Museum takes stock

Bundeskunsthalle sees major surge in visitor numbers in anniversary year

Glänzende Bilanz: Intendant Rein Wolfs.

Brilliant results: Artistic director Rein Wolfs. (Photo: dpa)

Bonn. The Bundeskunsthalle is looking back on 2017 as one of the best results in its history with 610,000 visitors. The number one exhibition was the Iran show and the paradise garden on the museum square.

The Bundeskunsthalle is looking back on 2017 as one of the best results in its history with 610,000 visitors. The number one exhibition was the Iran show and the paradise garden on the museum square.

The Bundeskunsthalle picks up its success story - which ended before the scandal year 2007 - and climbs to a top spot amongst national exhibition centres. The results of 2017 can also compete amongst European competitors.

During the anniversary year 2017 - 25 years of Bundeskunsthalle - the house gained nearly 10% in comparison to the previous year. The exhibition year had a surprise winner of the number one spot: That the sensational exhibition „Iran. Early cultures between water and desert“, accompanied by the magical Persian Garden („The invention of Paradise“), which brought oriental flair to the rather barren and boring museum square like a fata morgana, would be going well, was to be expected. But that more than 230,000 visitors came to see that ensemble was a surprise. 

Also a big hit: The often discussed - and watched with international interest - „Gurlitt Stocktaking. The NS art theft and its consequences“, which started at the beginning of November and runs through to March 11. 70,000 visitors were drawn into the excellent documentary. The Bundeskunsthalle also proudly presents the numbers of the framework programmes. 34,000 people took part in 1,730 guided tours. In addition, 4,000 participants joined 258 workshops, and the inclusion and interaction sector also lists 178 events. 

Again, the Bundeskunsthalle distinguished itself with imaginative formats like the comic summer club for children, as part of the „Comics!“ exhibition, or the new series „live arts“, which pursues the performing arts like dance, theatre, music and performance. And the Wednesday Late Art series also proved a success with approximately 1,000 visitors. 

The Bundeskunsthalle plays a reading role when it comes to inclusion: The „Pilot Inklusion“ which was concluded in 2017, has been developed by the Bundeskunsthalle in cooperation with museums and associations, including an inclusive and barrier-free module in exhibitions, and integrated them in the overall concept of the exhibition „Weather forecast. About Weather Culture and Climate Science“. 

„In 2017, it wasn’t all about art indulgence, but also about artistic attitude, about crossover, about social-political positioning and discourse“, said artistic director Rein Wolfs looking at the results of 2017. 

(Original text: Thomas Kliemann / Translation: Mareike Graepel)