for an Unsteady Future , 2007; Tommy Støckel , 2007; The Great Transformation - Art and Tactical Magic , 2008; Natascha Sadr Haghighian - The Fruits of Labor , 2008;
  • Holger Kube Ventura (2009 to 2014); Exhibitions and a. 2009; The essence in the thing , 2010; Sven Johne : Reports between morning and gray , 2010; Tales of Resistance and Change - Artists from Argentina , 2010; The world of weavers and pistol wearers , 2011; Maya Schweizer and Clemens von Wedemeyer Metropolis - Report on China , 2011; On the metaphor of growth , Ragnar Kjartansson , 2011; Borders of a Different Nature - Contemporary Photo Art from Iceland , 2012; Demonstrations - The Becoming Normative Orders , 2012; Art Stories in the Stone House (1962–2012) - To the People of the City , 2013; Occasional showers - forms of weather .
  • Franziska Nori (since November 1, 2014) exhibitions a. a .: On the machine interpretation of the world , 2018; Perception is Reality: On the Construction of Reality and Virtual Worlds , 2017; Melanie Bonajo: Single Mother Songs from the End of Nature , 2017; Things I Think I Want: Six Positions in Contemporary Art , 2017; Atchilihtallah - From the Transformation of Things , 2016; Paulo Nazareth: Aqui é Arte , 2016; Mechanisms of Violence , 2015; Thomas Feuerstein : Psychoprosa , 2015; Body – me. Body in the Age of Digital Technologies , 2015, with Yuri Ancarani, Kate Cooper, Melanie Gilligan and Thomas Thwaites; Indonesian Contemporary Art , 2015.


  • Curt Gravenkamp: Frankfurter Kunstverein 1829–1954 . Edited by Frankfurter Kunstverein, self-published, Frankfurt am Main, 1954.
  • Birgit Weyel: The Frankfurter Kunstverein in the post-war period. In: Art in Frankfurt 1945 to today , Societätsverlag, Frankfurt am Main, 1995, ISBN 3-7973-0581-8 .
  • Art stories in the stone house. On the change in the Frankfurter Kunstverein in 1962-2012 . Edited by Frankfurter Kunstverein, Kehrer Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-86828-392-1

Web links

Commons : Frankfurter Kunstverein  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Curt Gravenkamp: Frankfurter Kunstverein 1829–1954.
  2. Birgit Weyel: The Frankfurter Kunstverein in the post-war period.
  3. Avant-garde. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , November 26, 2012, page B4.