German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Exhibitions and concerts

Vilm has and is a special place in the history of landscape painting. The tranquillity of the island and its "primeval forest" of mighty oak and beech trees, which attracted Christian hermits in the Middle Ages, has appealed to landscape painters since the rise of the Romantic movement. Over the past two centuries, over 330 artists have been drawn to the island. Among the most important artists spending time on the Isle of Vilm were Caspar David Friedrich, 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.

Today, BfN still offers artists the opportunity to seek inspiration during stays on the island, as long as the regulations of the nature reserve are respected. Works by former and contemporary artists are also exhibited in the rooms of the Academy. We would like to draw special attention to the sculptures in the outdoor area and the exhibition "The Tree and Me" in the gallery in the generator house.

Exhibitions on the Isle of Vilm

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

chair-sculpture Misgajski

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

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.


For thousands of years, people have sought and found inspiration in nature to create music. Music can also tell us about the beauty and majesty of nature and landscapes. In our concert series "Music and Nature" we strive to make this connection and the island itself tangible - and audible as well.

Dates and further information about the concerts can be found on this page.

Last Change: 09/02/2021