Die Sammlung Prinzhorn – von „Irrenkunst" zur Outsider Art

In the organizer's words:

The Prinzhorn Collection currently comprises around 40,000 works by 1221 artists from the period from 1800 to the present day. This also represents more than 200 years of psychiatric history.

Many of the artists in the collection from around 1900 spent a large part of their lives in the institution. The works created by the so-called "institutional inmates" were referred to as "institutional art", "insane art" or, for example, by Hans Prinzhorn as "Bildnerei der Geisteskranken". Today, people with exceptional mental experiences only spend a short time - if any at all - in psychiatric institutions.

The majority of the works in the collection are now classified as Art brut or Outsider Art . The context in which art by people with exceptional mental experiences is created and the perception of these works have therefore changed considerably over the last 200 years.

The permanent exhibition provides an insight into the history of the collection and presents themes that are fundamental to understanding the works, such as "Art and the experience of psychiatry", "History of psychiatry" and "Everyday life in an institution around 1900". And it shows around 120 works by 37 artists from the collection from its beginnings to the present day.

This content has been machine translated.


Sammlung Prinzhorn Voßstraße 2 69115 Heidelberg

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