Städelsches Kunstinstitut

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The Städel on the “ Museumsufer ”, March 2013
Städel Museum on the south bank of the Main in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen , with the Holbeinsteg pedestrian bridge, July 2007

The Städelsche Kunstinstitut and Städtische Galerie (own name Städel Museum ) in Frankfurt am Main is one of the most important German art museums . His collection includes around 3,100 paintings from the Middle Ages to modern art and contemporary art . The graphic collection with over 100,000 drawings and prints is accessible in a presence room. The Städel Museum's holdings also include over 4,600 photographs, 660 sculptures and a reference library with 115,000 volumes.

The foundation was made by the will of Johann Friedrich Städel (1815). The collection was given its first exhibition building in 1833. The current location on the Museumsufer was moved into in 1878.



After the death of the Frankfurt banker and spice trader Johann Friedrich Städel in 1816, his will , written on March 15, 1815, was opened, in which he founded the art institute named after him. He bequeathed his house on Rossmarkt , the art collection exhibited there, and his fortune of around 1.3 million guilders to the institute. Its mission was, on the one hand, to maintain a public collection and, on the other, to train artists in the attached art college ; this was later taken over by the city of Frankfurt. In the following year distant relatives of Johann Friedrich Städel challenged the will, which led to a process that lasted until 1829, which subsequently hampered the work of the institute. According to the will, five administrators from Frankfurt's citizenship should take over the management of the institute. Carl Friedrich Wendelstadt was appointed as the first inspector in 1817 . In 1830 Philipp Veit , a Nazarene , became head of the painting school and director of the gallery. Veit held this position until 1843. During this time, works from the Städel's collection that did not meet the quality requirements of the museum were sold. The proceeds were used to finance the purchase of other works.

Own museum building

In 1833 the museum moved to a converted building on Neue Mainzer Straße . In 1840 there was a change in the administration of the museum when Johann David Passavant became the new inspector. He had previously worked for the Städelsche Kunstinstitut and, among other things, brokered acquisitions. During Passavant's tenure, which lasted until 1861, important acquisitions were made for the collection, such as the ideal female portrait by Sandro Botticelli or parts of the collection of Wilhelm II of the Netherlands , which had been auctioned in 1850. Under the direction of the inspector Gerhard Malß , appointed in 1861 , the copper engraving cabinet and the gallery were reorganized. In 1870, at the auction of the Brentano- Birckenstock collection, further important works were acquired for the collection of the Städel Art Institute.

Relocation to the Main

Plan from 1894

In 1878 the Städelsche Kunstinstitut moved again, this time to the Schaumainkai now known as the Museumsufer , where a new building for the museum had been erected. In 1885 Georg Kohlbacher became the new inspector, who was replaced four years later by Henry Thode . Thode's position was the newly created directorate, which took the place of the inspector. He was particularly interested in Italian painting, which was now a focus of his purchases. Heinrich Weizsäcker , appointed director in 1891, prepared the first complete catalog of the collection of the Städelsche Kunstinstitut.

In order to support the museum financially, Leopold Sonnemann , the publisher of the Frankfurter Zeitung , founded the Städel Museum Association in 1899 , which now has more than 9,000 members. After Ludwig Justi became director of the museum in 1904 , he acquired an impressionist painting with a picture by Claude Monet , but also added pictures such as The Blinding Simsons by Rembrandt van Rijn to the collection . As a result of the first Frankfurt picture dispute , the director Georg Swarzenski, newly appointed in 1906, became the first joint director of the Städel Art Institute and the newly established Städtische Galerie im Städel in 1907. Now with financial support from the city, modern art has been purchased on a large scale . Swarzenski added most of the French impressionists to the collection until World War I , who are still part of the collection today. There were also contemporary works by artists such as Franz Marc and Max Beckmann , who was also a teacher at the Städelschule . As a result, the museum building was expanded to have more exhibition space.

On the basis of a municipal resolution that Swarzenski obtained in 1922, the Städtische Galerie im Städel received significant loans from the Frankfurt Historical Museum , including the famous little paradise garden from the Prehn collection. Acquisitions from the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen collection followed in 1928 , which had previously been shown in an exhibition at the Städel. In the same year Georg Swarzenski was appointed General Director of the Frankfurt Museums.

Period of National Socialism and World War II

Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh

In 1928 Swarzenski was also appointed general director of the municipal museums . After Adolf Hitler came to power in January 1933, the systematic attack on the contemporary art collections in Frankfurt began. Swarzenski was given a leave of absence as (city) general director in March by the new mayor of the city Friedrich Krebs and finally retired in October of the same year on the basis of the law to restore the civil service due to his Jewish origin. His position has not been refilled. However, Swarzenski was able to continue to run the Städelsche Kunstinstitut until his forced retirement in 1937, as it was a private foundation whose leading body, the “Städel Administration”, initially protected him. Alfred Wolters , director of the municipal collection at the Städel Museum since 1928 , now had to continue to run the gallery under different circumstances. In 1938 the new director of the Städel, Ernst Holzinger, took up his post. He was recommended by Swarzenski's son Hanns Swarzenski .

