Kamm Collection Foundation

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Kamm Collection Foundation
Purpose: Providing works of art and documents from the Kamm Collection on permanent loan to the Kunsthaus Zug and enabling temporary loans to museums in Germany and abroad
Chair: Alexander Jolles
Consist: since 1998
Seat: train
Website: www.stiftungsammlungkamm.ch

no founder specified

The Kamm Collection Foundation is a Swiss foundation that manages an art collection. It was founded in 1998 and aims to house the foundation's assets, consisting of works of art and documents, on permanent loan in the Kunsthaus Zug and to make them accessible to the public. The building of the former private collection took place particularly in the 1950s and 1960s. The foundation has the largest collection of groups of works of Viennese Modernism outside of Austria in Europe. In addition to works of fine art, another focus is on works of applied art, especially the Wiener Werkstätte . The collection also includes groups of works from the most important avant-garde movements of the 20th century, works from French Cubism and German Expressionism .


The focus of the collection on Viennese Modernism of the Kamm Collection is based on the biography of the Kamm couple. Editha Kamm-Ehrbar (1901–1980) came from Vienna, Fritz Kamm (1897–1967) worked in the city for a decade. The collection is closely linked to the artist and sculptor Fritz Wotruba, who played a key role in building it up in the 1950s and 1960s.

Zug and Vienna

At first, the Kamms were primarily interested in music, opera and theater. Through the acquaintance with the Austrian sculptor Fritz Wotruba, who was in exile in Switzerland during the Second World War , the Kamm also gained access to the visual arts in addition to the performing arts. Fritz Kamm bought his first works during the period of exile. In addition to Fritz Kamm, there were also other buyers such as the entrepreneur and art collector Georg Reinhart and the Zurich entrepreneur Emil Bührle . Through personal contact with the Zug Federal Councilor, Philipp Etter , Wotruba received some privileges during his stay. In addition to a work permit, the travel restriction was lifted and he had a limited permit to exhibit and sell his works. During the years in exile, Wotruba participated in numerous exhibitions in Switzerland, including at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur , the Kunsthaus Zurich , the Kunstmuseum Basel and the Kunsthalle Bern . At the end of 1945 Marian and Fritz Wotruba returned to Vienna, where Fritz Wotruba was appointed to the Academy of Arts in Vienna.

Würthle Gallery

In 1953 Fritz Kamm acquired the Würthle Gallery in Vienna on the advice of Fritz Wotruba. Wotruba became artistic director of the gallery and held this position until 1965. Fritz Kamm did not appear in public and gave Wotruba a free hand. One focus of the program in the following years was on drawings.

In the opening year, the gallery showed a selection of French works by artists such as von Villon , Friedländer , Léger and Picasso . Wotruba himself also exhibited in the Würthle Gallery. In 1954 he concluded the exhibition year with his own works in stone, bronze, with watercolors and drawings.

In addition to presentations by contemporary artists, Viennese Modernism played an important role in the program. Works by artists from the gallery program can be found in the Kamm Collection Foundation. Important works by Fritz Wotruba were also purchased for the collection during this period. The connection between Wotruba and Fritz Kamm led to the foundation of the Kamm Collection Foundation from the gallery's exhibitions. Wotruba's image of modernism is reflected both in the program of the Würthle Gallery and in the Kamm Collection Foundation.

Establishment of the foundation

In 1998 Peter Kamm, Christa Kamm and Christine Kamm-Kyburz founded the Kamm Collection Foundation based in Zug (Switzerland). The foundation now owns over 400 works, including by Gustav Klimt , Egon Schiele , Oskar Kokoschka , Herbert Boeckl , Richard Gerstl , Josef Hoffmann , Otto Wagner , Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec , Fernand Léger , August Macke , Franz Marc and Fritz Wotruba.

Board of Trustees

  • Alexander Jolles (President)
  • Dr. Matthias Haldemann (Vice President)
  • Christa Kamm
  • Dr. Markus Kristan
  • Dr. Juerg Scheuzger
  • Herbert Wey

(As of 2020)

Collection focus

The Kamm Collection has a number of focal points and is on deposit at the Kunsthaus Zug .

The focus on Viennese Modernism in the Kamm Collection Foundation is unique in Europe for a collection outside Austria. This also applies to the ten-part group of works by Richard Gerstl, a highlight of the Kamm Collection Foundation. The landscape paintings and works on paper by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele can be described as another milestone of the Kamm Collection Foundation. The Wiener Werkstätte shows the connection between applied and fine arts. Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser are also prominently represented in the collection. Moser's contribution ranges from furniture to silver boxes to drawings. At Hoffmann, these are design drawings (from his estate) for textiles, surface patterns, works made of glass and architectural projects, right through to furniture, vases and bowls made of brass.

