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Beuys’ Bed

“Here, next to this closet, I was born: There, on the side. From time to time, the closet haunted me eerily. I had my first dreams next to this closet.” (J. Beuys) 

In the museum

In the attic of the small museum of local history and culture, the bed, bedside table, chest of drawers, and closet from Joseph Beuys’ room (on loan from Museum Schloss Moyland) can be seen, as well as a crib (on loan from the van Heukelum family and the MKK). Surrounded by this furniture, Joseph Beuys slept as a child, adolescent, and young adult in his parents’ various residences in Kleve. 

Peter Sager writes:

“Flour, Grain, Fodder, Fertilizer,” is written on Beuys’ parents’ house in Rindern, Kleve’s neighboring village. In front of the brick building grows a willow, “I planted it myself when I was twelve,” a weeping willow. Maria Beuys, his cousin, recently gave up the feed store. “Dat Jüppgen, yes, everyone knows him here. As a person he’s very popular, but as an artist… He throws margarine around like that, who has any understanding for that? But it suits him, always full of pranks, he was like that even before. They always said: He didn’t enter via the front door, but up the gutter!”  Maria Beuys has five children, “all of them have a B in art, automatically, Beuys is a name!”  “When people hear my name,” says her son Peter, an apprentice typesetter, “they immediately say, Oh, are you related to the professor? The crazy one, coming right after.” For a long time, Maria Beuys still had “the cradle in the attic where Jüppgen lay; someone stole it from us.” (ZEIT magazine 1978) 

Photo link

Helmut Berghaus: Building of the feed store of Hubert Beuys, the uncle of Joseph Beuys, in Kleve-Rindern


Although Beuys was born in Krefeld, he himself places the city of Kleve at the beginning of his life. In his Life Course / Work Course, he states (selection of first part): 

1921 Kleve Exhibition of a wound drawn together with plaster
1922 Exhibition of dairy cows Molkerei near Kleve
1923 Exhibition of a moustache cup (contents: coffee with egg)
1924 Kleve Open exhibition of heathen children 1925 Kleve Documentation: “Beuys as Exhibitor” 1926 Kleve Exhibition of a stagleader
1927 Kleve Exhibition of radiation
1928 Kleve First exhibition of an excavated trench
Kleve Exhibition to elucidate the difference between
loamy sand and sandy loam
1929 Exhibition at the grave of Genghis Khan
1930 Donsbrüggen Exhibition of heathers with healing herbs
1931 Kleve Connecting exhibition
Kleve Exhibition of connections
1933 Kleve Underground exhibition (digging beneath the
ground parallel to the surface)
1940 Posen Exhibition of an arsenal (together with Heinz
Sielmann, Hermann Ulrich Asemissen, and Eduard Spranger)
Exhibition of an airfield, Erfurt-Bindersleben Exhibition of an airfield, Erfurt-Nord
1942 Sebastopol Exhibition of my friend
Sebastopol Exhibition during the interception of a JU-87
1943 Oranienburg Interim exhibition (together with Fritz Rolf Rothenburg + Heinz Sielmann)
1945 Kleve Exhibition of cold 1946 Kleve warm exhibition
Kleve Artists’ Union “Profile of the Successor”
Happening Central Station, Heilbronn
1947 Kleve Artists’ Union “Profile of the Successor”
Kleve Exhibition for the hard of hearing
1948 Kleve Artists’ Union “Profile of the Successor” Düsseldorf Exhibition in the Pillen Bettenhaus
Krefeld Exhibition “Kullhaus” (together with A. R. Lynen)
1949 Heerdt Total exhibition three times in a row
Kleve Artists’ Union “Profile of the Successor”
1950 Beuys reads “Finnegans Wake” in “Haus Wylermeer”
Kranenburg Haus van der Grinten “Giocondologie”

Beuys – Life Course / Work Course

Bike route to next station: 

from the ARENACVM Museum

turn right into Hohe Str. 

turn right into Mars-Camulus-Str.

to the church

turn left into Drususdeich 

Station 2: Am Kolk


This film by Janusz Grünspek was made on the occasion of the exhibition “Joseph Beuys – Childhood and Youth” in the Museum FORUM ARENACVM in July 2021. Joseph Beuys ́ life and work are closely connected with the landscape of the Lower Rhine, which shaped his artistic vision. Here he grew up, developed an intimate relationship with nature, created his first works, organized exhibitions, dealt with personal crises, formed lifelong friendships.

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