The Jean Paul Museum was, for the 250th birthday of the great upper Franconian poet, completely new designed and in time for this anniversary (21.03.2013) reopened.
Bayreuth owes the museum to the generous donor Dr. Phillip Hausser, a descendant of Joseph and Rosa Schwabacher, former landlords of their once tenant Jean Paul in his residence and place of death. From his youth on Hausser had gathered a considerable collection of autographs of Jean Paul, first editions of his works, literature from his circle, portraits and picture material. This, probably most important private collection about Jean Paul, made is possible to open a museum in 1980 under the direction of Dr. Manfred Eger.
The city of Bayreuth was able to expand it significantly and since then acquired other valuable writings and documents of Jean Paul‘s life and works. In Jean Paul‘s jubilee year 2013, on the poets 250th birthday, the museum was newly designed from Dr. Frank Piontek and the exhibition designer Florian Raff under the direction of Dr. Sven Friederich The museum is housed in the former residence of Richard Wagner‘s daughter Eva and her husband Houston Stewart Chamberlain, whose work in the “Bayreuth circle” promoted the national adoption of Richard Wagner, his problematic ideology and writings which initiated symbiosis with Nazism.
Jean Paul was intentionally misunderstood by the NS and seen as an old apologist of petty bourgeois German inwardness and used for propagandistic purposes from the destroyers of culture and mind. That after the spirit of Chamberlain, the today humane spirit of Jean Paul has found its home here, appears as symbolic salvation of his ideals and as a victory of the humane over inhumane.