The entire spectrum of the Christian Orthodox world of images opens up in the Icon Museum (Ikonen-Museum), which presents the art and ritual of icons from the 15th to the 20th century. In the former refectory of the Deutschordenshaus, the Cologne-based architect Oswald Mathias Ungers has designed clearly contoured rooms that create a charged relationship between the ritual images painted on wood and the building itself. The permanent exhibition goes back to a gift by the physician Dr Jörgen Schmidt-Voigt of Königstein. He donated 800 icons to the city of Frankfurt in 1988. Through purchasing, loans and donations the collection has been expanded to more than 1,000 exhibits. These also include the permanent loan of the post-Byzantine icons from the State Museums of Prussian Cultural Heritage Berlin (Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz zu Berlin).
The works of art provide insight into the world of Orthodox belief from Northern Russia, through the Middle East and all the way to Ethiopia. Of particular value are a Coptic paper icon from the 12th/13th century and a series of signed, dated icons of Italo-Cretan, Russian, and Syrian origin. These include famous icon painters such as Emmanuel Tzanes, Michail Milyutin and Yussuf Al-Mussawir. The museum also owns metal sculptures such as travel icons, crucifixes, crosses to be worn around the neck, ecclesiastical utensils and textiles. A collection of valuable Ethiopian crosses, manuscripts and icons provides insight into ancient Christianity. Special exhibitions and programmes present the large repertoire of icon painting and its ritual and cultural connections up to the present day.
museum of the City of Frankfurt
Free admission for children and young persons under 18