International Symposium on the Public Relevance of Privately Founded Art Institutions
Venue: Philara Collection
20 May, 10:30am–7pm
21 May, 9:30am–1pm
The number of seats is limited.
Please note that wearing a medical mask is mandatory during the event.
We recommend arriving by public transport or taxi.
The event will be recorded.
What does socially relevant art patronage look like in the 21st century? Internationally and throughout Germany, there is a growing number of privately supported exhibition houses and collections. Based on the four regional institutions in the Rhineland Independent network (Julia Stoschek Foundation, KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation, Langen Foundation, Philara Collection) and in cooperation with the Master‘s programme in Art Mediation and Cultural Management at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, we will examine the potentials, societal expectations and social responsibilities of private collecting and exhibition practice on the 20th and 21st May 2022 at the Philara Collection.
The conference combines academic lectures with contributions from international collectors and donors who will discuss their various institutional and funding models. In addition to a review of the historical development of private collecting, the conference will present recent research results on the current significance of private art funding. For example, what influence do transnational collector networks have on art market developments, artist biographies and the programmes of public institutions? Where do private institutions complement public offerings, expand the cultural infrastructure and enable social participation? What opportunities and responsibilities arise from these considerations for the future? The conference will examine these and other questions from different perspectives and explore possibilities for creative cooperation and future-oriented synergies.
The list of speakers is updated constantly:
Cristina Bechtler is an art collector and publisher of Ink Tree Editions, specialised in art books, portfolios, and special contemporary art editions, and Founder of the E.A.T. / Engadin Art Talks, a Forum on art, design, architecture, and other disciplines that takes place annually in Zuoz, in the Swiss Engadin valley. She is editor of the “Art and Architecture in Discussion” series (Birkhäuser). The latest book ‘Museum of the Future: Now What?’ was published by JRP Ringier in 2021. A committed human rights activist, Cristina is a founding member of the Zurich section of Human Rights Watch, a human rights organisation active worldwide.
Fred Bidwell is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and collector. After graduating from Oberlin College in Ohio with an art history major, Fred Bidwell worked as a commercial and fine arts photographer before changing his career to advertising. In 2011, Fred and his wife Laura established the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation to share their collection of contemporary art with the public and foster creativity and innovation through the arts. The foundation’s first major project was the Transformer Station, a contemporary art exhibition space in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, which opened in early 2013. In August 2016, Bidwell announced the launch of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, a region-wide art exhibition opening its second edition in July 2022.
Candice Breitz (*1972, Johannesburg) is a Berlin-based artist who has held a professorship at the HBK Braunschweig since 2007. She has been closely associated with the intersectional feminist collective, Soup du Jour, which seeks to critically address the systemic disparities that prevail within the culture of contemporary art. In early 2022, she was one of the initiators of the boycott against the Kunsthalle Berlin, a public-private partnership that has provoked broad public debate. Breitz’s work is represented in prominent international museums and private collections. Most recently, Breitz’s work has focused on the conditions under which empathy is produced, reflecting on a media-saturated global culture in which strong identification with fictional characters and celebrity figures runs parallel to widespread indifference to the plight of those facing real world adversity.
Gil Bronner (*1962) is a Düsseldorf-based real estate developer and collector of contemporary art. Together with his parents Cary and Dan Georg Bronner and in cooperation with the Kunststiftung NRW and the Goethe-Institut Tel Aviv, he has been realizing a residency program between Germany and Israel for 15 years. Since 2008, he has facilitated exhibition platforms in Düsseldorf. In 2016 Philara Collection opened, which is accessible free of charge and named after his children. Philara's unique selling point is its focus on and support for local artists as well as established, internationally active artists* and an interdisciplinary orientation. In addition, he has been involved as board of the friends of Kunstpalast Düsseldorf for several years.
Zita Cobb (*1958) is an eighth-generation Fogo Islander, Co-Founder and CEO of the Shorefast Foundation, and Innkeeper of the Fogo Island Inn. Shorefast is a registered Canadian charity that uses business-minded means to help secure economic and cultural resilience for Fogo Island, a centuries-old settler fishing community off Newfoundland’s northeast coast. Zita Cobb studied business in Ottawa. Following a subsequent successful career in high-tech, Zita returned to Fogo Island to help grow another leg on the Island’s struggling economy to complement its ever-important fishery. She has been a member of the Order of Canada since 2016 and was a 2020 inductee to the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. She holds honorary doctorates from McGill University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, the University of Ottawa, and Carleton University.
