Jean Paul Museum © Jean-Paul-Museum der Stadt Bayreuth

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.

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