The Georgenpalast is home to a museum that is a must-see during a visit to Hanover, the “Wilhelm Busch – German Museum of Caricature and Drawing”.
Who was Wilhelm Busch?
Heinrich Christian Wilhelm Busch came into the world in 1832. In the course of his life, he became one of Germany’s most influential humorous poets and illustrators. You could almost call him a pioneer of comics.
Initially, Busch published his picture stories as broadsheets, but from 1864 they also appeared in book form. The stories of “Max und Moritz”, “Fipps, the Monkey” and “Die Fromme Helene” are particularly well-known to this day. Some of the sayings he used in his stories have even become idioms today. Particularly popular are, for example: “Becoming a father is not difficult, but being a father is” or “This was the first prank, but the second one follows immediately”.
Wilhelm Busch died in 1908, his grave is in Mechtshausen.
Wilhelm Busch – German Museum for Caricature and the Art of Drawing
In 1930, the Wilhelm Busch Society was founded in Hanover with the aim of “collecting Wilhelm Busch’s work, processing it scientifically and making it accessible to the public”.
In 1937, the museum for the artist Wilhem Busch was finally opened in the city centre of Hanover. The museum was destroyed during the air raids on Hanover in 1943. Fortunately, the art objects had been removed from storage in good time beforehand and could thus be protected from destruction.
Since 1950, Busch’s works have now been exhibited in the Georgenpalais in Hanover’s Georgengarten. However, the museum’s collection not only consists of the works of Wilhelm Busch, but is expanded by a significant collection of satirical art by numerous national and international artists. There are now works from four centuries that are presented to museum visitors in the differently conceived special exhibitions.
Permanent exhibition on the Wilhelm Busch Collection and the Wilhelm Busch Society
Over the years, one of the most extensive collections of Wilhelm Busch’s works has been assembled in Hanover. It consists of 341 paintings, over 1300 drawings from nature, 51 manuscripts of picture stories, 193 manuscripts of poems and prose, 900 letters and a library with about 2500 books on the subject of Wilhelm Busch. Of course, not all of this is shown in the permanent exhibition.
The permanent exhibition not only deals with works by Wilhelm Busch, but also aims to present the work of the society. One can discover numerous posters that refer to past exhibitions. While I was looking at these, it struck me that I had missed a lot – so I discovered references from an exhibition of my “favourite detective Nick Knatterton”, an exhibition on the subject of Loriot (the Waldmöpse discovery tour in Brandenburg an der Havel and a visit to his grave in Berlin are unforgotten) and an exhibition of the “Father and Son Stories by e.o.plauen (Erich Ohser).
In other rooms we could also discover works by Wilhelm Busch. I loved the stories of Max and Moritz as a child, so it was something special not only to reminisce, but also to bring long-forgotten stories “back to life”.
A great museum tour, unfortunately far too short, which inspired me to go home and read the stories of the teacher Lämpel and the widow Bolte again.
Special exhibitions at the Museum of Caricature and Drawing Art
On part of the exhibition space, the museum offers regularly changing special exhibitions with different thematic focuses or individual artists. During our visit, we were able to visit two very different exhibitions.
Exhibition: “Of Chickens and People”
The cartoonist Peter Gaymann is known to many exhibition visitors for his “Chicken Universe”. After all, the chicken is almost his trademark, showing the reader and viewer situations from everyday life in an inimitable way. But the artist also skilfully picks up on stories about men and women with the “usual” problems of communication between the sexes.
Before visiting the exhibition, the theme of “chicken and yoga” was very much on my mind, as I like to use funny pictures in my children’s yoga classes to encourage children to move. I was all the more pleased to discover more drawings from the chicken universe.
Exhibition: „Ohne Moos nichts los…“
The subject of money forms the central point in the second special exhibition at the “Wilhelm Busch – German Museum of Caricature and Drawing”. Drawings and graphics humorously depict scenes from private and public life dealing with money, power and the almost inimitable behaviour of people.
Sometimes the allusions are very obvious, sometimes you have to think around the corner to understand the meaning. In any case, there were some drawings that made me smile and also made me think. Especially older drawings, which have lost none of their topicality to this day, left me pensive. Has humanity learned so little over the years? Why is the pursuit of power and profit so important for people? It’s good that you get a humorous look back through some of the drawings.
Wilhelm Busch – Deutsches Museum für Karikatur und Zeichenkunst
Tuesday – Sunday: 11-17 h
Holidays: 11-17 h
Closed: Mondays and 24.12, 31.12.
Discounts are offered, for example through the Hannover Card.
The visit to the Wilhelm Busch – German Museum of Caricature and Drawing was one item on the programme of a research trip to Hanover.