The “ Degenerate Art ” confiscation campaign at the Städel Museum took place in several stages: as early as 1936, a total of six modern paintings, including works by Beckmann and Kirchner , were requested as loans for a femoral exhibition in Munich at the instigation of the Reich Propaganda Ministry. The works of art never returned to the museum. In July 1937, the first official wave of confiscations took place in the course of which almost 30 works of art from municipal property were withdrawn from the collection. In August 1937 a second, more extensive campaign took place, which killed almost 50 paintings and 600 works on paper. In a final wave of confiscations in December 1937, five further modern works were finally claimed. Only paintings by "foreign" artists were affected, including the portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh . At the instruction of Hermann Göring , who brought it into his control, it was sold by his dealer Sepp Angerer abroad to procure foreign currency.

When the waves of confiscations took place, Swarzenski was still in office as director of the Städelsche Kunstinstitut and witnessed how the museum's modern collection, which he had built up together with Alfred Wolters over three decades, was systematically torn apart. Swarzenski fled to the USA with his family in the fall of 1938.

During the years of the Nazi dictatorship, especially from 1938 onwards, numerous new acquisitions, especially “German” art, were added to the museum's collection, which Holzinger, the director of the Städel Foundation, together with his colleague Wolters, the director of the municipal collection , coordinated. In 1938, the Städtische Galerie acquired 82 paintings from the Lulu Müller collection, which, in addition to works by other artists, included paintings by Victor Müller . In the same year, Sofie Bergman-Küchler's Hans-Thoma collection came into the possession of the city. From the late 1930s onwards, the Gau exhibition for fine arts was shown annually , with a focus on artists from the metropolitan area of ​​Frankfurt with supra-regional importance, including Joseph Kaspar Correggio , Reinhold Ewald , Peter Paul Etz , Ludwig Enders , Karl Friedrich Lippmann , Lino Salini and Albert Windisch . The selection of works was conservative (and thus in conformity with the regime).

Numerous works of art that the museum acquired during the Nazi era came from private Jewish ownership, including the Frankfurt collections of Carl von Weinberg and Maximilian von Goldschmidt-Rothschild , which the city appropriated in 1938. Both Wolters and Holzinger were also active as experts for works of art from Jewish property: From 1939, Wolters became an official expert for the determination of nationally valuable cultural assets on behalf of the foreign exchange office. Holzinger acted on behalf of the Reich Chamber of Culture as an expert for the "safeguarding and exploitation of German cultural assets from Jewish property." To date, more than 50 cases are known for which he was active as an expert for works of art confiscated from Jewish property between the summer of 1941 and the end of 1943 . During this period, Holzinger traveled abroad to occupied France to buy art there. The Städtische Galerie acquired 20 paintings and over 20 sculptures on these “business trips”.

The acquisitions made during the years of the Nazi dictatorship were secured by the American art protection troops ( Monuments Men ) and returned to the countries of origin or brought to the Central Collecting Point Wiesbaden to restore looted art to the rightful owners.

During the Second World War , the Städel Museum's collection was relocated, which protected it from war losses. The works of art were deposited in various locations in and around Frankfurt. The building, on the corner of which flak towers had been erected, was badly damaged in the air raids on Frankfurt am Main . After the end of Nazi rule in 1945, both directors remained in office, Wolters retired in 1948, Holzinger in 1972. According to a list drawn up in 1946, only four of the 18 employees of the Städel Art Institute were unskilled workers in the NSDAP. "After 1937 the Städel no longer had any Jewish employees, but it was also not a stronghold of the National Socialist Party."

post war period

In the post-war period , several important works of art were acquired, including pictures that had been confiscated by the National Socialists in 1937. The museum was supported by foundations and donors. In 1963, the rebuilding of the Städel was completed according to the plan by Johannes Krahn , which largely eliminated the consequences of the National Socialist rule and the Second World War for the museum. After a major fundraising campaign in 1972, the painting could synagogue in Frankfurt by Max Beckmann be purchased. Two years later, Klaus Gallwitz took over the position of director. In his acquisitions, he concentrated on art after the Second World War and contemporary art as well as works of classical modernism . Gallwitz also made it possible to purchase the picture Embarkation to Kythera by Antoine Watteau and thus the addition of the Old Masters collection . The previous focus on showing significant art from the region has been dropped.

Recent history

In 1990 the extension of the Städel designed by Gustav Peichl was inaugurated. Four years later, under the direction of the new director Herbert Beck, renovation work began on the museum building, which lasted until 1999.

In 2006 Max Hollein , who also managed the Schirn-Kunsthalle and the Liebieghaus , took over the office of Beck's director. Under his leadership, the Städel's exhibition activities and the expansion of the contemporary art collection were intensified. In addition, two hundred photographs from the DZ-Bank collection were transferred to a jointly funded GmbH , which means that the Städel expanded into the previously unrepresented field of photography, which until then had only been collected by the Museum of Modern Art. In addition, under Hollein's direction, the planning for an extension began, which was officially opened on February 12, 2012. The underground expansion gave the Städel around 3000 m² more space for the presentation of contemporary art. Thanks to “blockbuster” exhibitions, the Städel was able to celebrate numerous visitor records; in 2012, 447,395 were recorded.

In March 2015, the Städel Museum celebrated its 200th anniversary as a community foundation with an all-day community festival. Against the background of the increasing digitization of everyday life, the expansion of the educational mandate into digital space has since been a central component for the Frankfurt Museum. It places a special focus on expanding its digital education offerings such as the digital collection, digitorials or the Städel course on modernity.

