The Center for Persecuted Arts is a museum of discovery dedicated exclusively to artists whose opportunities for development and works were blocked, prevented, or annihilated by the dictatorships of the last century and totalitarian regimes up to the present day. It is a cross-genre museum, and its Collection of Art and Literature tells of lost, forgotten, and barely considered works of art, stories, and fates.
All three exhibitions at the Center for Persecuted Arts in the spring and summer of 2021 are subsumed under the Tucholsky quote “… and to say loudly: No.” Kurt Tucholsky published his somber prophetic admonition in 1921: “Nothing is more difficult, and nothing requires more character than to find oneself in open opposition to one’s time (and those one loves) and to say loudly: No!” All three exhibitions present strategies for preserving individuality under the conditions of the murderous dictatorship of the Nazi system, for resisting appropriation by National Socialism, and for loudly or quietly saying “No”.
The Max Leven Center is named after the Solingen-based cultural critic Max Leven, who was murdered on the night of the pogrom in November 1938. The educational and memorial center is currently under construction. The exhibition presents the success and failure of resistance against the Nazi system, as well as the consequences of a lack of resistance on a local level.
Manaf Halbouni constrains us: With his installation ZONE—a critical reflection of our present—he lets visitors experience where (their) borders lie. Historical motifs in the permanent exhibition are condensed with the artist’s works, which are always critical of the present, into a confrontation with what is taking place at the borders of Europe.
In the Center for Persecuted Arts, pictures, books, journals, documents, and photographs tell little-known stories of flight, expulsion, and persecution—but also of how art can give hope. In the permanent exhibition of the museum’s Collection of Art and Literature and the Civic Foundation for Persecuted Arts – Else Lasker-Schüler Center – Gerhard Schneider Art Collection, as well as in the archive, 3,500 objects can be discovered on more than 700 square meters.
As a measure to combat the spread of the Corona Pandemic, we will not offer public tours of our exhibitions on Sundays at the Museum Center for Persecuted Arts until the end of summer 2021. You are welcome to request a private tour from us. Before visiting our museum, you are welcome to find out which regulations of the Corona Protection Ordinance apply on a daily basis at email@example.com or by calling the museum at +49 212 258 1418.
Immediately after its founding, the Center for Persecuted Arts expanded its forms of expression through the feature-length documentary film Kichka. Life Is a Cartoon, produced in cooperation with the MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art Kraków. Since its founding, the center has also collaborated on the ARD project Auschwitz und Ich (Auschwitz and Me). The accompaniment of projects, exhibitions, and events through films has become an integral part of the museum’s program. Here, you can find many of our films and video contributions…
During the first lockdown of the Corona pandemic in April 2020, the Center for Persecuted Arts launched a podcast series. Born out of necessity, it has become a regular and popular program. The podcasts feature artists represented in the collection of the Civic Foundation for Persecuted Arts, but also respond to current social issues, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the toppling of monument in the United States, comics in the Third Reich, and the American photographer Lee Miller.
For museums, it is an obligation to actively participate in shaping an inclusive society. We want to be an “open museum for everyone!” Unfortunately, there are still far too many barriers; and, for the past year, we have been working on a series of measures for greater accessibility, inclusion, and diversity at the Center for Persecuted Arts, made possible by funding for cultural networks and institutions from the Social and Cultural Foundation of the Rhineland Regional Council (LVR). In order to be able to create a pluralistic, participatory place for all, our goal is to identify, make visible, and break down barriers and inhibition thresholds in the museum.
On the occasion of the museum’s fifth birthday, an association was founded on November 6, 2020 to support and enrich the program. Sebastian Greif, Barbara Antonia Löcherbach, Sylvia Löhrmann (Chairwoman), and Uli Preuß were elected to the board.
The founding of this association would not have been possible without the commitment of the citizens of Solingen. The aim of the association is to bring together interested people from Solingen and the surrounding area and to help shape the cultural life of the city. Would you also like to get involved in the newly founded association and support our museum? Then please contact
L’chaim means: “To life!” Our “Auf ein Wort” (To a Word) festival welcomes Jewish authors and other protagonists to participate in a lively dialog. Where reading and living coincide, food and drink are not to be missed—in October 2021, we will thus discuss, recite, and dine together.
7PLACES is an online exhibition of the Center for Persecuted Arts, realized with the support of the UNO’s Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme. As a multimedia educational resource for remembrance and enlightenment and as a network of international partners, the online exhibition also invites you to make discoveries: With the help of a timeline, it keeps both the memory of the Shoah and the ongoing discourse on the culture of remembrance alive.
As a visitor, you can scroll through time and the places of remembrance, vividly understanding how they came into being, how they changed, how they were partly destroyed, and how they were brought back to life again.