The Parisian architect, Adrien Fainsilber, is the designer of the museum's new building on the River Ill, which was opened in 1998. Transparency and openness are the main accents in the building's architecture, creating a space worthy of a cathedral - the length of the interior is 104 meters, with a ceiling height of 22 meters. The roof the edifice features a four meter-tall sculpture of a horse, Hortus Conclusus, created by the Italian artist Mimmo Paladino. The spacious rooms of the new building contain several exhibition halls, a permanent exhibit, graphic art and photography exhibits, a library, an auditorium for concerts and shows, an educational center, a bookstore and a restaurant.
The museum's collection consists of three parts: visual art, graphic art and photography, chronologically encompassing the period from 1870 to today. The city museum's director, Hans Haug, played a great part in the creation of the collection, buying modernistic art early on - in 1923 he acquired Brock's still-life, which became the public collection's first piece of cubism. The museum now has an important trove of avant-garde works in the veins of Arte Povera, Fluxus and neo-expressionism. French contemporary art is also widely represented, from the huge installations of Alain Séchas and Claude Lévêque, to paintings by Daniel Richter, Marc Desgrandchamps and Jonathan Meese.
The expansive graphic art collection is divided into three large series: the Gustave Doré collection, the influential Belle Epoque-era poster collection, and the German graphic art collection, which is represented by various directions in art, from symbolism to expressionism. The photography collection features photographs from the period between the World Wars, as well as modern classics such as Witkin, Muybridge, Mapplethorpe, Saudek and Molinier. Thematic and contemporary art exhibitions are regularly organized in the museum, while the museum's restaurant, Art Café, with its spacious terrace on the second floor, features not only a refined menu, but a just as refined interior and a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding city.
1 place Hans Jean Arp
Keywords: museum, Alsace, France