On October 1, 2016, the art historian Philipp Demandt took over the management of the Städel Museum, the Liebieghaus in Frankfurt and the Schirn Kunsthalle . Before that, Demandt was director of the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Successful special exhibitions such as “Lotte Laserstein. Face to Face ”(2018/2019) and the largest and most successful special exhibition in the history of the Städel Museum“ Making Van Gogh. Story of a German Love "(2019/2020) realized.


Model of the extension building
“Roof” of the new museum extension, seen from the Städelschule

The Städel's museum building, which opened in 1878, was built according to plans by the architect Oskar Sommer . It was created on the southern bank of the Main, which is known today as the Museum Bank . The building, built especially as a picture gallery, was built in the neo-renaissance style and is reminiscent of Florentine buildings. In this respect, the Städel is regarded as the forerunner of the opera house from 1880 and the main train station . The sandstone facade is divided into two rows. The windows on the ground floor are arched , those on the upper floor are more complex and are separated by two Ionic columns . The entrance to the building is framed by two statues . One shows Hans Holbein , the other Albrecht Dürer . The historical references in the architecture underline the function of the building as a “temple of art” and also show the cultural ambitions of the city of Frankfurt.

The interior of the building is reserved and takes a back seat to the works of art on display. The only decorative element is the decorated double staircase that leads to the two upper floors. On the ground floor there is the graphic collection with study room on the left, the museum bookshop with café and adjoining library on the right. The cash register is located in the middle of the entrance hall. The first and second floors are home to the “Old Masters” (1300–1800) and the “Modern Art” collection (1800–1945). The first floor also leads to the extension on Holbeinstrasse designed by Gustav Peichl and opened in 1990. This is where the Städel's special exhibitions take place.

The new expansion of the Städel by 3000 square meters was planned for 2008. After a competition among eight internationally successful architects' offices, the eight-member jury unanimously decided on the design by the Frankfurt architects Schneider + Schumacher . He envisaged a spacious museum hall and, for art after 1945, rooms with ceiling openings arranged in a pattern under the Städelgarten. Construction began on September 6, 2009 and opened on February 22, 2012. The project, which cost around 52 million euros (34 million euros for an extension, 18 million euros for the renovation of the old building) was funded by companies, foundations and numerous citizens, 50 percent (around 26 million euros) from private funds and the other half from public funds financed.


Entrance to the 2nd floor "Old Masters" (1300–1800)

The collection presents masterpieces of European art from seven centuries, starting with the early 14th century through the late Gothic , through the Renaissance and Baroque to Goethe's time , from the 19th century and classical modernism to the present.

Late Middle Ages

The collection section of the late Middle Ages mainly includes works from Italy and the German-speaking area. Among them is the mourning John of Deodato di Orlando from around 1300 , which was formerly part of a table cross , one of the oldest paintings in the Städel collection. The museum's holdings also include the Madonna and Child by Barnaba da Modena , which was acquired by the museum in 1830 as one of the first Italian works of art. The painting shows the influences of Byzantine art in the application of paint and the color tones and, in the humanizing depiction of the saints, refers to contemporary painting in Florence and Siena of the 14th century. Three altar panels made by Gherardo Starnina were also created around 1400 . The middle panel shows God the Father, enthroned on clouds and holding an imperial orb in his right hand on which the names of the then known continents of Europe , Asia and Africa are recorded. The other two panels show the Annunciation Angel Gabriel and the Maria Annunziata .

The late medieval art of the German-speaking area is represented by some altar panels. The two panels of the Altenberg Altar by the Rhenish Master represent the oldest works of old German painting in the Städel. The panels primed with gold depict scenes from the New Testament . Another central work of this part of the collection is the paradise garden of the Upper Rhine master . This picture is characterized by a precise reproduction of the natural impression. Twelve species of birds and 24 plants could be clearly identified. Another prominent piece is the Resurrection of Christ by the master of the house book , in which the landscape takes up more space than in comparable works, suggesting Dutch influences.


The collection of the Italian Renaissance includes two ideal female portraits by Sandro Botticelli and Bartolomeo Veneto, respectively . The women are meticulously and finely painted and have particularly eye-catching furnishings. Despite the idealized portrayal, it is assumed that real women served as role models. In Botticelli's painting, for example, a gem can be seen that resembles one from the Medici collection . Therefore, it is believed that it is Simonetta Vespucci , the mistress of Giuliano de 'Medici . Veneto is said to have referred to the illegitimate daughter of the Pope , Lucrezia Borgia , in his picture . The holdings also include religious representations, for example the devotional image of the Madonna and Child, John the Baptist and St. Elisabeth , which was painted by Giovanni Bellini and his workshop at the beginning of the 16th century. The picture is characterized by the fact that all shades of blue were achieved with the precious pigment ultramarine . Even before the year 1500, the painting was Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist by Perugino and Raphael .

