Born in Middelburg to an artistic family, Barend Cornelis Kockkoek was a foundational figure in Dutch Romantic landscape painting. In 1834, he settled in Kleef with his wife, Elise Thérèse, and Koekkoek's growing success as an artist enabled him to buy a house and patch of land on the hillside,which included a former customs house at the old city gate. By 1843, he had converted one of the towers on the city wall into a studio, and between 1847-48 he commissioned the architect Klevenaar Anton Weinhagen to build the 'Palais Koekkoek' in the neoclassical style, a strong statement of his artistic prominence that became an absorbing project over the next seven years. Here he was visited by friends and admirers including several members of the European aristocracy.
After passing through several hands during the nineteenth century, the house was partially remodelled and expanded in the contemporary Art Nouveau style by the German doctor Hans van Ackeren. However, it survived the bombings of two world wars before being opened as the municipal museum in 1961. Since 1997 it has been run by a charitable foundation, and now hosts a rolling programme of exhibitions and events in the heart of Kleve
+49 (0)2821 76 88 33
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Sundays and Bank Holidays, 11am - 5pm
Closed on 24, 25 and 31 December, and 1 January