”Beyond the exhibiting of international art, Kunsthaus Göttingen sees itself as a place for education, communication and interaction with art.”
– Gerhard Steidl, Founding Director
Kunsthaus Göttingen is an exhibition space for works on paper, photography and new media, which opened in June 2021. The exhibitions focus on contemporary art with an international orientation. In the curatorial planning, the focus is on close cooperation with the artists themselves, who not only get a stage for their work, but also the opportunity for new productions, collaborations and interactive projects.
Each year three to four exhibitions are planned as extensive solo or group exhibitions, which are shown on three levels in spacious gallery spaces. We offer a varied accompanying programme for each exhibition, especially for children and young people. Between larger exhibitions, short INBETWEEN exhibitions are continuously shown or test runs are held in which selected artists can try out the forms of presentation for their work.
Here you will find our Kunsthaus flyer for download!
Architecture and inner courtyard
Kunsthaus Göttingen was born out of the idea of giving visual art more space and presence in the city of Göttingen. As early as 2008, the publisher Gerhard Steidl and the then-mayor Wolfgang Meyer presented the idea of an art quarter with the Kunsthaus at the focal point.
The city has received funding of 4.5 million euros from the federal programme “National Projects of Urban Development” for the project planned together with Gerhard Steidl. The Duderstadt entrepreneur Hans Georg Näder supported the construction of the Kunsthaus with one million euros.
In 2016, the architecture studio Atelier ST from Leipzig was awarded the contract for the architectural and general planning at the Kunsthaus Göttingen after an international architectural competition. As a regional partner for the demanding task of construction management, the Göttingen-based ONP planungs + projekt GmbH was consulted from autumn 2017. As a contact person on site, they coordinated the work so that Atelier ST could concentrate on the artistic direction in the final phase of construction. The architects Silvia Schellenberg-Thaut and Sebastian Thaut combine tradition and the contemporary in their works. This is also the case with their concept for Kunsthaus Göttingen: its external appearance transforms typical regional details and geometries from the context of Göttingen’s old town development into an independent, modern museum architecture. The Berlin landscape architect Stefan Bernard won the competition for the design of the inner courtyard in 2017.
The four-storey house with pointed roof is based on the neighbouring half-timbered houses – here, too, the floor area expands upwards. The grooved plaster of the façade also evokes memories of warehouses from the street and the surrounding area. The foyer of the Kunsthaus is reached via the main entrance from Düstere Straße and offers a view of the green inner courtyard on the opposite side. On the right-hand side is the first gallery. The special feature of the building are three approximately 120 m2 large and 3.20 m high column-free gallery rooms. This allows maximum flexibility in the arrangement of different exhibition concepts across all floors. To protect the works on paper and enable video installations and projections, each gallery space has only one narrow, floor-to-ceiling window that can be covered if necessary. In addition to the three galleries, the house has a smaller exhibition space. On the top floor there is also an approximately 100 m2 »forum« for mediation work and special events. The Kunsthaus Göttingen thus has a total exhibition area of 500 m2 (incl. forum).
Through the foyer of the house you reach the courtyard. The Kunsthaus shares the courtyard with the bookshop Rote Straße. The courtyard is, as it were, the garden of the house. Not far from the main shopping streets it is a green oasis, a place of informal meeting, lingering and exchange. As in the past, there is also a children’s playground – making the place of encounter even more attractive. In addition, the courtyard also offers art appreciation: here visitors can expect a special highlight with the »House of Words« – a pavilion with the spatial installation »Poet Singing (The Flowering Sheets)« by the American Pop Art artist Jim Dine.
The ” House of Words” can be visited as part of special guided tours (see programme) with appropriate registration.