Dutch Renaissance painting is represented by Jan van Eyck 's Lucca Madonna from 1437/1438 . The picture belongs to the early oil paintings and can be assigned to a naturalism developed in the Netherlands from 1420 onwards . Another religious work is the painting Ecce Homo made by Hieronymus Bosch between 1480 and 1490 , which deals with the condemnation of Jesus by the crowd. Other important paintings are the Mercy Seat , the Breastfeeding Mother of God and Saint Veronica with the handkerchief by the Master of Flémalle , all of which were painted around 1430. The very detailed pictures were ascribed to Robert Campin in the early 20th century , but are more likely to be assigned to his workshop today. With their exaggerated representation of the motifs as well as the realistic and detailed rendering, the three panels are considered exceptional works in the history of art.

The Renaissance painting of the German-speaking area is represented by the high altar of the Frankfurt Dominican Church by Hans Holbein the Elder ; on the inside there is a representation of the passion story . Next to it is the portrait of Simon George of Cornwall , a work by his son Hans Holbein the Younger . By Lucas Cranach the Elder coming Venus , one borrowed from ancient mythology nude painting, and the Torgauer altar with the Holy Kinship , where among other things, the two principal Frederick the Wise and John the Steadfast are shown.

Baroque and Rococo

The collection of the department of Italian Baroque painting includes the painting Venetian Jugglers in front of the Doge's Palace , which is attributed to Pietro Longhi , in the Städel. This picture shows daily life in Venice at the end of the 18th century. Another image related to this city is the Venice Vedute seen from Riva degli Schiavoni , painted by Giovanni Antonio Canal between 1730 and 1740. This work belongs to the genre of cityscapes that became increasingly popular in the 18th century. However, it is not an exact and realistic image of the city, but a staged memory image for visitors to Venice. The painting The Saints of the Crotta Family by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo , which was painted around 1750, glorifies the commissioning Crotta family, who did not belong to the families who had been living in Venice for a long time, and represents their venerable ancestry. The Storm Landscape with Pyramus and Thisbe by Nicolas Poussin from 1651 is an example of French baroque painting; it is Poussin's greatest landscape painting. Furthermore, Jean-Antoine Watteau's Embarkation for Cythera to see. Due to the composition, which is reminiscent of a stage, as well as the clothing of the people portrayed, it is assumed that the comedy Les Trois Cousines by Florent Dancourt served as inspiration and that Watteau did not limit himself to the pure representation of an ancient story.

The Städel also shows some masterpieces of Dutch baroque painting from the Golden Age , such as Jan Vermeer's painting The Geographer , which was created in 1668/1669 and is a counterpart to Vermeer's work The Astronomer . Both works of art show a scientist at work. The paintings David Plays the Harp for Saul and The Blinding Simsons by Rembrandt van Rijn can also be seen. The latter is one of the most important works of Rembrandt today. Under the landscape painting, the collection holdings also show Jan van Goyen's painting Das Haarlemer Meer , the still life painting, along with other works, the still life with fruits, pate and drinking utensils by Jan Davidsz. de Heem . Examples of portraits from this era are the two oval portraits of a man and a woman by Frans Hals , while the portrayal of a farmer is shown in the picture The Bitter Drink by Adriaen Brouwer .

Adam Elsheimer is a representative of German painting of this era with the Frankfurt cross altar , which was made between 1605 and 1609. The central panel of this altar shows The Glorification of the Cross and is surrounded by panels depicting the legend of the cross. With the still life with bread and sugar , a meal picture by Georg Flegel belongs to the Städel. Flegel is known for this sub-genre of the still life, with which he had great success. With a view of St. Peter in Rome , a landscape painting by Jacob Philipp Hackert , in which he combined an ideal landscape representation with romantic elements, is part of the collection. A particularly important work is Goethe in the Campagna by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein , which is considered the most famous picture by this painter.

19th century

The Städel's holdings of 19th century French painting include, for example, the works Fantasia arabe by Eugène Delacroix , the View of Marino in the Alban Hills by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and The Wave by Gustave Courbet , also with French Orchard at harvest time a landscape by Charles-François Daubignys . A particularly important work for Frankfurt is the cityscape view of Frankfurt am Main with the Old Bridge from Sachsenhausen by Courbet, who, with his stay in the city, gave impetus to the artistic environment there. Impressionist paintings in the Städel also include Houses on the Banks of the Zaan and The Breakfast (Le Déjeuner) by Claude Monet , The Croquet Part by Édouard Manet , orchestral musician by Edgar Degas and At the end of breakfast by Pierre-Auguste Renoir . Odilon Redon with the image of Christ and the Samaritan woman , on the other hand, is a representative of symbolism .

The German art of this time is represented alongside works by other painters by the painting The Thousand Year Oak by Carl Friedrich Lessing , the landscape with the Rosenberg in Bohemian Switzerland by Caspar David Friedrich and the painting Rosenduft-Memories by Carl Spitzweg . The Städel also owns Max Liebermann's picture, painted in 1881/1882, The Court of the Orphanage in Amsterdam (free period in the Amsterdam orphanage) , which was acquired in 1900, contrary to the widespread critical position against Impressionism. It was made by Lieberman because of his trip to the Netherlands, where he had worked intensively with the representation of the light situation, as well as other representatives of the Berlin Secession the parrot keeper of Paul Klimsch of 1901. The painting seaside villa that which from 1871 to 1874 by Swiss painter Arnold Böcklin shows a symbolic kind of imagery. Giovanni Segantini's painting Auf dem Schafberg near Pontresina (Alpine landscape at sunset) from 1898 can also be assigned to this romantic symbolism .


Access to the new rooms in the basement, contemporary art 1945 – today

The modern art department shows works of all major styles. So about Pablo Picasso's painting Portrait of Fernande Olivier in 1909 an example of Cubism . The picture Still Life (Fleurs et céramique: Les capucines) by Henri Matisse , which was painted between 1911 and 1913, comes from his artistic phase after Fauvism . Furthermore is Expressionist fully represented in the collection. In addition to the painting Jealousy by Edvard Munch , who is considered to be one of the pioneers of this art movement, these include above all the works of the important artist groups Brücke and Blauer Reiter . Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's Nude with Hat and Variety Show (English Dancing Couple) , Erich Heckel's Holstein Landscape , Franz Marc's Lying Dog in Snow and Emil Nolde's Sea are examples. Further facilities include The Synagogue in Frankfurt am Main and Still Life with saxophone by Max Beckmann and two girls by August Macke for inventory.

With the painting The Artist's Family by Otto Dix , in which he ironically received the motif of the Holy Family , the collection also includes the New Objectivity . With the image Aquis submersus of Max Ernst is Surrealism represented. Examples of the Bauhaus style are half-figure to the left by Oskar Schlemmer and works by Paul Klee .

Contemporary art

The extension building opened in 2012 houses the collection of contemporary art in the Städel Museum. One of the most prominent works in the Städel's collection of contemporary art (1945 to the present day) is Francis Bacon's study for the nurse in Eisenstein's 1957 film “Battleship Potemkin” . Bacon thus received the silent film Battleship Potemkin by Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein based on a still image the head-hit nurse on the steps of the port of Odessa . Other paintings are the head of Georg Baselitz and Jörg Immendorff's Kaltmut , in which the latter referred to the Cold War . There are also pictures by Martin Kippenberger , Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke and others.

The Blue Sponge Relief (Little Night Music) by Yves Klein , Inca by Richard Serra , Flower Power by Wolf Vostell , Ways of World Wisdom: The Hermanns Battle by Anselm Kiefer and Untitled by Donald Judd also belong to the Städel collection. A special work is Andy Warhol's screen printing series Goethe from 1982. In it, the artist received the representation of Goethe in Tischbein's painting, which is also in the Städel. The series was a gift from Warhol to the museum.

In January 2011, the donor Dorette Hildebrand-Staab donated three works by Georg Baselitz from the time after he moved from the GDR in the early 1960s and a picture by his companion Eugen Schönebeck from 1966 to the collection.


The photography collection is the youngest of the Städel Museum. Works of contemporary photography that the DZ Bank donated to the Städel Museum in 2008 form the basis . These include works by Nobuyoshi Araki , Thomas Demand , Andreas Gursky , David Hockney , Candida Höfer , Marie-Jo Lafontaine , Thomas Ruff , Katharina Sieverding , Thomas Struth , Hiroshi Sugimoto , Wolfgang Tillmans , Jeff Wall and Andy Warhol . Further important works came from the Wiegand photography collection in 2011. The bundle shows the development of the medium and spans a historical arc from the early days through pictorialism at the turn of the century to classical modernism. Artists such as Eugène Atget , Brassaï , Julia Margaret Cameron , André Kertész , Heinrich Kühn , Dora Maar , Eadweard Muybridge , Nadar , Man Ray , Erich Salomon , August Sander , Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz are represented . The historical link between these two collections was closed with the acquisition of the extensive collection from Annette and Rudolf Kicken . Over 1,100 works of New Objectivity, Bauhaus photography or so-called “subjective photography” depict the most important tendencies in European photographic art in the first half of the 20th century and include works by Leopold Ahrendts , Gertrud Arndt , Hugo Erfurth , Rudolf Koppitz and Heinrich Kühn , Man Ray, Albert Renger-Patzsch , Franz Roh , Werner Rohde , August Sander and Otto Steinert . Within the Städel's collection presentation, the medium of photography can be seen side by side with paintings and sculptures from the respective epoch.

Graphic collection

The Städel's graphic collection includes over 100,000 drawings and graphics from the late Middle Ages to the modern age. It is one of the most important of its kind in Germany.

The works include works by important and well-known artists. An example is Titian's study for Saint Sebastian of the high altar in SS. Nazaro e Celso, Brescia , which is one of the painter's few drawings. Due to the artistic elaboration of the line by Titian, this study appears very vivid. The collection contains drawings, woodcuts and copperplate engravings by Albrecht Dürer . In the famous drawing from Nuremberg woman and Venetian woman , he juxtaposes the different styles of both places. His copper engraving, Die Melancholie, is world-famous and, due to the complexity of Albrecht Dürer's iconography, cannot be deciphered. Rembrandt van Rijn's drawing Drunken Lot is one of his few well-known and signed drawings. This finely structured study shows an old, drunk man just awakening from his intoxication.

More modern graphic works are, for example, the pastel Sunset by Eugène Delacroix , in which he captured the impression of nature with sweeping strokes. The landscape is so withdrawn in its depiction that instead of a concrete space it makes one think of infinity. The drawings Kastanien-Allée in Jas de Bouffan by Paul Cézanne are part of the collection, a Berlin street scene by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner , A Cup by Pablo Picasso and Figure by Jackson Pollock also belong to the Städel.


