MARTa Herford

MARTa Herford is a museum of contemporary art of the 21st century and contemporary trends in design, aims to bring together particularly in the furniture industry, in a concept that also includes art and design exhibitions and research projects. The realization of this project is organized in cooperation rather than in particular the furniture industry, which is traditionally based in Herford. The name MARTa plays on this ambition to: M stands for furniture, ART for Arts (English and French) and a is Atmosphere (Italian for environment and environmental ).

The building was designed by architect Frank Gehry. Artistic director of the museum is Roland Nachtigäller. It was opened on 7 May 2005.


The museum of red clinker and stainless steel reminiscent of a giant sculpture. It is built asymmetrically and has no windows facing the street. Composed of the construction of many convex and concave components with corrugated roofs rising. This light shafts are incorporated that illuminate the interior of the museum. See the light shafts from afar like broken chimneys of ocean liners. The center of the building is a 22 meter high ascending Dom dar. To this cathedral is surrounded by five galleries are arranged, which all have different heights. The entrance is made of glass and stainless steel. The walls and ceilings consist of plasterboard, are also oblique and wavy. The building has an exhibition area of ​​2500 sqm. Particularly striking are the wood paneling and slightly curved wooden stairs.

On the opening day around 150 Herford responded to the call of the anti- social cuts group " enough is enough" and demonstrated against the project. Critics justified their rejection of the project with unscheduled price increases.

Outside the museum there are several objects, including a stainless steel ball of Luciano Fabro, which represents the completion of a floor sculpture, which occupies the central strip of the leading past the museum Goebenstraße and an excerpt from the poem depicts the ball by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Furniture associations

With the "center of the wood, furniture and plastics industries " at the Museum MARTa following trade associations in the wood and furniture industry in Herford resident: Association of the German kitchen furniture industry, Association of the German upholstered furniture industry, Association of the timber industry and plastic processing Westphalia -Lippe eV, industry association furniture - wood - plastic Westphalia, Association series furniture producers of craft and service company in the wood and furniture industry Herford mbH. Additional information is found there, the export promotion agency of the wood and furniture industry Westphalia -Lippe mbH, the service company of the wood and furniture industry Herford mbH, the Association Zukunftsinitiative furniture industry NRW ( ZiMit GbR ), the Initiative Pro Solid wood and the data Competence Center e V.

Since 2004 is also located in the building a test lab and counseling center of Möbelprüfinstituts LGA, a subsidiary of Landesgewerbeanstalt Bayern (LGA ) ( Nuremberg).

Service facilities

In the Forum of the museum find events of various kinds take place (films, lectures, concerts). The museum has the MARTa Bookshop and Café MARTA. The museum is supported by the MARTa Friends & Supporters Club. Children under ten years old are admitted free.

Artistic directors

Founding director of MARTa Herford was the Belgian curator Jan Hoet, who ran the museum from 2003 until the end of 2008. He was succeeded in January 2009, the art historian Roland Nachtigäller to ( previously the artistic director of the Städtische Galerie Nordhorn ). His contract runs until 2018.


  • 2010: Richard Neutra in Europe
  • 2010: A Lifetime for Architecture. The photographer Julius Shulman
  • 2010: Invisible shadow. Pictures of uncertainty
  • 2011/12: GWK prizes Art 2011: Kristina Berning, No More Illusions; Benjamin Greber, Almagia 2
  • 2012: Roger Ballen. Photographs 1969 - 2009
  • 2012: Guillaume Bruère. GIOM centipede ( Lippold in the gallery), in cooperation with the City Gallery Backnang
  • 2012: Art Project Ralf Witt house. The International Lawn Show, 2012. The Appointment. The borehole to New Zealand, in the courtyard Bröer (wages )
  • 2012/2013: Olav Christopher Jenssen. Enigma. works 1985-2012
  • 2012/2013: good prospects. young German photography. New German photography 2012/2013, in the Lippold Gallery
  • 2013: Good prospects. Zoom in Lippold Gallery
  • 2013: visions
  • 2013: land - OWL3 in the Lippold Gallery