Frankfurt as a museum centre

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
At the Icon Museum

At the Icon Museum

When I first went to Frankfurt in the late 1970’s, it was a city of finance, money and commerce. I might have missed the art galleries and some of the museums but it didn’t seem to be much of a cultural centre in those days.

Not so today. As I mentioned earlier, I was surprised to see just how many museums and galleries Frankfurt had when I was there last year.

So many, in fact, that I didn’t see anywhere near as many as I would have liked. There are over 60 different museum and gallery sites in the city nine of the most well-known being found along the riverbank (Museumsufer) where you’ll find the Schirn, Städel, the German Film Museum and the Icon Museum.

This year there are some cracking exhibitions for the traveller and that includes those hubbing at Frankfurt Airport. Take an earlier flight and get four or five hours downtown before your connecting flight and you can catch up on some of the best exhibitions around.

Starting in a week’s time on February 26th at the Schirn Kunsthalle is an exhibition about the Spanish artist, Joan Miró who had such an impact on design and surreal art. He created his very own pictorial language using lines, colours, figures and symbols.



At the famous Städel Museum from the 24th of February there is a show called Maniera which considers Italian art representing the famous Florentine style of Mannerism. It will be the first time that the works of artists such as Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Rosso, Bronzino and Vasari. In the late Spring a new exhibition will feature the works of Georg Baselitz. Entitled The Heroes, this show will focus on the problems and contradictions of Germany in the transitory period of the 1960s, between post-war recovery and economic miracle.

Frankfurt’s Museum of Modern Art has an exhibition, The Imagined Museum, in which visitors are confronted with a futuristic scenario in which they are urged to memorise the artworks before they disappear, remaining with them only in “imaginary” form. The artworks have come from our own Tate, The Pompidou in Paris and the museum’s own collection.

The Jewish Museum Frankfurt has been closed for nearly two years but will re-open on March 20th with a look at Frankfurt’s Jewish population. The new collection simultaneously marks the first time that paintings, ritual objects, everyday articles, books and historical documents dating back to the time of Frankfurt’s famous Jewish ghetto (“Judengasse”) are presented alongside the museum’s archaeological artefacts.

With “Diversity matters!” the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History will be taking a closer look at the abundance of species existing of our planet and their endangerment by mankind. The interactive exhibition, which opened on 18th February, will show why biodiversity is so essential to all of us.

The Liebieghaus, has an exhibition entitled “Athens. Triumph of Imagery” which opens in early May. This show aims to acquaint visitors with ancient Greece and its many rituals, processions and festivals during its golden age.

the trophy cabinet at Eintracht

the trophy cabinet at Eintracht

As well as heritage museums there are a few unusual ones to be found. In the Dialogue Museum, visitors enter into conversations with blind and disabled people to talk about blindness, disablilty and social discrimination. In six experience rooms visitors sense the world from the perspective of people who cannot see. They are guided by the blind employees thus providing an equal footing for all.

Or how about the Eintracht Frankfurt Museum, the museum of the local football team which plays in the Bundesliga? Then there is the Museum of Comic Art which has more than 4,000 original caricatures from what is known as the New Frankfurt School. It was this group that made Frankfurt known as the “capital of satire.” And it has the Frankfurt Transport Museum at the end of tram line 12 in Schwanheim where trams, buses and railway items are on display. Be warned though, this museum is privately run and is only open on Sundays and public holidays.


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