Folkwang owes its reputation to its outstanding collections of German and French paintings from the 19th century, classical modern art and art from 1945 onwards. Alongside the comprehensive graphic art collection, a photography department was set up in 1978 and is now regarded as one of the most renowned collections of its kind in Europe.
The German Poster Museum, one of the largest poster collections in Europe with over 350,000 posters, is also affiliated to the Museum Folkwang. Known for its major special exhibitions, the museum’s activities also concentrate on contemporary art. In August 2006, Prof. Berthold Beitz, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Foundation, announced that the Foundation as sole patron would provide funding for the extension of the Museum Folkwang.
David Chipperfield Architects subsequently won the international architectural competition organised by the City of Essen. The building will be built by the company „Neubau Museum Folkwang Essen GmbH“, which is part of the Wolff group, and will be inaugurated in 2010, coinciding with Essen’s and the Ruhr District’s year as European Capital of Culture. David Chipperfield Architects’ new museum building will extend the existing listed building of the Museum Folkwang, maintaining its autonomy and continuing its architectural principle with an ensemble of six buildings and four courtyards with gardens and arcades. The public spaces will be located on the ground floor, on the existing building’s exhibition level. A generous outside staircase will lead from Bismarckstraße to the new entrance space, a protected courtyard with café, restaurant and book shop.
The new Museum Folkwang will provide a variety of exhibition spaces with differing natural light situations, as well as further museum facilities – a library with reading room, a multifunctional room for lectures and events, administration, storage and restoration workshops. The new museum addresses the city’s centre and will create a new urban highlight together with the adjacent Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities.
The new building of the Museum Folkwang was opened on 30th of January 2010.
The admission to the permanent collection is free except special exhibitions – kindly supported by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung.
The museum on google maps: