17 Sep 2022
22 Jan 2023





What do plants mean to human beings? 

With around 130 exhibits, the exhibition 'Green Modernism: The New View of Plants' takes us back to the early twentieth century and examines the depiction of plants in the arts and how they were viewed in botany. After all, as plain as potted plants in pictures may appear at first glance, and as matter-of-fact as botanical reports read, they always also attest to the contradictions, fears, longings, and ideologies of the modern age.

Artists: Hans Arp, Max Baur, Arthur Benda, Aenne Biermann, Karl Blossfeldt, Otto Dix, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Hugo Erfurth, Max Ernst, Otto Feldmann, Ernst Fuhrmann, Albert and Richard Theodor Gottheil, Erich Heckel, Heinrich Hoerle, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Werner Mantz, Franz Pichler Jr., Anton Räderscheidt, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Ludwig Ernst Ronig, August Sander, Karl Schenker, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Richard Seewald, Friedrich Seidenstücker, Franz Wilhelm Seiwert, Renée Sintenis, Carl Strüwe. Also featuring: Marta Astfalck-Vietz, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Comedian Harmonists, Lili Elbe, Wilhelm Murnau, Max Reichmann, Christian Warlich, and others.

'Green Modernism: The New View of Plants' is a pilot project in eco-curating for the Museum Ludwig. Cultural institutions want and need to establish new environmental standards for their operations—especially museums, which are among the major CO2 emitters in the cultural sector with air conditioning, lighting, travel, and shipping. Green Modernism: The New View of Plants will explore the possibilities for presenting sustainable exhibitions and make them transparent.

Claudia Roth, Commissioner to the Federal Government for Culture and Media, is acting as patron of the exhibition.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Freunde des Wallraf-Richartz-Museum und des Museum Ludwig e.V., the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation, the Karin and Uwe Hollweg Foundation, the Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR), and Sparkasse KölnBonn. 



Image: Still from The Miracle of Flowers, 1926 / Director: Max Reichmann, 1926 © absolut Medien GmbH, www.absolutmedien.de



Vue in situ, Green Modernism. Un nouveau regard sur les plantes, Museum Ludwig, Cologne 2022 / Photo : Leonie Braun
Vue in situ, Green Modernism. Un nouveau regard sur les plantes, Museum Ludwig, Cologne 2022 / Photo : Leonie Braun
Aenne Biermann, Cactus, vers 1929 / Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Reproduction : Archives d'images rhénanes Cologne.
Alfred Eisenstaedt, Marlene Dietrich, vers 1928 / Museum Ludwig, Cologne. © Time-Life Syndication, New York Reproduction : Archives d’images rhénanes Cologne.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Figures brunes au café, 1928/1929 / Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Reproduction : Archives d’images rhénanes Cologne / Britta Schlier/Thomas Möbus.
Toit-terrasse du Museum Ludwig / Photo : Nathan Ishar.
General information


Mu­se­um Lud­wig
50667 Köln



Curator: Miri­am Szwast, advised by Suzanne Pierre



Tahani Marie SAMIRI