Städel’s Legacy: Master Drawings from the Founder’s Collection
13 MAY TO 16 AUGUST 2020
Exhibition Hall of the Department of Prints and Drawings

With the bequest of his private art collection, the businessman and banker Johann Friedrich Städel (1728–1816) founded a public art museum of international stature, accessible to all – the Städel Museum. The collector left behind an art treasure encompassing not only paintings and prints but also more than 4,600 drawings. For a long time, it was not possible to determine which of the drawings in the museum’s present-day holdings were originally in his collection. At the time of the bequest, no complete inventory was compiled. Furthermore, in the course the collection’s reorganization in the 1860s, many drawings were sorted out and sold. For the first time, the Städel Museum has now succeeded in reconstructing the founder’s drawing collection to a large extent, and identifying the roughly 3,000 works still in the collection today. From 13 May to 16 August 2020, the Städel Museum is presenting a selection of 95 master drawings providing a representative impression of the character, organization and artistic significance of the former drawing collection of Johann Friedrich Städel. Following the founder’s tradition, the outstanding works by Raphael, Correggio and Primaticcio, Watteau, Boucher and Fragonard, Dürer, Roos and Reinhart, Goltzius, Rembrandt, De Wit and many others are here arranged according to “European schools”. They are moreover discussed in detail in an accompanying catalogue. A portion of these drawings are already known among scholars; others are here being published for the first time.

Curator: Joachim Jacoby
With support from: Stiftung Gabriele Busch-Hauck, Wolfgang Ratjen Stiftung, Tavolozza Foundation, Georg und Franziska Speyer’sche Hochschulstiftung

Download the complete press release here.

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