Frequently asked questions about the museum

History and Institution

What events preceded the museum’s foundation, since when had plans been in circulation?
The Museum opened its doors in 2001. The building consists of the former telegraph office and a new tract designed by the famous architect Josef P. Kleihues. Plans for a new museum were first incepted in the 1980s.

Who were the main participants?
The initiators were Winfried Schwarz (former district director) and Prof. Dr. Gundolf Winter (former professor of history of art at the University of Siegen). The artist couple Bernd and Hilla Becher, Prof. Dr. Klaus Bußmann (former director of the LWL-Museum Münster), also played a part. And of cours the patron Barbara Lambrecht-Schadeberg.

What is the museum’s organizational structure?
Legally, the museum is a charity. Its board consists of representatives from the City of Siegen, the University of Siegen, the Sparkasse Siegen, the Siegen Art Association, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the City Marketing Company.

What is the Peter-Paul-Rubens-Foundation’s function?
The Peter-Paul-Rubens-Foundation’s purpose is to secure the Museum’s on-going operations by providing the necessary funds. The foundation was established by Mrs. Barbara Lambrecht-Schadeberg, who also provided the foundation capital.    

What is the Museum’s annual budget and from which sources do the funds stem?
The museum’s budget size varies constantly and is mainly made up of income from the Peter-Paul-Rubens-Foundation. Further resources are raised for temporary exhibitions from private and public foundations, institutions, and companies (e.g. the Federal Art Foundation, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the European Union, and so on).


Current Practice, Exhibitions, and Contemporary Art

What is shown in the Museum? What is its profile?
The Museum rests on two programmatic tiers:
a) The first tier deals with contemporary art. Each year, at least three changing exhibitions of contemporary (young) artists take place. We regularly display thematic exhibitions, such as „Faites vos Jeux“ (2005), „Tanzen, Sehen“ (2006), „Blickmaschinen“ (2008) or „Je mehr ich zeichne“ (2010), a comprehensive exhibition about drawing with 41 artists, "Lieber Aby Warburg" (2013) oder "Was Modelle können" (2014), "Wie Raum wird (2015).

b) The Museum also houses two collections: the first is of photography and other works of contemporary art such as Bernd and Hilla Becher, Thomas Struth, Diana Thater, Sol LeWitt, Charlotte Posenenske, Mischa Kuball, etc. The second collection is the Lambrecht-Schadeberg collection containing only pieces by the Siegen Rubens Prize laureates (Sigmar Polke, Emil Schumacher, Francis Bacon, etc.).

According to which plan are new art works acquired? Who decides what?
Which new pieces are acquired is decided by the museum’s director Dr. Eva Schmidt. She is responsible for the financing by attracting resources either from public funds or patrons of the arts. Which pieces are acquired for the private Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection is decided by the collector.

Rubens Prize

The Rubens Prize is awarded by the City of Siegen. How are the awardees chosen?
The Rubens Prize laureates and the Rubens Advancement Award laureates are chosen by a jury that is appointed by the city. The jury consists of international art experts: a museum director, an artist, a university professor, and one further art pundit. Each jury member nominates artists and after intensive discussion the jury as a group votes. Members of Siegen’s Rubens Committee take part in the jury sessions and accompany the process. The award winners receive a solo exhibition and an accompanying publication. From 2022 onwards, the winners will receive € 25,000. 

Who were the previous Rubens Prize Awardees? Do they have to be painters? 
Until now there have been thirteen Rubens Prize laureates: Hans Hartung (1957), Giorgio Morandi (1962), Francis Bacon (1967), Antoni Tàpies (1972), Fritz Winter (1977), Emil Schumacher (1982), Cy Twombly (1987), Rupprecht Geiger (1992), Lucian Freud (1997), Maria Lassnig (2002), Sigmar Polke (2007), Bridget Riley (2012), Niele Toroni (2017).

The Rubens Prize has been awarded exclusively to major painters and graphic designers living in Europe since 1958.

The Rubens Advancement Award
The Rubens Advancement Award has been donated by the City of Siegen in 1980 and is awarded every five years; in alternation with the Rubens Prize. The winner receives €5,000, a solo exhibition at the museum and an accompanying publication. The award has been given to Lena Henke (2019), Vaijko Chachkhiani (2014), Diango Hernández (2009), Peter Piller (2004), Silke Rehberg (1999), Karin Sander (1994), Julia Lohmann (1989) and Max Neumann (1984).

The Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection

Which concept does the Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection follow?
The collection contains only works by the Rubens Prize laureates. At the moment, the collection comprises 200 pieces from those eleven male and two female artists.

The collection is owned by Mrs. Lambrecht-Schadeberg and is only on display in the museum. Is that correct?
The collection is a permanent loan to the Museum. Barbara Lambrecht-Schadeberg would like to endorse culture and especially art in our region and thus focuses her collection on the Rubens Prize laureates.

How does the collection grow? Who is responsible for the decision-making?
The collection grows continuously through new acquisitions that are found in galleries and at auctions. Conceptually, each artist should be represented by works from each of his or her respective creative phases. What the collector is able to buy depends, of course, on which pieces are on the market. The collection is supervised by the custodian Dr. Christian Spies.

Circle of Friends

What is the Circle of Friends?
The Circle of Friends supports the museum’s exhibitions, new acquisitions of art works, and the museum pedagogy department with its contributions. Support of the museum pedagogical department benefits the Kids Club, Sunday Guided Tours, and work with school classes.

How can I become a member of the Circle of Friends and which benefits do I receive as a member?
Upon request, we will gladly send to an application form if you wish to join the museum’s Circle of Friends. Just write to us at freundeskreis@mgk-siegen.de . You can also download the application form from our website. A membership costs 42,- Euro.

The Museum and University Students

What benefits do I have as a student of university?
All students are offered free admission to the museum and all exhibitions during opening hours. All you have to do is to show your student card.

Can I become an intern?
You can get to know the museum and its workings during an internship in which you will discover what is required to prepare an exhibition and assist in the press and marketing departments. You may even come into direct contact with the art pieces when they are delivered for a new exhibition and need to be unpacked. Simply write a short letter of application along with a curriculum vitae and send it via email to info@mgk-siegen.de.

Are there any job opportunities?
Art students can apply for freelance positions. We are always on the lookout for passionate students willing to lead guided tours for children, school classes, and adults. Prerequisite is a sound knowledge of art history as well as of methods in museum pedagogy. You should also be in at least the fifth or sixth semester.


Information on the Program

How can I obtain information on a regular basis about what is going on at the museum?
That’s easy! Simply subscribe to our museum newsletter. Once a month you will receive detailed information about all of our exhibitions and events.

Opening hours

Open on holidays

11 - 6
11 - 8



5.90 €
4.60 €

all prices ››


Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen
Unteres Schloss 1
57072 Siegen

Phone:+49 (0) 271 405 77 0
Fax: +49 (0) 271 405 77 32
E-Mail: info@mgk-siegen.de