KuQua – Göttingen’s Art Quarter
Since 2008, Göttingen’s city council and the publisher Gerhard Steidl have been pursuing the idea of an art quarter. Located in the historic core of the city between Düstere Strasse, Nikolaikirchhof, Nikolaistrasse and Turmstrasse, the district is already considered the “nucleus” of the Göttingen art scene with the studio of Jim Dine, a framing workshop, two bookbinderies, a private gallery, a bookshop, the literature centre, the offices of the Göttingen literary festival, an international publisher and a workshop for high-quality exhibition prints as well as various cafés and other small businesses. The Günter Grass Archive, which belongs to the University of Göttingen, has been active as an exhibition and event space since 2015. In 2016, it was awarded the “Monument Preservation Prize” by the Lower Saxony Savings Bank Foundation. Kunsthaus Göttingen enriches KuQua and thus the city of Göttingen with a central new building: a house with far-reaching appeal, whose exhibitions focus on current positions of international contemporary art of different media – an “art anchor” in southern Lower Saxony. As the heart of the art quarter, it promises a further, valuable revival of Göttingen’s cultural landscape and is thus the most important step in the development of the district. In line with the KuQua motto »A quarter becomes a whole«, Kunsthaus Göttingen is committed to a coexistence of the neighbouring institutions and focuses on joint events in the courtyard.
For the construction and operation phase, the Kunsthaus Göttingen team consists of Founding Director Gerhard Steidl, Founding Managing Director Alfons von Uslar and the General Manager Dorle Meyer. Curator Ute Eskildsen and Guest Curator Joshua Chuang are responsible for the curation of the exhibitions. Additional team members are Education Officer Florian Winkler, technician Bartek Berbeka and Assistant Hannah Hempstead. Furthermore, fellow employees support the Kunsthaus in the areas of Education, Front of House and Invigilation.
In addition to operating his publishing house, Steidl Verlag, Founding Director Gerhard Steidl supports all aspects of the project. As early as 1969, he printed posters and multiples for artists such as Joseph Beuys and Klaus Staeck, and today publishes selected art and photography books, literature and political non-fiction. In addition to making books, Gerhard Steidl designs and curates exhibitions worldwide.
Alfons von Uslar
Alfons von Uslar voluntarily supports the project as the Founding Managing Director. The trained agronomist and qualified lawyer returned to his hometown of Göttingen after several years overseas to run the family business. He has in-depth knowledge of business processes and legal requests combined with a great interest in art and culture.
Dorle Meyer, an art history doctorate, supports the Kunsthaus as Assistant Manager and Authorised Signatory. Alongside her research and education of contemporary art, she has worked for many years in museums supporting the establishment of new exhibition projects. Before returning to Göttingen to assist the development of Kunsthaus, she worked in Kassel, Berlin, as well as at Munich’s Deutsches Museum as a Project Manager and Curator for the expansion of its museum network.
Ute Eskildsen is the Founding Curator of Kunsthaus Göttingen. She advises Göttingen’s City Council on construction planning and is significantly involved in the orientation of the art institution’s programme. Eskildsen was Deputy Director of the Folkwang Museum in Essen, where she initiated, and managed, the photography department. Her curated photography exhibitions at the Folkwang Museum are famous beyond the borders of Germany.
Joshua Chuang is a Guest Curator of Kunsthaus Göttingen. As the first curator of the Art Gallery at Yale University, he established the photography section and worked there as its Chief Curator. Today he works as Head of the Wallach Division of Art, Prints & Photographs; and as a curator for photography at the New York Public Library alongside his teaching at Yale University School of Art.
Florian Winkler heads the Education & Mediation department of the Kunsthaus. After studying sociology and political science in the documenta city of Kassel with a focus on cultural sociology, he worked at the Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel in the field of museum education. He now actively contributes the knowledge that he gained on diversity-oriented projects and inclusive creative offers, as well as his additional experience through his involvement in child and youth welfare at various institutions, to Kunsthaus Göttingen.
Bartek Berbeka supports the team of Kunsthaus with this know-how in the field of home and event technology. After his business apprenticeship he moved relatively quickly into the cultural and event industry, where he worked independently for many years in the field of event planning and organization. Among other things, he owes his professional orientation to his great passion for music and audio technology, which he passes on voluntarily in workshops and his contributions to a radio broadcast in Göttingen.
Hannah Hempstead supports the Kunsthaus in the areas Front of House, Events and Social Media. After her studies in Fine Art and History of Art, with a practicing focus on printmaking and photography, at the London university Goldsmiths, she headed the Front of House of a private art gallery before moving to Göttingen in 2014.
In principle we offer students in particular the chance to complete an internship at the Kunsthaus. Possible areas are in Public Relations as well as Education & Mediation. If you are interested please send your application with accompanying documents to Dr. Dorle Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to high demand, it is advisable to inquire with sufficient notice.
There are currently no vacancies.