The Kunstsammlungen Antike represent the great breadth of ancient art of the Mediterranean and beyond.
On display are important works of Greek pottery ranging over 1,000 years as well as masterpieces of sculpture and metal casting.
But in addition to these works, the collections also contain a large number of objects from everyday life in antiquity, from lamps for lighting small rooms to simple eating and drinking utensils.
The chronological span ranges from the end of the Stone Age to the first half of the first millennium of our era, but the focus is on works from Roman and especially Greek antiquity.
The collection of antique works of art of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum was opened on January 10, 1975, 10 years after the foundation of the Ruhr-Universität, together with the art collection of modern and contemporary art.
The basis for the collection is formed by two extensive donations - the first in 1968 by Albert Schulze-Vellinghaus, the second in 1972 by Julius and Margot Schulze - which still form an important part, especially of the ceramics collection. Another important contribution is made by the collection of 420 objects originally acquired in 1965 as a teaching collection for the subject of classical archaeology by Dr. Karl Welz, a student councilor from Fulda. In addition to ceramics, this collection also included a large number of other pieces from a wide variety of genres and materials.
Other foundations as well as funds from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Ruhr University made it possible to further expand the collection in the years following the opening. For example, the extraordinary portrait of Severus Alexander was acquired for the collections in 1976 with funds from the extensive endowment of the publisher Paul Dierichs.
The most recent extensive additions to the holdings are the collections of Persian ceramics (Paul Gutermuth Collection) and so-called Lurestan bronzes (Berthold Beitz Collection, formerly Carl Hundhausen) donated in 2012, with 420 and 113 objects respectively.