The Städel Museum in Frankfurt houses 3,100 paintings, 660 sculptures, 4,600 photographs and more than 100,000 drawings and prints. Germany’s most important cultural community foundation also has a spot on the world’s list of top museums, offering a collection of internationally renowned masterpieces by artists that shaped art history forever. Its special exhibitions often move on to the MET, Museo Del Prado and other prestigious art institutions across the globe.
One of the greatest things about a museum with such a huge variety of works is that pretty much no one has an excuse not to go. Spiritual art, contemporary art, modern art, photography and nearly every other genre can be seen on three different floors. This means you have no excuses for not admiring this colorful, impressive, impressionist, expressionist, over-under-next-to-pressionist (can you tell I’m not an art critic?) place in the heart of beautiful Frankfurt.
We shall start at the top. The third floor is dedicated to “Old Masters”, art from 1300 to 1800. It mainly features religious art and gives excellent insight into painting techniques used 700 years ago as well as an idea of the importance of faith in people’s daily lives.
Welcome to my favourite floor: Contemporary Art (not to be confused with modern art), meaning anything created between 1800 and 1975. Bright, colorful, beautiful (and insanely detailed) works line the walls of the second floor. Though beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder, I’m sure you’ll agree with me on this one. Landscapes, people, cities, animals and everything else one can fit on a canvas is on display here, making you feel like you’re taking a casual stroll around the world, discovering its most scenic corners, sunsets and apple plantations.
Their current special exhibition is Peter Paul Rubens 1577–1640: The Power of Transformation and will be open until May 21, 2018. The baroque painter whose work was inspired by fellow painters, long journeys to Italy and ancient as well as contemporary sculptures, which are also on display at the Städel. This exhibition is the first to provide striking insights into how Rubens ‘used’ the works of his forerunners to create new pieces and why he’s still one of the most well-known painters of all time.
Modern Art is that thing where someone paints on a canvas with nothing but two different, identical, shades of black and boom ART. However you might feel about it, the basement’s collection is always worth a visit as well. Elaborate installations and sculptures along with paintings and photographs await your review, even if it’s just “interesting.”
For €4 (or €7 for two) you can get an audioguide and learn more about each painting as you walk through the exhibition.
You can also download the app for free, in advance or using the museum’s wifi, for background info and the option to buy the special exhibition’s audio guide and archiving it on your smartphone.
All tours are available in German and English.
Opening Hours and Prices
The Städel Museum is open Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thu, Fri from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Admission costs €14 during the week and €16 on weekends and holidays. You can buy and print tickets at home to skip the queue.
While You’re There
Stop by the historic Liebieghaus one block away to see ancient sculptures, original Egyptian art, Roman busts and modern video installations followed by a cup of coffee and slice of cake in the beautiful courtyard. Indoor seating is available as well, featuring cozy sofas, a fireplace and a view of the garden.
Opening hours are Tue, Wed, Fri – Sun from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thu from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission to the museum costs €12 but you do not need a ticket to the museum to go to the café.
How To Get There
Frankfurt is a circa 40-minute drive from Wiesbaden, a little over an hour from the KMC and 2 hours from Stuttgart. Parking in the area is limited (non-existent) on the weekends but if you’re there during the week, you should have no trouble finding paid parking spots for 2 hours. There are larger parking garages in the area, which will give you the opportunity to enjoy Frankfurt’s skyline during a walk by the Main River. If you can, I suggest arriving by public transport.
Cover Photo by Städel Museum – ARTOTHEK
Author’s profile: Leonie is a poetry-loving literature student with a passion for small towns, road trips, and breakfast food being served at all hours of the day. When she isn’t hopping from one bargain flight to the next, she is making sure you’re hanging with the locals and staying updated on events in your area.