Horst-Janssen-Museum Oldenburg

Horst-Janssen-Museum Oldenburg


The many facets of a multitalented artist


Horst Janssen (*1929 + 1995) was an artist in drawing, etching, wood engraving; he was also a lithographer, a poster artist, an illustrator and author. The many facets of Janssen’s gift as an artist are the subject of the Horst-Janssen-Museum Oldenburg, which was inaugurated in November 2000. A surface of altogether 1000 square meters shows all the aspects of Horst Janssen’s work. One room offers space for changing exhibitions.


Horst Janssen was born November 14th 1929 in Hamburg, and grew up in Oldenburg. His exceptional gift for drawing showed already during his schooldays. At the end of the war and after the death of his mother and grandparents, his aunt took the 16 years old Janssen to live with her in Hamburg. There, he studied at the academy of fine arts of the Land Hamburg, where he was encouraged and fostered by Alfred Mahlau in his master class.


It was the beginning of a successful artistic career, bringing to Janssen, known as eccentric and egomaniaque,  worldwide fame. Exhibitions of his works were shown in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Tokio, Tripolis, Taipeh, Moscow, Venice, Rome, Oslo, Paris, Hamburg, Dresden and other cities.


Later in his life, Janssen remembered ever more his happy childhood in Oldenburg. In 1992, he was given the freedom of the City of Oldenburg. Horst Janssen died August 31st 1995 and was buried according to his own will, in the cemetery of St. Gertrude in Oldenburg.



Encounter with the work and the personality


The museum shows the biography of Horst Janssen and his work in well assembled groups: drawings and water colours, cycles of etchings, wood carvings, lithographies, posters and illustrations. There are terminals for information and films, together with classical text boards, giving a good insight in the work of a genius-artist and a personality very of his own mind. The permanent collection consists of many originals which are exchanged on a regular basis, so that even the frequent visitor can always discover new items. There are objects like a silk tapestry after a blueprint of Janssen, a grand piano fully painted and a writing desk designed by him. Horst Janssen’s study is reconstructed and gives an emphatic impression of his surroundings and his way of working.


Landscape, erotic, portraits, still life and ever again the self portrait characterize his extensive work. He studied intensively the work of other artists which leads to parallel analogies, like between Janssen and Rembrandt, Dürer, Füssli. Elective affinities exist between him and Egon Schiele, Paul Wunderlich, Jean Dubuffet and Paul Klee.


The richness of the museum is essentially based on the collection of the couple Carin and Claus Vogel; it was purchased by the Claus-Hüppe-Foundation in 1995 and given in permanent disposal to the museum. It is completed by various loans from other patrons and firms.


Museum for international graphic arts.


The museum also deals with artists and artistic orientations which have influenced Horst Janssen.  A large space devoted to alternating exhibitions shows three or four times a year art works which are in very different ways related to those of Horst Janssen. Informations about the current exhibitions are available under www. horst-janssen-museum.de. Considering the contemporary graphic arts, the Claus-Hüppe-Foundation dedicates regularly the Horst-Janssen-award for graphics , always accompanied by an exhibition of the work of the prizewinner.




Am Stadtmuseum 4 – 8

26121 Oldenburg





Opening hours

Tuesday to Sunday 10.oo to 18.oo

Euro 3,50 (reduced 1,50)