Based on the “Viennese breeding ground” around 1900, the Kamm Collection, in addition to the well-known focus on Viennese Modernism and the Wiener Werkstätte, traces the interactions between Vienna at the turn of the century and modernism in the 20th century. Fritz Wotruba's artistic career is reflected in this, as is the attempt to resume the abruptly interrupted development of modernism after the Second World War . The collection concept of the Kamm Collection Foundation was closely linked to him until Wotruba's death (1975). The Kamm Collection Foundation presents the most important avant-garde movements of the 20th century in a kaleidoscopic manner and shows the lively artistic exchange in Europe.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec played an early pioneering role within these lines of communication with the eleven-part portfolio Elle (1896). In the portfolio, the French artist deals with the brothel and the prostitutes whom he observes in their everyday routine. Klimt's drawings from 1900 onwards reveal the artistic relationship to his French contemporaries. Egon Schiele's drawings show how the artist concentrated primarily on the contours of his figures and motifs; the choice of the sculptor Wotruba is palpable here. Fritz Wotruba, whose early years as a sculptor were still strongly influenced by the greats of Viennese Modernism (Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka), traces his personal development line and at the same time traces a moral image of the time after the turn of the century.

Viennese modernism does not only include the fine arts. The flowering of cultural life ranged from music to art and philosophy to the humanities and natural sciences, mathematics, law and economics and medicine. The interactions and personal contacts between the various disciplines can be exemplified by the person Arnold Schönberg . The composer and music theorist Schönberg appears in Richard Gerstl's group picture with Schönberg (1908). Gerstl had an artistic friendship with the musician, and a short and violent affair with Schönberg's wife Mathilde, which ended when Mathilde returned to her husband. And it appears a second time in the collection in connection with Wotruba. He was commissioned to design Schönberg's grave of honor in Vienna's central cemetery . A small-format bronze design for the tomb testifies to the history of its creation.

With Franz Marc, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and August Macke, the collection has important representatives of German Expressionism. The Austrian painter, graphic artist and writer Oskar Kokoschka has a special role to play. His work, which is located between Viennese Modernism and Expressionism, bridges the gap between these artistic movements. Exponents of French Cubism are represented by Jacques Villon (Gaston Duchamp), Albert Gleizes , Juan Gris and Fernand Léger. On the other hand, Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso provide surrealistic echoes .

A six-part group of works by Oskar Schlemmer continues the reference points to Vienna. With Schlemmer, master of form and responsible for the wall painting department at the Bauhaus, the focus is once again on the connection to the Wiener Werkstätte. With the Austrian-American universal artist Frederick Kiesler , another artist comes into focus. Kiesler grew up in Vienna around 1900 and was known to many artists from the Kamm Collection. His work, which is not limited to one material or medium, reflects the cross-disciplinary character of the Viennese roots. Even after his emigration to the USA in 1926, he maintained a lively exchange between the Old and New World. Another highlight of the collection is the comprehensive group of works by Fritz Wotruba himself. It covers a creative period of more than 40 years and combines works on paper with sculptures in a wide variety of materials.

The artistic networking of the focus of the collection extends to the present day. Arnulf Rainer should be mentioned here, for example , he exhibited in 1954 at the Würthle Gallery run by Fritz Wotruba. In her work The Large Glass (2013), Bethan Huws refers to a glass cup made by Josef Hoffmann, co-founder of the Wiener Werkstätte. The contemporary sculptures by the Austrian Michael Kienzer, on the other hand, link to Fritz Wotruba and thus to the starting point of the collection.


Current focus

The collection cannot be shown permanently due to limited space in the Kunsthaus Zug. The Kunsthaus Zug makes the Foundation's works accessible to the public in a variety of cross-genre exhibitions and collections, while at the same time showing historical and contemporary points of reference.

In 2003 the Kunsthaus Zug presented the Josef Hoffmann and Wiener Werkstätte exhibition to commemorate the Wiener Werkstätte founded in 1903 . Display and works by Heimo Zobernig . Staged by Viennese artist Heimo Zobernig, the show embeds Hoffmann's relevance in a contemporary discourse.

The year 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of the house, which in the form of Collection II. Zug - Vienna - Budapest showed the relationship networks of the Kamm Collection Foundation and the associated spheres of activity up to the present day.

In 2018 the Kamm Collection Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary. The Kunsthaus Zug took this event as an opportunity to present the foundation's works in two exhibitions. Once in the mirror of the European avant-garde Vienna to Europe. Klimt and Schiele zu Léger and Klee in the collection , the other time with contemporary positions The collection for the collection. Contemporary interpretations of historical works by Hoffmann, Kiesler, Klimt, Picasso, Schiele, Wotruba and others

Loans and borrowings

A special focus is placed on the placement of works at home and abroad.

