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The collection extends from late antiquity to the present, from Romanesque sculpture to room installation, from medieval panel painting to radical painting, from the Gothic ciborium to the everyday object of the 20th century. The search for a general order, i.e., for measure, proportion and beauty as a connecting element of all artistic creation is the main theme of the collection. The major emphasis lies on early Christianity (excellent Coptic textiles), painting, sculpture and goldsmith’s art from the 11th to 16th century (for example the Herimann Crucifix with its Roman lapis lazuli head, the Romanesque Erp Crucifix and Stefan Lochner’s Virgin with the Violet), works attesting to popular devotion, and one of the most extensive collections of rosaries. In 1996, this collection was considerably enriched by the Härle donation, which contains two thirds of what was formerly one of the most distinguished German private collections of medieval sculpture. The 19th century is represented with paintings, drawings, and religious graphics. In the area of classical modern art, a small collection has been built up, which plays an important role as a bridgehead between the 19th century and modern art. Parts of the legacy of Andor Weininger, who was of great importance for the Bauhaus group in Weimar and Dessau, were donated to the museum, where they have become a milestone since 1999. For modern art, collection activity has been centred on artistic discourses, which, at the cutting edge of their time, pursue questions of human existence that are especially relevant to the Church. This openness to approach creates a possibility for discovering relevant religious dimensions in a piece of art applying to its time and beyond. Whenever possible, the collection aims to establish extensive groups of works of individual artists which may then be included into various exhibitions in a multitude of ways. In 2002, the collection was extended in a logical manner with the addition of the Schriefers Collection, consisting of 20th-century works of applied art.