The Kranich Museum became the first of a kind when it opened its doors to the public on 24th September 2011. It is located in Hessenburg, 14km northeast of Ribnitz-Damgarten and close to the Baltic coast. One of 2,000 such houses in the region dating from the nineteenth century it was specially restored to house a collection of international contemporary art that explores the crane, a bird that stops on the Pommeranian planes every autumn on its migratory flight from northern Europe to North Africa.

The museum features fifteen permanent works curated by Khadija Carroll La and Alex Schweder La across six large galleries.
An artist in residence program housed in the former coach house beside the manor plays host to a range of writers and visual artists throughout the year, who respond to the museum’s themes.

The museum building was renovated by a team of artists and builders in response to the existing architectural elements and the context of the crane’s annual visit to Mecklenburg Vorpommern.

Directed by art historian Bettina Klein, and led by the Berlin based exhibition design studio LOOK, the museum includes six large galleries, a library, lecture room and gift shop and is a stone’s throw away from the Alte Schmiede cafe restaurant. Layers of history are revealed in the restoration, which establishes a continuum from nineteenth century manor, to East German social housing in the post-war period, to the present. The wall text is designed especially for the building and tuckpointed into its walls with a mixture of crane bone, touché, and mortar.

Carroll La says: “A surprise experience awaits contemporary art visitors in the sparse, windswept landscape by the North Sea, where a range of new site-specific works respond to the disarmingly simple theme of ‘crane’ with complex, ephemeral, conceptual art. In the vein of Museums Insel Homboerch or La Fundación Chinati, the Hessenburg estate and park offers an experience of art and architecture that responds to its powerful natural setting. Also comparable to Paris’ Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, the exhibition is complimentary to the natural history of the crane.” Bettina Klein says: “We hope to welcome locals, holiday makers and art lovers from the region and Berlin through our doors. As the first of its kind in the area, and indeed in the world, we are sure that it will prove popular.”

A museum catalogue is available in the gift shop.

Gutshof Hessenburg
Dorfplatz 2
D-18317 Hessenburg/Saal
Tel. 038223-669900

Open Fr., Sa., Sun. from 11:00 to 17:00 and by appointment

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