Anyone that wants to learn about art in Cologne has definitely found the right blog and our first section will fully cover the best art galleries and museums near you.
After that we will get into a variety of other topics like art supply stores, events, festivals, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, local sculptures and statues, art classes, studios for rent, and the top frame shops in your area.
You can jump straight to any section that interests you most by using the table of contents on the left and we are also including a Cologne art map with all of the spots we mention throughout the post pinned on it.
Art in Germany is something we have discussed often on our site.
Best Art Galleries & Museums In Cologne
If you want to check out the best art galleries and museums in Cologne you can head to:
- Museum Für Ostasiatische Kunst Köln at Universitätsstr 100
- Museum Ludwig at Heinrich Böll Platz
- Galerie Thomas Zander at Schönhauser Str 8
- Galerie Boisserée at Drususgasse 7-11
- Kolumba at Kolumbastr 4
- Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln at Neumarkt 18-24
- Artothek at Am Hof 50
- Kölnischer Kunstverein at Hahnenstr 6
- Kölnisches Stadtmuseum at Zeughausstr 1–3
- Wallraf Richartz Museum & Fondation Corboud at Obenmarspforten
The Museum Für Ostasiatische Kunst is open from 11am to 5pm every day but Monday when they are closed after having been established in 1913 and representing a dedication to an educated interaction with the rest of the world. The house was designed to provide a fresh unmistakable look at East Asian art and the collection was assembled by Adolf Fischer and his wife Frieda. The Chinese holy bronzes that have been added to the Hans-Jürgen von Lochow collection during the 1970’s are also key focal areas.
On February 5, 1976 Peter and Irene Ludwig and the city signed a donation contract that established the Ludwig Museum. Today the collection is open to the public from from 10am to 6pm every day but Monday when they are closed containing the most significant movements in twentieth-century and contemporary art.
In 1996 Galerie Thomas Zander was established and it hosts six to nine exhibitions per year showcasing enlarged photography, media, and conceptual art. The gallery is open from 1pm to 6pm Tuesday through Friday and from noon to 5pm on Saturday and exhibits at international art fairs like Art Basel, FIAC Paris, Art Cologne, Paris Photo, and Photo London on a regular basis plus there are active collaborations with a variety of organizations, museums, and partner galleries.
Galerie Boisserée is open from 10am to 6pm Tuesday through Friday and from 11am to 3pm on Saturday after being established in 1838 and on two floors of showrooms it currently exhibits international modern and contemporary art. The gallery focuses on works on paper as well as overseas prints and you will see over 500 works by artists such as Max Ackermann, Josef Albers, Georg Baselitz, Louise Bourgeois, Eduardo Chillida, Christo, Karl Fred Dahmen, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Peter Doig, Max Ernst, Sam Francis, and others.
To find a loose virtual collective of creative practitioners in visual artists, musicians, dancers, writers, film-makers, and curators from various backgrounds and continents as well as a cultural institution and a production platform visit The Akademie Der Künste Der Welt.
Kolumba is the Archdiocese of Cologne’s art museum which was created in 1853 and which allows visitors to immerse themselves in two millennia of Western culture in a single structure. The modern structure is a harmonic blend built by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor to combine the Gothic ruins of St Kolumba and Böhms chapel “Madonna in the Ruins” with the unique archaeological excavation site. Head over to check it all out from noon to 5pm every day but Tuesday when they are closed.
The work of Käthe Kollwitz is the focus of the museum of the same name that was established in 1985 on the 40th anniversary of the artist’s death. Today Käthe Kollwitz Museum is open from 11am to 6pm every day but Monday when they are closed and has the world’s largest Kollwitz collection providing a comprehensive portrait of the draughtswoman, graphic designer, and sculptor.
Galerie Nagel Draxler was previously called Galerie Christian Nagel and was established in 1990. Today it has locations here, Berlin, and in Munich.
Since 1973 Artothek has provided the option to borrow contemporary art and the collection is open to the public from 1pm to 7pm Tuesday through Friday and from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday and includes works by worldwide and local artists in a variety of styles and techniques.
The Kölnischer Kunstverein is open from 11am to 6pm every day but Monday when they are closed and was founded in 1839 making it one of the Rhineland’s oldest institutions promoting modern art. Many of the creators who had exhibitions include Max Ernst, Hans Arp, and Paul Klee who have long held key positions in art history. The museum’s collection contains around 350,000 artefacts related to the history of your area which has developed steadily since it began in 1888 through foundations and purchases.
Since its inception Delmes and Zander Gallery’s operations have been centered on the discovery and promotion of unique creative positions outside of current trends while the exhibition program’s origins include art brut and outsider art.
The Wallraf Richartz Museum & Fondation Corboud is open from from 10am to 6pm every day but Monday when they are closed and it is one of Germany’s most important classical art museums. In a building built in 2001 it contains the world’s most extensive collection of medieval paintings, particularly local paintings from the Middle Ages, as well as a representative selection from the 16th and 17th centuries. The inventory also includes a significant graphic collection of over 75,000 pages dating from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century.
