The founding of the Museum of Contemporary Art in the vicinity of the Public Art Collection is a result of a combination of fortunate circumstances.
The ever-growing stocks of contemporary works held by the Public Art Collection and the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation made it increasingly difficult to exhibit them in the available space.
In 1974 the Milanese Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo offered his collection of Minimal and Conceptual Art to the Museum - on condition that suitable exhibition rooms could be found for his generous loan. This was the crucial factor behind the construction of a new building. On her 80th birthday in 1975, Maja Sacher, founder of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation, and her family, donated the building expenses for a museum of contemporary art. Five years later, the 'Museum für Gegenwartskunst' opened at a location in the St Alban valley, made available for this special purpose by the Christoph Merian Foundation.
Today, the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation comprises works by over 150 artists. The early acquisitions of the collection - works by Arp and Dali, Delaunay and Klee, Ernst, and the Belgian Expressionists - became classics of modern art, and found their established place in art history.
The Foundation aims to buy works of art 'looking to the future, and not yet generally understood in the present' and this key principle has become very clearly perceptible since the late 1960s. Together with this open-minded attitude to all forms of art and different media, another important basic principle was to build up a body of works by certain artists.
Today the collection houses large bodies of work by renowned artists including Joseph Beuys, Bruce Nauman, Dieter Roth, John Baldessari, Cindy Sherman, Ilya Kabakov, Gary Hill, Matthew Barney, Jeff Wall, Katharina Fritsch, and Robert Gober.
Museum für Gegenwartskunst
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