ART, NATURE AND NUCLEAR MISSILES

The Ratekenstation (Rocket Station) Hombroich - a missile base no more.

The Ratekenstation (Rocket Station) Hombroich – a missile base no more.

Mr Karl-Heinrich Muller is now my favourite German real estate agent. Who else buys a NATO missile base and turns it into an art museum?

With the Cold War cooling, the Raketenstation at Neuss-Holzheim, a few kilometres south-east of Dusseldorf, was decommissioned. Herr Muller bought it in 1994, along with 62 acres of meadows, lakes and forest in the neighbouring Insel Hombroich park, with the Erft River fast flowing around it.

He commissioned Sculptor Erwin Heerich to construct ten ‘walk-in sculptures’ – buildings set in the gardens to house the collection of works, including some by Rembrandt, Matisse, Alexander Calder and Hans Arp. Artist Anatol Herzfeld lives and works in the grounds.

The result is Museum Insel Hombroich, a living, private museum unlike any we’ve ever seen before.

Art should work in parallel with nature, said Paul Cezanne, and Herr Muller agreed.

Art should work in parallel with nature, said Paul Cezanne, and Herr Muller agreed.

Have you ever found yourself spending more time reading the sign next to the painting than looking at the work itself?

A deliberate feature of Insel Hombroich is that there are no signs in the gardens and no interpretative labels by the art works. Even the artists are not identified.

Perhaps I should do likewise in this post…

Big space
Alexander Calder

Chinese horse

Hanging rock

Art and antiquity

Bird houses
When it was time to visit the cafe we discovered another unique feature of this museum. Lunch had already been paid for – included in the admission price. No wonder there was a queue for the buffet.

It may not be five star, but it's very German and it does the job.

It may not be Michelin hat stuff, but it’s very German and it does the job. And it’s complimentary!

The conservation area around the museum is protected habitat for animal and plant species.

It's a muskrat. I looked it up.

It’s a muskrat. I looked it up.

This is a swan. I already knew that.

This is a swan. I already knew that.

Irises

Thanks, Theo and Marja for discovering the place and taking us there, and danke schon, Herr Muller!

Combined entry to Museum Insel Hombroich and Raketenstation costs EUR15.

5 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Art, Germany

5 responses to “ART, NATURE AND NUCLEAR MISSILES

  1. Hats off to “Mr Karl-Heinrich Muller” for converting a missile base to an Art museum and thank you so much for sharing this story and images :)
    What a wonderful world it would be, if at least a fraction of the military spending been diverted for conservation, by all countries…

  2. Lunch looks interesting – is that a raw potato?

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