10 Mar 2017 – 05 Jun 2017
Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln
The first Käthe Kollwitz museum, unique with its worldwide most comprehensive and complete Kollwitz collection, was founded on 22 April 1985, the 40th anniversary of the artist's death. Funding is provided by the Kreissparkasse Köln savings bank which in 1983 laid the foundations for this museum when it bought a collection of 60 drawings. At that time the straitened circumstances of the local authority prevented the municipal Wallraf-Richartz-Museum from purchasing this private collection so that only the financial involvement of a bank could stop it being sold at auction and dispersed to all four corners of the earth. Only two years later the collection comprised over 100 drawings, 60 prints and all the 15 Kollwitz sculptures available to museums, thanks to further gifts and acquisitions. It had long been arranged - in accordance with the agreement with Käthe Kollwitz' heirs - that the collection should not be sold on, but added to and made accessible for scholarly research and public presentation.
The founding of the museum reflected the best traditions of patronage in Cologne. From the outset it had been the aim of the bank to promote art and scholarship. The funding provider did not intend this as an investment in art or as a speculative investment, but aimed to demonstrate an aspect of its corporate culture by this contribution to the cultural scene in Cologne and the surrounding region. This is also reflected in its support for the Kollwitz Memorial Rüdenhof at Moritzburg near Dresden.
Initially, the museum was housed in rooms at the main branch of the Kreissparkasse in Neumarkt. In early 1989 it moved to a newly built venue designed by the Cologne architect Hans Schilling on the top floor of the Neumarkt-Passage shopping arcade. This venue with its exhibition space of 1000 sq. m. provides an optimum display in keeping with modern ideas on museum presentation.