The Draiflessen Collection was founded in 2009 on the private initiative of the Brenninkmeijer family of entrepreneurs. With its programme and exhibitions, the art museum approaches themes that move between areas of tension such as tradition and the future, faith and doubt, borders and freedom, reality and fiction, and which are illuminated from artistic and scientific perspectives.
Each exhibition is accompanied by a wide-ranging supporting program of events as well as specific educational activities and workshops for adults, children, and families, including guided tours for those with special needs, such as people suffering from dementia, and their relatives.
The ancestors of the Brenninkmeijer founding family were Tüötten, itinerant merchants from Westphalia who traveled around Germany and northern Europe, mainly in the 17th and 18th centuries, trading in linen. In choosing the location for Draiflessen, the Brenninkmeijer family deliberately drew on its Westphalian roots, sustaining the connection with the family’s hometown of Mettingen. At the same time, the choice was linked with the decision to expand the range of cultural institutions in the region by founding an art museum outside of the area’s major urban centers.
The name ‘Draiflessen’ is a word construction derived from the old, secret language of the Tüötten. Its two root words stems ‘drai’ (meaning: three, Trinity, turn, do business) and ‘flessen’ (meaning: flax, linen, home) express themes that are meaningful for the founding family: its close relationship to its Westphalian origins, its Christian faith, and its entrepreneurship, which, at its time, had its beginnings in the textile trade.
The Liberna Collection
Since September 2012, the Liberna Collection, which includes high-level and extensive holdings of manuscripts, miniatures, incunabula, books after 1500, prints, drawings, and paintings – with a focus on the fifteenth to the seventeenth century – have been on permanent loan to Draiflessen Collection.
The collection comprises round four thousand objects, including famous incunabula – for example, Sebastian Brant’s Narrenschiff (Ship of Fools), the Schedelsche Weltchronik (Schedel’s World Chronicle), the Koberger Bible, or Albrecht Dürer’s Apokalypse (The Apocalypse) – as well as highlights of the art of printing of later years – for instance, the Elsevier Bible, or a complete Blaue Atlas. The graphic art collection includes numerous German and Dutch masters; the main focus of the collection is on Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt van Rijn.
Along with the Liberna Collection, the Draiflessen-owned collection of books and graphic art builds one of the most important Dutch libraries specialized in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The entire Liberna Collection is housed in a study room dedicated specifically to it, which is accessible to interested scholars with advance notice. Regular special exhibitions that shed light on various fascinating facets of the holdings are also presented on a regular basis. Some parts of the collection are already indexed online in international databases, such as the entire incunabula holdings in the ISTC of the British Library and our manuscripts and drawings in the database of the RKD (currently being edited).
Archive and Collection
Preserving items for posterity is a recognized task, yet one for the Brenninkmeijer founding family. The Draiflessen Collection holds an extensive archive for collecting, safekeeping, and doing research on objects and documents as well as other items connected with the history of the family and the business.
In November 2018 a new space within the Draiflessen Collection was launched dedicated to interdisciplinary exchange on the subject of family businesses: DAS Forum, meaning THE Forum – though here “DAS” also stands for “Draiflessen, Archiv, and Sammlung” (Draiflessen, archive, and collection). DAS Forum is designed to be a place for study, research, and dialogue, and to provide space for changing presentations than can be visited any time during our regular opening hours.
In case of further information or inquiries please contact us via contact form.
Museum Education Programme
For each exhibition we design a specific educational programme tailored to the exhibition theme and the type of visitor:
• guided tours of the exhibition for adults in three languages (German, English, Dutch), using everyday language
• tours with a curator, highlighting a special aspect of an exhibition
• special guided tours for senior citizens and families
• group programmes, with and without activities for children and young visitors
• informal summer holiday workshops for children over 8
Detailed information can also be found in the programme for the current exhibition, which can be downloaded.
We are also keen to arrange special guided tours for the blind and visually impaired, and for people suffering from dementia and their relatives. Please contact us!
Our range of programmes for schools is tailored to the educational requirements for different age groups and types of education.
You can choose between a 60-minute and a 90-minute programme.
Each current Draiflessen Collection exhibition is reflected in the goods offered in the Museum Shop. The catalogues produced for the respective exhibitions are supplemented with a small, but carefully chosen selection of beautiful books providing additional perspectives on the exhibition theme. In our non-book goods, we attach great value to the new, the unique, and the special.
We develop some of our products ourselves and have them produced in small quantities. In doing so, we favour collaboration with small (start-up) businesses or with workshops for people with disabilities. It is important to us that the hand of the individuals, of the designers and producers of our products remains visible. In our shop, you therefore find the unusual, the practical, the creative, the amusing items that are not available everywhere and nonetheless are still affordable. We are pleased to be able to further complement your exhibition experience in a positive way in the form of memories available for purchase in the shop.
Dr. Corinna Otto (Director) | Nicole Roth (Deputy Director)
Shorena Baliashvili (Graphic Design) | Tanja Kemmer (Press and Public Relations) | Julian Heitkamp (Traineeship)
Collection and Archive
Julia Cwojdzinski (Collection Management) | Jens Brokfeld (Archive) | Annegret Buller (Archive) | Iris Ellers (Liberna Collection) | Bianca Gabbe (Documentation and Archive), Dorothea Paetzke (Archive Assistant) | Ruth Rasche (Loan Management) | Johanna Weymann (Traineeship Liberna Collection)
Kai Bosecker | Iris Ellers | Birte Hinrichsen | Olesja Nein | Nicole Roth | Dr. Barbara Segelken | Dr. Maria Spitz
Tanja Frederike Revermann | Pia Kuik (Traineeship Education)
Martina Mäurer | Annette Nagelmann-Knuf