The Städelkomitee 21. Jahrhundert (‘Städel Committee of the 21st Century’) was established exactly ten years ago in Frankfurt. This committee is unique to the Städel Museum and without parallel among German museums. It has made it possible for the Städel to continuously and strategically develop its collection of contemporary art. Thanks to the unique commitment of its members, who now number over 40, it has been able to acquire 159 important works of contemporary art for the museum’s collection in just ten years. Apart from important works by Hans Hofmann, Philip Guston, and Konrad Klapheck, the acquisitions also include many discoveries and artists outside of the established canon, such as George Karl Pfahler, Marwan, Hermann Glöckner, and Gerhard Hoehme. The Städel’s supporters celebrated the committee’s tenth anniversary yesterday at the Städel Museum with a lecture by Steffen Seibert, member of the Städel Board of Trustees and spokesperson for the German Federal Government, and a number of artist talks. The committee’s latest acquisition, purchased on the occasion of the anniversary, was unveiled to the assembled: the large-scale work Cieszowa III (1973) by the American minimal artist Frank Stella (b. 1936). The Städelkomitee 21. Jahrhundert was created in 2007 as part of the Städel Museum’s expansion by its then director Max Hollein and Sylvia von Metzler, chairperson of the Städelscher Museums-Verein.
Dr. Philipp Demandt, director of the Städel Museum, emphasized that: “An incomparable committee, one which enables us to strategically develop the Städel’s collection of contemporary art, emerged from the civic initiative of several patrons from the local community. The over 60 people who have been part of this circle over the last decade are united by their special passion for contemporary art, their close connection with the Städel Museum, and an awareness of their civic responsibility. We are deeply indebted to them for this exceptional commitment. It is a guarantee for the advancement and continuation of our collections and thus the specific identity of the Städel as the citizen’s museum of Frankfurt par excellence.”
In a statement, Sylvia von Metzler, chairperson of the Städelscher Museums-Verein, said: “The Städelkomitee’s continuous commitment has had a lasting impact. This special initiative, under the direction of Philipp Demandt and Martin Engler, has resulted in an exceptional collection which differs substantially from other collections of contemporary art in that it does not merely follow a canon prescribed by the art market, but rather sets out to determine the course of the history of contemporary art in decades to come.”
Dr. Martin Engler, head of contemporary art, said: “Thanks to the Städelkomitee 21. Jahrhundert, we were able, again and again, to acquire outstanding key works outside of the usual canon in order to complete, internationalize, and create links between important suites of works within the collection. The result is a narrative of contemporary art, which spans from post-war art up to the immediate present and contains surprising juxtapositions and connections between works.”
The Städelkomitee 21. Jahrhundert, which currently counts 45 private individuals among its members, enables the targeted acquisition of important works of contemporary art for the Städel. Those who engage themselves in this exclusive circle of the Städel’s friends afford indispensable financial support and gain unique insights into the Frankfurt museum’s strategic development of its collection. By visiting artist’s studios and galleries to purchase works, and making group trips to art biennales or important fairs and exhibitions at home and abroad, members observe developments in the art world, appraise works, and, perhaps, ultimately decide to acquire them for the Städel’s collection.
Since its establishment in 2007, the Städelkomitee 21. Jahrhundert has been able to acquire for the Städel’s collection a total of 159 works by the following artists:
Hans Peter Adamski; Peter Angermann; John M Armleder; Art & Language; Herbert Aulich; Enrico Baj; Christiane Baumgartner; Thomas Bayrle; Michael Beutler; Dike Blair; Armin Boehm; Robert Breer; Daniel Buren; Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller; David Claerbout; Thomas Demand; Jean Fautrier; Adolf Fleischmann; Otto Freundlich; Bernard Frize; Günter Fruhtrunk; Rupprecht Geiger; Isa Genzken; Hermann Glöckner; Leon Golub; Gotthard Graubner; Tamara Grčić; Philip Guston; Raymond Hains; Mary Heilmann; Philipp Hennevogl; Antonius Höckelmann; Gerhard Hoehme; Hans Hofmann; Jörg Immendorf; Per Kirkeby; Konrad Klapheck; Barbara Klemm; Peter Kogler; Arthur Köpcke; Norbert Kricke; Eugène Leroy; Markus Lüpertz; Adolf Luther; Michel Majerus; Marwan (Marwan Kassab-Bachi); Jonathan Meese; Johannes Molzahn; François Morellet; Reinhard Mucha; Otto Muehl; Olaf Nicolai; A. R. Penck; Georg Karl Pfahler; Arnulf Rainer; Tobias Rehberger; Ad Reinhardt; Daniel Richter; Michael Riedel; Larry Rivers; David Salle; Wilhelm Sasnal; Jörg Sasse; Dierk Schmidt; Julian Schnabel; Thomas Schütte; Dirk Skreber; Leon Polk Smith; Haim Steinbach; Frank Stella; Jessica Stockholder; Jan Svenungsson; Wolfgang Tillmans; Günther Uecker; Victor Vasarely; Wolf Vostell; Franz Erhard Walther; Corinne Wasmuht; Amelie von Wulffen; Erwin Wurm.