Kunsthalle Mannheim

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Portal of the old building (billing building), 2014
New building (Hector-Bau), 2018

The Kunsthalle Mannheim is a museum for modern and contemporary art in Mannheim .

The Kunsthalle Mannheim has shaped the cultural life of the industrial city on the Rhine for over 100 years. With works from Édouard Manet to Francis Bacon and a focus on sculpture - in the spectrum from Auguste Rodin and Wilhelm Lehmbruck to Henry Moore and Marino Marini to Mario Merz and Richard Long - it is one of the most respected civic collections of German and international modernism to the present day .

The extension was officially opened on June 1, 2018.


In addition to approx. 2,150 paintings and 840 sculptures, it includes an inventory of approx. 33,000 sheets of hand drawings, watercolors and prints as well as a work art department. In addition to the permanent collection presentation, special exhibitions of international contemporary art are shown every year.

The Kunsthalle Mannheim owns paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries. The most important artists include Friedrich , Dahl , Manet , Sisley , Géricault , Delacroix , Pissarro , Cézanne , von Marées , Schuch , Kokoschka , Rohlfs , Heckel , Schmidt-Rottluff , Munch , Macke , Delaunay , Dix , Beckmann , Grosz , Bacon , Götz , Heinisch and Fuhr .

The sculpture collection is particularly important in relation to the 20th century. It contains works by Belling , Bosslet , Brâncuși , Christian , Daumier , Rodin , Rosso , Barlach , Degas , Lehmbruck , Archipenko , Harth , Arp , Hepworth , Matisse , Marini , Moore , Giacometti , Hajek , Serra , Zadkine , Chillida , Uhlmann , Lenk , Segal , Seitz , Rückriem , Hauser , Vostell , Heiner Thiel and Mayer . There has been an outdoor exhibition of works of contemporary sculpture in the sculpture garden of the Kunsthalle Mannheim since the 1930s .

Taking into account the financial means, the graphic collection was not created with a view to completeness, but rather focuses deliberately. These are the drawings of the Romantics and Classicists, the New Objectivity and the collection of sculptural drawings . Then there are European prints from the 15th to 18th centuries, including Dürer and Rembrandt .


The art gallery was opened in 1907 for the 300th anniversary of Mannheim city as part of an international art and horticultural exhibition. The Jewish couple Julius (1841–1895) and Henriette Aberle (1847–1901) donated 236,250 gold marks for the construction of the art gallery . The foundation of the collection was formed by the works left behind by the grand ducal gallery director Karl Kuntz . There were also 91 paintings from the estate of James Emden (including Feuerbach and Spitzweg). In 1909 Fritz Wichert was brought to Mannheim as head. He expanded the collection to include French paintings.

In 1923 Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub became director. In 1925 he showed an exhibition of contemporary art entitled “ New Objectivity ”, which gave its name to an entire style. Important works by Dix, Grosz and Beckmann were acquired under his aegis. In 1933 Hartlaub was deposed by the National Socialists, who organized an exhibition entitled “Cultural Bolshevik Pictures”. He was succeeded in 1936 by Walter Passarge , who in 1937 was exposed to the “cleaning of museums from degenerate art”. In this second wave of confiscations since 1933, the Kunsthalle lost 102 paintings, 8 sculptures, 491 graphic works and 59 portfolios, many of which have been lost forever. Some were auctioned off in 1939 and are now owned by foreign museums (including the Kunstmuseum Basel , Musée des Beaux-Arts Liège , Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art , both in New York). During the war most of the stocks were relocated. It was not until 1949 that parts of the collection could be shown again after the heavily damaged main building had been repaired.

Sculpture 6/77 by Erich Hauser

Walter Passarge shifted the focus of the house in his service until 1945 to the politically less sensitive arts and crafts. After 1945, he and his successor Heinz Fuchs , who was in office from 1959, succeeded in closing the gaps in the collection to a certain extent, with Passarge taking particular care of German and modern art as well as the collections dedicated to the 19th and 20th centuries. The plastic collection was also systematically expanded. In 1983 the large extension (Mitzlaff building) was opened. From 1984 Manfred Fath took over the management, who in 1999 - thanks to a generous donation - was allowed to expand the exhibition area with the converted former bunker.

From 2003, Rolf Lauter stopped the chronological presentation of the collection. Instead, the collection was presented in a thematically new way and expanded to include photographs and video installations. In autumn 2007 he was released from the management of the Kunsthalle by the local council due to financial irregularities. The long-standing curator at the Kunsthalle Inge Herold was the acting director.

In 2008, the art historian Ulrike Lorenz took over the management of the Kunsthalle. On October 30, 2018, Lorenz was elected President of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar . She took office in August 2019. Her successor as director of the Kunsthalle Mannheim is the Danish curator Johan Holten .

In 2009, after a new hanging in the Art Nouveau building of the Kunsthalle, the Mannheim permanent collection was opened. For this purpose, the collection was divided into twelve themed rooms from different epochs of art history from Romanticism to Realism.

By 2018 the Mitzlaff building was demolished and replaced by the larger Hector building. On June 1, 2018, the reopening of the Kunsthalle took place with a "Grand Opening" and an exhibition of photographs by the Canadian Jeff Wall .