2020 gathered À fleur de peau. Vienne 1900, de Klimt à Schiele et Kokoschka in the Musée cantonal des Beaux Arts in Lausanne numerous works from the Kamm Collection Foundation. The exhibition takes a look back at Vienna around 1900 and links the visual with the applied arts. Important works from the Kamm Collection were presented in the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco with KLIMT & RODIN: An Artistic Encounter until the beginning of 2018 . The exhibition was also the first major presentation of Gustav Klimt's work on the American west coast. Abroad, extensive retrospectives are made possible through loans from the Kamm Collection, for example in 2017 at the Schirn in Frankfurt with Richard Gerstl. Retrospective . With Egon Schiele - Jenny Saville , the Kunsthaus Zürich put two artistic positions in dialogue in 2014 that deal with the subject of the body. In 2010, works from the Kamm Collection were featured in the Vienna 1900 exhibition - Klimt, Schiele and their time at the Fondation Beyeler . With Richard Gerstl. Inspiration - Legacy , the Kunsthaus Zug is dedicating a comprehensive exhibition to the Austrian artist in autumn 2020. The focus is on the interaction between the first Austrian Expressionist, his environment in Vienna around 1900 and contemporary artists. The show is a cooperation between the Kunsthaus Zug and the Leopold Museum in Vienna and for the first time brings together the two largest Gerstl collections.

The exchange of works by the foundation with national and international institutions enables loans for exhibitions at the Kunsthaus Zug. Large thematic overview shows that take place at irregular intervals at the Kunsthaus Zug were able to use loans from Germany and abroad. Examples of such exhibitions are:

  • Comedy of existence. Art and humor from antiquity to today (23 September 2018 - 6 January 2019)
  • LINEA. From outline to action. The art of the line between antiquity and the present (November 21, 2010 - March 27, 2011)
  • See the sight. Neo-impressionism and modernism. Signac to Eliasson (February 24 - June 22, 2008)
  • Harmony and dissonance - Gerstl, Schönberg, Kandinsky. Painting and music on the move. In collaboration with the Lucerne School of Music (August 12 - December 17, 2006)

The collection in a contemporary context

Due to the close cooperation and home of the Kamm Collection Foundation with and at the Kunsthaus Zug, the foundation's works experience a connection to the present. Over time, various contemporary artists have reacted to the foundation's collection. This organic integration of the works in exhibitions and projects, which has grown over the years, shows the multifaceted nature of the Kamm Collection Foundation. At the same time, the references to the present day emphasize the current relevance of the collection.

The Welsh artist Bethan Huws, for example, reacts in the exhibition (* 1961) The Large Glass - Bethan Huws. The Kamm Collection and the work of Bethan Huws, arranged according to the four seasons (November 30, 2013 - March 9, 2014) on the collection holdings. It takes up different storylines of the collection and with The Large Glass creates a network that ranges from Josef Hoffman and Viennese Modernism to Marcel Duchamp and the present. Other contemporary artists who refer to the Kamm Collection in exhibitions and works are Richard Tuttle (* 1941), Pavel Pepperstein (* 1966) and Christoph Rütimann (* 1955).

In close cooperation with the Kunsthaus Zug, purchases can complement the foundation's collection. These selected artistic positions expand the foundation's collection, such as Michael Kienzer's corset (2017). Placed in the garden of the Kunsthaus Zug, the work by the Austrian sculptor (* 1962) takes up a conversation with Wotruba's large sculpture .

The latest acquisition of the Kamm Collection is dedicated to the Austrian-American architect, set designer, artist, exhibition maker, designer and theorist Friedrich Kiesler (1890–1965). Across all disciplines, it had a hinge function between Viennese modernism, the idea of ​​the total work of art and the 50s and 60s. The acquired five-part work refers to the complexity in Kiesler's varied work.


