Osnabrück Cultural History Museum

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Street front of the museum
Villa Schlikker
The Museum of Cultural History in the museum complex (in the middle), the Akzisehaus on the left , the Felix-Nussbaum-Haus on the right . The picture shows the situation up until the expansion of the Felix Nussbaum House in 2011.

The Osnabrück Cultural History Museum or Museum am Heger Tor is a museum in Osnabrück that presents exhibits on prehistory and early history , urban history and everyday culture as well as ancient art , handicrafts and design , traditional costumes, weapons and armor, coins and medals . It is housed in a neoclassical museum building (Heger-Tor-Wall 28) and in Villa Schlikker . Together with the Felix-Nussbaum-Haus , it forms a coherent museum complex that the city of Osnabrück markets as the Osnabrück Museum Quarter ( MQ4 ).

Until the completion of the expansion of the Felix-Nussbaum-Haus in 2011, the Akzisehaus was the museum shop of the Museum of Cultural History and at the same time the ticket office for the Museum of Cultural History and the Felix-Nussbaum-Haus. Today the Akzisehaus houses the museum workshop of the Museum Education Service.

Founding history

Based on private collections and the "school cabinet" of the Ratsgymnasium , which has existed since 1799 - with natural objects , " antiquities " and ethnographic objects - the need arose in Osnabrück in the 19th century to collect collections such as the numismatic one from the former council high school student and doctor Christian Friedrich August Schledehaus (1810 –1858) to be presented to the public. Schledehaus had lived in Egypt, collected ancient coins and objects and bequeathed them to the city. Initially, his collection was housed in the Ratsgymnasium.

The Natural Science Association, which emerged from the Botanical Society in 1870, had a scientific collection and a specialist library. The industrial association was created in 1848 from the craftsmen's association and the technical association; In 1873 he set up a commission to arouse interest in a museum among the population. The constitution of the museum association for the state drosteibezirk Osnabrück followed on February 12, 1879 in the Friedenssaal of the Osnabrück town hall with the Landdrost Gustav Gehrmann as chairman and the mayor Johannes Miquel as deputy. City architect Wilhelm Emil Hackländer (1830–1902) was one of the founding and board members. The association grew through the accession of members of the natural science association, which from 1880 formed the natural science section. A merger with the Association for History and Regional Studies in Osnabrück did not materialize.

From 1879, the museum association had rented premises in the former cathedral mechanics at the cathedral courtyard, from which the district court had moved into the new judicial building on Neumarkt . The jury room served as a temporary exhibition room, the facility was taken over by the senior high school teacher Wilhelm Bölsche (1843-1893). The exhibition was shown for the first time on February 25, 1880, then on Sundays at lunchtime for the population and on Wednesday afternoons for members of the association.

The museum's holdings grew steadily, for example when the steelworks director August Haarmann gave the association an exhibition on the history of the Osnabrück coal and steel industry in 1884 , or in the same year when he bought a collection of birds. In 1884 the management of the Royal Museums in Berlin left the provincial museums less significant works, 20 of the paintings were loaned to Osnabrück. Two natural history collections were donated to the association from the municipal secondary school for girls. The museum association rented additional rooms in the former cathedral mechanics, but there was not enough space. After the attempt to buy the vacant law firm for 200,000 marks had failed , the idea for a new museum building arose. Although the majority of the key players were civil servants with direct access to decision-makers, funding beyond the city limits was difficult. It was only when Heinrich Brüning (1836–1920), Lord Mayor since 1880, after preliminary negotiations with the Upper President of the Province of Hanover , the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Culture, turned directly to Chancellor Otto von Bismarck that the Ministry of Education approved a grant of 100,000 marks in the spring of 1887. who ensured the implementation of the project. The city bought the Rammelkampschen Gardens on what was then the Chancellor's Wall, and city architect Hackländer was commissioned with the construction project without a tender.


Before the financing was secured, the city master builder Hackländer presented a plan for the building of the museum in 1886, the cost of which he estimated at 200,000 marks. He brought back experience in museum construction from Hanover. There he had worked under Conrad Wilhelm Hase in the establishment of the Museum of Art and Science .

He designed a representative, symmetrical building in the style of neoclassicism with a rear central wing for the Osnabrück Museum, whereby limited resources set limits. It met the central requirements of museums at the end of the 19th century by planning expansion options from the start. They envisaged a projecting wing structure on both narrow sides and a rear annex across the middle wing; the symmetry was preserved. The expansion plans were not implemented.

