Germany's Impressive Group of Privately Owned Art Museums
The country beats any other nation in its number of private museums open to the public.
Whether for prestige, passion, or tax breaks—or all of the above—Germany has more privately owned art museums accessible to the public than any other nation. Many of the finest examples are in Berlin, such as the Boros Collection, a selection of contemporary works housed in a World War II bunker. This summer, the city will get a much anticipated outpost of the Julia Stoschek Collection, a multimedia art institution based in Düsseldorf.
South of Stuttgart, a modern concrete building houses Museum Ritter, an impressive array of abstract works. And in Duderstadt, billionaire Hans Georg Näder has created Kunsthalle HGN, a gallery touting the work of contemporary German artists like Neo Rauch and Helmut Newton. Thanks to deep pockets, the architecture of many private museums is as striking as the collections, as is the case with the Langen Foundation, designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. It has Europe’s largest private holding of works by Jean Dubuffet, as well as 350 Japanese pieces spanning the 12th to 20th centuries. It makes the otherwise lackluster destination of Neuss, an industrial city near Düsseldorf, worth the trip.