Museum Insel Hombroich in Neuss
A magical place for art in nature
The stairs leading out of the ticket office feel like a dramatic break. Walking down them takes visitors out of their everyday lives for a few hours, and into Museum Insel Hombroich, one of Europe’s most enchanting art locations in a wetland meadow landscape along the Erft. Embedded into apparently intact flora and fauna, art is treated to an impressive appearance here.
Art collector Karl-Heinrich Müller from Düsseldorf wanted art and nature to coexist as equals here when he found and acquired the gigantic premises with their old trees, sprawling meadows between brooks, and a villa in classicist style. Joining forces with artists Gotthard Graubner, Erwin Heerich, and Anatol Herzfeld, he designed an ideal world for his art collection here before opening it to the public in 1987. Heerich contributed large sculptures to the art inventory, designed as exhibition pavilions placed individually in the designed landscape and hosting works from modernism sorted by creator. Lovis Corinth, Alexander Calder, and Hans Arp are represented here, as are Henri Matisse, Yves Klein, and Kurt Schwitters. They alternate with the famous coloured cushions by Gotthard Graubner, who had his studio in Hombroich just like sculptor Anatol Herzfeld.
All pieces of art were either created deliberately for this specific location, or permanently arranged by Graubner himself where they are found now. This remains the museum designers’ only requirement. Visitors have to do without labels and explanations on the works as the museum aims at permitting direct, unadulterated contact between the visitor and art in nature. Explorers are likely to choose the museum cafeteria as an interim destination. Just as extraordinary as the entire museum, its simple Rhenish buffet is included in the admission fee. The choice is fully aligned with the natural site between fruit trees and meadows rich in wild herbs.
In the 1990s, art collector Müller supplemented Museum Insel Hombroich by purchasing the former NATO “rocket station” and Kirkeby field nearby. While Kirkeby field is now also presenting changing exhibitions, the Raketenstation Hombroich supplements the island with its impressive building ensemble rather than by natural treasures. The hangars and shelters of the disused military basis have been supplemented by modern buildings designed by renowned architects such as Àlvaro Siza. They have become a place for artists to live and work in, host exhibitions, and serve as a holiday home for visitors on a short break, e.g. in the “Monatery” guest house.
Museum Insel Hombroich is open every day, including on Mondays
1 April to 30 September: Mon – Sun 10:00 a.m. to 07:00 p.m.
1 October to 31 March: Mon – Sun 10:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.
Admission at the ticket office ends, and the cafeteria closes, one hour earlier respectively.
The museum is closed on 24, 25, and 31 December as well as on 1 January.
The Raketenstation Hombroich is freely accessible on foot every day from 09:00 a.m. – 07:00 p.m.