  • Kunsthaus Zug (ed.): Fritz Wotruba. Published on the occasion of the retrospective at the Kunsthaus Zug 1992, Erker, St. Gallen 1992, ISBN 978-88-85186-25-5 .
  • Matthias Haldemann (ed.): Dialogue with modernity. Fritz Wotruba and the Kamm Collection. Catalog of the Kamm Collection Foundation. Balmer, Zug 1998.
  • Kunsthaus Zug, Matthias Haldemann (Ed.): Richard Tuttle. Replace the Abstract Picture Plane. Project collection 1996–1999. Photo essay by Guido Baselgia. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2001, ISBN 3-7757-9048-9 .
  • Kunsthaus Zug, Matthias Haldemann (Ed.): Harmony and Dissonance - Gerstl, Schönberg, Kandinsky. Painting and music on the move. In collaboration with the Lucerne School of Music. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2006, ISBN 978-3-7757-1821-9 .
  • Kunsthaus Zug, Matthias Haldemann (Ed.): Seeing. Neo-impressionism and modernism. Signac to Eliasson. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2008, ISBN 978-3-7757-2115-8 .
  • Wilfried Seipel, Fritz Wotruba Private Foundation (ed.): Fritz Wotruba (1907–1975) - Life, Work and Effect. Brandstätter, Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3-8503-3630-7 .
  • Kunsthaus Zug (ed.): And away with the minutes. Dieter Roth and the music / and music. In cooperation with the Hochschule für Musik, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Musik-Akademie Basel, Edizioni Periferia Luzern and the Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Edizioni Periferia, Lucerne 2014, ISBN 978-3-906016-32-0 .
  • Kunsthaus Zug (ed.): Comedy of existence. Art and humor from antiquity to today . Hatje Cantz Verlag, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-7757-4431-7 .
  • Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Leopold Museum and Matthias Haldemann, Kunsthaus Zug (ed.): Richard Gerstl. Inspiration - Legacy. Cologne: Verlag Buchhandlung Walther König 2019, ISBN 978-3-96098-699-7 .
  • Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Catrine Lepdor and Camille Lévêque-Claudet (eds.): À fleur de peau. Vienne 1900, de Klimt à Schiele et Kokoschka. Paris: Editions Hazan, 2020, ISBN 978-2-75411-138-6 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Foundation Kamm Collection. Retrieved August 8, 2018 .
  2. ^ Foundation Kamm Collection. Retrieved August 8, 2018 .
  3. No. 21 A, Schönberg. Retrieved August 8, 2018 .
  4. ^ Train - Vienna - Budapest. Retrieved March 23, 2020 .
  5. The whole exhibition here is art - Zug culture. Retrieved August 8, 2018 .
  6. ^ Vienna on Europe. Retrieved March 23, 2020 .
  7. The collection to the collection. Retrieved March 23, 2020 .
  8. À fleur de peau. Retrieved March 23, 2020 (French).
  9. KLIMT & RODIN: An Artistic Encounter . In: Legion of Honor . June 8, 2017 ( famsf.org [accessed August 8, 2018]).
  10. Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt: Richard Gerstl . In: Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt . February 24, 2017 ( schirn.de [accessed August 8, 2018]).
  11. http://www.kunsthaus.ch/fileadmin/templates/kunsthaus/pdf/medienmitteilungen/2014/pm_schiele_saville_d.pdf
  12. Press release. In: Kunsthaus Zug. Retrieved August 8, 2018 .
  13. ^ Vienna 1900. Accessed on March 23, 2020 .
  14. Press release. In: Fondation Beyeler. Retrieved August 8, 2018 .
  15. ^ Gerstl Kunsthaus Zug. Retrieved March 23, 2020 .
  16. ^ Gerstl Leopold Museum. Retrieved March 23, 2020 .
  17. ^ Kunsthaus Zug: media release Comedy of Daseins. Retrieved June 19, 2019 .
  18. LINEA. From outline to action. The art of the line between antiquity and the present. Retrieved August 8, 2018 .
  19. The Secret of the Stroke . In: bernerzeitung.ch . ( bernerzeitung.ch [accessed on August 8, 2018]).
  20. http://www.kunsthauszug.ch/02_programm/2008/Bilderdownload/Pressetext.pdf
  21. Caroline Kesser: When colors and sounds emancipate each other. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . September 23, 2006, accessed April 4, 2020 .
  22. Bethan Huws on arttv.ch. Retrieved April 3, 2020 .
  23. Bethan Huws in the Kunsthaus Zug. Retrieved April 3, 2020 .
  24. ^ Project collection. Retrieved April 3, 2020 .
  25. Michael Kienzer on arttv.ch. Retrieved April 3, 2020 .
  26. Michael Kienzer in the Kunsthaus Zug. Retrieved April 3, 2020 .
  27. Patricia Grzonka: Where all ends meet | NZZ . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . July 22, 2015, ISSN  0376-6829 ( nzz.ch [accessed on August 8, 2018]).
  28. ^ Austrian Friedrich and Lillian Kiesler private foundation. August 22, 2007. Retrieved August 8, 2018 .
  29. ^ Berliner Festspiele: Berliner Festspiele - Gropius Bau: Friedrich Kiesler: Architect, artist, visionary. Retrieved August 8, 2018 .