The Caspar David Friedrich Centre
The Caspar David Friedrich Centre was opened in 2004 and is run by the Caspar David Friedrich Society. Both, the Society as well as the Centre, are dedicated to the preservation of Friedrich’s outstanding artistic heritage and the promotion of the importance of his work for Greifswald and the region of Pomerania. Visitors and guests, who seek “to make acquaintance with” Caspar David Friedrich in his native city, are offered various and exciting ways to discover the artist’s life and work.
The famous Romantic landscape painter was born here, in the house of his parents, in 1774. The house is situated in the middle of Greifswald’s historic city centre and was owned by the Friedrich family over five generations until the second half of the 20th century.
Today, the Centre houses three separate exhibition spaces which give an insight into Friedrich’s life and work.
In various rooms on the ground floor, the visitor can explore Friedrich’s artistic heritage and trace links to all the museums and collections in the world that contain his works. The largest and most comprehensive area of the permanent exhibition is dedicated to the documentation of the artist’s biographical stages, from his studies at the University of Greifswald and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen to his life and work in Dresden. The ‘Eldena’ and ‘Rügen’ rooms give informative insights into Friedrich’s approach to landscape painting and choice of motifs. Since the opening of the family room, or better put ‘Familienkabinett’, on 5 September 2014, visitors have had the opportunity to learn more about Friedrich’s family and the individual family members’ works.
In the historic basement vaults, visitors are taken on a time travel back to the days of the young Caspar David Friedrich. His father’s soap and candle works, containing much of the original equipment, has been preserved to this day and comes to life via various workshops in which visitors can try themselves their hand at these old trades.
The first floor hosts the Caspar David Friedrich Gallery of contemporary art, where works of the annual winners of the Caspar David Friedrich Prize are shown, as well as works of art that explore or refer to the topics and ideas of the Romantic era.
The Caspar David Friedrich Centre sees itself as a place of remembrance and documentation of the artist’s life and work. It makes reference to the paintings exhibited at the Pomeranian State Museum and offers adults and children a varied and changing programme of talks, literary readings, exhibitions and workshops. In addition, visitors, both young and old, can browse the museum shop, which was modelled on a design by Friedrich, which his brother Christian had asked him to draft for a new shop interior.
Last but not least, the Caspar David Friedrich Centre is the starting point of the Caspar David Friedrich Trail, leading as far as the little fishing village of Wieck and the ruins of Eldena Abbey.