Fine Art Fun in Frankfurt!

OK, so the last couple of posts here on the BeastieBlog have been a little on the wild side…
Wild Frankfurt - CrawCrafts Beasties, Beastie HQ… But there’s more to Frankfurt than its zoo, y’know! Today, we’re going to take a trip into the city centre in search of some culture.

Even walking through the streets of Frankfurt was an interesting experience – everywhere we turned, it seemed that old-fashioned buildings were rubbing shoulders with the towering glass skyscrapers that you’d expect to see in one of Europe’s main financial centres.
Old Meets New in Frankfurt - CrawCrafts BeastiesThat said, there’s a good chance that many of these classical-looking buildings aren’t much older than their shiny modern neighbours. Like many cities in the industrial Rhineland region, Frankfurt was heavily bombed in the Second World War, and its renowned medieval town centre was hit especially hard.

This blend is clearer as you approach the river Main…
Explorer Beastie Blocking the View of the Main - CrawCrafts Beasties…Well, it would be if a certain Beastie wasn’t hogging centre stage! The Main cuts the city neatly in half, and since we needed to be on the other side, we made a beeline for that bridge up ahead.

Explorer Beastie on Eiserne Steg, Frankfurt - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd we chose our crossing point well! This is the Eiserner Steg (Iron Bridge), a pedestrian bridge which is a great place to stop and admire the cityscape…
Love Locks on Eiserner Steg, Frankfurt - CrawCrafts Beasties… Or, if you’re Explorer Beastie, to hang out among the love locks.

On the other side, we wandered down the riverbank for a while – mostly because I am atrocious at navigation and took a wrong turn at the end of the bridge. I’m glad I did though, because otherwise we would have missed this place!
Portikus, Frankfurt, From the Riverbank - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt looks like a magical castle, lost in a leafy forest… But this unusual building actually houses a contemporary art gallery called Portikus. Portikus has had a couple of homes around Frankfurt since it was founded in 1987, the first of them being the portico of the old public library building, which is where the name comes from. The gallery finally moved into its first purpose-built home in this tower on an island in the Main in 2006.

We’ll have to save our visit for another day though, because we already had a plan! Onwards!

And here we are. Look, someone’s even opening the door for us.
Explorer Beastie at Staedel, Frankfurt - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis is the Städel Museum, home to a vast art collection that includes everything from old masters to contemporary artists from Germany and further afield.

We thought we’d start at the beginning, with the Old Masters on the top floor. That meant tackling some stairs!
Climbing up to the Old Masters - CrawCrafts BeastiesPhew! Poor Explorer Beastie needed a bit of a rest after that lot… Although he pretended he was just examining this wall of portraits.
Old Masters at the Staedel Museum, Frankfurt - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe Old Masters gallery is brimming over with incredible paintings, some of them dating back to the late Middle Ages! Since I know some of you will be reading this over lunchtime, I’ll spare you the gory crucifixion and martyrdom images that seemed to so inspire artists at that time, and share this picture of Explorer Beastie examining “The Geographer” by Vermeer instead.
Explorer Beastie Meets Vermeer - CrawCrafts Beasties

And speaking of lunch… As we made our way onwards into the modern era, we stumbled upon a Renoir!
Renoir at the Staedel Museum - CrawCrafts BeastiesThat’s it on the left – and how appropriate that it’s called “La Fin du Déjeuner” (After the Luncheon)! But if you’re still hungry, perhaps I can tempt you with some Mondspargel (Moon Asparagus)…
Mondspargel by Max Ernst - CrawCrafts Beasties
We also found a scene that looked mighty familiar in this Max Beckmann painting…
A Familiar View - CrawCrafts BeastiesHey, didn’t we just cross that bridge earlier? I suppose we were lucky that the river below wasn’t full of ice, as it is in the painting. Brrrr!

This brought us nearly to the present day. So after a quick photo opportunity at John Armleder’s Mirror Mosaic wallpiece…
Mirror Wall at Staedel, Frankfurt - CrawCrafts Beasties… We headed underground to check out the Städel’s contemporary collection.

