Museum Ludwig, located in Cologne, Germany, houses a collection of modern art. It includes works from PopArt, Abstract and Surrealism, and has one of the largest Picasso collections in Europe. It also features many works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
The museum emerged in 1976 as an independent institution from the Wallraf-Richartz Museum. That year the chocolate magnate Peter Ludwig agreed to endow 350 modern artworks - then valued at $45 million - and in return the City of Cologne committed itself to build a dedicated "Museum Ludwig" for works made after the year 1900. The recent building, which was designed by architects Peter Busmann and Godfrid Haberer opened in 1986. The new building first became home to both the Wallraf Richartz Museum as well as Museum Ludwig. In 1994 it was decided to separate the two institutions and to place the building on Bischofsgartenstrasse at the sole disposal of Museum Ludwig. The building is surrounded by the Heinrich-Boll-Platz, a public square designed by Dani Karavan.
The museum essentially incorporates the Sammlung Haubrich, a collection by lawyer Josef Haubrich of art from the years 1914 to 1939 donated to the city of Cologne on 2 May 1946. Directly after World War 2, in May 1946, Haubrich presented the city with his Expressionism collection (Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, August Macke, Otto Mueller) and works by other representatives of Classical Modernism (Marc Chagall, Otto Dix). The second integral part of the museum is the Sammlung Ludwig, a collection of art by Picasso, Russian avant-garde and American Pop-art artists. With around 900 works by Picasso, the museum today has the third largest collection of this artist worldwide, after Barcelona and Paris. In addition, Peter Ludwig and his wife Irene later put their collection of the Russian avant-garde on permanent loan to the museum, including 600 works from the period 1905 to 1935 by artists such as Kasimir Malevich, Ljubov Popova, Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, and Alexander Rodchenko. Today the museum houses the most comprehensive collection of early Russian avant-garde artworks outside Russia.
Kasper König is current director of the museum.
Works in Museum Ludwig
Thiemann, Barbara M. Nonconform: Russian and Soviet Artists 1958-1995, the Ludwig Collection. Prestel Publishing, 2007. .
- List of museums in Cologne