The Städel owns 660 sculptures , only a fraction of which is on display. Auguste Rodin's sculpture Eva is one of these few . It was initially planned as part of a gate to hell with an Adam as a counterpart, which Rodin then rejected. Since the model of Eve was pregnant, even this figure was not completed, which can be seen in the face and the restless surface. Rodin saw the surface as a novelty that initiated his Impressionist creative phase. Furthermore, the constructive head No. 1 by Naum Gabo is shown, which is constructed from different surfaces. In 2007 two more sculptures were acquired and will be exhibited. On the one hand Ascension from 1929 by Otto Freundlich , whose works were considered “degenerate” during the reign of National Socialism, and Dancer (Spagat) by Max Beckmann , which was created around 1935.

Since the reopening of the Städel Garden around the museum building, there have been works by Joannis Avramidis , Reg Butler , Adolf Luther , Olaf Nicolai , Arthur Volkmann , and contemporary sculptures are also exhibited there from time to time. Since 1976, works by artists such as Joseph Beuys , Ulrich Rückriem , Richard Serra , Anthony Caro , George Rickey and David Smith have been shown here in group and solo exhibitions . On the occasion of significant new acquisitions of installation and, in some cases, interactive works by Olaf Nicolai, Tobias Rehberger, Jan Svenungsson and Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, the Städel re-presented its garden and the sculpture collection exhibited there in April 2013.

Special exhibitions

In addition to the permanent exhibition, the Städel also shows special exhibitions that deal with the work of individual artists and their environment, collections from other museums or collectors, art and work genres and contemporary art. In addition, there is often an exhibition for the final year of the Städelschule .

An example of special exhibitions at the Städel is the exhibition Animal sculptures in the 19th and 20th centuries from 1995, in which the sculpture collection was presented on a larger scale. This was followed in 1997 by Johannes Vermeer - 'The Geographer' and 'The Astronomer' reunited after 200 years as well as Von Füssli to Menzel , who showed works from a private collection in Munich. In 2000, the exhibition After Life and From Fantasy took place, in which graphic works from the Netherlands between 1500 and 1800 belonging to the Städel's collection were presented. In 2001, for example, there was the double exhibition Nelly - Dresden, Athens, New York and Im Lichte des Helios , which presented works by the photographer Nelly on the one hand, and showed early Greek photography on the other. With the exhibition German Art. German Art from the American Perspective from 2004, on the other hand, German artists, such as works by Joseph Beuys , Jörg Immendorff , Anselm Kiefer , Sigmar Polke and others, who are in the collection of the Saint Louis Art Museum , were presented. Contemporary art is honored with the exhibition series Constellations , which has been held three times since 2006.

The Städel also had major cross-museum exhibitions, such as Cranach the Elder from 2007, which showed 70 masterpieces by this painter and was subsequently presented in 2008 at the Royal Academy of Arts in London . In 2005, The Magic of the Everyday was shown, which was created in collaboration with the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam and presented works of genre painting by artists such as Jan Vermeer and Pieter de Hooch .

The last exhibition under the direction of Max Hollein from June 30 to October 23, 2016, was Georg Baselitz under the theme “The Heroes”. From October 2019 to February 2020 there was the special exhibition "Making Van Gogh - Story of a German Love".

A selection of special exhibitions since 2009

  • Edvard Munch (2009)
  • Botticelli (2009-2010)
  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (2010)
  • Beckmann & America (2011–2012)
  • Painting in Photography (2012)
  • Claude Lorrain (2012)
  • Dürer (2013-2014)
  • Emil Nolde (2014)
  • Monet (2015)
  • Georg Baselitz (2016)
  • Photographs become images (2017)
  • Rubens (2018)
  • Victor Vasarely (2018-2019)
  • Titian and the Renaissance in Venice (2019)
  • MAKING VAN GOGH (2019-2020)

Creative Commons for more than 22,000 works of art

The Städel Museum makes more than 22,000 works of art freely available in its digital collection with the Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 4.0. The museum announced this in a press release on August 20, 2020. This approval enables a broad public interested in art to reproduce and share the public domain images of the works with reference to the Städel Museum and to use and edit them for any purpose.


Overview works on the collection

  • Gabriel Dette, Katrin Dyballa, Almut Pollmer-Schmidt, Jochen Sander, Fabian Wolf, Max Hollein (preface): Old Masters 1300–1800 in the Städel Museum . Ed .: Max Hollein, Jochen Sander. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2011, ISBN 978-3-7757-3026-6 .
  • Max Hollein, Felix Krämer (eds.): Modern Art 1800–1945 in the Städel Museum , Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2011, ISBN 978-3-7757-3027-3 .
  • Martin Engler, Max Hollein (ed.): Contemporary Art 1945-today in the Städel Museum , Ostfildern 2012, ISBN 978-3-7757-3028-0 .
  • Eva Mongi-Vollmer: Masterpieces in the Städel Museum . Selected works from the collection of the Städel Museum, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main 2007, ISBN 978-3-9809701-3-6 (English edition under the title: Masterworks at the Städel Museum ).
  • Bodo Brinkmann (editor): Städelsches Kunstinstitut and Städtische Galerie Frankfurt am Main , Prestel, Munich a. a. 1999, ISBN 3-7913-2204-4 .
  • Felix Krämer, Max Hollein (Ed.): Lichtbilder. Photography in the Städel Museum from the beginnings to 1960 , Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, 2014, ISBN 978-3-941399-39-6 (On the occasion of the exhibition: Lichtbilder. Photography in the Städel Museum from the beginnings to 1960, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, July 9 - October 5, 2014 = Photography at the Städel Museum from the beginning to 1960 ).
  • Corina Meyer: The Birth of the Bourgeois Art Museum - Johann Friedrich Städel and his Art Institute in Frankfurt am Main , published by: SMB Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Institute for Museum Research (= Berlin writings on museum research ), G + H Verlag, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978 -3-940939-26-5 (Dissertation TU Berlin 2013, 550 pages).

