Established in 1815 as a civic foundation by the banker and merchant Johann Friedrich Städel, the Städel Museum is regarded as the oldest and most renowned museum foundation in Germany. The diversity of the collection provides an almost complete overview of 700 years of European art history, from the early fourteenth century across the Renaissance, the Baroque and Modernism right up to the immediate present.
Altogether the Städel collection comprises some 3,100 paintings, 660 sculptures, more than 4,600 photographs and more than 100,000 drawings and graphic works. Its highlights include works by such artists as Lucas Cranach, Albrecht Dürer, Sandro Botticelli, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Vermeer, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Beckmann, Alberto Giacometti, Francis Bacon, Gerhard Richter, Wolfgang Tillmans and Corinne Wasmuht.
The focus of the Städel Museum’s work, alongside collecting and conserving, consists in scholarly research into the museum’s holdings, as well as in the organization of exhibitions based on the works in its care. A further central concern is to put the art across to specific target groups; this aspect addresses both the contents of the collection but also general questions of art, and is aimed at a diversified public.
The high level of activity in the research, exhibition and education fields, and not least the outstanding quality of the collection itself, guarantee the Städel an important place on the international museum scene. As Germany’s most important civic foundation in the field of culture, the Städel exemplifies a broad commitment on the part of individual citizens, a commitment that is an essential contribution to the maintenance and development of this institution.