At the Folkwang

Foto: Michael Paul Romstöck

First-hand information

Exclusive curators’ tours shine a light on the backgrounds of the current special exhibitions or collection focusses. How did an exhibition come about? What does the collaboration between the different departments within the institution look like when it comes to creating an exhibition? What is it about the topic of an exhibition that fascinates those responsible? Become a member of Folkwang-Museumsverein, the association of the friends of the museum, and obtain such exciting details first hand!

Foto: Museum Folkwang
Foto: Museum Folkwang
Foto: Museum Folkwang

A look behind the scenes

Museum Folkwang is a company – a complex operation with over 50 employees. We offer insights into our work together and into what those in key roles here do. What does the everyday work of a conservator look like? How do you ship a Renoir? Which tasks does the curator have when it comes to education and communication? What is happening in digitization at the moment? Which treasures can be found in our depot?

Our lecture series “A look behind the scenes” offers members of Folkwang-Museumsverein insights and answers that are almost impossible to attain for other visitors to the museum.

Foto: Samuel Solazzo
Foto: Michael Paul Romstöck
Foto: Samuel Solazzo
Foto: Michael Paul Romstöck


Becoming a member of Folkwang-Museumsverein makes encounters, conversations, exchanges with prominent figures and those in the city most dedicated to the arts possible. We offer our members a range of occasions for these throughout the year, such as the meeting of members in the spring, or the traditional yearly reception in autumn, which is a festive event with a varied program. A celebratory dinner in the central foyer of the magnificent Chipperfield building rounds off the function and offers the perfect setting for dialogue between interesting people.

International Folkwang-Prize

Since 2010, Folkwang-Museumsverein e.V. has honoured with the International Folkwang Prize, worth 25,000 euros, persons and institutions that in the spirit of the museum’s founder Karl Ernst Osthaus (1874 – 1921) have performed great services in promoting art and making it accessible to a wide public.

A special focus is placed on:

  • The communication between different cultures of the world,
  • The communication between private and public sphere,
  • commitment to Modern and contemporary art,
  • new paths in the communication of art,
  • a high level of international importance and reach in the work,
  • the life work (personalities),
  • an exemplary, lasting effect (institutions).

The prize is endowed with 10,000 Euros.

The prize winners thus far are:


Barbara Klemm, photographer


Okwui Enwezor, Director of Haus der Kunst (ret.), Munich


Hans Ulrich Obrist, curator, critic and art historian


Reinhold Würth, patron of the arts and entrepreneur


Neil MacGregor, intendant of Humboldtforum Berlin, Director of the British Museum, London (ret.)

V.l.n.r. Dr. Ulrich Wilmes (Hauptkurator Haus der Kunst), Thomas Kufen (Oberbürgermeister der Stadt Essen), Dr. Tobia Bezzola (Direktor Museum Folkwang bis 2017), Okwui Enwezor (Folkwang-Preisträger 2017), Maureen Enwezor (Schwester des Preisträgers), Sir David Adjaye OBE (Laudator), Dr. Ulrich Blank (Vorsitzender Folkwang-Museumsverein) © Folkwang-Museumsverein e.V., Foto Tanja Lamers

FMV on tour

Visiting friends

Foto: Gina Becker

Studio and collection visits

At regular intervals we offer our members interested in the fine arts group studio visits. The bandwidth of the artists we have visited in their studios in the past ranges from established figures to emerging talents. The visits provide exciting insights into the creative process, as well as the themes and life plans of the artists, whom we always visit exclusively with our members group.

The program further includes regular visits to distinguished art collections not generally open to the public. These range from private collections to extensive corporate collections.

Museum visits with exclusive tours

Folkwang-Museumsverein further offers its members the possibility to get to know the diverse nature of the museum landscape in the region – and beyond. Visits to the collections and exhibitions of other museums are carried out regularly. As part of exclusive curator tours – sometimes held outside of our regular opening times – the members will be able to find out things worth knowing about the items on show and in the collection.

Foto: Gina Becker

Art travel and excursions

Biennale Venedig 2017; Foto: Thomas Bendele

Folkwang-Museumsverein regularly offers national and international art trips. Accompanied by our curators or the museum director, our members get to deepen their knowledge of art, encounter new artistic positions and discover new places during visits to other museums, galleries or collections among other things.

A carefully selected accompanying programme makes for a journey rich in variety together with like-minded people.

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