Following the death of Kart Ernst Osthaus the art collection of the Folkwang Museum he had founded in Hagen in 1902 was acquired in 1922 by way of a joint initiative by local Essen citizens and the City of Essen, who founded the association Folkwang-Museumsverein to transact their business. The merging of the Folkwang collection in Hagen with the municipal Art Museum in Essen formed the basis for the internationally renowned collection of Museum Folkwang.

The contract signed in 1922 between the City of Essen and the newly founded association Folkwang-Museumsverein is still decisive for the museum’s continuation and development. The contract defines both the framework of cooperation and obligations of both parties.

City of Essen

Museum Folkwang is a department of the City of Essen, represented by the Lord Mayor – since 2015 Thomas Kufen. Specifically, within the municipal administration Museum Folkwang comes under Council Department 4 – Youth, Education and Culture – which is headed by Muchtar Al Ghusain.

The City of Essen and the Folkwang-Museumsverein e.V. association are equal owners of the Museum Folkwang collection. The City exercises its rights of ownership to the collection as trustee for the association. It must undertake to always make the museum available for research and education purposes in suitably worthy premises, and to hire the necessary staff to this end.

Board of Trustees

The Museum Folkwang Board of Trustees is made up of representatives of the City of Essen, Folkwang-Museumsverein and the Karl Ernst Osthaus Foundation. Chairmanship alternates annually between the Lord Mayor of the City of Essen and the chairperson of Folkwang-Museumsverein.

Members of the Board of Trustees (as at January 2021)

Representatives of the City of Essen
Lord Mayor Thomas Kufen
Councillor Tabea Buddenberg
Councillor Anke Löhl
Councillor Thomas Mehlkopf-Cao
Councillor Elisabeth Mews
Councillor Christiane Moos
Prof. Dr. Stefan Orgass
Councillor Jutta Pentoch
Barbara Rörig
Frank Wolbert

Representatives of Folkwang-Museumsverein e.V.
Dr. Ulrich Blank
Dr. Susanne Henle
Dr. Ulrich Irriger
Dr. Thomas A. Lange
Prof. Thomas Olbricht

Representatives of the Karl Ernst Osthaus Foundation
Christof Osthaus

Representatives of Kunstring Folkwang e.V. (advisory)
Imke Glücks

Museum Director (advisory)
Peter Gorschlüter

Councillor Muchtar Al Ghusain
Head of Department 4

Management (property)

The City of Essen has appointed the municipal subsidiary company “Grundstücksverwaltung Stadt Essen GmbH (GVE)” to conduct facility management and maintenance work.

The municipal subsidiary “RGE Servicegesellschaft Essen mbH” is largely responsible for providing security and supervisory staff.