The Kunsthaus Kannen (Kannen 'Art-House') is a part of the Alexianer Munster GmbH: a clinic specializing in both psychiatry and psychotherapy. The Kunsthaus lies within the clinic grounds. It aims to assist long-term patients of the clinic who demonstrate an interest in the arts. Their creativity and development has been supported since the early 80s through the use of art therapy. Since October 2000, the Kunsthaus has been acknowledged by the Alexianer Brotherhood and the Organization for Public Welfare in North Rhine Westphalia as a 'Model Project of the Community of Diasbled Artists', thus far one of a kind in Germany.
The name of the Kunsthaus Kannen has its origins in the 13th century. It was recorded for the first time in church records as the manor 'Cane' around the year 1200. However, the precise origin of the name remains unknown. It is possible that 'Kannen' may be the first name of the previous owner of the site, Kannen von Schwarte. Just as probable is that the noble family 'von Kannen' derived the name from the former manor 'Haus Kannen'.
From the wealth of materials collected over the last 30 years, the Kunsthaus has organized numerous exhibitions, both within Germany and beyond. The collection currently consists of over 5000 works of art, comprising of drawings, paintings and sculptural works.
The building of the Kunsthaus was completed in 2000. (For further information on the building, please refer to the website of Tobias Brösskamp) It has brought together under one roof both the art studios and the gallery space. This spacious and new building is designed to be accessible to people with special needs. The house offers plenty of room for projects, workshops, conferences and lectures dealing with the subjects Art and Psychiatry, Art Brut and Outsider Art. There is also a library and a book shop where literature on the subject is available. There are three prime drawing and painting galleries which stand on 150 sq. meters of space. Within them there are a total of fifteen work places and a studio where patients at patients' disposal. Here, people suffering from mental illnesses from the living quarters of Alexianer Hospital may be assisted and supervised by trained art therapists in order to release their creative output and talent, as well as to explore new techniques. There is also the possibiliy of working with artists from other studios in order to broaden the horizon of artistic styles and subject matter. As an integrative cultural meeting-point for artists, both with and without special needs, Kunsthaus Kannen welcomes everyone who is interested in this field of work.