Museum Kurhaus / Kleef

Ewald Mataré Verzameling

Mapping Identity – An intercultural art project for people from different backgrounds

“Mapping Identity” is an intercultural art project of the Museum Kurhaus Kleve, where art supports a dialogue between residents of Cleves from different backgrounds. Through a seven-event series in places in and around Cleves, each featuring different experiences (presentations, tours, practical art workshops, debates, city tours, meetings, discussion rounds and more), intellectual discussions will be promoted, new communication forms will be tested, new audiences will be reached and cultural diversity will come alive. The intercultural art project “Mapping Identity” was implemented by the permanent and voluntary educational staff of Museum Kurhaus Kleve and the Integration Center “Alte Post Kleve”, who are not only art historians and art educators, but also artists, art and theater educators, guides of the city of Cleves and more.

Although there are more institutions involved, the educational team of the Museum Kurhaus Kleve are the initiators of this art project who see an obligation to take a strong intermediary role in the city, as members of the most significant cultural institution in Cleves. This project aims to contribute to integration through culture, in order to foster and sustain a continuing process of openness, respect and tolerance between native and non-native citizens. The educators of the museum would like to allow for migrants to have a theoretical and practical experience with values of Cleves society by giving them access to cultural events that connect the familiar with the new and provide a positive dynamic in their lives. Education and face-to-face interactions between natives and migrants should contribute to the integration of Cleves society and intercultural understanding on both sides.

Natives and migrants come together in six of the seven events in order to discover the cultural identity of Cleves and its citizens. Foreign youth and adults (groups of 25 people maximum) have the opportunity to take part in events of different focuses, which offer them an overview of the spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional aspects of Cleves society. The events will not only be about art and history but will also introduce an “expanded concept of art” (Beuys) including lifestyles, value-systems and traditions. The meaning of culture will be communicated on a wider basis. Elements of “high-culture” will be joined with aspects of every-day culture, memory culture, social culture, native culture, living culture, food culture and more.

With this prior knowledge, migrants will have the opportunity to give natives a look at their own cultures during the seventh event, “vice-versa”.

In order to reach a wider audience in the population, this project will be photographed and filmed by the participants and shared on social media. At the end of the project, during the seventh event, a presentation and celebration will take place for all those who are interested (without limit), in which all participants can present their experiences and the results of the project. A film summary that shows the documented material from the events will premiere at the final event.

The intercultural art project “Mapping Identity” is sponsored by:

Ministry for Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia

Friends of Museum Kurhaus and Koekkoek-Haus Kleve e.V.

With friendly support:

Sparkasse Rhein-Maas – Premium partner of the Museum Kurhaus Kleve and B.C. Koek-koek-Haus

The Rilano Hotel Cleve City

WDR 3 – Cultural partner of Museum Kurhaus Kleve




1. Art and History in Cleves, 20.-22. April 2018

With just over 50,000 people, the comparatively small city of Cleves has a highly meaningful history that is closely connected with the construction and artwork of the city. The discussion of art and history in the city is very significant and there is a high concentration of high-quality institutions and citizens involved in art societies. The participants in this weekend will be brought closer to those who enjoy the meaning of culture and history in Cleves.


→ The start of the “Mapping Identity” project presents an opening information event in the Museum Kurhaus Kleve on Friday, 20. April 2018 from 2 PM to 4 PM. The artist Gerd Borkelmann and the art historian Valentina Vlašić will introduce the museum with a brief presentation and a tour of the museum and its functions as a cultural institution, its many fields of activity and its diverse exhibitions. In the end there will be an interactive discussion with the participants.

→ Day 2 of the first weekend begins on Saturday, 21. April  2018 from 11 AM to 1 PM with a city tour by art curator Brigitte Alex. It will go from Museum Kurhaus Kleve to the historical Schwanenburg and to the time-honored collegiate church, past the “Toter Krieger” (Death Soldier) by Ewald Mataré and the romantic art palace of B.C. Koekkoek-Haus. Brigitte Alex will explain the meaning of these sculptures and buildings and their specific relevance for Cleves history [such as the destruction of the “Toter Krieger” by Cleves National Socialists because Matarés was branded as an “entarteter Künstler” (degenerated artist)].

→ On Saturday 21. April 2018 from 1 to 3 PM there will be a lunch at the Integration Cen-ter “Alte Post Kleve”. The participants will prepare regional dishes that will be eaten to-gether.

→ Day 2 on Saturday, 21. April 2018 ends with a discussion from 3 to 5 PM of what was seen with art educator Margret Ostermann in the Integration Center, and what compari-sons can be made between participants’ respective cultural backgrounds.

