The Kulturstiftung Ruhr

Three institutions – one goal: The Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation as owner of Villa Hügel, the Krupp Historical Archive – also owned by the Krupp Foundation – and the Kulturstiftung Ruhr are working successfully together to make Villa Hügel accessible to the public, preserve it and preserve its historical heritage.

In 1984 Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Berthold Beitz, who served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung until his death in 2013, founded the Kulturstiftung Ruhr (Ruhr Cultural Foundation). As stated in its statutes, the aim of the Foundation is to ‘bring new momentum to the cultural life of the Ruhr region and to set standards and objectives’. Through its founding, the benefactor wanted to ‘re-establish closer links between the Ruhr region and international intellectual power centres’, ‘reconfirm the region’s tradition as an important cultural landscape’ and thereby help overcome the feeling of resignation that had begun to cripple intellectual and cultural life in the major industrial cities as of the 1980s. Thus, the Kulturstiftung Ruhr sees itself as both an initiator and a sponsor of artistic and cultural activities of high standing, chief among them internationally significant artistic and cultural-historical exhibitions.

Tradition and avant-garde

Between 1986 and 1994, the exhibitions organised by the Kulturstiftung Ruhr followed the overall theme of ‘European Metropolises’. During a period of largely impermeable boundaries between Eastern and Western Europe, they were intended to keep the memory of the shared roots of European tradition alive. Thus, in addition to their major artistic and cultural-historical significance, they also took on a political dimension. The exhibitions presented up until 2006 were devoted alternately to Flemish painting and antique Asian art. With the Josef Albers show in 2018, the curators focussed for the first time on a modern artist, thereby opening up a new perspective for the Villa Hügel.


In addition to its sponsorship of exhibitions, the Kulturstiftung Ruhr cooperates with the Villa’s owner, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung, as well as with the Krupp Historical Archive to preserve the Villa Hügel and thus ensure its accessibility for future generations. Among other responsibilities, it supports restoration projects and organises visitor activities at the Villa Hügel.