The Garden City of Leuna is located less than 20 km from Halle, right by the bank of the river Saale. Visits to the sculpture park are recommended not only via the well-constructed Saale cycling and hiking path; this outdoor museum, a branch of Kunstmuseum Moritzburg Halle (Saale) can also be reached quickly by tram or a Deutsche Bahn train.
The idea of placing contemporary sculptures in the open space of a park, bringing art to people working for large, state-owned companies, arose in the early 1960s, a time of stifling cultural policy. Heinz Schönemann (b. 1934), who directed the Halle museum between 1958 and 1968, found a partner keen to put his idea into practice: the director of the “Walter Ulbricht” chemical company in Leuna.
The park, first set out in the Garden City of Leuna in 1920 and redesigned after the war, offered excellent conditions. Accordingly, bronze sculptures were set up in the green spaces, on themes which matched one another and the plants. Some were purchased from the artists by the museum, others were commissioned.
The range of topics among the sculptures, stretching over two decades (1947–67), extends from memorials to depictions of members of the working classes and the “new Socialist image of mankind”. Well-known GDR sculptors integrated the influences of international Modernism into their designs, combined with Expressionist trends.
A younger generation was inspired by contemporary sculpture in Europe – sparking a public discussion between officials and artists in Leuna about artistic freedom!
With its artistic genres and its history, the park is a heritage asset and, from today’s perspective, bears testimony to the half hopeful, half stifling history of the GDR’s art and times.
Tram 5 (Bad Dürrenberg), get off at “Leuna, Am Haupttor”. Walk about 15 min. The Saale cycle path leads directly past the sculpture park. Parking spaces are available in the nearby Carl-von-Linde-Strasse.
always open and freely accessible
Saaleparkanlage, Plastik-Park Leuna