→ The first weekend closes with a practical art course on Sunday, 22. April 2018 from 11 AM to 1 PM under the instruction of art educators Alexandra Eerenstein and Margret Ostermann. The motto of the art course is “musée imaginaire”. After the participants have learned about the museum with its collections and exhibitions, they will build their own museum in miniature – either with exhibits of the Cleves collection that they have made an impression, or with works from their native countries which incorporate concepts such as “homeland” or “identity”.

2. Cleves Gardens, 18.-20. May 2018

The Museum Kurhaus Kleve is located in the middle of historic parkland. The oldest part of the Cleves gardens consists of a terraced fountain arrangement and a canal that was planned in the middle of the 17th century by the Brandenburg governor, Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen, together with the Dutch architect Jacob van Campen. The publicly accessible site also functions as an open-air museum, where visitors can admire ancient and contemporary artworks as well as fountains.

After a medicinal spring on the edge of the Springenberg was opened in 1742, guests streamed in greater numbers to Cleves and reinvigorated the century-old garden. A second garden was built to complement the baroque park at the end of the 18th century, the so-called “forest garden”, that is distinguished by many different and some exotic trees. The Cleves garden was distinguished as a European garden monument and presents a meaningful and culturally historical heritage.


→ The second weekend begins on Friday, 18. May 2018 from 2 to 4 PM with a brief presentation in Museum Kurhaus Kleve and a tour of the baroque garden by art historian Alexandra Eerenstein and artist Gerd Borkelmann. Part 1 of the lecture will cover the meaning of garden culture in a greater European context; part 2 will be about the history and present of garden culture in Celves. There will be connections made to the collections of Museum Kurhaus Kleve in both parts.

→ On Saturday, 19. May 2018 the focus will be on the Cleves gardens. The art educators of the museum, Gerd Borkelmann and Margret Ostermann, will lead participants with rental bicycles to the “Moritz Park” from 11 AM to 1 PM. From there will be sightseeing of the Nassauer Allee and Lindenallee (with the Cupido Halls among others). Subsequently the tour will go over the Voltaire Weg to the Grablege of Johann Moritz van Nassau-Siegen in Bergendael. The morning ends with a sightseeing of Papenberg.

→ On Saturday, 19. Mai 2018 from 1 to 3 PM there will be a lunch at a nearby restaurant.

→ On Saturday afternoon, 19. May 2018 from 3 to 5 PM, with educational help, there will be a picnic discussion with Gerd Borkelmann, Margret Ostermann and participants.

→ The garden culture activities ends on Sunday, 20. May 2018 from 11 AM to 1 PM with an art course in Museum Kurhaus Kleve: After the participants have seen works from the collection of Museum Kurhaus Cleves (including Persian miniatures with plant ornaments) they will bring together their introduction of plants and gardens in a large plant picture, under the direction of art historian Alexandra Eerenstein and artist Gerd Borkelmann. A picture will be developed with printing blocks and more, that will find a long-lasting place in the Integration Center “Alte Post Kleve”.

3. Important Women and Men from Cleves, 15.-17. June 2018

In the last few centuries many important men and women have come from or lived in Cleves: Elsa von Brabant, who is found in the Swan Knight, and who Richard Wagner adapted for his opera “Lohengrin” in the 19th century; Katharina von Kleve; Wilhelm der Reiche; Anna von Cleve; Sibylle von Cleve, who was painted by Lucas Cranach; the Rem-brandt student Govert Flinck; the humanist prince Johann-Moritz von Nassau-Siegen; Jean Baptiste “Anacharsis” Cloots; Barend Cornelis Koekkoek and Joseph Beuys, to only name a few.

After a short overview of the biographies of these personalities, the participants in this event will learn “en passant” about the women’s rights, noble or religious importance of these subjects, not only for Cleves but across Germany.


→ The beginning of the second event weekend on Friday, 15. June 2018 from 2 PM to 4 PM is a lecture in Museum Kurhaus Kleve by art educator Brigitte Alex and artist Gerd Borkelmann. They will present important facts and images of these personalities and also emphasize their importance for Cleves.

→ The second day on Saturday, 16. June 2018 begins from 11 AM to 1 PM with a tour by Brigitte Alex und Gerd Borkelmann through the museum and the collections that focus on the portraits of important women and men in Cleves.

→ On Saturday, 16. June 2018 from 11 AM to 1 PM there will be a lunch in Museum Kurhaus Kleve.

→ On Saturday afternoon, 16. June 2018 from 3 to 5 PM is part 1 of a two-part art and theater workshop: The participants take a role and/or a relevant scene from Cleves history of their choice (for example the wedding ceremony of Anna von Cleve to Henry VIII) and present the respective situation, in costumes of the time, in a form of “tableau vivant”. On Saturday the “tableau vivant” will be prepared with the help of the educator of the museum, Margret Ostermann, as well as the volunteer theater educator Marjet de Boer. If applicable, participants will build scenery.

