Bottrop square

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Bottrop, Museum Quadrat, May 2005
Bottrop, Museum Square, to the side

The square is a museum center in the city garden of Bottrop , which was first expanded as a local history museum and a little later with the collection of the Bottrop-born artist Josef Albers and opened in its current form on June 25, 1983 as the "Josef Albers Museum Quadrat".

Development history

The architect of the Quadrat is the Bottrop city master builder and former senior building director Bernhard Küppers . From the beginning, the museum was conceived as a square and thus intended as a homage to the Bauhaus teacher and visual artist Josef Albers, who u. a. was intensely concerned with the perception of colors on the basis of squares. It was opened as a local history museum on September 4, 1976 and at that time also contained some pictures and graphics by Josef Albers, who had become an honorary citizen of the city in 1970. Before the museum opened, Josef Albers died in America in March 1976. His wife Anni donated more than 300 works (85 paintings, 250 graphics) to the museum in 1979, so that it was soon decided to expand the museum. This is how today's shape of the strictly square art spaces made of glass and steel was created, which blend in with the nature of the city garden in a harmonious and at the same time richly contrasting manner and are “framed” by metal sculptures.

The name square is firstly related to Albers' most famous series of pictures “Hommage to the Square”, secondly to the floor plan of the building and thirdly to the four individual museums that make up the entire museum: in addition to the Josef Albers Museum, these are the museum for Prehistory and local history , in which prehistoric finds are vividly shown, as well as the studio gallery and the modern gallery , in which regularly changing exhibitions of international artists take place, as well as a media center for concerts, readings and other events.

The inauguration of a spacious new building is planned for autumn 2020. The new part of the building is being built according to plans by Gigon Guyer Architects , Zurich, and will be connected to the Josef Albers Museum by a bridge.

Mammoth in the ice age hall
Modern gallery

Josef Albers Museum

The permanent exhibition in the "back square", accessible via an architecturally interesting bridge made of metal and glass, is the world's largest Albers collection by the honorary citizen of Bottrop. It includes an important collection of works by the Bauhaus artist , from early Expressionist works, self-portraits, landscape depictions, glass work, Formica engravings to “Homage to the Square”, in which he dealt with the phenomenon of color. In 2013, thanks to foundation funds, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and private donations, seven paintings by Josef Albers that were inspired by his trips to Mexico were purchased. In 2015 the museum acquired 27 photomontages by Josef Albers from the 1930s to 1950s with funding.

Prehistory and local history

The older part of the “square”, a listed old villa, houses collections on the natural and settlement history of the region, local history (local history museum), a mining-related mineral collection and the ice age hall . This collection with exhibits of rare Ice Age animals and a collection of tools from the time of the Neanderthals is one of the most important in Europe. The focus is on an imposing mammoth skeleton . Many of the exhibits were found during construction work during the industrial settlement of the Ruhr area , for example during the construction of roads, dams, canals or shafts. From 2011 to 2013, this museum area was completely refurbished for a total of 500,000 euros from municipal funds and funds from the economic stimulus package II , including funds from the North Rhine-Westphalia Foundation for Nature Conservation, Heritage and Cultural Preservation in the amount of 125,000 euros. With a donation from the RAG Foundation of 150,000 euros, the second construction phase for the renovation of the museum can be completed from 2013, which includes the interior design. The natural history and thus the geological development from the Carboniferous Age to the post-industrial morphology of the present is then presented on around 200 square meters on the ground floor of the villa. The upper floor is then dedicated to the historical urban development from prehistory and early history (focus on the urn grave field on the Westring) through the Middle Ages with important manor houses to industrialization and modern city history.

Modern gallery

The presentation of constructive-concrete art is part of the main program of the museum. The modern gallery has made a name for itself with exhibitions by Max Bill , Richard Paul Lohse and Günther Uecker . Modern classics are also presented at regular intervals, such as works by Pablo Picasso , Paul Klee , Marc Chagall , Oskar Kokoschka and Emil Nolde , as well as artistic photography. Once a year there is also an exhibition with works by Bottrop artists.

