German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Exhibitions and concerts

Vilm - an inspiration to artists past and present

Vilm has a special place in the history of landscape painting. The tranquillity of the island and its "primordial forest" of mighty beech and oak trees, which attracted religious hermits in the Middle Ages, has appealed to landscape painters since the rise of the Romantic movement. Over the past two centuries over 300 artists have sought out the island, following the example of Caspar David Friedrich. Among the most important were the Dresden doctor and landscape painter Carl Gustav Carus and the Weimar painter, Friedrich Preller the Elder, who was much admired and supported by Goethe.

When a hotel opened in 1886, growing numbers of artists gravitated to the Isle of Vilm, and its landscape was central to their work. There are pictures of the island representing almost every style of landscape painting since the Romantic movement.

We reconnect with this artistic tradition by holding exhibitions and concerts on the island. Our programme is intended to open up alternative perspectives and new ways of looking at nature and the landscape. This part of the Academy’s work is addressed equally to conference participants, residents and visitors to the island of Rügen.

This is made possible thanks to cooperation between the Vilm-Verein (Verein zur Pflege des Natur- und Kulturerbes der Insel Vilm e.V., association to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the Isle of Vilm) and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.

Concerts on the Isle of Vilm

Nature was time and again an important source of inspiration for the music. Vice versa music can raise our attention, our mood for the beauty and sublimity of nature and landscape.

In the project "Music and Nature" we want to make audible these connecting lines and points of contact. In 2020 four concerts are planned.


The crossing by ferry boat to Vilm occurs usually 45 minutes prior the concerts.

To book ferry crossings and concert tickets 14 days before the concert begins ( concert 11 €, ferry 6 €): +49 (0)38301-86138,


Exhibitions on the Isle of Vilm

Art with utility value - sculptures by Hans Werner Kratzsch and Bernhard Misgajski

chair-sculpture Misgajski
chair-sculpture Kratzsch

Please do sit on these seats. Placed near the entrance to the conference centre they are a welcome alternative to the indoor conference seating, and well used during breaks when the weather is fine. The benches were hewn from oak by the Rügen wood sculptor, Hans Werner Kratzsch (b. 1946). The slightly less comfortable steel and granite seat was made by Bernhard Misgajski (b. 1950), a steel and stone sculptor who works within sight of the Isle of Vilm.

sculptures "watermarks"

The watermarks put one in mind of the masts of sailing ships. They act as vertical landmarks in the coastal landscape, inviting the eye to dwell on and relish the beautiful view.

Exhibition in the generator house - photography by Volkmar Herre

photo by Herre: "Der Baum und ich"
photo by Herre

The permanent exhibition in the gallery in the former generator house, entitled DER BAUM UND ICH (The tree and I) consists of large format photographs by Volkmar Herre (b. 1943). The artist lives in Stralsund and has devoted himself to tree studies on the Isle of Vilm since 1994. The resulting body of work depicts ambiguous and richly symbolic images of growth and decay. In the language of natural forms, the photographer discovers the beauty of human form.

Some more recent additions are works made with a camera obscura, which explore the mystery of light and time.

Edition herre has published a catalogue, an album of photographs ("Venus") and an illustrated broadsheet on the exhibition, all of which can be obtained from our reception.

Last Change: 13/01/2020