→ On Sunday, 17. June 2018 from 11 AM to 1 PM will be part 2 of the art and theater workshop: The “tableau vivants” of the important personalities and their intersection with Cleves history will be perfected and come to life. The professional photographer Annegret Gossens will document the elaborate scenes in the museum. With Margret Ostermann and Marjet de Boer.

4. Cleves Culinary Art, 6.-8. July 2018

To foreigners, and above all for refugees, Lower Rhenish food and typical Cleves fare can initially appear unusual and positively bizarre.  What are “Erdbeeren”? What is “Rhabarber” and what actually is “Spargel”? What is meant by terms like “Himmel und Erde” or “Möhrchen untereinander”? What are the eating customs? When does one eat Pfannkuchen or Schwarzbrot? What do you drink coffee with? And how is the supposedly healthy way to prepare Grünkohl?


→ During a tasting (a type of “Lower Rhenish coffee table”) on Friday, 6. July 2018 from 2 to 4 PM there will be a presentation in Museum Kurhaus Kleve, in which art historian Alexandra Eerenstein and artist Gerd Borkelmann will introduce not only typical Lower Rhenish food, but also German etiquette. Part 1 of the presentation is about the general food culture (from the early days of purchasing spices from the Venetians through trade routes; things that were exotic then and still are today; style of eating – with fingers or cutlery etc.). Part 2 of the presentation is about the regional specialties (for example asparagus), but also the meaning of hospitality in Germany and the Arabic countries.

→ Saturday, 7. July 2018 from 11 AM to 1 PM begins with an excursion to a weekly market in Cleves. The participants will buy ingredients with Margret Ostermann and Brigitte Alex before going back to Museum Kurhaus Kleve to wonder at the monumental painting “Christ in the House of Martha and Mary” from the 17th century collection. At the weekly market, the participants can get imbiss for lunch.

→ On Saturday afternoon, 7. July 2018 from 1.30 to 3 PM the participants will visit the Rhine-Waal University. There, they will get to know an instructor in the “agriculture” faculty who studies agricultural products from foreign lands. The teacher will introduce their field of work, and then there will be a visit to the university’s greenhouse. With Margret Ostermann and Brigitte Alex.

→ The weekend in July 2018 ends on Sunday, 8. July 2018 with a “cooking workshop” from 11 AM to 1 PM with art historian Alexandra Eerenstein and artist (and vegetarian) Gerd Borkelmann in the community kitchen of the Integration Center “Alte Post Kleve”. The participants will cook together with the ingredients they obtained from the weekly market, first arranging them like in the painting “Christ in the House of Martha and Mary” for a photograph, and then finally eating what they cooked.

5. The Meaning of Church and Art in Cleves, 10.-12. August 2018

What functions did artworks have in the middle ages and what functions do they have today? Who was the most important procurers of artwork in the middle ages? And how did people interact with artwork in the middle ages? What measures were taken to obtain these artworks? What value did it bring to Cleves? Along with the fundamental works from the middle ages and their meaning of their possession, the participants on this weekend will also be introduced to a new profession in the cultural sphere – restoration.


→ On Friday afternoon, 10. August 2018 from 2 to 4 PM there will be a tour through the medieval collection of Museum Kurhaus Kleve led by art educator Brigitte Alex and artist Gerd Borkelmann.

→ On Saturday, 11. August 2018 from 11 AM to 1 PM art educators Margret Ostermann and Brigitte Alex will take the participants on an excursion by bus to the highly-important St. Nicolai Church in Kalkar. They will get a tour through the nine late-gothic altars, such as the monumental “Sieben-Schmerzen-Altar” (Seven Sorrows Altar) by Henrik Douverman.

→ On Saturday, 11. August 2018 from 1 to 2.30 PM there will be a lunch with Lower Rhen-ish cuisine in a historically decorated restaurant next to the St. Nicolai Church in Kalkar.

→ In the afternoon from 2.30 to 4 PM the participants will go back to the St. Nicolai Church in Kalkar, where the managing restorator of the Landschaftsverbands Rheinland, Marc Peez, will introduce his diverse field and explain the special requirements for obtaining medieval works in a church. With Margret Ostermann and Brigitte Alex.

→ The fifth weekend ends on Sunday, 12. August 2018 from 11 AM to 1 PM with a practi-cal art course in Museum Kurhaus Kleve. Based on the medieval sculpture in the “Katharina von Kleve” hall, but also the sculptures of classical modernity by Ewald Mataré, the participants will make their own malleable creations (out of soap, clay, wood, etc.) under the direction of art educator Alexandra Eerenstein.

6. Art Professions in Cleves, 21.-23. September 2018

What significance do art professions have in Cleves society? What essential aspects are associated with the profession? What influence does the profession have in private life and in the free time of people from Cleves?