Hackländer planned the front to the Chancellor's Wall with a central projectile and triangular gable , outside staircase and projecting portal as well as a mixture of angular windows on the ground floor and arched windows on the upper floor. The triangular pediment crowned with an obelisk rests on fluted Doric pilasters . The sculpture in the middle, the Minerva head in the medallion , was created by the sculptor Oskar Rassau (1843–1912) from Ibbenbüren sandstone . On the portal, the writing “Museum” indicated the purpose, the coat of arms above with a six-spoke standing wheel identified the building as an urban facility. Hackländer used building materials from the region, including Ibbenbürener sandstone and exposed stone masonry made from shell limestone.

When designing the entrance area with staircase, which Hackländer would have wished for better, he had to limit himself for financial reasons and did without a purely representative vestibule. Priority was given to accommodating the existing collections. Hackländer was also unable to follow the model of Friedrich August Stüler's buildings and the art gallery in Karlsruhe by Heinrich Hübsch with a centered staircase and installed them on the side. Hackländer arranged the collections himself; his spatial program with a given tour to the right corresponded to the contemporary museum architecture. The interior decoration included stucco ceilings , columns and terrazzo mosaics. He took up the design element of the mosaic when paving the 15-meter-wide forecourt of the building with a driveway.

The museum building was erected in 1888/1889, and the shell was completed in April 1889. The building was occupied in spring 1890 and opened to the public on May 25th, Pentecost Sunday, without any special celebrations. The founding association ran the museum until 1929, when it became a municipal facility and received its first full-time director in Hans Gummel .

The museum building was damaged in World War II . It was reopened in 1948, the war damage was repaired in 1955/1956 and the stairwell was rebuilt. The museum was reopened on July 1, 1956.

Full-time museum director

From the opening until 1929, the museum was run by the museum association on a voluntary basis. When it was taken over by the city of Osnabrück in 1929, it was given its first full-time manager.


In 2020, the hbs culture fund, run by the Lower Saxony Savings Bank Foundation, awarded the Museum Quarter, and thus the Museum of Art History as part of it, the museum prize, which is awarded every two years . According to the jury, the successful merger of the four houses under the theme of peace was recognized.


To date, the museum has issued over 100 publications on the exhibitions it has organized on national and international artists. Here is a selection.

  • Rows
    • Series of publications: Writings from the Museum of Cultural History Osnabrück Bramsche: Rasch [1991–2007]. DNB 978192494
    • German Tapestry Biennial; Museum for Art and Commerce Hamburg; Osnabrück Cultural History Museum: Biennale of German Tapestry. 1980 and 1985. DNB 550611932
  • Individual catalogs
    • Berger, Eva (ed.); Museum and Art Association and Museum of Cultural History Osnabrück in cooperation with the University of Osnabrück (publisher); Hella Hirschfelder-Stüve [Ill.]: Hella Hirschfelder-Stüve, artist of the forgotten generation: Journey through life (on the occasion of the exhibition: "Hella Hirschfelder-Stüve, artist of the forgotten generation, journey through life" in the cultural history museum Osnabrück, March 21 - June 20 2010). Bramsche: Rasch 2010, ISBN 978-3-89946-145-9
    • Thomas Schauerte; Birgit Ulrike Münch; Albrecht Dürer (Ill.); Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Osnabrück in cooperation with the Lower Saxony Foundation (ed.): Albrecht Dürer - the great luck: Art under the sign of spiritual awakening; (Catalog for the exhibition Albrecht Dürer: The Great Luck, Art in the Sign of Spiritual Awakening, April 6 to July 6, 2003 in the Osnabrück Cultural History Museum). Bramsche: Rasch 2003, ISBN 3-935326-91-2
    • Inge Jaehner; Wendelin room; Susanne Tauss; Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart : Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart on his 100th birthday: Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Osnabrück, November 21 to February 6, 2000. An exhibition by the Museum and Art Association and the Museum of Cultural History Osnabrück. Osnabrück: Museum and Art Association 1999, ISBN 3-926235-16-0
    • Eva Berger; Felix Nussbaum (Ill.): Felix Nussbaum: ostracized art - art in exile - art of resistance; ed. on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Felix Nussbaum's death on August 9, 1994. In collaboration with the Felix Nussbaum Society Osnabrück eV and the University of Osnabrück. Bramsche: Rasch 1995, ISBN 3-930595-14-1
      • English editions: Felix Nussbaum: art defamed, art in exile, art in resistance; a biography. Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press 1997, ISBN 0-87951-789-1 and Bramsche: Rasch 4th edition 1997, ISBN 3-930595-92-3
    • Osnabrück Cultural History Museum; Thomas A. Krüger (Ill.): Oil paintings, watercolors, lithographs: Exhibition catalog Dominikanerkirche Osnabrück on the occasion of the 65th birthday of the artist. Osnabrück 1983 Bramsche: Rasch 1983, ISBN 3-922469-12-4
    • Gisela Joswig; Inge Frankmöller; Willi Sitte (Ill.); Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Osnabrück (Ed.): Willi Sitte: Love, Passion and Vanitas; Exhibition, May 8 - June 26, 1988 in the Dominican Church in Osnabrück; July 16 - September 4 in the Brothers Church Kassel. Osnabrück: Museum of Cultural History 1988
    • Cultural history Museum, Osnabrück; Gustav Seitz (Ill.): Gustav Seitz: 1906 - 1969; Outdoor sculptures, reliefs, portraits, drawings, letters; Exhibition in the Akzisehaus, August 1 - September 30, 1979. Osnabrück: Kulturgeschichtl. Museum 1979
    • Rudolf Pfefferkorn; Max Liebermann (Ill.); Cultural history Museum Osnabrück in connection with d. Senator for Science u. Art Berlin (ed.): Exhibition Max Liebermann and his circle, graphics of the Berlin Secession, drawings, lithographs, etchings: 1971/1972. Osnabrück: cultural history Museum 1972
    • Hilde Zenker; Paul Uwe Dreyer : Paul Uwe Dreyer: paintings from 1961 - 1972; Kunsthalle Mannheim, April 28 - May 28, 1972; Cultural history Museum, Osnabrück, June 11 - July 16, 1972. Mannheim: Kunsthalle; Osnabrück: cultural history Museum 1972


