Courtyard Expo for Artists
In summer, the inner courtyard of Ehrenhof is a sought-after spot for many museum visitors. Düsseldorf’s Kunstakademie is the heart and soul of the city. Illustrious artists, the likes of Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, Jörg Immendorff, Gerhard Richter, Andreas Gursky or Katharina Fritsch, have always studied and taught here, and today Düsseldorf’s world-class standing as an art city still rests on the Kunstakademie. The academy opens its doors to the public twice a year when students show their new work. The fact that art can be found on every street corner in Düsseldorf is also down to Joseph Beuys who came to fame with felt and fat. Beuys, who was a Kunstakademie professor from 1961 to 1972, provoked with his works and ideas. The law suit about the “fat corner” which a janitor had mopped away is famous. He left the city a mantra that continues to shape it today: “Everybody is an artist.”
The Ehrenhof is an expressionistic building ensemble, built between 1925 and 1926 according to the plans of architect Wilhelm Kreis.
Kreis, who enriched Düsseldorf with the Wilhelm-Marx-Haus, the first steel skyscraper in Europe, created an elongated courtyard around which the axisymmetric archaic-monumental building with brick façades was grouped. Then as now, the Ehrenhof is a popular attraction: During the Weimar Republic, Germany’s largest trade fair was held there. Today the exhibitions of two major art museums, the NRW-Forum and the Museum Kunstpalast (Art palace museum) attract culture lovers from all over the world.