Mission Statement of the Draiflessen Collection

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Celui qui veut lire l’avenir doit feuilleter le passé –
Whoever wants to read the future must browse the past

André Malraux

It was based on this conviction that the enterpreneurial family Brenninkmeijer founded Draiflessen in its Westphalian hometown of Mettingen in 2009. A modern conference centre and a museum designed to meet the highest international standards, with display facilities for top-level exhibitions and state-of-the-art archive and storage areas, were built on the former production site. 
Three different areas are open to visitors: 

• The main exhibition area with changing presentations of artistic works and international loans.
• A study room comprising the Liberna Collection and exhibitions from an outstanding inventory of book art and graphic artworks focussing on the 15th and 17th centuries.
• The DAS Forum, a platform for the study of family businesses, which provides insights on scholarly research involving the archive and collection.

In 2017 the museum – the Draiflessen Collection – became a non-profit.
In keeping with its three sections, its purpose is to foster artistic creativity and to preserve and present works of art and cultural objects, to develop and expand the collection and archive and to do academic research, especially with regard to the economic and social history of family-owned enterprises. In addition, education and interpretation is a central integral part of our work. In that respect we follow the ethical principles of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and of the International Council on Archives (ICA). As staff members of this particular cultural institution, one that is far from large cities, we would like to enrich the cultural life of the region and beyond.

Asking questions

In our exhibitions, which usually span various periods, we concentrate on topics that have contemporary relevance for many different types of people. Every year we choose a unifying motto for our programme. Among others, we are interested in polar tension fields between tradition and future, faith and doubt, boundaries and freedom, reality and fiction.

In addition to mediating art- and cultural-historical contents, it is our aim to ask questions and to raise awareness of differing viewpoints. It is our conviction that in the process, works of art and historico-cultural objects can take on the function of mediation or translation, encouraging people to think and to discover new ways of seeing, and promoting and supporting a critical look at themselves, the world around them, and society. 

Stimulating dialogue

Since its inception, the Draiflessen Collection has been intended to be a place of encounter. We’d like to be a protected place for inspiration, new ideas and dialogue. The point is to share and exchange experiences as well as get to know and acknowledge other perspectives.
All exhibitions are accompanied by a comprehensive programme of educational offerings, workshops and excursions for people of various ages and physical and mental abilities.
In order to reach as many people as possible, including people beyond our borders, we issue our exhibition texts and publications in three languages (German, English and Dutch). 
We feel we are part of a vast cultural network and maintain active contacts with cultural, educational and social institutions, and with artists. We’d like to be a place of interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, and would like to promote the creation of new artistic works.

Committed to values

Values are not a theoretical construct but must be lived as a matter of course out of inner conviction.  We are committed to the values of mindfulness, freedom, equality, sustainability, openness, respect, tolerance and accountability.
At the Draiflessen Collection, we treat people openly and respectfully. Our goal is to create an environment in which visitors and in-house and external staff members feel comfortable and in which respect for human rights, especially for vulnerable people, is guaranteed.
At the same time, we want to be an open place where critical issues can be aired and discussed. That is why we are committed to artistic freedom. This means, for instance, that in exhibitions, workshops or lectures there may be topics or artworks that may be controversial. We pledge our word that we will factor this into our work of mediation in each case and deal with it sensitively.

The fact that the Draiflessen Collection is a non-profit entails social responsibility. Aware of our commitment to our founders, society and future generations, we deal with our resources responsibly as we face the digital, economic, ecological and social challenges of running a modern, sustainable museum.