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History of the Museum


The photo shows the reception area in the old building

Reception area in the old building; Photo: Peter Hinschläger

This imposing museum was inaugurated in 1905 in commemoration of Leopold Hoesch (1820 – 1899), a Düren industrialist, who proved to be a generous benefactor to his home town. Situated in the North Eifel region, this industrial centre soon expanded into a vibrant and diverse cultural metropolis, seeking from the very outset dialogue with contemporary artists. The collection amassed by Hoesch throughout his lifetime is generally thought to have been lost or destroyed in the conflagration of the Second World War. Reconstituted in 1949, the Museum's Association of Friends subsequently dedicated itself to supporting the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum by endeavouring to secure new acquisitions, foundations and gifts of art works. Over time, a remarkable collection of works from the Classical Modern period has been assembled and entrusted to the museum on permanent loan.

Together with the Paper Museum Düren, this traditional institution is committed to fostering the current cultural discourse: Under its dual museum concept, it now serves as a globally-oriented platform for showcasing contemporary art and the cultural history of paper by staging interdisciplinary exhibitions and extending the region's cultural axis towards Belgium and the Netherlands.

The Leopold-Hoesch-Museum perceives itself as a forum for an open exchange, which readily integrates new and contemporary trends into its development and, which like art itself, is in perpetual flux.

Papermuseum Düren

Papermuseum Düren

Papermuseum Düren, Photo: Peter Hinschläger

Located in direct proximity of the Leopold-Hoesch-Museum is the Paper Museum Düren. Its core mission is to document the historical development of paper production and processing, focussing specifically on the North Eifel industrial town as its traditional centre.

The idea of founding such a museum was first mooted back in the early 1940s, but plans were curtailed by the continuing Second World War. Constituted in1984, the Friends Society of the Paper History of Düren-Jülich-Euskirchen (Förderverein der Düren-Jülich-Euskirchen Papiergeschichte) campaigned once again for the construction of a paper museum, which, with the support of public and private-sector funds, was finally inaugurated in 1990. In 2009, the Friends Society of the Paper Museum merged with the Friends Association of the Düren Museum.

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