About us

Today, museum work means visualising diversity, expanding patterns of perception and thought and contributing to social discourse. In a highly economised and digitalised world, the Kunstmuseum Ahlen is committed to providing accessible, inclusive and scientifically sound information and promoting aesthetic experiences in encounters with artistic works. Enjoyment, reflection and increased knowledge are equally important goals.


The Ahlen entrepreneur Theodor F. Leifeld (1921–2005) founded the Kunstmuseum Ahlen on a private initiative in 1993. It is still run by the Theodor F. Leifeld Foundation today. The aim is to create a cultural centre with a national reputation that makes high-quality art accessible to a broad public in the long term. Sophisticated exhibitions on art from the early 20th century to the present day as well as educational programs and events reflect current and historical, cultural and social issues.

The museum's architecture reflects its program: a coexistence of past, present and future. The Wilhelminian-style villa and the modern extension from 1996 are complemented by a sculpture garden and light art in the outdoor space as well as the neighbouring restaurant in the restored Ackerbürgerhaus (urban middle-class house with enabled also farming).


The Kunstmuseum Ahlen fulfils the classic tasks of a museum – collecting and preserving, researching, exhibiting and communicating – and also sets itself further goals. The collection is preserved, maintained, researched and further developed as cultural heritage. Focal points – a collection of Rhenish and Westphalian Expressionism, positions of constructive-concrete art and contemporary works – have a stimulating effect on the exhibition program. A central theme is ‘light’ in its manifestations in painting, photography and objects.

New discoveries sustainably expand the art historical canon. Art and cultural-historical themes are linked with current aesthetic and social developments. Interdisciplinary approaches and networking with cooperating museums, non-museum institutions and communities are prerequisites for achieving this goal. We are constantly working on contemporary communication and mediation strategies and seeking dialogue with visitors. A wide range of museum education programs address all age and social groups.


With its multifaceted program, the Kunstmuseum Ahlen has positioned itself in the museum landscape. From its location, it has an impact on the city of Ahlen and the region and has developed an appeal that extends far beyond. Its proximity to the Ruhr metropolis and its integration into the cultural scene of North Rhine-Westphalia promotes constructive dialogue with an urban area that has the highest density of cultural institutions in Germany.


Exhibitions of contemporary art contribute to the visibility of young artistic positions. This is significantly supported by the Förderkreis Kunstmuseum Ahlen e. V. through purchases and the ‘Ahlener Kunstsprung’ scholarship program.


In terms of sustainable museum work, the museum is constantly developing its profile in an open process. It confronts its own position with discourses on sustainability and diversity. This includes contextualising its own collection, reflective exhibition work and collaborations. Ethical standards and values guide the actions and self-image of the institution.