'So fing man einfach an,ohne viele Worte'('So,one just began, without many words'}, a Symposium at the Museum Ludwig Cologne 9-10 November 2012

Events and Conferences

A conference about the nature of exhibiting and the politics of collecting in Germany in the first years after the Second World War, organised by the Museum Ludwig in Cologne.

In 1946 the Cologne lawyer, Joseph Haubricht, donated his collection of modern art to the Wallraf-Richarz Museum in Cologne which became the foundation of the Museum's modern art collection. Recently, the collection has been thoroughly researched and is being newly presented in the Museum Ludwig where it has been housed since 1986.

In the Symposium, Haubricht and his donation will be placed into the wider context of the period - with the central question of how were Germany museum collections built up in the period 1945-1955. What were the specific motives, driving forces and institutional frameworks for this Germany-wide reconstruction of museums?  How did this relate to the wider situation of the time? Which criteria determined acquisition policies? To what extent was contemporary art collection in parallel with the rehabilitation of modern work from the earlier part of the century? To what extent did the occupying forces have any cultural and political influence?

The Symposium will include contributions about museums, art theory and the reception of modern art in Germany post-war. It aims to provide a first representative profile of the activities of museums in collecting in the post-war period.

To see the programme of speakers and subjects, click here.

The Symposium is open to the public and entry is free. To register, email

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