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
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
“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
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.
Kunst im Tunnel (Art in the Tunnel)
Museum Kunst Palace
DUSSELDORF FAST FACTS
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.