Temporary Exhibitions

  • Slüterdenkmal an St. Petri, Ansichtskarte nach 1911

  • Ägidius Faber/Martin Luther, Von dem flaschen Blut vnd Abgott jm Thum zu Schwerin, Wittenberg 1533

  • Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer, Johan Doetichum, Karte der Seeküste von Mecklenburg, Amsterdam 1586

  • Nicolaus Gryse, Spegel des Antichristischen Pawestdoms / und Luttherischen Christendoms, Rostock 1593


Rostock, Mecklenburg and protestant Reformation around the Baltic Sea
Slüter’s reformation sermon in Rostock, Bernhard Reinhold, 1858

July 7, 2017 – November 5, 2017


On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the protestant reformation the Rostock Cultural History Museum presents an exhibition on its history. The exhibition not only broaches the issue of events related to the reformation in Rostock and Mecklenburg, but also the cultural and religious exchange processes connected to it. The ecclesiastic and religious life and the faith before reformation, the development leading to upheaval and transformation, and the development of the protestant regional church in Mecklenburg since the mid-16th century play their role. Hence an overall view emerges onto the versatile religious, cultural and social processes during the 16th and 17th century, which can be summarized under the notion of reformation and its consequences.

Not only was Rostock the intellectual centre of the reformation in Mecklenburg, but also became an extraordinary multiplier of reformatory ideas as early as the 1520s. This is owed to the first protestant preacher in Rostock, Joachim Slüter. Already in 1525 he released a protestant hymnbook and in 1526 a prayer booklet, both in Low German language, which are the oldest evidence of this type at all. Especially the hymnbook became a bestseller and was distributed far beyond the boundaries of Mecklenburg. Hymns from Rostock shaped the protestant community singing in Sweden and Denmark, and also in England and Latvia as in many territories of the Holy Roman Empire. Characters like David Chyträus and Johann Quistorp senior, or Johann Friedrich König, Heinrich Müller, or Theophil Großgebuer shaped Lutheranism beyond the boundaries of the empire and let emanate Rostock’s influence across the Baltic Sea towards Scandinavia.

Did you know... ... the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler was intended to be appointed as a professor at the University of Rostock in 1630 but died first?

CHRISTIAN ROHLFS (1849–1938). Falls.

Birches at the Garden Fence, 1902
The Three Holy Kings, ca 1924

Art Exhibition 9th of June to the 24th of September 2017

Exhibition series
Rostock’s Classical Modernism: “Degenerate Art” from the estate of art dealer Bernhard A. Böhmer.


Colourful paintings and graphics by the multi-facetted artist Christian Rohlfs open an exceptional exhibition series of top-class masterpieces by Lyonel Feininger, Oskar Schlemmer, Rudolf Belling, Max Pechstein, Erich Heckel, Ernst Barlach and other German artists. The individual exhibitions are devoted not only to the fates of both the individual artists and groups of artists involved but also the dubious journey of how they brought “degenerate art” to Rostock.Around 1900, avant-garde artists all across Europe broke with traditional art traditions and created “Classical Modernism” – Christian Rohlfs was one such “peculiar" individualist.

His way of seeing art in nature is peculiar; his way of "pulling it out", always independent. Pictures of the most varied epochs of his creation find their unifying band in natural feeling.
Art patron Karl Ernst Osthaus on Christian Rohlfs, 1905.

It was when Christian Rohlfs, the nature-boy from Schleswig-Holstein, fell from an apple tree that his fairytale-like ascent to becoming a member of the Prussian Academy of Arts truly began. With a traditional repertoire of shapes and colours, he initially earned his laurels – though he did not rest on them: countless and endless experiments shaped his stylistic development via Impressionism to Expressionism. The time was out of joint, and he thus compacted his inner being into forms of symbolism, and it was only in his late work that the untamed naturalness of his work truly burst out: Rohlfs' particular lyrical expressionism bewitched its public with colour-intensive depictions of flowers.


Curator: Susanne Knuth

Opening time

Tuesday to Sunday
Closed on Mondays

Admission free