Sculpture park

The freely accessible Sculpture Park Quadrat Bottrop is located around the museum building in Bottrop's city garden . It exhibits sculptures by Max Bill , Walter Dexel , Hermann Glöckner , Friedrich Gräsel , Douglas Abdell , Erwin Heerich , Ernst Hermanns , Donald Judd , Norbert Kricke , Marcello Morandini , Hans Steinbrenner and Bernar Venet , among others .

Special exhibitions

  • 2020: Bernhard Fuchs . Mill
  • 2020: Laurenz Berges . 4100 Duisburg. The last century
  • 2019/20: 44th annual exhibition of Bottrop artists. Painting and graphics, sculpture and photography. Solo exhibition: Maike Dähn. Serial junkie
  • 2019: Ulrich Erben . Establishing the unlimited
  • 2019: Michael Wolf . Bottrop-Ebel 76
  • 2018/19: 43rd annual exhibition of Bottrop artists. Painting and graphics, sculpture and photography. André Kirschbaum solo exhibition. Perpetual motion machine.
  • 2018/19: Bernhard Fuchs . Justin Matherly. Tobias Pils - photography. Sculpture. Painting.
  • 2018 in the Villa Hügel (Essen) : interaction. josef albers
  • 2018: Bernd and Hilla Becher . Mines , part of the Art & Coal project of the RuhrKunstMuseen
  • 2018: Jonas Weichsel. Course
  • 2017/18: 42nd annual exhibition of Bottrop artists. Painting and graphics, sculpture and photography. Solo exhibition Karina. LOVE
  • 2017/18: Axel Hut . Early work
  • 2017: Tobias Pils. Untitled (Room) & Marfa Paintings
  • 2017: Claus Goedicke . Things. Photographs 2007-2015
  • 2016: Jerry Zeniuk . How to paint
  • 2016: Hubert Kiecol . WhiteGlassBlackRed
  • 2016: Andreas Karl Schulze . B OT BO TBO T
  • 2016: Miles Coolidge . Photographs and Chemical Pictures
  • 2015/16: Walker Evans . Depth of field. The retrospective
  • 2015: Sol LeWitt . Wall Drawing 1176. For Josef Albers. Seven Basic Colors And All Their Combinations. In A Square Within A Square
  • 2015: Ricardo Saro . Calle de Madrid. painting
  • 2014/2015: Wade Guyton . To the project "25/25/25" in the Josef Albers Museum
  • 2014: Fred Sandback . Drawings and sculptures
  • 2014: Bernhard Fuchs. Groves
  • 2014: Josef Albers. First and Last. Homage to the Square 1950-1976
  • 2013/14: art as experience. Josef Albers as a teacher - the painter and his students
  • 2013: Robert Adams : The Place We Live. Retrospective of the photographic work
  • 2013: Kurt Kocherscheidt . In the flow of images. painting
  • 2012: Kazuo Katase . present
  • 2012: Ian McKeever. Hartgrove. Painting and photography
  • 2012: Simone Nieweg . Nature of people. Landscape photography
  • 2011/12: Gotthard Graubner . Conversation with Josef Albers
  • 2011: Yuji Takeoka. Museo
  • 2011: painting on paper. Josef Albers in America
  • 2010/11: last pictures. Ad Reinhardt
  • 2010: Alexej von Jawlensky and Josef Albers. Colour. Abstraction. series
  • 2010: Bernd and Hilla Becher . Mines and smelters - industrial landscapes
  • 2009: Michael Venezia . Night becomes day - painting
  • 2009: Josef Albers. Color Relationships - Studies and Painting on Paper 1940-1960. Acquisition for the collection of the Josef Albers Museum
  • 2009: Raimund Girke . Color and light - painting from five decades
  • 2009: Bernhard Fuchs. Streets and paths
  • 2009: John Szarkowski . Photographs
  • 2008: color, material, space. Donald Judd and Josef Albers
  • 2008: Judith Joy Ross . Living With War. Portraits 1983-2007
  • 2007/2008: James Bishop. Canvas and paper
  • 2007: Klaus Staudt . American drawings
  • 2007: Pia Fries . Painting 1990–2007
  • 2007: Joachim Brohm . Dysentery
  • 2007: Anni and Josef Albers. Encounter with Latin America
  • 2006/2007: Anton Stankowski . Aspects of the complete works
  • 2006: Globus Dei. The ball and the art
  • 2006: Helmut Dorner . Painting 1988–2005
  • 2006: Sabine Funke . Painting. Sculpture. A room for Luis Barragán.
  • 2005: Sol LeWitt . Seven Basic Colors And All Their Combinations In A Square Within A Square. Wall drawing for Josef Albers
  • 2005: Carol Huebner Venezia. Boxer's photographs from New York and Italy
  • 2005: Ernst Hermanns . Sculptures
  • 2005: Giorgio Morandi . landscape
  • 2005: Arno Schmidt . Four times four - photographs from Bargfeld
  • 2004/2005: Kimber Smith . Painting 1956–1980
  • 2004: Ulrich Rückriem in the Albers Museum
  • 2004: Nicholas Nixon . The Brown Sisters
  • 2004: Jan Jedlicka . Maremma 1980-2001
  • 2004: Agnes Martin . The Islands
  • 2004: Albers in Bottrop. The collection in a new form.
  • 2004: Robert Adams. The New West
  • 2003/2004: James Ensor . Vision and turmoil
  • 2003: Leo Erb . A life in white
  • 2003: Judith Joy Ross . Portraits in America
  • 2003: Antonio Calderara . Homage for the 100th birthday
  • 2003: Rolf Nolden . Priorities. Sculptures and drawings
  • 2002: Francisco de Goya . The graphic cycles
  • 2002: Klaus Staudt . Retrospective 1957–2002
  • 2002: Miyoshi Kazuyoshi . World Heritage Site in Japan
  • 2002: Alfred Erhardt . Photographs
  • 2002: Ben Willikens . Places and spaces of modernity
  • 2002: Georg Tappert . Photographic moments of a painter
  • 2002: Light Pages
  • 1986: Raimund Girke . Painting 1956–1986
  • 1986: Hans Steinbrenner . Sculptures 1982–1985