Materials & Supplies Near You
These art stores near you should have all of the materials and supplies you desire:
- Artservice + Tube at Theodor Heuss Ring 18th
- Ortloff at Zeppelinstr 4
- Künstlerbedarf Dieter Bachmann at Grosse Brinkgasse 9
- Akasha Keilrahmen at Bismarckstr 20
- Traumfarben at Merowingerstr 39
- Boesner at Girlitzweg 30
- Idee Creativmarkt at Richmodstr 6-8
Artservice + Tube provides gift ideas, hobby and handicrafts, artist papers, cardboard and pads, adhesives and foils, felt-tip pens and markers, colored and artist pens, chalks, fixatives and accessories, artist’s ink, writing and drawing implements, cutting devices and accessories, etching, linoprint, and more.
Since the early 1920’s The Ortloff company has been providing writing culture, stationery, gift products, exclusive leather goods, office supplies, school supplies, and office furniture.
Künstlerbedarf Dieter Bachmann has everything an artist may need including paints, brushes, canvas, papers, stretcher frames, and many more items are available.
Stretcher bars made of pine and spruce wood can be found at Akasha Stretcher and with a daily production range of 4,000 to 6,000 stretcher frames they are one of the major stretcher frame manufacturers in Europe.
Artists and craft supplies, stationery, office supplies, school supplies, and much more are available from Traumfarben.
The Boesner group of firms is Germany’s largest supplier and marketer of professional artist materials, framing, and art books.
Idee Creativmarkt offers the most recent trends, intriguing ideas, and a massive collection of everything related to handicrafts, art materials, stationery, fabrics, and handcraft. Creativmarkt is one of Germany’s leading creative industry retailers with almost 40 locations and a significant online store.
Shows & Events
There are some really fun local art shows, events, and festivals like:
- Art Cologne in April
- Discovery Art Fair in April
- CityLeaks Urban Art Festival from April to June
- Cologne Fine Art in November
Art Cologne is an annual art fair that was founded in 1967 as Kölner Kunstmarkt and it is considered to be the world’s oldest art fair of its sort. The six-day expo brings together galleries from over 20 nations at the Exhibition Centre, one of the world’s major exhibition halls, and receives approximately 60,000 visits each year.
The Discovery Art Fair is an event that inspires and engages visitors by introducing them to new artists and works that caters to both novice and experienced collectors while exhibiting a diverse range of emerging contemporary art at reasonable prices. Discovery strives to become one of the most exciting creative events to follow as one of the most progressive art fairs in Germany with an outstanding variety of local and international galleries.
Since 2011 the biennial CityLeaks Urban Art Festival has brought together prominent local and international artists to turn dismal facades and city walls into masterpieces transforming numerous streets into gigantic outdoor exhibitions in your area after three editions. Many murals such as ROA’s dead rabbit in Ehrenfeld and ARYZ’s massive skeleton on Südstadt’s riverside drive are now regarded as distinguishing features of these great neighborhoods.
Cologne Fine Art was founded in 1970 as West Deutsche Kunstmesse and is celebrating a turbulent half-century of being one of Germany’s top fairs for art, antiques, and design.
Art Dealers & Appraisers
To find a new unique piece for your collection or to figure out the true value of something visit art dealers and appraisers like:
- Lumas Galerie Köln at Mittelstr 15
- Kaskanian, Vartanian at Gereonswall 99-101
- Auktionshaus Bischoff at Am Duffesbach 8
- Jens Scholz Kunstauktionen at Zeughausstr 10
Lumas Galerie Köln is synonymous with high-quality photography and contemporary art selling museum-quality artworks online and in 24 galleries worldwide.
With over 6,000 works of art Kaskanian, Vartanian can provide the purchase of works by known contemporary artists, non-binding estimates of post-war and contemporary art items, brokerage of works of art to the world’s best auction houses, and consultation and support in setting up art collections.
Auktionshaus Bischoff is run by Pia Bischoff and is an auction house for art and antiques including paintings, silver bronzes, furniture, porcelain, clocks, excavations, carpets, and creative works of all kinds. They also offer free consultation and home visits to estimate or auction your art while holding 3 to 4 auctions a year for the international clients and collectors who frequent them.
Since 1996 Jens Scholz Kunstauktionen has staged almost 70 art auctions with an emphasis on European and Asian prints, bibliophilia, Asian art, and twentieth-century multiples, posters, ephemera, and more.
Galerie Boisserée from our initial best galleries near you list is also a major international dealer.
Alternative Cologne Tours at Venloer Str 360 does fun excursions with locals that show you a combination of history, culture, and street art or you can request a tour focused on street works. Tours are available in both private and public settings while scavenger hunts and quizzes are also possible.
Sculptures & Statues
There are some really nice sculptures around town like:
- Tünnes und Schäl at Lintgasse 9
- Tauzieher at Holzmarkt 65
- Equestrian Statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III at Heumarkt 43
- Stollwerk Mädchen at Severinskirchpl 2
- Albertus Magnus Statue at Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Tünnes and Schäl is a bronze memorial near the Romanesque church Gross St. Martin and Tünnes’ thick nose has already been rubbed exceedingly shining as rubbing over it is supposed to bring luck.