Haro Cümbüşyan is a social entrepreneur and collector of media art. He is the founding director of EK BİÇ YE İÇ, a social venture based in Istanbul that focuses on the design, technology, and politics of sustainable food production and consumption in big cities. Prior to this venture, Haro Cümbüşyan founded collectorspace, a nonprofit art initiative that aimed to open up private art collections to public view and to critical review. Haro Cümbüşyan is currently a member of the board of directors of SAHA in Istanbul and Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, the board of advisors of Protocinema in Istanbul and New York City, the selection committee of LOOP Fair for video art in Barcelona, and the acquisition committee of media and performance at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Mareike Dittmer is Director of Public Engagement at TBA21-Academy, a contemporary art organisation that fosters a deeper relationship to the ocean and is an incubator for collaborative research, artistic production, and new forms of transdisciplinary knowledge production, resulting in exhibitions, research, and policy interventions. From 2018 to 2020, Mareike Dittmer was director of Art Stations Foundation CH, and since 2019, she has been a lecturer at ZHdK, the Zurich art academy. From 2017 to 2019, Mareike Dittmer conceived and chaired the annual Disputaziuns Suschand 2016 to 2018, together with Julieta Aranda, she chaired the 9th Futurological Congress convening in Warsaw, Tel Aviv and Munich. Until 2018, Mareike Dittmer was the associate publisher of frieze magazine. She lives and works in Zurich (CH) and Berlin (D).
Stefanie Heraeus (*1967) is head and initiator of the Master Program Curatorial Studies – Theory – History – Criticism, run by the Goethe University Frankfurt and Hochschule für Bildende Künste–Städelschule, since 2010. From 2004 to 2008 she was director of Bielefelder Kunstverein, from 1996 to 2003 she was assistant curator at Staatliche Museen Kassel. Publications, et al., on the museum as a canonizing institution, on curatorial studies, on proto-surrealists in 19th century Paris, on Hélio Oiticica's Penetráveis. Exhibition projects with students, among others in cooperation with Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt, Städel Museum / Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin and Portikus Frankfurt.
Belinda Holden joined the Yinka Shonibare Foundation in January 2020 as manager of strategic development, planning and partnerships for the Foundation and its sister organisation, Guest Artists Space Foundation in Lagos, Nigeria. Belinda previously ran her own arts consultancies developing cultural strategies, delivering creative arts and design programmes and commissioning both in the UK and for the $11b Melbourne Metro Tunnel and Rail project in Australia. Prior to that, she was Head of Sydney, Australia for Futurecity, a UK-based Arts, Culture & Built Environment Consultancy, developing strategic partnerships and managing a core team, freelance project managers and curators. She was with Futurecity in London for the previous four years working on commissioning artists, public art and cultural strategies for amongst others The Shard, Network Rail, White City, Papworth Hospital and Guys & St Thomas’s Cancer Centre.
Katrin Holzmann is an art manager with degrees from the University of Bremen and the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne, where she completed her PhD. She has worked as a consultant for art acquisitions for companies and private individuals, the Reinking Collection, the Alexander Tutsek Foundation, Sotheby's auction house and the Galerie Beck & Eggeling. Her current research is dedicated to collaborations between private collectors and public museums.
Ina Klaassen (*1969) grew up in Groningen and studied audio-visual art at the Minerva Art Academy there. She read art and art policy at the University of Groningen. Prior to joining Boijmans in 2013 as managing director, Klaassen was director of the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and fine arts director at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem, Enschede and Zwolle. Klaassen worked for Rotterdam City Council for over eight years as deputy director, among others.
As the business manager of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, she was head of the operational management sector, and responsible for the major construction projects.
In May 2019 Ina Klaassen became joint CEO alongside Sjarel Ex. She will continue to be involved in the museum’s future, the depot and general operational management. The two-member executive has overall responsibility for the museum’s artistic policy and business operations.
Tobias J. Knoblich (*1971) studied cultural studies, cultural politics and European ethnology at the Humboldt University in Berlin. He was an advisor at the Saxon State Ministry for Science and Art and managing director of the Saxon Sociocultural Association. From 01/2011 to 01/2019 he worked as cultural director of the state capital Erfurt. Since February 2019, he has been Alderman for Culture and Urban Development of the state capital Erfurt. While still pursuing his professional career, he completed his PhD at the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy for the Arts in Development at the University of Hildesheim. He is President of the Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft e. V. and was Cultural Senator of the Free State of Saxony for many years. From 2008 to 2011, he chaired the board of the Saxon Youth Foundation. Among other things, he is a member of the Culture Committee of the German UNESCO Commission and the Culture Committee of the German Association of Cities.
Studied art history, sinology and Japanese studies in Berlin and Taipei; PhD at TU Berlin; exhibition curator Bode-Museum Berlin SMB PK, Schloss Charlottenburg SPSG, Deutsches Historisches Museum; 2001 - 2003: executive director of the German National Committee of ICOM; from 2004: assistant director, head of department exhibition management and mediation; 2010-2016: Board Member ICOM ICEE International Committee for Exhibition and Exchange; since 2015 Director Art and Cultural History at the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim; since 2016 Chair, ICOM-ICFA International Committee for Museums and Collections of Fine Arts; Member of the Jury of the Hermann-Sinsheimer-Award, Plenary Member Asian Art Museums & Collections in the World; since 2022: ICOM Working Group on Collections in Storage
In 2000, PRISKA PASQUER opened her own gallery in Cologne, focusing on Modernist artists like Sander, Renger-Patzsch and Rodchenko, along with Japanese photographers such as Moriyama, Tomatsu, Kawauchi and Narahashi.
