Exhibitions at a Glance

Franka Hörnschemeyer – Plasterboard Fire Protection

19.10.2023 – 21.01.2024

Three audio stations in the very different parts of the building of the Museum Schnütgen sharpen the senses for the surroundings and make the exhibition spaces experienceable in a new way.


Magic Rock Crystal

25. November 2022 – 19. März 2023

The Museum Schnütgen is dedicating an exhibition to the water-clear rock crystal with around 130 objects from international collections. The exhibition is based on the high-quality rock crystal objects in the museum's own collection and the hitherto unique discovery of a 12th-century rock crystal cutting workshop near Cologne Cathedral.


Harald Naegeli in Cologne

9 March – 12 June 2022

This exhibition examines the creative and political interactions between the city and Harald Naegeli, who was not only one of the first street artists in Cologne, but also in Europe.


By Women's Hands. Medieval Manuscripts from Cologne Collections

Exhibition at the Museum Schnütgen – in cooperation with the Erzbischöfliche Diözesan- und Dombibliothek Köln

26.10.2021 – 30.01.2022

In cooperation with the Erzbischöfliche Diözesan- und Dombibliothek Köln (Archiepiscopal Diocesan and Cathedral Library of Cologne), the Museum Schnütgen is showing a selection of manuscripts created by religious women in northern France, Cologne, Lower Saxony and Nuremberg.


Master Arnt – a present from Paris

The Retable of the Passion from the Musée de Cluny

23 October 2020 – 13 June 2021


Arnt the sculptor of images

Master of animated sculptures

25 June - 20 September 2020

The first exhibition dedicated to the founder of a rich school of sculpture on the Lower Rhine took visitors into the era of the late Middle Ages. Some 60 works by the artist, who worked between about 1460 and 1491, were on display.


Sculpture through the lens of the camera

Alfred Tritschler’s photos of the Schnütgen collection

9 November 2019 – 16 February 2020


The Alabaster Reliefs

A new Acquisition that is unique

From September 26, 2019


Under the magnifying glass

13 November 2018 - 30 June 2019


On visit

The Adoration ot the Magi from Braunfels Castle on display at Museum Schnütgen.


The Samson-Master and his age

Romanesque sculpture in the Rhineland

extended until June 30, 2019


Expedition Middle Ages

The hidden Museum Schnütgen

20 October 2017 – 28 January 2018

The museum invites you on a journey of Exploration with this major special exhibition.


A Reliquary Diptych from the Spitzer Collection

A New Acquisition with an Intriguing History

13 July to 17 September 2017


A little horn on visit

18 March – 22 May 2016

Horn of St. Cornelius from St. Severin on visit at the Museum Schnütgen


On the trail of reliquaries and saints

A new approach to the art of the Middle Ages

27.11.2015 - 30.10.2016

The invocation of saints and the veneration of relics played a major role in the religious life of the Middle Ages.


Madonna meets Uma

5th anniversary of the Cultural Quarters

16 October 2015 - 31 January 2016

For five years now, the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum and the Museum Schnütgen have been direct neighbours in the cultural quarters at Neumarkt. On this occasion, the two museums will present a joint project.


The Magi

Legend, Art and Cult

25 October 2014 – 25 January 2015

The Museum Schnütgen is celebrating the 850th anniversary of the arrival of the remains of the Magi in Cologne with a large special exhibition. This significant event rapidly made Cologne one of the most important pilgrimage centres of the High Middle Ages. The Magi are still in evidence there today in their capacity as city patrons: their crowns grace the coat of arms of Cologne and the Shrine of the Magi remains the heart of Cologne Cathedral. The exhibition will bring together ivories, sculptures, paintings, manuscripts and works of treasury art that offer an interesting interpretation of the subject and are artistically of especially high quality. These works were created between the 5th to 16th centuries and hail from various artistic regions such as Italy, Germany or France.


Baptismal Font from Hildesheim

20 March – 29 June 2014

The bronze baptismal font from Hildesheim Cathedral was on exhibit at the Museum Schnütgen. The font dates back to around 1226 and is one of the most notable creations of its kind.


The Great Calvary

Presenting a New Acquisition

Since 27 November 2013

While the crucifixion scene with riders and soldiers has been in the possession of the Museum Schnütgen since 1965, the recent acquisition of a group of mourning women has shed new light on the meaning of the composition.


Silk not Sin

Ceremonial Attire used in Preparation for Divine Services

23 May 2013 – 24 August 2014

The exhibition “Silk not Sin” presents rare 14th and 15th century ecclesiastical vestments from the museum’s notable textile collection. The exhibition not only draws attention to the actual celebration of Mass, but highlights those moments before divine services have even begun.


Die Kölner Rathauspropheten (The Cologne Town Hall Prophets)

Sculpture around 1400 for citizens and church

19 September 2012 – 7 April 2013

Twelve years after the exhibition “Die gute Regierung” (The Good Government), the eight prophets from the Gothic Town Hall of Cologne returned to Museum Schnütgen – but this time on permanent loan! To celebrate this event, the first instalment of the series “Museum Schnütgen – In Focus” was dedicated to these sculptures.
The Cologne prophets have been giving city council members ethical advice on good governance since the Middle Ages. The exhibition was supplemented by loans from Cologne Cathedral and the KOLUMBA Art Museum of the Archdiocese of Cologne. Together with select pieces from Museum Schnütgen, they demonstrated the high quality of Cologne sculpture around 1400.
A special feature of the exhibition was the museum’s cooperation with the Historical Archives of the City of Cologne. Documents and books rescued from the catastrophic collapse in 2009, including a copy of the Verbundbrief (democratic city constitution) of 1396, illustrated the work of the medieval council members.

Glanz und Größe des Mittelalters (Splendour and Glory of the Middle Ages)

Cologne masterpieces from the world’s great collections

4 November 2011 – 26 February 2012

In its heyday from 1000 to 1550, Cologne was one of the leading art centres in Europe. Exchanges with Paris, Prague, the Netherlands and Italy led its resident masters to develop an artistic language typical of Cologne. The exhibition presented 225 works from collections across Europe and the US. These included wood and ivory carvings, works of the goldsmith’s art, book illuminations and panel paintings, textiles as well as stained glass. They were presented side by side with prominent works owned by churches in the Rhineland, which were created in medieval Cologne and are still – in part – in use today.
The exhibition thus not only demonstrated the most important aspects of artistic practice in medieval Cologne, but also gave insights into the interplay of the arts within the medieval metropolis.