The Frobenius Institute for Research in Cultural Anthropology at Goethe University Frankfurt owns the world’s most important collection of painted copies of prehistoric rock art. Along with a fascinating archive of ethnographic drawings, oil paintings and photographs, these are the legacy of the draughtswomen and draughtsmen who accompanied early anthropological expeditions to Africa, Indonesia, South America, Australia, Northern and Southern Europe. In fieldwork led by the Institute’s founder Leo Frobenius (1873-1938) and his successors, they used their artistic talents to further the cause of science.

In recent years, the collection of rock art paintings has been shown in major exhibitions in Germany and abroad. This new exhibition “Frobenius – the Art of Science” now tells the stories of the extraordinary artists behind these paintings through more than two hundred outstanding works of art.

The exhibition shows the anthropologist Leo Frobenius and his research in the historical context of the early 20th century. Rather than focusing on him, the exhibition puts the spotlight on his hitherto little-known expedition team, particularly on the women who were responsible for the great majority of the images. The impressive drawings of rock paintings – often produced in difficult conditions in European Ice Age caves, African deserts, or the Australian outback – made the appreciation and study of global prehistoric art possible for European. Works by Paul Klee, Willi Baumeister, and Wols show how these artistic copies inspired modern art in Europe.
The catalogue from Michael Imhof Verlag can be purchased for € 29 in the museum.

Press Conference: Thursday, 21st March 2019, 11:00 am
• Dr Manfred Großkinsky, Museum Director
• Dr Gisela Stappert, Exhibition Curator
• Dr Birgit Sander, Deputy Museum Director and Exhibition Curator
• Dr Richard Kuba, Frobenius Institute, Collection Curator

Opening of Exhibition: Sunday, 24th March 2019, 11:00 a.m.
• Welcome and Thanks: Dr Manfred Großkinsky, Museum Director
• Greeting: Professor Birgitta Wolff, Goethe University President, Dr Ina Hartwig, Departmental Head for Culture and Science, Professor Roland Hardenberg, Frobenius Institute Director,
• Introductory presentations: Dr Gisela Stappert, Exhibition Curator, Dr Birgit Sander, Deputy Museum Director and Exhibition Curator

You can find further information on opening hours, tours, tickets, lectures, children’s programmes and special events at www.museum-giersch.de.