Hohenhof in Hagen, © Simon Erath

Hagen impulse

Osthaus, Folkwang and the Hohenhof

Karl Ernst Osthaus, founder of the Folkwang Museum and an art patron, used his home town as a place to experiment with the designs of the modern age. He wanted to implement his idea of “art for all” here. In 1902, he opened the Folkwang Museum, the first museum in the world for contemporary art. Here, Osthaus not only furnished Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus, with projects, but also facilitated his journey to Weimar. Around 400 letters and documents in the Karl Ernst Osthaus-Archiv in Hagen are testament to their close friendship. On various guided tours, visitors can explore the traces of the “Hagener Impuls”, which can still be seen today.

Osthaus Museum Hagen, © Werner Hannappel

Many ideas pursued by the Bauhaus were pioneered by Osthaus with a large number of initiatives in his home town of Hagen. He persuaded Henry van de Velde to recommend Gropius for the continuation of the Weimarer Kunstgewerbeschule, the Weimar institute of applied arts, which adopted the name “Bauhaus” in 1919. In turn, Henry van de Velde, the founder of the Weimarer Kunstgewerbeschule, had been an important advisor to the young museum founder, Osthaus, since the turn of the century. The Flemish architectural artist was able to realise his ideas several times in Hagen, thanks to Osthaus. As well as several villas, the interior design of the Folkwang Museum and the Hohenhof are particularly good examples of his work.

In the Bauhaus year, 2019, the Hohenhof will itself become an exhibit. Various details of his furnishings anticipated the objective-functional design concepts that would later be developed by the Bauhaus.

Villa Cuno in Hagen, © Simon Erath


Bauhaus in Hagen

Hohenhof: meeting point of the modern era

Tip 1
Built by Henry van de Velde, inhabited by Karl Ernst Osthaus, visited by Walter Gropius, the Hohenhof is the highlight among the buildings of the Villenkolonie Hohenhagen, the Hohenhagen villa colony. In 1908, the building, the ground plan of which is like a double hook, was completed. Van de Velde seamlessly created the interior architecture and designed furniture, wall decorations and floor coverings, lamps and materials, crockery and cutlery. Today, the house, which belongs to the Osthaus Museum in Hagen, contains works by Peter Behrens and J.L.M. Lauweriks, among others, alongside the rooms, which have been preserved and reconstructed in their original form.

Houses on the “Stirnband”

Tip 2
The Dutch architect Jan Ludovicus Mathieu Lauweriks realised nine houses on “Am Stirnband” street, whose design he based on a system principle that he himself had developed. Each of the houses is individually designed, yet with their materials, which are repeatedly used, they form a single unit. In the surrounding Villenkolonie Hohenhagen, there are other buildings to be found by Henry van de Velde, Peter Behrens and J.L.M. Lauweriks.

Osthaus Museum Hagen

Tip 3
The interior of today’s Osthaus Museum Hagen, opened in 1902 as the Museum Folkwang, was designed by Henry van de Velde. For two decades, Karl Ernst Osthaus brought current national and international artistic work into the industrial region through his museum work, and in turn had an impact on the regional borders from there. The presentation of the avantgarde made the Folkwang Museum in Hagen a strong magnet for many art enthusiasts.

The focus of the collection is on the early classical modern era, expressionism and new objectivity. The Osthaus Museum offers regular public guided tours to the Hohenhof, the former residence of the Osthaus family, and the houses built by Peter Behrens and J.L.M. Lauweriks in the “Hohenhagen artists’ colony”.

North Rhine-Westphalia celebrates the Bauhaus centenary!

Unesco-Welterbe Zeche Zollverein, Essen, © Simon Erath

'Essener Aufbruch'

Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld, Gartenseite, © Volker Döhne, Kunstmuseen Krefeld

Krefeld perspectives

Mies van der Rohe, Verseidag, Krefeld, © Mies van der Rohe Business Park 2018

Guided tours and routes

Peter-Behrens-Bau, Oberhausen, © LVR-Industriemuseum, Andreas Schiblon

Overview of exhibitions