PRISKA PASQUER’s most recent exhibitions reflect the current upheaval by including the entire spectrum of contemporary art media, including painting, virtual and augmented reality, sculpture and photography, performance and installation, audio and video works.
The gallery has a long tradition of supplementing its exhibition programme with readings, Future Talks and performances covering a wide range of themes. It has also made a digital programme available to the general public since as far back as 2013, with Virtual Galleries, webshop, Instagram Talks and 3-D tours.
Monika Schnetkamp started her career after studying business administration and art history at McCann-Erickson in Johannesburg/South Africa. Having held further positions in international corporations in Germany and abroad, she joined the management of the family-owned company Ernst Schnetkamp GmbH in Löningen and in 2002 took over as managing partner of Ernst Schnetkamp Beteiliungs-GmbH.
As a passionate entrepreneur with an interest in art and a committed collector of contemporary art, she founded the non-profit ARTHENA FOUNDATION and the exhibition house KAI 10 in Düsseldorf's Medienhafen in 2008 to promote contemporary art. She is also active in various foundation and cultural bodies, including the board of trustees of the Kunststiftung NRW.
Reinhard Spieler (*1964) studied art history, classical archaeology and modern German literature in Munich, Berlin and Paris. He completed his PhD in 1997 on Max Beckmann: Bildwelt als Weltbild. Die Triptychen Triptychs (Max Beckmann: The World of Images as a World View. The Triptychs). This was followed by a traineeship and academic collaboration at the Kunstsammlung NRW/K20 Düsseldorf from 1997-2002. From 2002-2006, he was the (founding) director of the Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf near Bern/CH and from 2007-2014, director of the Wilhelm Hack Museum Ludwigshafen am Rhein. Since 2014, he has been director of the Sprengel Museum Hannover. Reinhard Spieler completed teaching assignments at Heinrich Heine University, the Düsseldorf Art Academy, the Universities of Bern, Heidelberg and Hildesheim. Since 2018, he has been a member of the board of the German Museum Association. He has realised numerous cross-genre exhibitions and publications on modern and contemporary art.
Julia Stoschek (*1975) is an art collector and shareholder of brose GmbH. She founded her collection of time-based art in 2003 after seeing Douglas Gordon’s video Play Dead: Real Time (2003) at Gagosian Gallery in New York. Since then she has assembled one of the most comprehensive collections of time-based art from the 1960s to today. In 2007, Stoschek opened the JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION in Düsseldorf. In 2016, a second exhibition space opened in Berlin, making it the first collection in Germany to be presented in two locations. In addition to her work as a collector, Julia Stoschek supports institutions, artists and scientists in the realization of projects in the field of time-based art and is involved in committees of international institutions. Stoschek is Vice Chairwoman of KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin. She is also a member of various committees and councils, including the Performance Committee at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Nationalgalerie, Berlin, and Kunstsammlung NRW, Düsseldorf.
Olav Velthuis (*1972) is Professor at the University of Amsterdam, specializing in sociology of the arts and economic sociology. Currently he is leading a research project on the global rise of private art museums. In the past he has studied the emergence and development of art markets in the BRIC countries. Velthuis is the author of several books on the art market, among which Talking Prices: Symbolic Meanings of Prices on the Market for Contemporary Art published at Princeton University Press in 2005. His journalistic writings have appeared in among others The New York Times, Artforum, The Art Newspaper and the Financial Times. Velthuis is president of TIASMA – The International Art Market Studies Association. He has given lectures at among others Tate Modern in London, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, CIMAM – International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art, Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm, Art Basel, Rijksacademie in Amsterdam, Witte de With in Rotterdam, and Christie's in London.
Lisa Zeitz is editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine WELTKUNST and the trade journal KUNST UND AUKTIONEN. She knows the art market from various perspectives: she has worked in New York as a correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, at Axa Art Insurance and as a representative of the Grisebach auction house. Before that, she studied art history in Freiburg, Florence and Munich; today, she lives in Berlin. Her doctoral thesis "Titian, dear friend" examines the Gonzaga patronage of art. She has written a book on "Napoleon's Medals" and the biography of the psychoanalyst and collector Werner Muensterberger, "The Man with the Masks". Lisa Zeitz's WELTKUNST-Newsletter appears every Friday, and once a month in her podcast, she asks personalities such as Bénédicte Savoy or Jonathan Meese the question, "What makes art?".