Since then, numerous acquisitions and donations have enriched our holdings, focuses within the collection have been expanded, and important works have been added, particularly in international contemporary art. The demand for a new inventory became more and more pressing, and work on this major book project began during the preparations for the celebration of the museum’s fortieth anniversary in 2016.
The new publication offers a wide-ranging look at the categories of painting, sculpture, installations, and new media within the collection. Spanning a total of 640 pages, it features 2,366 artworks by 948 artists. For the first time, almost all the works within these genres will be represented with illustrations. Yilmaz Dziewior, director of the Museum Ludwig: “It was important to us to include pictures of all the artworks, especially those that are lesser-known, in the inventory, since art-historical views and perspectives can change over time. We hope that this publication will provide future generations with a good foundation for research.”
It was not possible to include all of the approximately 15,000 works on paper and around 70,000 photographs in the publication. In order to cover all the works in one volume, the details on the individual works were kept as concise as possible, and detailed information about provenance and literature was omitted.
Starting today, this information and other details on the origins, literature, and exhibition history as well as documentation on some of the works on paper and photographs can be found in the online database on the Museum Ludwig website at https://museum-ludwig.kulturelles-erbe-koeln.de.
Organized alphabetically, the catalogue also features longer texts on one hundred artists who from today’s perspective are particularly relevant to the orientation of the Museum Ludwig collection. The development of the collection over the decades is described in detail in a text on its history with details on the context of the acquisitions, permanent loans, and donations.
Along with all the departments of the Museum Ludwig, in particular the Rheinisches Bildarchiv Köln and the IT representative of the scholarly databases of the Cologne museums, Tobias Nagel, responsible for computer-aided documentation at Cologne’s public museums and the online database, made major contributions to the catalogue.
In keeping with the spirit of civic engagement for the Museum Ludwig, the funding of the catalogue was made possible thanks to generous donations from many members of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst.
Mayen Beckmann, chairwoman of the board of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst, on the dedication of her predecessor and the significant financial contributions from the members: “Dr. Yilmaz Dziewior’s aim as the newly appointed director in 2015 was to publish a new catalogue of the complete collection of the Museum Ludwig (including painting, sculpture, and new media), and he found an enthusiastic partner in Kurt von Storch, then chairman of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst. Kurt von Storch shared his enthusiasm for this project with many other people, and thanks to their donations the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst was able to make a very substantial contribution to the catalogue.”
“New acquisitions for museums are the focus of public and media attention. For more than thirty years, the Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation has been a reliable partner of the collections. However, the review of and research on the collections is even more important—not just in the form of spectacular exhibitions, but also careful inventories that are meant to remain relevant for many decades. By supporting the production and scholarly development of inventories, the Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation contributes to the foundation of all museum work. The current museum inventory is a milestone in the review of the collection and an important document for the research carried out at the museum,” says Dr. Martin Hoernes, secretary general of the Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation.
The catalogue was made possible thanks to generous support from the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst am Museum Ludwig e.V., the Storch Foundation, the Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation, Russmedia, and the Sal. Oppenheim-Stiftung.