Catalogs of the paintings in the Städelsche Kunstinstitut Frankfurt am Main

  • Jochen Sander: Dutch paintings in the Städel. 1400-1500. [Ed.]: Klaus Gallwitz u. Jochen Sander, Mainz 1993, ISBN 3-8053-1444-2 .
  • Bodo Brinkmann, Stephan Kemperdick: German paintings in the Städel. 1300-1500. [Ed.]: Herbert Beck u. Jochen Sander, Mainz 2002, ISBN 3-8053-2920-2 .
  • Bodo Brinkmann, Stephan Kemperdick: German paintings in the Städel. 1500-1550. [Ed.]: Herbert Beck u. Jochen Sander, Mainz 2005, ISBN 3-8053-3350-1 .
  • Rudolf Hiller von Gaertringen: Italian paintings in the Städel 1300–1550. Tuscany and Umbria. [Ed.]: Herbert Beck u. Jochen Sander, Mainz 2004, ISBN 3-8053-3004-9 .
  • Jochen Sander: Italian paintings in the Städel 1300–1550. Northern Italy, the Marches and Rome. [Ed.]: Herbert Beck u. Jochen Sander, Mainz 2004, ISBN 3-8053-3314-5 .
  • Agnes Tieze : Flemish paintings in the Städel Museum. 1550-1800. Part 1: Artists from A – R. [Ed.]: Max Hollein u. Jochen Sander, Petersberg 2009, ISBN 978-3-86568-195-9 .
  • Agnes Tieze: Flemish paintings in the Städel Museum. 1550-1800. Part 2: Artists S – Z and anonymous. [Ed.]: Max Hollein u. Jochen Sander, Petersberg 2009, ISBN 978-3-86568-195-9 .
  • Mirjam Neumeister: Dutch paintings in the Städel 1550–1800. Volume 1: Artist born until 1615. [Ed.]: Herbert Beck, Michael Maek-Gérard u. Jochen Sander, Petersberg 2005, ISBN 3-937251-36-7 .
  • León Krempel: Dutch paintings in the Städel 1550–1800. Volume 2: Artists born 1615 to 1630. [Eds.]: Herbert Beck, Michael Maek-Gérard u. Jochen Sander, Petersberg 2005, ISBN 3-937251-37-5 .
  • Mirjam Neumeister: Dutch paintings in the Städel 1550–1800. Volume 3: Artist born after 1630 , ed. v. Max Hollein u. Jochen Sander, Petersberg 2010, ISBN 978-3-86568-541-4 .

Collection history

  • Uwe Fleckner, Max Hollein (Ed.): Museum in contradiction. The Städel and National Socialism (= publications of the research center “Degenerate Art”. Volume 6). Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-05-004919-9 .

Newspaper reports

  • Julia Voss : Museum noise - Frankfurt simplicity . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . May 23, 2008 ( - about the competence disputes regarding modern art in Frankfurt).
  • Hanno Rauterberg : champagne and currywurst. The Städel Museum in Frankfurt knows how to defy all crises: with a wonderful extension and a lot of citizenship . In: The time . No. 09 , February 23, 2012 ( ).


  • The digital communication and educational offerings were awarded ten specialist prizes in 2015 - from the Grimme Online Award for the digitorials to the award as the best program of the year for the Städel game Imagoras .
  • Members of the German section of the International Association of Art Critics ( AICA ) chose the house as Museum of the Year 2012.


