Edith-Russ-Haus

The Edith-Russ-Haus

The Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art is a space where contemporary media art is exhibited and discussed, like a channel through which information on art, society, and new media flows.

The regularly changing exhibition program presents innovative and experimental positions within international contemporary art. Presentations, artist talks, and workshops promote public discourse on contemporary art and its relationship to the social reality from which it stems.

The Edith-Russ-Haus supports the realization of several new artistic projects every year, thus contributing to artistic production, experimental collaboration, and critical exchange. We consider these newly commissioned pieces to be important inspirations in shaping the program and overall direction of the institution.

The Edith-Russ-Haus’s program not only focuses on the ways in which today’s technologies influence the shaping and defining of artistic ideas, but it also celebrates artists who have the vision and power to conceive speculative designs for the future by critically examining the present.

The Edith-Russ-Haus opened in 2000. It was directed by Rosanne Altstatt (2001-2004), Sabine Himmelsbach (2005-2012), Claudia Giannetti (2013-2014), and Edit Molnár & Marcel Schwierin (2015-present).

About the history of the house

The house was made possible by a donation from Edith Ruß (1919-1993), a journalist, educator and private art collector. She wanted to enrich her home town of Oldenburg with a house of art that would be "a worthy transition to the year 2000" and aesthetically inspired by the architecture of the Bauhaus and Mies van der Rohe in particular. This idea formed the basis for the concept of the Medienkunsthaus with its exhibition spaces and apartments for invited artists. Her will also stipulated the name EDITH-RUSS-HAUS for the building. Additional funds from the legacy of educator Elisabeth Brand (1898-1993) were used to build the exhibition hall.

In 2000, the city of Oldenburg published a book about Edith Ruß entitled Ich wollte das Geld immer für die Allgemeinheit verwenden. Biographie der Oldenburger Mäzenin Edith Maria Ruß. (I always wanted to use the money for the general public. Biography of the Oldenburg patron Edith Maria Ruß). This brochure also mentioned Edith Ruß's work as editor of the feuilleton of the National Socialist Oldenburgische Staatszeitung (Oldenburg State Newspaper), but this activity was classified as rather insignificant overall. More recent research and information from 2024, however, show that she had been a member of the NSDAP since 1941 and published propagandistic texts in the Oldenburgische Staatszeitung between 1943 and 1945. In March 2024, the City of Oldenburg therefore commissioned an independent historical report on Edith Ruß, which is expected to be completed in fall 2024 and then presented and discussed publicly. The above-mentioned biography is no longer distributed by the City of Oldenburg, but is still available for research purposes from the Edith-Russ-Haus.

Technical Data

Building Plans

 

Exterior dimensions

  • Exhibition hall 12,815 m x 12,615 m
  • Guest house 12,645 m x 7,02 m

 

Floor area gross

  • Exhibition hall 291,68 sqm
  • Guest house 88,77 sqm
  • Total 380,45 sqm

 

Building heights

  • Exhibition hall 9,25 m
  • Guest house 11,45 m