Gießkannenmuseum (Watering Can Museum) – Giessen, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Giessen, Germany

Gießkannenmuseum (Watering Can Museum)

An homage to the humble watering can. 

Over 1,000 watering cans in every imaginable style are on display in a free museum atop a German mall.

The “Giesskannenmuseum” (Watering Can Museum) in Giessen celebrates the common watering can—be it antiquarian, modern, valuable or cheap.

The museum opened in 2011, funded by the City of Giessen and run by the Gaertnerpflichten artist group (Oliver Behnecke, Ingke Guenther, Esther Steinbrecher and Joerg Wagner). The location of the museum is no coincidence: the name Giessen means “to water”.

There are more cans being added each week. Most are donated, but some are purchased especially for exhibition. Every can is cataloged, stories or memories from the former owners are collected and every donation is registered. The large collection emphasizes the great variety in watering cans. Though they all have a container, a spout, a shower piece and a handle, the cans vary in design, material and quality. Pressed metal, plastic or ceramic, chic design object or banal garden supply, for indoor or outdoor use, the watering can is a utilitarian object but also a beautiful one.

The museum has also acquired some beautiful prints from the late 19th century, where watering cans can be seen in different contexts. A collection of 26 sheets can be seen in a specially equipped display cabinet. On wood and copper, in engravings, lithographs and illustrations, the watering can is sometimes shown as protagonist and sometimes as a mere accessory. 

Since spring of 2012, the Giesskannenmuseum has cooperated with the Frankfurt art project “Botanoadopt”, by Haike Rausch and Torsten Grosch. Here “neglected and abused houseplants” receive individual names and biographies and are presented in the Watering Can Museum for adoption, but only into good hands. 

Know Before You Go

The museum can be found in the "Galeria Neustaedter Tor". If you enter through the main gate, go up a floor and find the "Bastlerzentrale". Inside this store, go up one more floor and exit onto the parking deck. The door to the museum is right next to the exit.

If you go into the parking garage by car go to Parkdeck 1 and follow the signs to the museum.

Entrance is free, and the museum is open to the public every Friday and Saturday between 1 and 5 or by appointment.