Web links

Commons : Städel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Website of the museum |
  2. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer: Masterpieces in the Städel Museum , Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main 2007, p. 8
  3. a b History of the Museum |
  4. Städelsches Kunstinstitut | Initiative Frankfurter Stiftungen eV Accessed on December 5, 2018 (German).
  5. ^ History. Retrieved December 5, 2018 .
  6. [_id_inhalt] = 1836369
  7. Andreas Hansert: History of the Städel Museum Association Frankfurt . Städelscher Museums-Verein, Frankfurt am Main 1994. Page 12.
  8. ^ Frank-Olaf Brauerhoch, The city and its (art) museums , in: Rolf Lautrer (Ed.) Art in Frankfurt 1945 to today , p. 299 ff., Societätsverlag, Frankfurt am Main 1995, ISBN 3-7973-0581 -8th
  9. Monica Kingreen: How Museums Appropriated Art from Jewish Ownership , Frankfurter Rundschau, May 9, 2000, accessed on July 13, 2015
  10. Uwe Fleckner, Max Hollein (ed.): Museum in contradiction . The Städel and National Socialism (= writings of the research center “Degenerate Art”, Vol. 6), Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-05-004919-9
  11. Uwe Fleckner, Max Hollein (ed.): Museum in contradiction . The Städel and National Socialism Berlin 2011, p. 111
  12. Niklas Maak : The future of the Frankfurt present. In: FAZ , June 19, 2008.
  13. Contemporary art underground. Süddeutsche Zeitung, accessed on February 18, 2020 .
  14. ^ FAZ on January 9, 2013 | record at Schirn, Städel and Liebieghaus ( memento of December 19, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) accessed on October 24, 2014.
  15. Bürgerfest - A present for everyone ( Memento from March 15, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  16. Philipp Demandt becomes the new director of Städel and Liebieghaus. In: June 24, 2016, archived from the original on August 11, 2016 ; accessed on June 24, 2016 .
  17. ^ Claus-Jürgen Göpfert: Kunsthalle Frankfurt: Demandt also directs the Schirn. In: July 29, 2016. Retrieved August 6, 2016 .
  18. ^ Rose-Maria Gropp: Städel Museum: Philipp Demandt becomes the new director. In: Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  19. Städel Museum Frankfurt - rediscovery of the painter Lotte Laserstein. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  20. a b Cynthia Saltzman: The portrait of Dr. Gachet. Biography of a masterpiece. Insel-Verlag, Frankfurt 2000. Page 158.
  21. Städel - Reopening of the Contemporary Art Collection.
  22. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, Frankfurt am Main 2007, p. 18
  23. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 32
  24. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 43
  25. Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 50
  26. Eva Mongi-Vollmer, pp. 56–57
  27. Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 66
  28. Stephan Kemperdick, Jochen Sander (ed.): The master of Flémalle and Rogier van der Weyden. Exhibition catalog of the Städel Museum Frankfurt, November 21, 2008 - February 22, 2009 and the Gemäldegalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, March 20, 2009 - June 21, 2009. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2008, ISBN 978-3-7757-2258-2 .
  29. Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 70
  30. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 90
  31. Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 102
  32. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 107
  33. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 111
  34. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 128
  35. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 139
  36. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 148
  37. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 182
  38. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 188
  39. ^ Image: Portrait of Fernande Olivier by Pablo Picasso
  40. ^ Image: Still life with saxophone by Max Beckmann
  41. ^ Image: The family of the artist by Otto Dix
  42. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 224
  43. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 236
  44. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 246
  45. Image: Blue sponge relief (Little Night Music) by Yves Klein
  46. Flower Power by Wolf Vostell
  47. Ways of world wisdom: The Hermann battle by Anselm Kiefer
  48. Image: Goethe ( memento from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) by Andy Warhol
  49. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 268
  50. Felix Krämer and Max Hollein (eds.): Lichtbilder. Photography in the Städel Museum from its beginnings to 1960 , Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, 2014, p. XVI
  51. Information about the Städel on the website of the Working Group of Independent Cultural Institutes (AsKI), accessed on July 21, 2012
  52. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 59
  53. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 86
  54. Information on the drawing Der drunkenness Lot on, accessed on June 21, 2008
  55. ^ Eva Mongi-Vollmer, p. 154
  56. Image: Constructive head No. 1 by Naum Gabo
  57. ^ Exhibition on the website of the Städel
  58. Städelsches Kunstinstitut and Städtische Galerie on , accessed on June 28, 2008
  59. ^ Post on the Städel blog
  60. ^ Special exhibitions at the Städel ( Memento from June 26, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  61. ( Memento from July 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  62. Making Van Gogh ( Memento from January 6, 2020 in the Internet Archive )
  63. Edvard Munch. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  64. Botticelli. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  65. ^ Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  66. Beckmann & America. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  67. Painting in Photography. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  68. Claude Lorrain. The enchanted landscape. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  69. Dürer. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  70. Emil Nolde. Retrospective. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  71. Monet and the Birth of Impressionism. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  72. Georg Baselitz. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  73. Photographs become images. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  74. ^ Rubens. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  75. Victor Vasarely. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  76. ^ Titian and the Renaissance in Venice. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  77. Making Van Gogh. Retrieved February 18, 2020 .
  78. Städel Museum: CREATIVE COMMONS: THE STÄDEL MUSEUM MAKES MORE THAN 22,000 WORKS OF ART AVAILABLE FOR FREE. Press release (PDF) from August 20, 2020
  79. Abstract (German and English), Alexandra Enzensberger: Review of: Meyer, Corina: The birth of the bourgeois art museum. Johann Friedrich Städel and his art institute in Frankfurt am Main (= Berlin writings on museum research , Volume 32). Berlin 2013. In: H-ArtHist. November 12, 2014,, last accessed March 14, 2015.
  80. ^ Frankfurter Städel: Grimme Online Award and record number of visitors . In: FAZ.NET . ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed February 18, 2020]).
  81. Seminar Grimme Online Award 2016: Imagoras - The return of images | woven across. Retrieved on February 18, 2020 (German).
  82. ^ Sü of January 29, 2013 ( Memento of February 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on January 29, 2013
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on July 1, 2008 .

Coordinates: 50 ° 6 ′ 11.2 "  N , 8 ° 40 ′ 26.4"  E