→ On Friday afternoon, 21. September 2018 from 2 to 4 PM there will be a tour through Museum Kurhaus Kleve about the artistic and museum’s cultural practices. What fields of work are there in the museum? What does a curator do? A museum director? A registrar? An exhibit technician? An art courier? An art transporter? What are the personal activities of an artist? Art educators Alexandra Eerenstein and Margret Ostermann will lead the tour. Hans Ewald Schneider of the large German art transportation company “Hasenkamp” in Cologne will give a brief presentation about his diverse field.

→ On Saturday, 22. September 2018 from 11 AM to 1 PM the “Kunstverein Projektraum Bahnhof 25” in Cleves and its three instructors Elisabeth Schink, Ulrike E.W. Scholder and Dirk D. Knickhoff will visit and introduce their functions, their importance and more. With art educators Margret Ostermann and Brigitte Alex.

→ At midday on Saturday, 22. September 2018 from 1 to 2.30 PM the participants will engage the artists at the studio in Bensdorp-Gelände, along with a vegetarian imbiss.

→ On Saturday afternoon, 22. September 2018 from 2.30 to 4 PM the artists’ studio in Bensdorp-Gelände in Cleves will visit (such as Gerd Borkelmann, Günther Zins and Wilfried Grootens). The artists will show what they do, such as mixing colors, how they engage with stainless steel and how something like the glass for Grootens’s sculptures are constructed. With artist Gerd Borkelmann and art curator Brigitte Alex.

→ On Sunday, 23. September from 11 AM to 1 PM the sixth weekend ends with an artistic workshop in Museum Kurhaus Kleve, which will be about the daily requirements of an artists’ existence, for example the tensioning of a canvas, the painting of picture, the framing and mounting of a graphic – and more! With artist Gerd Borkelmann and art educator Alexandra Eerenstein.

7. „Vice Versa“, 7. October 2018

After the participants have had six opportunities to discover the numerous aspects of every day culture, memory culture, social culture, homeland culture, living culture, eating culture and more in and around Cleves, the participants are invited to provide a look into their own culture, with the support of the Cleves educators, for the seventh event on Sunday, 7. October 2018 at 11 AM.

There will be a “day of the open door” in the integration center “Alte Post Kleve” for all those in the community that are interested, without limit, where participants will introduce aspects of their respective native countries that are most important to their identities. The focus of this event will be on cultural, including musical and culinary aspects of the respective cultures.

The “day of the open door” will be a celebration for young and old. It will culminate with a presentation, in which all of the participants can speak about their experiences and pre-sent the results of the project. There will then be a premier for a film that has collected material from the events from the past half-year.



Participation (including all entrance, tour, and tasting costs) for the project “Mapping Identity” is – thanks to the support of the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia as well as the Friends of Museum Kurhaus and Koekkoek-Haus Kleve e.V. – free. Capacity is limited, Participation is limited to 25 people per events. Registration is also possible per event weekend.

Participation in this project is intended for natives as well as migrants (with a focus on migrant participants). Registration is possible at the Integration Center “Alte Post Kleve”, with culture educator Sonja Lemm (Tel. 0049 / 2821 / 711 66 67, E-Mail It will determine the order of registration!

Inquiries about the project “Mapping Identity” should be directed to Valentina Vlašić of Museum Kurhaus Kleve (Tel. 0049 / 2821 / 750 1-17, E-Mail


The Museum Kurhaus Kleve: The initial point for the intercultural art project „Mapping Identity“
Main theme at the second weekend (18.-20. May 2018): the Cleves gardens! Please see Franz Jakob Rousseaus „View of the Tiergarten of Cleves“, ca. 1790 (Collection of the MKK)
Main theme at the third weekend (15.-17. June 2018): important women from Cleves. Please see Wenzel Hollars etching after Hans Holbein famous painting, „Anne of Cleves“, 1648 (Collection of MKK+FK)
Main theme at the third weekend (15.-17. June 2018): important men from Cleves. Please see „Jan Maurits from Nassau-Siegen“ from the studio of Michiel Jansz. van Miereveldt, 1636 (Collection of FK)
A model for the fourth weekend (6.-8. July 2018): „Christ in the House of Martha and Mary“ (ca. 1670-80) from an unknown Amsterdam painter (Collection of the FK)
A detail from the painting „Christ in the House of Martha and Mary“ (ca. 1670-80) from an unknown Amsterdam painter (collection of the FK)
„Church and Art“ is the main theme at the fifth weekend (10.-12. August 2018), please see a view from the St. Nicolai Church in Kalkar
A detail of the „Seven Sorrows Altar“ from Henrik Douverman in the St. Nicolai Church in Kalkar
„Art professions in Cleves“ is the main theme of the sixth weekend (21.-23. September 2018), please see a snapshot from artist Günther Zins, mounting one of his sculptures


mkk_mapping_identity_FINAL_01 (PDF)