Bathers in the Falkenhof

Exhibition “In the swimming pool” – Focus on a painting by Carlo Mense

The outdoor swimming season has begun and even at the Falkenhof Museum Rheine you can currently discover bathers: a new exhibition on the top floor (graphics cabinet) of the Falkenhof makes it possible. At its center is the painting “In the Swimming Pool”, which was painted by the famous Rhenish expressionist Carlo Mense around 1960 and which was acquired from the artist’s estate by his widow Vera Mense for the museum in Rheine. In Mense’s oeuvre, this painting, whose brightly colored fields are reminiscent of a mosaic, occupies a special position as a realistic everyday scene from the 1960s. After more than twenty years, this special work is now on public display again. In addition, comparative examples by Carlo Mense as well as documents, graphics and photographs on the theme of “People by the Water” are presented.

The exhibition also looks at the history of swimming at Rheine. The exhibits include a hand-drawn plan of the river bathing facility on the Ems, which was built in 1927, and photographs and tickets for the open-air swimming pool on Kopernikusstraße, which opened in 1952. It becomes clear that the history of swimming is not just about sporting competitions, leisure activities and health care: At a time when not all homes in Rheine had bathrooms, swimming pools were also used for personal hygiene and grooming. Through a number of photos and film material provided by the Rheiner baths, the exhibition builds a bridge to the present day, i.e. to the opening of the “Aqua Reni” baths in January of this year.

Among the treasures from the museum’s stacks that have been unearthed for the summer exhibition in the Falkenhof are oil studies by Alexei von Assaulenko depicting beach life on the Mediterranean. The city archive Rheine, the Siebengebirgsmuseum Königswinter, private individuals and the sculptor Birgit Rehfeldt from Ostfildern are also supporting the presentation with loans, whose “upside-down bathers” look at the subject from a completely new perspective.

The exhibition “In the swimming pool. A painting by Carlo Mense in focus” can be seen at the Falkenhof Museum from now until September 15, 2024.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 2 – 6 pm and Sunday 10 am – 6 pm

Admission: free

Sunday, May 26 Short guided tours of the exhibition with curator Christiane Kerrutt from 3 – 5 pm

Information: Visitors’ Office of the Municipal Museums Rheine 05971 939 711