30 years of Museum Würth: Art, close to the people


Entrepreneur Reinhold Würth aspires to bring art and culture to the workplace of his employees, using sophisticated architecture to orchestrate an inspiring polyphony of work, culture and leisure. This guiding principle, impressive cultural experiences, advanced mediation programs and free admission are the hallmarks of Museum Würth in Künzelsau, which was inaugurated 30 years ago, on 25 December 1991. Since then, 2.33 million guests have visited the 73 exhibitions of the museum located at the headquarters of the Würth Group. Museum Würth has inspired ten associated galleries at Würth Group companies throughout Europe.

Designed by architects Siegfried Müller (†) and Maja Djordjevic-Müller, the museum’s extensive and high exhibition hall with a steep glass saddle roof and 920 square meters of floor space was integrated into the company’s administration building. In addition to generous spaces for temporary exhibitions, it accommodates a small technology museum on screws and threads as well as a hall for events that can host conferences, conventions and cultural events and accommodate up to 220 people.

In 1995, the back then still young museum experienced its certainly most beautiful transformation: Christo and Jeanne-Claude covered the entire floor of the exhibition hall, the free-standing spiral staircase and the parallel lateral decks, railings and connecting bridges. In contrast, they left the walls normally intended for the presentation of works of art uncovered. Within four and a half months, almost 82,000 visitors were attracted by the spectacular installation, which forms part of the company’s shared recollections. Exhibitions including “Gauguin and the school of Pont-Aven” in 1997, “Pablo Picasso: A Dialogue with Ceramics” in 1999 or “Jean-Michel Basquiat” in 2001 also became true blockbusters. Monographic exhibitions dedicated to Hans Arp, Alfred Hrdlicka, Serge Poliakoff, Alberto Magnelli, Philipp Bauknecht, Korbinian Aigner and specialties of the collection, such as contemporary art from Mexico, Poland or Namibia, art from people with disabilities or Cantastorie, the posters and textbooks of South Italian families of puppeteers, appeal to art connoisseurs. However, they also made the museum’s cross-genre, cosmopolitan approach accessible to the wider public. In addition to cultural education, the promotion of interpersonal encounters has always characterized the habitus of Museum Würth. Numerous museum festivals, holiday workshops, readings and lectures make a special contribution to this fact.

C. Sylvia Weber, Director of Museum Würth since 1991 and Executive Vice President of the Würth Group for Arts and Culture: “At the design stage of the museum, Reinhold Würth had already thought about the importance of art for his company and commissioned Danish sculptor Robert Jacobsen, who in turn invited his colleague and assistant Lun Tuchnowski, to design the generous space in front of the administration building. With our current anniversary exhibition “Geometry – Perception – Empathy. Lun Tuchnowski in the Würth Collection” we have come full circle. Reinhold Würth’s visionary and cosmopolitan concept was unique at the time. Designed to have an impact both inside and outside of the company, a lively mingling of the staff and the public was easily accomplished. Unlike other company-owned art collections that open to certain groups upon registration or on certain days, Museum Würth has offered free admission to everyone on seven days a week from the very beginning.”

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