The Museum

The LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur unites 1000 years of
art, ranging from the early Middle Ages through to the present.
In total the LWL-Museum’s collection comprises over
350 000 paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings and
prints, coins and objects as well as 135 000 books. About 1300
exhibits are on view in the new presentation of the collection.
While exploring the 51 exhibition spaces, visitors encounter
works of art by Heinrich Brabender, Lucas Cranach the Elder,
Franz Marc, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, August Macke, Otto Piene,
Richter and Rosemarie Trockel, amongst many others.
The museum’s roots lead back to the early 19th century: in
1825 the Verein für Geschichte und Altertumskunde Westfalens
(Historical and Archaeological Society of Westphalia) began
establishing a museum collection and concurrently, from
1836 onwards, the Westfälischer Kunstverein began running
an art museum. The two collections were merged in 1908 as
the new Landesmuseum für die Provinz Westfalen (Regional
Museum for the Province of Westphalia).


The LWL-Museum is one of the major museums for art and cultural history in North Rhine-Westphalia. It was founded over 100 years ago as a symbol of civic commitment. It was co-founded by the Westfälischer Kunstverein (Westphalia art society) and the Verein für Geschichte und Altertumskunde Westfalens (the society of Westphalian history and antiquity studies). As a result the art and cultural history of Westphalia are one of the museum’s major points of focus. Today the museum is an institution belonging to the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (Westphalia Lippe regional authority). The collections display 1000 years of Occidental culture from the Middle Ages through to the present day. Our exhibition and collection policy locates Westphalian art and cultural history within its European and international context. The major exhibitions of both historical and new art, as well as cultural history within a European framework, and together with the Skulptur Projekte which have been taking place once every ten years since 1977, in particular provide the institution with an international profile. We regard our work as a contribution to the cultural identity of Westphalia within a Europe of regions, while being mindful that identity emerges from the experience of origins, history and cultural relations. At the same time the Landesmuseum contributes to the national and international reputation of the region.