The museum is a place of things. The Kunstmuseen Krefeld have been collecting works deriving from its exhibitions and projects since 1897. This extensive collection encompassing over 20,000 works presents an extraordinarily large and colorful offering today. It not only takes us to distant lands and civilizations but also informs us about local developments in the fields of art, design and architecture. The museum’s holdings range from the Late Middle Ages to contemporary times, from paintings, porcelain cups and chairs to the most recent computer-based installations.
Artists (selection): Thorvald Bindesböll, Heinrich Campendonk, Max Ernst, Erich Heckel, Alexey Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky, Yves Klein, Gaston La Touche, Sol LeWitt, Heinrich Nauen, Helmut Macke, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Moritz von Schwind, Jacopo Sansovino, Carl Spitzweg, Thomas Struth
Collection in Motion permanently presents selected holdings on the first floor of the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum. In the process, the objects are in a constant state of transformation as a result of alternating stagings. Concealed layers of meaning - symbolism, historical background, materiality, production, use, origin and migration - are uncovered and re-contextualized. The aura of the original that makes past epochs tangible join up with topical questions and present day historical insights. In addition, the collection has undergone a lively interdisciplinary opening thanks to the conjuncture of fine and applied art as well as of such diverse genres as sculpture and photography, design and art object. The museum’s history and the dedication of numerous citizens, the Freunde der Kunstmuseen Krefeld e.V. and the Heinz and Marianne Ebers Foundation make up the overall framework for the narratives concerning the development of the collection. A total of 15 different distinctive stories are strung together in the 15 rooms on the floor - without following a specific chronology. Scene changes in the individual galleries regularly ensure for motion in this permanent collection presentation. Not only are familiar works being shown in new contexts but things are also being displayed that have long been waiting in the museum’s storage facilities for a public presentation. The inspiration behind the 15 Rooms 15 Stories format are the so-called period rooms with which the museum concept was readjusted around 1900. Friedrich Deneken, the first director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, similarly gathered furniture, paintings and everyday objects from a specific epoch in a single room in order to help visitors experience the homogeneous, concentrated atmosphere of a period style like the Renaissance or the Baroque. Today, it is not a period that defines a room but rather the multiperspectival potentials of the individual things.
Collection in Motion unites a long-term and simultaneously mobile presence of the collection in a single concept. As such, it reflects the diversity of the museum’s holdings and points out different layers of meaning while making highlights of the collection as well as special groups of works equally accessible.