The museum project Artists' Colony Schwarzes Haus Solingen sees itself as an initiative to create a documentation site for a unique Solingen Artists' Colony in which, from 1945 onwards - inspired by the return of the artist Erwin Bowien (1899-1972) from exile - an artists' community was constituted that achieved art-historical status in the visual arts of the 20th century through a style that was completely its own - and completely detached from the spirit of the times. The best-known artist of this colony is the internationally well-known painter Bettina Heinen-Ayech (1937-2020).
Due to favourable circumstances, the historical property - in which the Artists' Colony maintained their studios - the ensemble consists of two half-timbered houses, the so-called "Black" and "Red" House in the Solingen district of Höhscheid in the village of Neuenhaus - is available for the project. An initiative of art and history enthusiasts would like to use this favourable constellation to realise an appropriate museum project in this property.
The planned museum will present not only the artists of the Artists' Colony, but also literary friends, sculptors and artists who were close to the Artists' Colony. Like all modern museums, the focus will be on documentation, mediation and communication.
Several sponsors have agreed to make available - for the museum - a comprehensive collection of artworks by the artists of the colony. The museum's collections will include objects from all genres of the colony's material, written and pictorial estates, but also from the history of the nearby lead mine.