With all the resources of art

Sibylle Lichtensteiger
Director Stapferhaus


The Stapferhaus in Lenzburg is a museum that explores big ideas, asks difficult questions and encourages debate. In 2020, it won the European Museum Award EMYA.

In a look behind the scenes, director Sibylle Lichtensteiger describes the award as an honour and an obligation. The Stapferhaus has less space for exhibits and more modest financial resources than previous winners, which makes her even prouder. It doesn’t aim to compete with the smart displays and perfect visual worlds of Apple, Netflix and co.

The Stapferhaus raises funds for each project and puts great effort and research into it. Visitors come mostly by word of mouth, so exhibitions must be convincing. The prize has increased interest in the museum, opened up new networks and will hopefully lead to interesting partnerships. The Stapferhaus has no material collections in the traditional sense, but holds thematic exhibitions on current issues of major relevance. They analyse topics in depth and can take on any form: film, literature, sound and theatre, visual art or objects, staged and combined into a whole.

The current exhibition on gender investigates all aspects of the subject. Each visitor brings their own experience along with them. As experts in their own right, their opinions are just as interesting as those of scientists.

Sibylle Lichtensteiger recently visited Naturalis (the ­Netherlands) – EMYA winner for 2021. She was impressed by the way a museum linked to a university establishes dialogue with the public.