  • Thorsten Heese: "... a local for art and antiquity." The institutionalization of collecting using the example of the history of museums in Osnabrück. (= Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Osnabrück, Museum und Kunstverein Osnabrück eV [Hrsg.]: Osnabrücker Kulturdenkmäler Vol. 12). Rasch, Bramsche 2004, ISBN 978-3-89946-016-2 .

Web links

Commons : Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Osnabrück  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Thorsten Heese: Osnabrück Museum History. The founding years: 1879–1890. In: Ders .: "... a separate local for art and antiquity". Rasch, Bramsche 2004, pp. 45–92.
  2. a b c Thorsten Heese: Museum architecture between functionality and representation. In: "... a local for art and antiquity". Rasch, Bramsche 2004, pp. 334–361.
  3. Thorsten Heese: Chronological overview of the Osnabrück museum history. In: Ders .: "... a separate local for art and antiquity". Rasch, Bramsche 2004, pp. 737-741.
  4. Thorsten Heese: "... an own local for art and antiquity". Rasch, Bramsche 2004, p. 739.
  5. Katharina Hoffmann: Gummel, Hans. In: Hartmut Bickelmann (ed.): Bremerhaven personalities from four centuries. A biographical lexicon . (= Publications of the Bremerhaven City Archives, Vol. 16), Bremerhaven 2002, ISBN 3-923851-24-3 , pp. 113-114.
  6. Thorsten Heese: Between home and racial madness. The museum as a parallel multiplier of Nazi ideology . In the S. (Ed.): Topographies of Terror. National Socialism in Osnabrück (= Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Osnabrück [Hrsg.]: Osnabrücker Kulturdenkmäler. Contributions to the art and cultural history of the city of Osnabrück ). 2nd corrected edition. tape 16 . Rasch, Bramsche 2015, ISBN 978-3-89946-240-1 , pp. 140-149 .
  7. ^ Kurt Dröge : Borchers, Walter (1906–1980). Folklorist, art historian . In: Dirk Alvermann , Nils Jörn (Hrsg.): Biographisches Lexikon für Pommern (=  publications of the Historical Commission for Pomerania . Research on Pomeranian History, No.  5 ). 1st edition. tape 3 . Böhlau, Cologne 2019, ISBN 978-3-412-50072-6 , pp. 84-87 .
  8. ^ Controversial connoisseur. In: New Osnabrück Newspaper. October 4, 2017, accessed February 29, 2020 .
  9. ^ Farewell to Dr. Thorsten Rodiek, museum director of the Kunsthalle St. Annen and the Holsten Gate. In: Unser-luebeck.de. June 16, 2016, accessed February 29, 2020 .
  10. Tom Bullmann: Osnabrück: Eva Berger is going into retirement. In: New Osnabrück Newspaper. August 16, 2016, accessed February 29, 2020 .
  11. Harff-Peter Schönherr: "Art must open worlds for me". In: taz Nord. November 18, 2019, accessed on February 29, 2020 (interview).
  12. Museumsquartier Osnabrück: Prize of the Sparkassenstiftung. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . August 3, 2020, accessed August 16, 2020 .

Coordinates: 52 ° 16 ′ 31.5 ″  N , 8 ° 2 ′ 18.9 ″  E