Alfred Schmela

Alfred Schmela, Galerist, Düsseldorf 1965 Porträt © Adolf Clemens, Münster / Im Hintergrund Kenneth Noland © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018


Friday, November 23, 2018
7 p.m.

Free entrance!


Susanne Gaensheimer, Director
Lena Brüning, Curator

Sneak Peek - Student's Preview

Friday, November 23, 2018
4 p.m.

Free Admission with student's ID!


Alfred Schmela: A Centenary Exhibition

November 24, 2018 – January 20, 2019
Schmela Haus

Free Admission.

On November 23, 2018, Alfred Schmela – the founder of the pioneering Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf – would have celebrated his 100th birthday. To mark the occasion, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen has organized an exhibition devoted to this influential and charismatic art dealer. The presentation places the focus on Schmela’s widely ramified network, which functioned as a crucial nodal point of the international art scene during that era. At the same time, the Galerie Schmela, established in 1957, served as a vital source of inspiration for many art galleries that were launched during the 1960s. Although art historians have turned their attention toward the protagonists, structures, and mechanisms of the 20th century art market to an increasing degree since the 1980s, no exhibition devoted exclusively to the Galerie Schmela has been organized up to this point. The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is remedying this omission by casting a spotlight – assisted by Schmela’s granddaughter Lena Brüning as guest curator – on the impact of this "trailblazer of the

The venue for this exhibition is the architecturally incisive gallery building in Düsseldorf’s historic city center, planned by Aldo van Eyck and inaugurated in 1971. Assembled in the Schmela Haus – which was named for the commissioning client – are works by internationally renowned artists whose success is owed to a large degree to the activities and commitment of Alfred Schmela. Among these are exponents of Nouveau Réalisme such as Yves Klein and Arman, but also US-American artists like Kenneth Noland and Mark Tobey. Schmela’s engagement also benefited regionally active artists: Joseph Beuys was among his key artists, and Schmela worked closely as well with the ZERO group and the artists of Capitalist Realism, in particular Gerhard Richter. In combination with previously unexhibited archival material (correspondence, guest books, invitations, photographs, etc.), they shed light on the working methods and unique spirit of the Galerie Schmela.


Exhibition Program

Public Tours
(in German language)
Sundays, holidays, 4-5 p.m.

Tour with the Curator
Lena Brüning, the curator of the exhibition, will give a guided tour on Saturday, November 24 at 11 a.m.

December 5 from 6 p.m.

Please register for guided tours. 

Visitor's Service
Tel.: 0211.83 81-204
Fax: 0211.83 81-209 

Admission hours:
Mo.-Do. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Fr. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.


A Centenary Exhibition
Editors: Susanne Gaensheimer, Doris Krystof, Linda Walther
With an introduction by Susanne Gaensheimer, memories by Robert Rademacher and a text by Lena Brüning.

German/English, 80 p., paperback with flaps
edited by Kerber Verlag.

Price: ca 18.- EUR

Opening Times Schmela House

Tuesday through Friday

10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Saturdays, Sundays, holidays

11 a.m.-6 p.m.



1st Wednesday of each month
KPMG Kunstabend
(free admission from 6 p.m.)

10 a.m.-10 p.m

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is closed on December 24, 25 and 31.
The museum is opened on all other public holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Directions & Access

Schmela Haus
Mutter-Ey-Straße 3
40213 Düsseldorf

Please not, that the Schmela Haus is not wheelchair accessible!