Dresden’s state art collection, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, has been gifted 1,200 works by artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tracey Emin, On Kawara, William Kentridge, Julie Mehretu, Sigmar Polke, Ad Reinhardt, Pipilotti Rist, and Andy Warhol from the Erika and Rolf Hoffmann collection. The donation is one of the largest the state museums have ever received.
The Hoffmanns first began collecting in the 1960s. They lived in Mönchengladbach and then Cologne, and were closely linked to the Rhineland art scene. They were fascinated with experimental artists who produced works that pushed the boundaries of art. Erika continued to grow the collection after the death of her husband in 2001 and shifted its focus toward Eastern European artists. Since 1997, the collection has been kept in Sophie-Gips-Höfe, a former sewing machine factory, in Berlin’s Mitte district.
“The Hoffmann collection stands out from among the world’s other great private collections, and not just for its open-minded outlook and the two collectors’ philosophical reflections,” Marion Ackermann, the director-general of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, said in a statement. “It contains important works by local and international, male and female, well-known and unknown artists which are all little gems, filling gaps in our knowledge of art history and expanding our horizons.”
“It is a matter of great concern to Erika Hoffmann and me that the pieces are not presented separately, but are instead integrated into the research and exhibition projects in all our museums, providing scope for new combinations and discoveries,” she added. “Erika Hoffmann’s gift shows great trust in us, and Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden is deeply grateful to her for the unparalleled step she has taken.”