The Richard Wagner Museum Graupa near Dresden-Pillnitz consists since 2013 of the older so-called Lohengrin house and the reconstructed hunting lodge with a new Wagner exhibition. The origin of the museum is Wagner’s vacation in the summer of 1846, when he composed the music to his opera “Lohengrin” in the former shepherd’s farmhouse. The Leipzig teacher Max Gaßmeyer founded the Wagner museum in the farmhouse in 1907. After the complete restoration of the building in 2006/07 the Lohengrin house was reopened in 2009, with an informative exhibition on “Lohengrin.” Wagner’s living room and bedroom are presented as they might have looked when he lived there with his first wife Minna. Wagner entertained many friends and colleagues there, among them the 16 year-old Hans von Bülow. The exhibition in the hunting lodge, under the motto “Don’t be afraid of Wagner, opera is an adventure” uses a mixture of traditional and modern exhibition methods. The focus of the exhibition is on the life and work of Wagner’s early creative period.
This period is characterized by the spiritual-artistic influences he experienced during his time in Leipzig (musical education and family life) and Dresden (as a pupil at the high school „Kreuzschule“, and his time as the second conductor of the Royal Saxon Opera, the first Semper House), up to the shaping of his oevre in the second half of his life. This includes a glance towards Bohemia as well as his attempts to reform the theatre, and his participation in the Dresden revolution of May 1849. The other rooms are devoted to specific topics: Wagner's poetry; his music; those who influenced him; and how Wagner in turm influenced European ans American film music; the theatre stage as an impression of the body of Wagner's oevre; the orchestra pit with visualization of sound, and finally somthing on Wagner's reception.
All texts of the exhibition in both houses are also available in English.
Germany possesses musical traditions and legacies of extraordinary value: Handel, Schuetz and Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Wagner - to mention only a few names - are composers who are known and treasured throughout the world. Their work has played a significant role in shaping a unique musical landscape.
Numerous orchestras, choruses, ensembles, renowned music festivals and series, music houses with museums, public archives and libraries, but also private collections preserve their musical heritage.
It is necessary to revitalize this inestimable fund again and again and to develop it for the present. At the same time, an important role befits the houses combined in the consortium of music museums of Germany. In them we encounter the work of the musicians and composers who have extraordinarily enriched the cultural nation of Germany. However, beyond the individual portrait, beyond the procurement of individual oeuvres, the music museums also contribute overall to the maintenance of musical tradition. The present brochure underscores this aspect of the synoptic presentation and invites the reader on a journey into the musical history of Germany. I hope this tour guide will be actively used and receive a large response.Bernd Neumann, Member of the Lower House of the German Parliament
Minister of State with the Federal Chancellor
Commissioner of the Federal Government for Culture and Media
Quoted from: Foreword to the brochure "Music Museums in Germany", 2007.