Climey Amors created Tauzieher in May 2012.
At Heumarkt square you will find an equestrian statue of Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia. In September 1878 representatives of citizens dedicated the statue and after extensive restoration work the equestrian piece was returned to its original location on the Heumarkt in October 2009.
Mädchen Stollwerk Sepp Hürten, an artist from your area, persuaded the committee with his design of the Stollwerck girl and constructed the bronze sculpture in 1990.
The Albertus Magnus statue stands in front of the University of Cologne’s main building as Albertus was a well-known theologian, scholar, and philosopher.
Cologne Art Classes
You might be interested in private lessons or group classes for kids, teens, or adults but either way the best art schools in Cologne would be:
- Reinkarnation Art Academy at Brüsseler Str 96
- Freie Kunstschule Köln at Helmholtzstr 6-8
- Freihand Atelier of Fine Art at Stolberger Str. 2
- Kunstschule im KunstWerk Köln at Deutz-Mülheimer Str 127
- Kunstwerkschule Köln at Schillstr 9
- Art & Weise at Ubierring 25
- Private Malschule Köln at Briedeler Str 7
The Fine Art Academy Cologne, FAAC, is a one-of-a-kind institution devoted entirely to the instruction of drawing, painting, comics, and digital art. Derived from classical figurative arts and influenced by the works of Rembrandt, Rubens, Caravaggio, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Léon Bonnat, Velasquez, and Titian.
Freie Kunstschule Köln is a long-standing privately owned creative educational institution with teaching content that is based on a classic school and incorporates numerous genres and design alternatives of current art. The classes are taught by worldwide creators of various styles.
For a private art school in Cologne Ehrenfeld teaching traditional art with a modern atelier approach that is focused on figurative and portrait art from life contact Freihand Atelier of Fine Art who does not offer fixed year long study paths but instead provides repeatable drawing and painting classes to work on techniques and skills which is good for students who go to a regular art school and need more training in specific disciplines.
K3 is the art school at KunstWerk Cologne and it was developed from the notion of creating a space with individual and professional support for creative people of all levels of knowledge. Their online classes will provide you with targeted support for all of your creative endeavours and because the classes are available both during the day and at night they are also accessible to working people.
Kunstwerkschule Köln is a private school that teaches traditional visual arts.
Expect to find professionally guided drawing and painting courses where you may explore and/or expand your creative side while having fun and being committed at Art & Weise and the courses can be joined at any time and the lessons are taught by trained painters.
Private Malschule offers painting and drawing instruction in small groups of up to 7 persons in all techniques for beginners and expert students without a theme focus. The participant sets the topic and tempo as well as further suggestions from the group’s various methods and the artistic dialogue.
Studios For Rent Near You
We could not find any studio space to rent in your area, our lack of German might be hurting us here. If you know of any please mention it in the comments so we can help our future readers out, thanks.
A frame can transform a regular looking piece or picture to that next level and some of the best places for art framing in Cologne are:
- Art + Bijou at Schanzenstr 6-20
- Bild & Rahmen Werkladen at Rennebergstr 5
- Art Direkt at Stammheimer Str 112
- NB Bilder und Rahmen Norbert Köln at Richard-Wagner-Str 5
- Rheinische Rahmenfabrik at Bismarckstr 50
- Look Bilderrahmen at Grosse Brinkgasse 9
Art + Bijou is a local expert in framing, image production, and room acoustics that will guide you thoroughly on the selection of picture frames and the appropriate material for printing your picture files.
Bild & Rahmen Werkladen makes their own models and gilded frames with hand painting and surface polishing that provide a personal touch to your picture frame. Experienced personnel laminated on cardboard, Kapa, and Dibond in huge formats are available.
Each frame is handcrafted in Art Direkt’s own workshop as you can choose from over 1,000 frame profiles, 300 passe-partouts, and a variety of glass options. They can create frames out of wood, aluminum, and hand-gilded one-of-a-kind objects.
NB Bilder und Rahmen Norbert Köln offers rectangular, square, circular, or oval frames that can be tinted, gold-plated, profiled, or embellished and they adjust to the images and also have ready-made removable wood or aluminum frames that are always in stock in a variety of sizes.
Gilding frames, natural wood frames, colored frames, production of single pieces and series, or custom-made frames based on the customer’s sample are available at Rheinische Rahmenfabrik while stretcher frames and stretching canvases made to order, Plexi hoods, and a presentation bases are also available.
Look Bilderrahmen’s has low-cost options to frame your photo.
By the way we have also written about local art in:
Have Fun Enjoying The Cologne Art Scene
Currently that is all we have to share about the full art scene near you. We listed the best galleries, museums, events, shows, supply stores, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures, classes, studios, and framers in your area to check out.
If you made it this far you might just know quite a bit about the local art scene yourself. Feel free to share your own tips, or to let us know if we may have gotten anything wrong in the comments.
We hope you enjoy your time at the best Cologne art galleries, museums, supply stores, or doing whatever else you plan to do with the info.