Since it was founded in 1933, the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation has consistently pursued the goal of making the contemporary art of the time accessible to the general public. “Faith in the Future”: this motto postulated by the founder of the collection, Maja Hoffmann-Stehlin (later Maja Sacher), has always been a leitmotiv.
Since 1941, the Foundation has been closely linked to the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung Basel (Public Art Collection), having contractually agreed to supply its holdings on permanent loan for presentation within that collection. Many of the works, acquired by the Foundation over the past 80 years, have become highlights of 20th-century art, such as Salvador Dalí’sBurning Giraffe (Girafe en feu) or Robert Delaunay’s Eiffel Tower (La Tour Eiffel). A group of works by Joseph Beuys, acquired very early, and recent acquisitions by other artists are also regularly on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Basel. But how does the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation present its own holdings as a independent collection?
The Kunstmuseum Basel is closing for renovations in 2015. This provides an opportunity for the Schaulager to mount the first extensive presentation in thirty years of the substantially enlarged collection of works acquired over the past two decades under the leadership of the Foundation’s third president, Maja Oeri. The collection comprises paintings, sculptures and drawings as well as installations, photographs and videos from modern to present-day art. The exhibition at the Schaulager, covering an area of over 4300 m2, will testify to the intensity and commitment that have gone into building the collection of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation over the decades. It will present focal points of interest which reveal the often unorthodox decisions made in pursuing further developments of the collection in the future.
A comprehensive catalogue of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation collection, published by the Laurenz Foundation, will be presented at the opening of the exhibition. In addition to a complete list of works, the richly illustrated publication will contain over 80 descriptions of single works as well as brief biographies of all the artists represented in the collection. Separate editions in German and English will be available.