More than a museum: an initiatory journey full of colour and talent...
The main reason for this exceptional cultural and human adventure was always passion. That of Margit and Lutz Biedermann for contemporary art. A passion that pervades this great family of entrepreneurs and industrialists. And a haphazard encounter with a painting and an artist that would decide the destiny of collectors and benefactors. What began almost thirty years ago as infatuation with a painting found at a flea market and swapped for a wristwatch and a box of cigarettes has become, over the years, one of the most important and the most beautiful private collections of contemporary art in Europe. Collected with passion and talent and expertly combined into coherent collections of exceptional richness. The Biedermann collection has been a showcase since 2009: it successfully dresses the walls of a former museum built in the 19th century at the edge of Fürstenberg Park in Donaueschingen. Saved, renovated*, reinterpreted with great skill, this very elegant neo-classical building now stands on its white pediment, simply adorned with the word ‘MUSEUM’, facing the mythical (but alas wrong) source of the Danube. Surrounded by sculptures and artistic installations that have become part of the landscape.
More than a museum: an artistic experience
MUSEUMART.Plus was conceived from the start as a living space as much as an artistic experience in its own right. Extended with an annexe in perfect harmony with the bare elegance of the main building currently home to the Soulages exhibition, it is also a place of discovery, dialogue and encounter. Offering, alongside several thematic collections per year, a comprehensive programme of guided tours and conferences, readings, films, concerts and workshops. The visitor is a guest, who walks freely, without a fixed route, passing from one room to another, in the spirit of a special home: that of exceptional collectors.
The materials chosen for the renovation of the building (wood, stucco), the omnipresent light, the large windows that open onto the park, contribute to this feeling of fluidity and privileged dialogue with the exhibited works. One can lose oneself quite happily in the colours and the forms; time seems to stop and the walls to give way to other dimensions and other experiences, very personal. It's a wonderful museum for a wonderful collection but, much more, it's a journey. Magical. Fascinating. Intimate, too. Unforgettable.
A museum is like orchestra sheet music. It’s teamwork, a living mechanism that gives birth, by combining forces, knowledge and talents, to a universe. An ensemble of worlds, interlaced. Exhibitions. A place where concertos, symphonies, visual operas in constant motion will be written. The scenography, too, plays a key role. And the choice of director is what will ultimately define the identity of the place, on equal footing with the collections.
Surrounding Margit Biedermann, a team of talented and passionate professionals who created a real place for encounters and exchanges. Alive. Evolving. Nothing fixed, nothing dead, everything breathes. A spectacle that is constantly renewed, that orchestrates forms and emotions, feelings and colours. On the exceptional basis of a collection unique in the world. Allow me here to thank them all for their inexhaustible knowledge and warm welcome, their unfailing availability and enthusiasm. To meet and listen to them, to let them guide me, to observe them, as well as the discovery of and the dialogue with the works highlighting these walls was a real revelation.
Renowned international artists and young talents
Each year, MUSEUMART.PLUS organizes a major thematic exhibition of internationally renowned and recognized artists that combines works from the Biedermann collection and loans from other collections and museums. The current exhibition, ‘colourful. farbenfroh’, which runs until January 20, 2019, showcases the work of American artist Dorothy Fratt (1923-2017). In parallel, three other annual exhibitions make it possible to discover local artists as well as young burgeoning artists that are less known or insufficiently recognized.
The heart of the collection consists of contemporary art works from the 1980s to today: abstract as well as figurative paintings and many sculptures. Bringing together major and significant works of artists known worldwide as those of young creators full of promise but still little exhibited, it is an invitation to truants, to the liking of its wonders, through the artistic currents of the last thirty years.
Crazy project…and maybe more if things work out
I was entrusted, in all secrecy, with a crazy and wonderful project, the outcome of which I am looking forward to, in the hope that there will be one: spend a night at the museum, like a personalized night in an exceptional hotel. Sleeping, and most of all, waking up amid the masterpieces of the Biedermann collection. Have the museum to oneself all night... A waking dream and an unforgettable experience. You will obviously be the first to know if the project goes through!
In the meantime, go to Donaueschingen as soon as possible. The list of exhibitions, lectures, readings and guided tours can be found on the museum's website:
On until January 2019, the exhibition ‘colourful.farbenfroh’ is a must. Focusing on intensely coloured works, canvases and sculptures, it presents an astonishing selection that is both abstract and figurative: artists of the German artistic avant-garde of the 1960s and illustrative of the Neue Wilde movement in the 1970s and 1980s in particular.
In parallel, the museum presents a series of other exhibitions throughout the year and in various other rooms: particularly noteworthy are the works of Ulrich Möckel as of June 24, 2018.
Finally, do not forget the gift shop, where you will find all of the museum’s publications, exhibition catalogues, postcards of the works on display as well as a choice of art books and decorative objects, children's games, notebooks, magnets, and mobiles made by regional artists. A nice place to buy original gifts for yourself and others. Or just a delicious organic ice cream from a local artisanal ice-cream maker. One last tip: you must go down to the basement to at least look at the toilet. Yes, yes! They, too, are in perfect harmony with the building and its collections: a true contemporary artistic work! With a lot of humour and a lot of talent...
Museumsweg 1 /
Tel.: +49 771-89 66 89-0
*: The story and the renovation of the museum are an adventure story in itself, coupled with an exceptional document on the architecture of a magical place, its history, and an exemplary restoration: learn more (in German) in ‘gäbele & raufer architekten. Museum Biedermann, Der Umbau 2008-2009, Freiburg 2009’.