In 2008, the Art Foundation at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne was certified by the district government of Cologne, which serves as its supervisory authority. It is an incorporated foundation under the civic law of the City of Cologne, the only independent art foundation in the Cities Association, and one of the first in a German municipality.
The foundation is dedicated exclusively to acquiring and expanding the holdings of its collections of modern and contemporary art. Correspondingly, its founding purpose is aimed at providing assistance to collectors of contemporary art who are interested in donating works that represent desirable and meaningful additions to the holdings; it is also concerned with facilitating the acquisition of prohibitive works of art. The main purpose of the foundation is thus based on the task of funding art and culture by supporting the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in the form of giving it possession of artworks and groups of works from the foundation. This obligates the foundation to transfer its works to the museum as “permanent loans,” to integrate them into its collections, and put them on equal footing with the art already in its possession. Thus for the first time in 2008, just a few days after the foundation was established, around 180 works on paper by Sigmar Polke were transferred from the first Reininghaus and Friebe-Reininghaus donation.
The basis for establishing the foundation was provided by the 2007 Law to Strengthen Civic Engagement. This law is chiefly concerned with providing tax relief for donators and thereby offers an attractive fiscal incentive for collectors who might be hesitant about making donations. The foundation’s particular strength therefore lies in providing an impetus for social patronage and is intended to encourage the expansion of the collection in accordance with the museum administration.
On the occasion of his farewell as the Museum Ludwig's long-term director, Kasper König organized a benefit auction in favor of the Kunststiftung im Museum Ludwig . In total, sixty-nine works by international artists were auctioned in Cologne and London in September-October 2012. The entire net proceeds of 1.5 million euros went to the foundation and serve to support the Museum Ludwig.
Currently, clear indications have been announced for further donations of important groups of works by contemporary artists, primarily from art-minded Cologne residents and patrons, but also from elsewhere.
Thanks to the spectacular donation by the collectors Ulrich Reininghaus and Anna Friebe-Reininghaus from Cologne, around 180 works on paper by Sigmar Polke were transferred into the Museum Ludwig's collection. With this, the Museum Ludwig owns one of the most complete collection of the artist's editions in Europe. Further donations for the Art Foundation include major works by Henri Matisse, Cady Noland, Ursula Burghardt, Bruce Nauman, and Martin Kippenberger.
Art Foundation at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Incorporated foundation under civic law
City of Cologne
Original capital €50,000
Advancement of the Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Board of Directors
Dr. Yilmaz Dziewior