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Köln - Cologne


Bischofsgartenstr. 1

Phone: +49-221-221-26165
Fax: +49-221-221-24114

Ludwig Museum

The collection of the Museum Ludwig comprises the most important stages and positions in the development of 20th century art and contemporary art.
Roy Lichtenstein’s “Maybe“, Andy Warhol’s “Brillo Boxes“ and George Segal’s “Restaurant Window”, all icons of American Pop Art, had just been completed when in 1969 they were included as loans in the collection of the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. The works came from Peter and Irene Ludwig who have built up the biggest collection of Pop Art outside the USA.

Kasper Koenig has been director of the museum since November 2000. His name is associated with major exhibitions such as “Westkunst”, “von hier aus” and “skulptur.projekte Muenster”. He is dedicated to promote a dialogue between visitors and works of art by making use of the project rooms AC: and DC: and by staging numerous events. “The museum should be used, not visited, as it belongs to everyone and no-one.”

The building designed by the architects Peter Busmann and Godfried Haberer was opened in 1986. It is located between the Cathedral, the river Rhine and the main station. It housed the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, the Museum Ludwig and the Philharmonie. In January 2001 the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum moved into its own building so that 20th century and contemporary art now have roughly 8000 sq. metres of exhibition space at their disposal.

 Permanent Collection Highlights (10)

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Permanent Collection

In 1976 the Museum Ludwig was founded with a gift of 350 works of modern art by the Ludwigs. It was to be the first museum in Cologne to exhibit contemporary art.

Apart from pop art the Ludwigs also donated a large collection of Russian Avantgarde from the period 1906 to 1930 and a voluminous collection of several hundred works by Pablo Picasso as a permanent loan. The works by Picasso have meanwhile become the property of the Museum Ludwig thanks to two generous gifts in 1994 and 2001.

The modern section of the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum with the collection of expressionists of the Cologne lawyer Josef Haubrich formed the basis of the collection of contemporary art and was also integrated into the Museum Ludwig.

The museum has continued to systematically collect contemporary art. New acquisitions were often only a few months old when they were bought. Thus German art from the 70s and 80s, international trends and installations by the younger avantgarde also found their way into the collection of the Museum Ludwig.


Current exhibitions and preview of forthcoming exhibitions

Balthus – Aufgehobene Zeit. Gemälde und Zeichnungen 1932 bis 1960

In Autumn of 2007 the Museum Ludwig will show a small exhibition of choice works by the French artist Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski, 29.02.1908-18.02.2001). Preceding the hundredth anniversary of Balthus’s birth by one year, it will be the first show devoted to the artist in Germany. Balthus has always been considered an outsider who kept aloof from the contemporary art movements of his time. Critics have regarded him as an oddity that adopted an Old Master technique, however the artist himself always declared that he strove for a realism that is “timeless.”
Balthus’s first exhibition at the Galerie Pierre in Paris in 1934 was what the period liked to call a “scandal,” and just what he had intended. In his handful of large paintings he subverted familiar subjects – a girl at a window, in front of a mirror, at her toilette or receiving a music lesson – by turning them into scenes of hard-edged eroticism with a strongly sadomasochistic undercurrent.
Although Balthus was born to German parents, his work is little known and has not been collected by any museum in Germany. The aim of our exhibition is to remedy this and acquaint finally the German audience with his work. After Edward Hopper and Salvador Dalí the Museum Ludwig thus continues the series of monographical exhibitions devoted to great painters of the 20th century.+ [ Read all ]

Exhibitions (10)

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7,50 Euro, reduced 5,50 Euro

Groups (from 20 Persons): 6,50 Euro

Family-ticket: 18 Euro

Schoolclasses: 3 Euro each pupil

Opening hours

10-18 h,

each month's 1st Fr
10-22 h

Getting there

Hauptbahnhof Station of U-Bahn, Bundesbahn, S-Bahn direction airport Koeln/Bonn

Parkhaus am Dom,
Tiefgarage Rheingarten,
Parkhaus Gross St. Martin


Holtmanns im Museum Ludwig
Tel: +49-221-25 09 99 77
Ca. 240 seats, hot & cold meals

Museum internal and external photos (5)

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News and events

Numerous events (in german):


Our special service: 157 Podcasts (mp3) are downloadable here before coming to visit, explaining individual artwork (in german):