The Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation

Over the course of their lives, the art col­lec­tors Peter and lrene Lud­wig as­sem­bled more than 14,000 works, rang­ing from the art of an­cient Egypt and clas­si­cal an­tiqui­ty through to in­ter­na­tio­n­al con­tem­po­rary art.

The Col­lec­tion

The de­clared aim of this un­der­tak­ing was to il­lus­trate the qual­i­ty and im­por­tance art pos­sess­es as a glob­al val­ue and unique means of hu­man ex­pres­sion, high­light­ing this across his­tor­i­cal time as well as dif­fer­ent cul­tures and coun­tries. The con­cept of "world art" served as a guid­ing prin­ci­ple, and it was un­der­s­tood as tak­ing an in­ter­na­tio­n­al and tran­s­cul­tu­r­al ap­proach that sought to con­vey so­cial and po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences and pre­sent them as tan­gi­ble aes­thet­ic ex­pe­ri­ences. At a time when the art world was al­most ex­clu­sive­ly fo­cused on and shaped by west­ern Eu­rope and north Amer­i­ca, the two col­lec­tors, open-mind­ed and un­bi­ased, turned their at­ten­tion to the So­vi­et Union, to Chi­na, and fi­nal­ly to cen­tral Amer­i­ca, in par­tic­u­lar to Cu­ba.

Key group­ings within the col­lec­tion are works of Pop art, to­day fa­mous the world over, works by Pi­cas­so, the Rus­sian avant-garde art, art from the So­vi­et Union, east Asian art from an­cient Chi­na, as well as pre-Colum­bian art, the art of Greek, Etrus­can and Ro­man an­tiqui­ty, sculp­ture from the Mid­dle Ages and the Ear­ly Mo­dem Age, Baroque and Ro­co­co faïence, and con­tem­po­rary art from al­most ev­ery corn­er of the globe. Cur­rent­ly the col­lec­tion's works are spread in­ter­na­tio­n­al­ly across 26 public mu­se­ums in the form of do­na­tions and per­ma­nent loans. In Aachen, where the Lud­wigs lived, three mu­se­ums are strong­ly linked to the vari­ous group­ings within the col­lec­tion, in Cologne five. The mu­se­um with the most do­na­tions and loans is the Mu­se­um Lud­wig Cologne. Al­to­gether, around 1,150 do­nat­ed works and 500 per­ma­nent loans are to be found at this unique lo­ca­tion.

The Foun­da­tion

The Peter and lrene Lud­wig Foun­da­tion is cont­in­u­ous­ly re­search­ing, or­ganiz­ing, and ex­pand­ing the Lud­wig Col­lec­tion. Twice a year, the as­so­ci­at­ed mu­se­ums have the op­por­tu­ni­ty to sub­mit pro­ject pro­pos­als. The Foun­da­tion is ma­n­aged by chair­wo­m­an Dr. Brigitte Franzen. Chair­wo­m­an of the board of trus­tees is ls­a­bel Pfeif­fer-Poens­gen. The Foun­da­tion's board of trus­tees is made up of well-known fig­ures who are in­ti­mate­ly fa­miliar with the Lud­wig Col­lec­tion, the col­lec­tors, and the cul­tu­r­al land­s­cape in Ger­many and abroad.

Out­side of Ger­many, the Foun­da­tion is cur­rent­ly ac­tive in Cu­ba, Chi­na, Rus­sia, Hun­gary, Aus­tria, and Switz­er­land. In Vien­na and Ha­va­na two fur­ther foun­da­tions ex­ist, both of which co­op­er­ate with the Peter and lrene Lud­wig Foun­da­tion in Aachen.

Thanks to the Peter and Irene Lud­wig Foun­da­tion for their cont­in­u­al sup­port over many years