We accepted an invitation to Münster and went on a search for traces around the theme of peace.
400 years after the outbreak of the 30 Years’ War (1618)
370 years after the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia (1648)
100 years after the conclusion of the Versailles Peace Treaty (1919)
2018 Time for the exhibition “Peace from Antiquity to Today” in Münster with 5 exhibition venues:
- LWL Museum of Art and Culture,
- Diocese of Münster as a guest at the LWL Museum,
- Pablo Picasso Museum of Art,
- Münster City Museum
- Archaeological Museum
Unfortunately, we could not visit all the events, our stay was too short for that. Nevertheless, we saw a lot!
Where we encountered peace in Münster
“Peace.Europe” is a joint project of the cities of Osnabrück and Münster in the European Heritage Year 2018.
Münster and Osnabrück, as the places that made a decisive contribution to the Peace of Westphalia, are ideally suited to explore the topic in depth and to draw attention to it with special events.
We were only able to experience a few small components of the action. But that was already really impressive.
Here is a small insight that we saw in advance as information:
LWL Museum for Art and Culture
Until 2.9.2018, the LWL Museum of Art and Culture is dealing in great detail with the theme “Peace.Europe”. We happily retreated to the well-tempered modern museum at a summery 30 degrees and strolled through the exhibitions.
Exhibition of the Diocese of Münster
On the ground floor of the house there is an exhibition by the Diocese of Münster entitled “Peace. As in heaven so on earth”. Here, the topic of peace is examined in detail in connection with Christianity. In each room, a specific topic is addressed, for example biblical offers of peace, religiously motivated conflicts or war as a means of spreading the Christian faith.
There are very different exhibits to see, e.g. beautiful altar and church pictures, posters and prints from the peace movement of the GDR and even Twitter messages from the Pope on the subject of peace.
The exhibition is very inspiring and you should take your time discovering the exhibits.
Exhibition “Ways of Peace”
Our way leads us to the exhibition “Ways to Peace”. For this exhibition, the LWL Museum has brought together the works of the most diverse artists and presents a varied and sophisticated exhibition. For example, I discover works by Käthe Kollwitz, Peter Paul Rubens and Otto Dix. Paintings and sculptures are shown on the theme of justice and peace, creating peace without weapons, the consequences of war ….
The thematic wall is impressive, showing front pages of Der Spiegel that deal with the topic of war, terror and peace.
For us, a successful change between pictures and sculptures is a huge interactive game on the theme of the “Game of Peace”. Whether alone or with 9 other players, you can try to establish peace in Westphalia through skilful negotiation. It was good that no one was rushing us, the play instinct was already quite strong and so it took a while until we could continue on our journey of discovery.
The exhibitions in the LWL Museum are so varied and impressive that you should take plenty of time or plan a second visit. We were definitely thrilled, but also mentally exhausted by the many impressions.
Tuesday – Sunday: 10-18 h
Public holidays: 10-18 h
Special exhibitions from the diocese for adults 8€.
Combination tickets and reductions are available.
Pablo Picasso Art Museum
Pablo Picasso, for me one of the most interesting artists, also dealt with the subject of peace throughout his life. The art museum in Münster has put together a special exhibition with the theme “From the horrors of war to the dove of peace” and is showing it in keeping with the “Peace.Europe” project in Münster.
We were allowed to take part in a guided tour of the special exhibition. The exhibition comprises about 60 works of art, some from the museum’s holdings, others on loan. We learn why the theme of peace was so close to Picasso’s heart and what stylistic means he used to try to deal with the subject. Many of the interpretations presented sounded quite plausible to me, others I found very far-fetched and just thought “what a pity, we can’t ask him more about this”.
I associate Picasso with the painting Guernica and countless school lessons that dealt with this picture. Nevertheless, it has always remained positively in my memory and I was all the more pleased that the theme of this painting is taken up in the exhibition. The original of the painting hangs in Madrid, but in Münster, pictures and a film provide information about the masterpiece.
Another focus of the exhibition is Picasso’s Dove of Peace. In the guided tour through the exhibition, you learn a lot of background information about the creation of the dove, which was developed for the first World Peace Conference in 1949. Picasso, who is known for always creating variations of images, drew many different doves of peace. You can discover some of them in the exhibition. It is a bit like travelling through time and evolution with the dove of peace and picking out your personal favourite at the end.
The exhibition is on display until 2.9.2018.
Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm
Public holidays 10am – 6pm
Adults: 10 €
Public guided tours are available for a fee.
Münster City Museum
The Stadtmuseum is located in the old town of Münster. Behind the old façade of the house, which dates from 1910/11, you would not expect to find the museum’s modern rooms. The museum’s extensive and very interesting exhibition is located on the first and second floors.
First we explored the history of Münster. Here, too, we already discover the first signs of the theme of Münster and peace. Topics such as “30 Years’ War and Peace Congress” and “Peace of Westphalia”, but also topics of the more recent past such as “Second World War, End of the War and Reconstruction” are dealt with. I like the diversity of presentation in the Münster City Museum. In addition to the usual pictures, there are very vivid city models that document the development over the years. I was particularly enthusiastic about the replica of a shop “Laden Henke”, which immediately awakened the desire for the Tante Emma shop.
However, our main focus during our visit to the Münster City Museum was on the topic of peace. A special exhibition with the theme “A Reason to Celebrate? Münster and the Peace of Westphalia” was presented here as part of the “Peace.Europe” event.
The exhibition deals with the history of the Peace of Westphalia. The focus is on the anniversaries in 1748, 1848, 1898 and 1948. Surprisingly, the first two anniversaries were rather unspectacular in Münster and were hardly noticed. In 1889, peace was commemorated, but there were no official events. In 1948, too, the commemoration of peace did not go as expected. The National Socialists planned an exhibition that was to portray the Peace of Westphalia as a disgrace. However, due to the end of the war, this exhibition was never opened.
I was impressed by the history of the Münster Peace Monument in this exhibition. In 1905, the monument created by Wilhelm Bolte was inaugurated. Unfortunately, the 8-metre high monument was melted down during the Second World War, the pedestal was later removed and the former location on the cannon moat is hardly recognisable today
The special exhibition is on display until 2.9.2018. It is worth the visit!
Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m,
Saturday, Sunday and public holiday 11 am to 6 pm,
Disclosure: The visit to Münster took place in cooperation with Münster Marketing and the Friedensblog. The report is based on my own impressions.