Art News

Wallraf-Richartz-Museum celebrates sesquicentennial with exhibition of hidden treasures

COLOGNE.- 150 years ago the collection of Ferdinand Franz Wallraf found a home in its first museum building. Since then it has been divided up, diminished, added to, and moved around a number of times. Like many other museums around the world, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud has a problem: it can only put a relatively small proportion of its treasures on display at any one time. Even today, about three-quarters of the paintings ‘enjoy’ a Sleeping Beauty existence in the depository, a place only accessible to a privileged few. To mark the museum’s sesquicentennial, it would like to show a little more of what they have. And so they had the idea of exhibiting the ‘hidden’ items under the title ‘Panopticon’. This word is derived from the Greek ‘pan’ (all) and ‘optikós’ (seeing), and has mostly been used in English to describe a circular prison where one warder c