Georg Schaefer Museum, Schweinfurt

by Bert Schwarz
Pictures with kind permission of the Museum Georg Schaefer

The Georg Schaefer Museum in Schweinfurt has existed since 2000 and to this day attracts international attention for its exhibits, as well as for being an architectural masterpiece by Volker Staab. Here you can find a unique collection of German painting and drawing art from 1760 to 1930.

Museum Georg Schäfer © Bert Schwarz

The quality and scope of the Georg Schäfer Collection is on the same level as the collections of the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin and the Neue Pinakothek in Munich.

Story, Camera, Edit : Bert Schwarz

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Our journey down the Main River takes us to Schweinfurt and the Georg Schaefer Museum. I knew this city as an industrial hub, associated it with gears for bicycles and ball bearings.

Museum Georg Schäfer © Bert Schwarz
Museum Georg Schäfer © Bert Schwarz

Ball bearings were ultimately the driving force behind the museum, as Georg Schaefer (1896-1975) developed rolling bearings with which he entered the market at the beginning of the 20th century. With the onset of motorization, ball bearing production became one of the key industries and for Schäfer the financial resources for his passion for collecting. He preferred to focus on German art of the 19th century and over time accumulated a unique collection.

Papiermühle Homburg © Bert Schwarz
Museum Georg Schäfer © Bert Schwarz

Schaefer's successors contributed around 1,000 paintings and 4,650 drawings to the Collection-Dr.-Georg-Schaefer-Stiftung, which was established in 1997 and is augmented by extensive endowments (2005, 2016, 2017) and other important loans. Thus, the Museum Georg Schaefer became the most important private collection of 19th century art in the German-speaking world.

Museum Georg Schäfer © Bert Schwarz
Museum Georg Schäfer © Bert Schwarz

For people with or without previous artistic or art historical knowledge, the museum opens perspectives to discover the distinctive characteristics of the painting of the 19th century. The museum sees itself as a forum for the international dissemination of the art of this period and I am once again fascinated by how the flow of time continues and produces thought processes as if by itself, to understand and classify the Today.

Museum Georg Schäfer © Bert Schwarz
Museum Georg Schäfer © Bert Schwarz
Museum Georg Schäfer © Bert Schwarz
Museum Georg Schäfer © Bert Schwarz