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History of the Museum

Towards the end of the 19th century, there was a reorientation in the focus of the museum in terms of content. The institution became the "Provinzialmuseum Bonn (Provincial Bonn)" in 1874 with a scientific research department attached to it. Under the jurisdiction of the "Rhineland Provincial Administration", today's Rhineland Regional Council (LVR), the focus shifted in favor of the history of the region - an emphasis that remains to this day. The new museum was built in 1893 according to plans by Clemens Guinbert, and was already expanded by an annex in 1909. Today this annex is the old museum building of the LandesMuseum , which originally housed the painting gallery. The collection of works from the Renaissance to the 19th century stems to a great extent from the collector couple Otto and Mathilde Wesendonck and has a special emphasis on 17th-century Netherlandish painting. Under the Nazi regime, the museum was redefined temporarily to fit with the prevailing ideology. In its reformulated self-perception as a "Peoples' Museum or Museum of Education", great parts of the collection were diminished, and in turn expanded again with stolen and looted art. In 1939 the museum, which had been known as the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn since 1934, was closed to the public until 1944. Only when the museum was refounded after World War II was the chronologically structured collection expanded to include art of the modern era and contemporary art, particularly from the Rhineland. The Rhenish Expressionists are now present in the collection, as are Constructivist and realistic tendencies as well as artists of the New Objectivity. Post-war art after 1945 is represented here today, especially positions of abstract and conceptual art. An important focus of the art collection is the extensive holdings on the history of photography from the 1920s to the present day. At the end of the 1980s, comprehensive renovation and remodeling work of the museum was launched. In addition to a new facade, the structure of the museum rooms was changed. The works in the permanent collection may be experienced now according to their set up in nine thematic areas. This "Museum of Themes" shows objects from various times and contexts in dialogue with one another. It approaches the broad spectrum of the collection in thematic groups such as "From the Primal Landscape to the Urban Landscape" or "Power and Powers", beyond any notion of chronological order. Since 2008, this museum, the largest of the Rhineland Regional Council, bears the name LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn.


LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn, Colmantstr. 14-16, 53115 Bonn

Tel. +49 (0) 228 / 2070 - 0, Fax +49 (0) 228 / 2070 - 299

Opening Hours Museum

TUE - FRI, SON 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., SAT 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., MON closed

Guided tours for school groups available from 10 a.m.

Opening Hours Library

MON - FRI 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.