In November 2006, the German section of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) selected the Josef Albers Museum Quadrat as “ Museum of the Year 2006”. The jury praised the house for the “intelligent exhibition and collection program that has been consistently pursued for over 30 years, independent of the fashionable tendencies of the art market”.

The combination of local history museum and modern art as well as free entry to the permanent exhibitions are extraordinary.


The founding director Ulrich Schumacher, son of the important informal painter Emil Schumacher , was followed on March 1, 2003 by Heinz Liesbrock from Detmold, who has managed the museum to this day (2019).


  • Arno Heinrich, Thomas Schulte im Walde: Square Bottrop Museum for Prehistory and Local History 1980 ISBN 3-922541-05-4

Individual evidence

  1. WAZ Bottrop from June 27, 2018 Bottrop Josef Albers Museum "Square" is being expanded by Kai Süselbeck .
  2. The West Culture of January 5, 2016: Museum Quadrat acquires another 27 Albers works , by Dirk Aschendorf , accessed on January 5, 2016.
  3. WAZ Local Culture of November 8, 2013: RAG donates € 150,000 to the Museum of Prehistory and Local History (fri) , accessed on November 8, 2013.
  4. WAZ Bottrop from November 16, 2012 Nature and art belong together , by Dirk Aschendorf .
  5. Villa Hügel Essen homepage , accessed on March 15, 2018
  6. News from Heinz Liesbrock's new boss at Bottroper Square , accessed on August 11, 2013

Web links

Commons : Quadrat Bottrop  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 51 ° 31 '52.6 "  N , 6 ° 55' 4.5"  E