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Large Selection of Important Works from the DZ BANK Art Collection Join Stadel Museum
Bill Beckley, Roses are..., Violets Are..., Sugar Are..., 1974.


FRANKFURT, GERMANY.-The Städel Museum is receiving more than two hundred high-quality works from the renowned DZ BANK collection of contemporary photography, which is one of the largest of its kind in the world. The museum’s selection from the DZ BANK collection will enter the holdings of the Städel indefinitely. The basis for this is a cooperation between the Städel and the DZ BANK in the form of a joint limited liability company that will become the owner of the photographs. With this solution, the two partners are pursuing new paths for the cooperation of business and culture. The DZ BANK’s donation on the occasion of its 125th anniversary will establish photography as a new focus of collecting at the Städel and will become an integral component of the museum’s collection once the planned expansion is complete.

Altogether more than two hundred works and groups of work by seventy-six artists will be transferred to the Städel. Many prominent names are represented: ranging from Richard Avedon to Andy Warhol, including Olafur Eliasson, Gilbert & George, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sigmar Polke, Richard Prince, Robert Rauschenberg, Thomas Ruff, Cindy Sherman, Katharina Sieverding, Thomas Struth, and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Works representative of more classical photojournalism will be juxtaposed with fundamental works from the so-called Becher school. Important positions from the 1960s and 1970s and the increasing presence of new media and globalized communication will be documented by exemplary works. Specific features of art photography—the image of body and the atmospheric depiction of milieu studies or urban and conceptual research—are just as much part of this selection as the themes gender and self-presentation.

For the Städel, with its important collections of paintings and sculpture and its outstanding holdings of works on paper, the donation of important works of contemporary photography represents an crucial strengthening of is collection of art after 1945. In addition, photography, one of the central means of expression in twentieth-century and contemporary art, will get the standing it deserves at the Städel as well.

“The transfer of this truly outstanding and large selection of contemporary photography,” says Max Hollein, director of the Städel Museum, “not only signifies an important extension of the Städel’s collecting focuses but is also a step forward for one of the most interesting and significant corporate art collections, which will open it up to completely new possibilities for contextualization and public view.”

Wolfgang Kirsch, chair of the DZ BANK’s board, explains: “We accept with complete conviction our role as trailblazer for innovative concepts in the sponsorship of culture. As the top-ranking institute in the cooperative association, we feel a responsibility to demonstrate greater civic commitment. In the name of about a thousand Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken, we are transferring parts of our corporate collection to the public. The Städel is an ideal partner for this model. Our headquarters are in Frankfurt am Main, so the choice of the Städel Museum was a very conscious decision.”

“For fifteen years, we have been building an art collection in accordance with museum standards,” adds Luminita Sabau, head of the DZ BANK art collection. “That means we have been able to concentrate on art of the highest rank. The top-flight works that the Städel has selected from our holdings will move to where they have the best location for a broader audience: a museum.”

Professor Nikolaus Schweickart, head of administration for the Städel Museum: “This agreement represents an important foundation stone for improving the Städel Museum as part of its expansion. Very much in the spirit of Johann Friedrich Städel’s will, it ‘expand and perfect’ the collection and take it into the twenty-first century with one giant step.”

After evaluating and considering legal appropriate from the perspective of the DZ BANK, and preserving the fundamental interest of the Städel Museum, these works will become a permanent part of the museum’s collection and can be integrated into the Städel without risk that they will someday be removed; the transfer of possession was arranged as follows:

The ownership of the works selected by the Städel Museum will be transferred to a limited liability company, held equally by the DZ BANK and the Städel, whose sole purpose is to ensure the works are handed over to the museum permanently. An ordinary termination by the limited liability company is legally prohibited. Possible extraordinary terminations, which cannot be legally prohibited, would offer the museum an option to purchase the works at book value (historical purchase price) in order to ensure that even in such cases the works would remain in the Städel’s collection.

In recognition of the significance of this transfer of more than two hundred works, which will be in the Städel Museum’s possession when the museum’s extension opens in 2010–11, certain gallery spaces in the extension will be called DZ BANK Galleries. In these rooms intended primarily for photography, the works from the DZ BANK will form the nucleus from which the Städel’s photography collection will develop. The works selected from the DZ BANK art collection will, however, also be shown in other gallery spaces, in exhibitions, and in other contexts and other media both in the Städel and at other venues.

The Städel will, however, already offer its first concentrated look at the DZ BANK collection this year. For the 125th anniversary of the DZ BANK, it will present a large exhibition with a cross section of the collection. The exhibition will be on view at the Städel Museum from 18 June to 21 September 2008.





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March 15, 2008

Large Selection of Important Works from the DZ BANK Art Collection Join Stadel Museum

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