The art gallery was built by the architect Hermann Billing until 1907 . Although it served the city as a prestige object, it was not placed directly on the magnificent Friedrichsplatz , but moved away from the square with the main entrance on Moltkestrasse. The open space was intended for the Reiss Museum , which was later built elsewhere . A three-wing T-shape forms the floor plan. The central building is crowned by a dome. The facade was designed in Art Nouveau style and, with its red sandstone, corresponds to the existing buildings on Friedrichsplatz.

After the Reiss-Museum in the armory had been set up, was planned in 1960 on the open space an extension of the Kunsthalle. The architects Lange, Mitzlaff , Böhm and Müller were commissioned to do this. After several planning changes and financing difficulties, the new building was opened in 1983. No flourishes were used on the new facade because the sculptures should be shown to their best advantage undisturbed. Due to the red sandstone, however, the old and new buildings merged into one unit. And now the house opened with the main entrance to the water tower on Friedrichsplatz.

From 2010 to 2013 the art nouveau building of the art gallery was completely renovated. In the meantime, the museum continued to operate in the house on Friedrichsplatz. In the billing building there are several floor jumps that have not been renovated to be barrier-free. The high flight of stairs is not negotiable for wheelchair users. Ramps or elevators could not be implemented.

New building

Kunsthalle Mannheim, new building, 2018

Since both the Mitzlaff building and the underground bunker below , which served as an art store, had serious structural defects, both a renovation and a new construction of the affected building section were considered. The management of the Kunsthalle spoke out in favor of the new building with an estimated 67.8 million euros as the best and more sustainable variant.

In July 2011, SAP founder Hans-Werner Hector and his wife Josephine pledged a donation of 50 million euros for a new building. Following a further commitment from the city to provide funding, an architectural competition was held in 2012, in which numerous architectural firms took part. In the first round, three first prizes were awarded to the designs by the architects Volker Staab , Peter Pütz and Gerkan, Marg and Partner (gmp). After corresponding renegotiations in the detailed planning, the office of Gerkan, Marg and Partner was determined as the winner. The architect responsible was Nikolaus Goetze . With his building he tried to implement the idea of ​​a “city within the city”.



  • Heinz Fuchs: Kunsthalle Mannheim: Directory of the sculpture collection . Mannheim 1967
  • Heinz Fuchs: Masterpieces of Art in the Kunsthalle Mannheim: Painting of the 19th Century . Mannheim 1969
  • Heinz Fuchs: Municipal art gallery Mannheim . Braunschweig 1983
  • Hans-Jürgen Buderer: Degenerate Art: Confiscation Actions in the Municipal Art Hall Mannheim 1937 . Städtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim 1987, ISBN 3-89165-046-9 .
  • Karoline Hille: Kunsthalle Mannheim . Prestel, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-7913-1421-1 .
  • Inge Herold: Sculptures. Kunsthalle Mannheim, new acquisitions since 1989. Kunsthalle Mannheim, 1995, ISBN 3-89165-094-9 .
  • Gerhard Kabierske: The architect Hermann Billing (1867-1946): life and work . In: Materials on Building Research and Building History , Volume 7, KIT Scientific Publications, Karlsruhe 1996, ISSN  0940-578X .
  • Inge Herold, Christmut Präger: 100 Years of the Kunsthalle Mannheim 1907–2007 . Mannheim 2007, ISBN 978-3-89165-210-7 .
  • Meinhard von Gerkan , Nikolaus Goetze : Kunsthalle Mannheim . Jovis, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86859-530-7 .


Web links

Commons : Kunsthalle Mannheim  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Inge Herold, sculptures. Kunsthalle Mannheim, new acquisitions since 1989 , Kunsthalle Mannheim, 1995, ISBN 3-89165-094-9 .
  2. Peter W. Ragge: Rolf Lauter is no longer allowed to speak for the Kunsthalle. In: Mannheimer Morgen , September 20, 2007.
      Ulrich Raphael Firsching: Rolf Lauter no longer in the service of the city of Mannheim. In: kunstmarkt.com , June 24, 2009.
  3. dpa : Ulrike Lorenz becomes head of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar. In: Der Tagesspiegel , November 6, 2018.
  4. dpa : Personnel. Johan Holten becomes head of the Kunsthalle Mannheim. In: Monopol , March 23, 2019.
  5. State Gazette, No. 14, April 17, 2009, page 27.
  6. bb / gri, dpa , kuma.art: Kunsthalle Mannheim opened. In: Deutsche Welle . June 2, 2018, accessed August 12, 2018 .
  7. General renovation . ( Memento of October 12, 2013 in the Internet Archive ). In: Kunsthalle Mannheim , April 2012.
  8. ^ Susanne Schreiber: Hector Foundation: 50 million donation for the Kunsthalle Mannheim. In: Handelsblatt , July 22, 2011.
  9. Peter W. Ragge: Birthday - SAP co-founder Hans-Werner Hector is 75. The great patron doesn't like a big stir. ( Memento from August 12, 2018 in the web archive archive.today ). In: Mannheimer Morgen , January 17, 2015.
  10. The architects of the planning competition. ( Memento of October 28, 2012 in the Internet Archive ). In: Foundation Kunsthalle Mannheim .
  11. ^ Museum city in metal. gmp are to build Kunsthalle Mannheim. In: BauNetz , December 6, 2012.
  12. Stefan M. Dettlinger (dms): "The building is a sign of the future." ( Memento from August 12, 2018 in the web archive archive.today ). In: Mannheimer Morgen , June 1, 2018, interview with Nikolaus Goetze .

Coordinates: 49 ° 28 ′ 57.9 "  N , 8 ° 28 ′ 31.2"  E