Museum Neuruppin, Blick aus dem Bestandsgebäude auf den Neubau und den Apollo-Tempel, Foto: Lorenz Kienzle und Ronka Oberhammer


Jubiläumsprogramm zum 200. Geburtstag von Theodor Fontane

The German Federal Cultural Foundation has a long history of celebrating great artists whose works possess outstanding significance today. Over the years it has funded numerous commemorative projects and frequently developed special programmes of its own. In 2019, Germany will commemorate the 200th anniversary of Theodor Fontane. To mark the occasion, the Federal Cultural Foundation will award funding to two central projects in an extensive commemorative programme, organised by the Brandenburgische Gesellschaft für Kultur und Geschichte gGmbH in cooperation with the Museum Neuruppin, the city of Neuruppin (Fontane City), the Haus der Brandenburgisch-Preußischen Geschichte in Potsdam, the University of Potsdam and the Kulturland Brandenburg.

Exhibition and educational programme

The first of the two projects is the central exhibition fontane.200/Autor, presented at the Museum Neuruppin. In the exhibition, Heike Gfrereis, one of Germany’s most renowned curators of literary exhibitions, will demonstrate the versatility and modern character of Fontane’s literary oeuvre. The polyphonic, interaction-based exhibition comprises three segments which present Fontane as a “word sampler”, “writing thinker” and a “text programmer”. These will be supplemented by documents from his estate as well as abstract visualisations of literature. The second project is an educational programme entitled fontane.200/Word&Play! in which young people take part in a “game jam” and develop their own digital games using image, text and sound design tools. These games will later be incorporated into the media programme of the central exhibition and made available to the public as open-source material. The educational programme is being developed by the city of Neuruppin in cooperation with the Brandenburg State Cultural Education platform under the aegis of the Brandenburgische Gesellschaft für Kultur und Geschichte gGmbH and the Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur. An accompanying programme will provide educators, parents and cultural agents with further expertise in digital games.


Born in Neuruppin in Brandenburg in 1819, Theodor Fontane († 1898 in Berlin) is one of the most outstanding European writers of literary realism. Fontane’s novellas and novels, such as “Effi Briest”, “Der Stechlin” and “Irrungen, Wirrungen” (Trials and Tribulations), are an integral part of the German-language literary canon. His ballads “John Maynard” and “Herr von Ribbeck auf Ribbeck im Havelland” are among the best-known in Germany and have left a lasting impression on school children for generations. A lesser known fact, however, is that Fontane became a novelist rather late in life, having worked as a writer in a wide variety of text genres in earlier years. As a journalist, war correspondent, literature, art and theatre critic, essayist, reporter, poet, autobiographer, and prolific letter and notebook writer, he became a chronicler of the epochal upheavals of the 19th century in technology, business, politics and society. Fontane was an astute observer and commentator on the nascent modernist movement. The way in which Fontane worked with various text elements and in a diverse spectrum of text genres seemed to anticipate the digital age of the 21st century in which collecting, copying and rearranging image and text material have become ubiquitous. With respect to his montage-like structure, his entire work is imbued with a polyphony and openness, which readers of every generation have rediscovered, and which continues to influence the literary world today.

The Federal Cultural Foundation has allocated a total of 770,000 euros to fund the exhibition “fontane.200/Autor” and another 300,000 euros to finance the digital educational project “fontane.200/Word&Play!”.

30.03.2019 - 30.09.2019 Museum Neuruppin, Neuruppin Ausstellung