Ruhr Museum

Collections

The collections of the Ruhr Museum are based on the inventory of one of the oldest museums in the Ruhr area. Before the Second World War the »Ruhrlandmuseum« in Essen ranked as one of Germany’s largest museums of cultural and natural history.

Since more than 100 years it possesses collections on archaeology, natural history and ethnology, as well as works of art and historical objects. Their international, even global nature tells us both about the character and ambitions of the collectors and the reasons behind setting up museums at the time. Rare artefacts of cultural and natural history were collected by industrialists, engineers and scholars who worked on an international level and who felt no cultural ties with the developing Ruhr area, a region which seemed to have no history of its own.

Alternative worlds to the seemingly uncultured and destructive world of industrialisation were created for the benefit of museum visitors, in particular the working class. They were designed for educational and intellectual edification.