The Foundation

With its opening on 1 September, 2001, Museum Kunstpalast took on the succession of the Kunstmuseum at the Ehrenhof museum complex. The formerly city-run institution now became a foundation under private law, based on a ‘public private partnership’ between the City of Düsseldorf and the energy provider E.ON (formerly VEBA). Joining the latter in the partnership were the Metro Group and Evonik Industries AG, formerly degussa (until 2010) as founder-sponsors.

As the City of Düsseldorf alone could not have borne the cost for the necessary project of refurbishing the Kunstpalast wing, a partner and a legal form were sought that would reliably secure a long-term cooperation. The foundation form appeared suited to the purpose. The principal thought behind the constitution of the Foundation, by which the mutual cooperation was sealed, was that the purchase of the land would enable E.ON to build their new head offices on the land backing on the former Kunstpalast, in return for which the company would co-finance the renewal of the ailing exhibition wing and vouch to give long-term, continuing support to the adjacent museum and its activities. The capital city of the Land contributed both the Museum and the Art Collection to the new foundation.

So the Public Private Partnership thus established can be defined as an alliance of interests of public and private patrons, to the advantage of both. With further partnerships the Museum has entered, the aim is to bring together significant collections and artists’ estates and to present them to the public. Some examples are the Zero-Foundation, the independant Willi Kemp-Foundation and the Hoehme-Foundation. A committed partner is the association  of Friends of the Museum – the Freunde Museum Kunstpalast, which is open to art enthusiasts to join. There are many more such Partner all of them vital to the successful work of the Museum.

The Foundation is headed by the Managing Committee, consisting of  General Director Beat Wismer  and Commercial Director Harry Schmitz who manage the Foundation’s affairs. The managing committee is accompanied by a Board of Trustees numbering at least fourteen and whose job it is to ensure that the purpose of the Foundation is observed.

In 2010, Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast linked with the Dussmann-Gruppe, a service enterprise operating world-wide, to form the Ehrenhof Service-Gesellschaft. Since August, 2010, this Service Company has been managing various services within the house, including the Visitor, Security  and contractual Cleaning Services.

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