Out of all the pieces on display, Explorer Beastie particularly wanted to have his photo taken with this Rosemarie Trockel piece – can you figure out why?
Explorer Beastie Appreciates Art - CrawCrafts BeastiesNo, its nothing to do with the reference to the 90s… Although that was always going to catch my eye! Here, look a little closer…
Closeup - Who Will Be In In '99, Rosemarie Trockel - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s knitted! Explorer Beastie found this particularly inspiring – he says he never realised art was in the very fabric of his being. Now he’s planning his first solo show.

So, since he had work to do, there was just time for one last shot in this awesome space…
Explorer Beastie in the Contemporary Art Floor at Staedel - CrawCrafts Beasties… Before we headed back upstairs to ground level!

And believe me, we only scratched the surface of this incredible museum… So if you ever find yourself in Frankfurt, make sure it goes at the top of your to-see list!

We’ll be back on Friday with the last of our Germany photos, so be sure to join us for a monster-filled trip finale. See you then!

21 thoughts on “Fine Art Fun in Frankfurt!

  1. That was a great bit of cultural exploring. Explorer beastie attacking it like a pro as usual.
    I could see someone in that mirror… I wonder who? 😉

    1. Thanks, Simon! We had a great time… Although I think we added another bunch of stuff to our must-see list for our next visit! As for that person in the mirror… Never seen her before in my life! 😉

      1. Sounds like you better go back there at some point. You should take the nex unknown stranger with you too, or will she just tag along anyway?

        1. You know what, I think I will! Plus I reckon that “stranger” will most likely be lurking in the background somewhere, wherever I go! 😉

    1. Thanks, Mariss! They’ve really got quite the collection. Oh, and I’m sorry… I forgot the picture of Rose the magical pink unicorn! She wasn’t with us that day, but I’ll try & remember for Friday’s post!

  2. I never knew moon asparagus was so BIG. Must be the low gravity. I can’t believe EB gets doors opened for him. Most folks see Finn and try to find the keys for the locks as quickly as possible! I love the architecture being rebuilt in old-fashioned style, kind of adds a fun twist. And now, I’m sitting back and waiting for my invite to the Premier EB Solo Show!

    1. Big asparagus is probably necessary in this part of the world – they seem to love it here! Last year I was around for Asparagus Season, so asparagus-themed specials were at the top of every menu I looked at. Cultivation on the moon must be the only way they can meet demand… 😀
      As for Explorer Beastie’s first show, don’t hold your breath. The main focus just now appears to be cultivating a “bohemian” look and planning which canapés he’ll serve on opening night. 😂

  3. Wowza!!!! This looks like it would be my first stop in Frankfurt! Isn’t Vermeer truly incredible to see in person? Prints do not do his talent justice. Haha ohhhh EB, you ARE a work of art! I’m glad that after all this traveling and soul searching, he has finally found his calling. I hope you made it back to that magical leafy castle though – looks amazing!

    1. Not on this trip… Oh no! We’ll have to go back! 😀 And yes, I spotted that Vermeer from the other side of the room, and patiently waited for a huge school group to move on so I could gallop over and take a picture. There was a travelling exhibition of some of his work in Dublin’s National Gallery a year or two ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since! Perhaps Explorer Beastie will be similarly inspired by the creative way he uses light in his paintings… 🤔 Thanks for stopping by, Weekes!

    1. Thanks, Catherine! Yes, I always leave galleries all fired up and inspired too! This one is definitely worth a look… I should really have set aside more time for my visit though, it was only after I left that I realised the garden is open to wander around as well. Oh well, suppose I’ll just have to go again… 😉 Cheers for dropping in!

  4. Fun times! I love happening upon a lock bridge (I have yet to see one here in N. America, many in Europe, though, or maybe I’ve haven’t been paying attention). The Städel Museum looks like a treat. After seeing the painting in a recent book on Vermeer, I’m excited you got to see the real ‘Geographer’! (I’m obsessed with the way he uses light and windows!). There’s really nothing better than time-travel through art. Nice to see EB find a little bit of himself in the works, too. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Shirley! We were both pretty happy to see knitting displayed as art! I’d definitely recommend the Städel if your find yourself on this side of the pond… A Vermeer in person is a pretty awesome sight! Cheers for doing the tour with us 😁

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