‘ArtCity’ Struts Its Stuff

Dusseldorf excels in the fine arts

By: Jonathan Siskin

This is the first Image
An exhibit at Duesseldorf’s
2007 Contemporary Art Fair.
Primarily known as a host city for a multitude of trade fairs, meetings and conventions, the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia (population 580,000) is seeking to become a major player on the international art scene.

“The market for contemporary art is booming, and Dusseldorf is well positioned to profit from this trend as it contains some of the finest art museums in Germany as well as a high density of collectors,” said Michaela Klare, regional manager of the Americas for the German National Tourist Office. “With 20 museums and over 100 galleries, ArtCity is attracting growing numbers of art aficionados from North America as well as from countries throughout Europe.”

Klare also noted that Dusseldorf has the highest budget devoted to promoting arts and culture of any city in the Rhineland. The marketing strategy for ArtCity is based on the city’s artistic legacy dating back to the opening of the Kunstakademie (Academy of the Arts) in 1772.

Newest of the New
Several important art-related developments have made news this year. Dusseldorf’s first Contemporary Art Fair received rave reviews when it debuted this past April as it played host to a select group of high-quality galleries from the U.S.A and Europe.

“The newest art venue on the block is the underground museum Kunst im Tunnel (Art in the Tunnel) which opened in February and showcases the works of up-and-coming young artists,” Klare said.

Known as KIT, the museum was an instant success as it attracted more than 7,000 visitors during its first two weeks of operation. There have also been some outstanding individual shows held during the first half of this year, including a Picasso show featuring his late works, which ran from March to June. Another much-anticipated development on the cultural scene is the renovation of the Opera House which is scheduled for completion in August.

KIT complements the modern and avant garde collections on display in K20 and K21 the Museum of Modern Art and Museum of Contemporary Art, respectively. During its 40 years of existence, K20 has gained prominence worldwide for its esteemed collection of 20th-century works, while K21 is a museum for the 21st century with its modern and avant garde works from 1970 to the present.

The Museum Kunst Palace is known for its diverse collection, encompassing classical masterpieces and contemporary art from five continents. Of special interest here is a renowned graphics collection with many important Italian baroque drawings.

Beyond City Limits
Dusseldorf’s aesthetic appeal is augmented by several museums within an hour’s drive of downtown. Art and nature blend seamlessly on 50 acres of parks and meadowlands located on nearby Hombroich Island that is home to an art colony and museum created by landscape planner Bernhard Corte. Several artists live and work on this island, which also has a private museum made up of 11 pavilions displaying a wide range of artistic creations. Another special art venue on Hombroich is the museum of the Langen Foundation, which has an extensive collection consisting of 500 works of Japanese art and another 300 paintings by an impressive roster of painters.

Situated on the banks of the Rhine, south of the city, is magnificent Benrath Castle. Formerly a royal residence and hunting lodge during the 18th century, this ensemble of palace and gardens forms an architectural synthesis of great cultural and historical significance. Just beyond city limits is Schloss Dyckan, an enchanting palace and park along with several court buildings that has remained virtually unchanged since the 17th century. Surrounded by exquisite gardens, the castle often hosts business meetings and can be rented for all sorts of corporate events.


Benrath Castle

Hombroich Island

Kunst im Tunnel (Art in the Tunnel)

Langen Foundation

Museum Kunst Palace

Schloss Dyckan


Flights arrive at Dusseldorf International Airport. High-speed ICE trains link the airport to other German cities two hours to Hamburg, four hours to Berlin and many other major destinations throughout Europe. The airport is especially convenient for travelers heading to nearby German cities such as Bonn and Cologne as well as for those en route to Belgium and Luxembourg.

There are more than 16,000 hotel beds available in Dusseldorf and another 60,000 within a 30-minute drive of downtown.

Dusseldorf’s location in the heart of Europe makes it also a preferred destination for meetings and conventions. Approximately 45 international fairs take place annually at the Messe Dusseldorf, Europe’s premier venue for hosting trade fairs. The city also possesses modern infrastructure for event halls in Europe that includes the LTU Arena, ISS-Dome,.and Dusseldorf Congress.


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