Joseph Beuys and the Shamans

Extended to 19.09.2021

We celebrate the 100th birthday of Joseph Beuys with numerous events and a comprehensive exhibition. These are part of the anniversary program of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia: beuys 2021. 100 jahre joseph beuys.

The interdisciplinary exhibition Joseph Beuys and the Shamans presents for the first time works by Joseph Beuys together with ethnological objects from shamanic living environments in the circumpolar, Eurasian region.

In his early works Joseph Beuys repeatedly focused on shamans and on the contexts in which they operate. In a number of Actions he either assumed the role of the shaman or drew on shamanic practices. For Beuys, Eurasia was a spiritual space that stood for the reconciliation of opposites such as reason and intuition. 

This ethnological exhibition highlights fundamental aspects of historical and contemporary indigenous shamanism and of the shamanic worlds that Beuys so often referred to.

It will also include work by contemporary artists demonstrating the relevance of the topic of shamanism to the current artistic discourse with its particular interest in social issues and ecology.

Museum Schloss Moyland boasts the world’s largest collection of works by Joseph Beuys and is also home to the extensive Joseph Beuys Archive. With its exhibition hall, moated castle and park, the museum also has spaces which, thanks to the immediate proximity of art and nature, allow an intensive and meaningful experience of the exhibition and accompanying events.

The exhibition is sponsored by:


Special thanks to:
Familie Hendricks
Wirtschaftsförderung Kreis Kleve GmbH



Besuchergruppe bei einer Führung durch die Ausstellung

Public guided tours through the exhibition start at 3:00 pm (subject to change). Fee: 3 €, plus general admission

With the beginning of the exhibition on 1 May 2021, we will once again provide a new quiz on the exhibition in the museum app. Curious? Download the app now for free (Apple App Store oder Google Play).

Zeichnung eines Rentiers

Materials for creative projects are available in the Art Workshop located on the second floor of the castle. Young and old can make a shaman drum or design an amulet, for example. Of course, they can also let their imagination run free and paint, draw, or write down impressions from the exhibition.

In all the exhibition rooms on the first floor, children will find cards with exciting tasks, quizzes, and information about the artist Joseph Beuys and shamanism. The reindeer Rangifer accompanies them on their search for clues.


The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive, richly illustrated catalogue with texts and illustrations reflecting the interdisciplinary approach of the exhibition with its thematic focus on Joseph Beuys, indigenous shamanism, and contemporary artists. The texts were written by Eugen Blume, Ulrike Bohnet, U We Claus, Gérard A. Goodrow, Dieter Koepplin, Sarah Lampe, Doris Leutgeb, Michael Oppitz, Christian Rätsch, Amélie Schenk, Kocku von Stuckrad, Barbara Strieder, Jonathan Willing, and Wolfgang Zumdick. Price in the museum shop: € 34.50


Museum shop
Phone +49 (0)2824 9510-68

Beuys & Bike

Under this heading, a specially developed bicycle route in NRW connects places that played an important role in the life and work of Joseph Beuys: his birthplace, the first studio, museums and galleries that made his work known early on, and the Beuys centre Museum Schloss Moyland. These places are linked by the new bicycle route and can in this way be actively experienced.

With a total distance of roughly 300 kilometres, Beuys & Bike leads to stops in Bedburg-Hau, Kleve, Duisburg, Krefeld, Mönchengladbach, Düsseldorf, Neuss, and Leverkusen. Those who set off by bicycle will not only become better acquainted with the artist and his art, but also with the fascinating Lower Rhine region with its historic town centres, magnificent castles, and natural water-meadow landscapes.


Further tourist offers in the super Beuys year, as well as links to recommended routes and more, are available online at or

Folder Beuys & Bike [PDF]