The corona pandemic is posing extreme challenges to our society. Businesses, restaurants, public institutions and schools – all these places of human interaction, where goods, knowledge and inspiration are exchanged – are closed until further notice. The hope is that the risk of infection will be minimized and the spread of the coronavirus will be contained. The Museum Kunst der Westküste (MKdW) followed the order given by the state government of Schleswig-Holstein on 14 March 2020 and closed its doors that very morning. Initially the closure was to be in effect until 19 April, but now its duration remains uncertain.


For a museum, this poses the real threat of an identity crisis, because everything about museums is geared toward being on site. Museums offer the experience of original artworks, to which Walter Benjamin ascribed a singular and non-reproducible “aura”, as he wrote in an essay published in 1936.* The interaction between the artwork and its spatial surroundings also plays a central role in the perception of the work. Nowhere is this truer than here at the MKdW, where, with the museum’s art collection and focus on the various motifs of “the sea and the coast”, deliberate reference is made to the immediate geographical and cultural surroundings.


What are we left with when these artworks cannot be experienced on site? The corona crisis is showing us that there are all kinds of things that can be done! Museums everywhere are experimenting with digital ways to make their exhibitions available in spite of the closures. We too, the team at the MKdW, have made good use of the past fourteen days, collecting ideas to create virtual access for our visitors to our two current exhibitions SEA PIECES. Facts and Fiction as well as SEASCAPES. From the Romantic Period to Classical Modernism. The result is a wide-ranging programme which gives vivid impressions of the two shows; it can be accessed through our website under MKdW-TV, through the social media platforms  Facebook and Instagram as well as through YouTube. I would like to express my sincere thanks to our social media manager Christina Scheel: Without her expert knowledge and energetic dedication, developing such comprehensive online programming would have hardly been possible.


We’ll be the first to admit that photos and videos cannot replace the real-life visit: the “aura” of the artwork cannot unfold in its entirety, nor will you feel the fresh North Sea breeze in your hair. And yet, you will still be able to take a mental journey to the artistic and maritime worlds, to learn about the genre of the sea piece, to glance over the artists’ shoulders and to get a feeling for the island and the atmosphere at the MKdW. This and much more will sweeten the time until you can visit the island of Föhr and the MKdW in person – we promise!


It is our pleasure to welcome you online. If you like our programme, support us! If you are not already, become a friend, supporter or patron of the MKdW or show your enthusiasm for the online programme by making a small donation.


I along with the entire team at the MKdW wish you strength and health in the time ahead! See you soon!


Klara Scheuren M.A.

Research Assistant


* “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”





MKdW-TV: Guided Tours and Interviews in the Exhibition SEA PIECES. Facts and Fiction



Nasan Tur, Sea View, 2016, Courtesy the artist und Blain|Southern, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020



On Friday, 20 March, a series of online guided tours of the exhibition SEA PIECES. Facts and Fiction started under the new rubric of MKdW-TV. In short films, our director Prof. Dr. Wolff-Thomsen and our research associates present different contemporary positions.


Artists too, including Jessica Backhaus, Tobias Kappel and Sven Drühl, will be presenting their work from a personal point of view in video interviews. The film sequences – with camera, editing and directing by Christina Scheel – are being posted on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm on Facebook and Instagram, and can later be viewed on our website under MKDW-TV, as well as on YouTube.






Since 26 March, we have been posting a short live video podcast on Facebook and Instagram every Thursday at 1:30 pm, featuring current topics related to the MKdW.





Ausstellungsansicht Seestücke. Von der Romantik bis zur Klassischen Moderne


Our collection show SEASCAPES. From the Romantic Period to Classical Modernism may also be “visited” from the comfort of your home: The audioguide for the exhibition can be streamed anytime from anywhere. Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of seascapes! The colourful stories behind 15 paintings will be presented along with rich background information about the artists and their pictorial subjects. The audioguide is available in German and English at or through the app.





Julius von Bismarck, Punishment #7, 2011, Ausstellungsansicht, Courtesy Julius von Bismarck und alexander levy, Berlin, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020


Do you always look forward to browsing in the museum shop after visiting an exhibition? Then we have just the right thing for you: Alongside the many offers helping you explore the current exhibitions, our shop is now online – MKdW-Shop! Through our website, you can easily order exhibition catalogues, art prints and admission tickets. We are continually expanding our product line.





Workshop für Kinder


#closedbutopen: As we await the reopening of the MKdW with art enthusiasts and fans of the island of Föhr, we are also offering further programming for children.





Johan Christian Dahl, Schiffswrack an der Küste Finnmarks, 1847


Meanwhile we are intensifying our efforts to implement our MKdW collection catalogue on our website. Since last year, we have been preparing an online presentation of our collection, which comprises more than 900 works. The launch of a first part of the collection is planned for June, accompanying the upcoming exhibition New Treasures at the MKdW. From Max Liebermann to Jochen HeinWe hope to be able to achieve this goal in the face of the current situation. It would be the first parallel “online exhibition” of the MKdW and thus a milestone … Stay tuned!