me Collectors Room Berlin / Olbricht Foundation
The Olbricht Foundation strives to fulfil its mission of advancing contemporary art, contemporary artists, and curators and to generate public interest in art, especially among children and teenagers. As well as enabling rotating exhibitions featuring various facets of the Olbricht Collection and other international private art collections, the foundation also presents the cabinet of curiosities, the Wunderkammer, permanently installed at me Collectors Room. Parallel to the exhibitions, we offer an extensive outreach programme for children and young adults, as well as an events programme that includes public talks with collectors, artists, and experts, as well as concerts and readings. By presenting old art in the Wunderkammer in conjunction with more contemporary art in the various exhibitions and by stimulating all the senses through the inclusion of music in the programme, we hope to provide new insights and new perspectives for visitors to enjoy at first hand. The Olbricht Foundation is particularly active in its efforts to anchor art in the everyday lives of children and young adults. Our outreach programme is geared towards children ranging from nursery age to high school. The many tours and workshops on offer are a source of learning and fun and get the young participants to interact with the art in a lively way. A treasure hunt and a kids’ audio guide are available, for free, all year round and guide children through the temporary exhibitions and the Wunderkammer. In 2011 we launched our partnership programme with a local partner school, Gustav-Falke Schule, and have worked closely with various classes since then. In addition, young curators completing their Master’s degree in ‘Curating the Contemporary’ at London Metropolitan University are invited to curate a show using works from the Olbricht Collection as part of their final module. The programme first got off the ground in 2012 and is run in cooperation with the Whitechapel Gallery, London (under the direction of Nico de Oliveira). The students not only present their curated show at me Collectors Room but also create and edit a publication relating to it. The Olbricht Collection Over the past 30 years, Thomas Olbricht, born in 1948, chemist, doctor of medicine and endocrinologist, has put together one of the most extensive private collections in Europe. The collection encompasses works from the early 16th century all the way to the most recent contemporary art. The chief source of inspiration for his collecting was his great uncle, Karl Ströher, who maintained an interest in contemporary art even into his old age. The collection, which crosses genres and epochs, is shaped by the subjective choices of a passionate collector, whereby the desire to discover and understand human nature provides the central impetus. Existential themes such as love, life, Eros, transience and death form the key programmatic emphases of the Olbricht Collection. The collection hosts a number of great names, such as Thomas Schütte, Eric Fischl, Franz Gertsch, Cindy Sherman, Marlene Dumas and Gerhard Richter who consort with new discoveries, such as Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, Simmons & Burke, Grayson Perry, Julie Heffernan, Elmgreen & Dragset, Kate MccGwire and many more. The diversity of the names points to the multiplicity of artistic media contained in the collection: painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and the new media. Historical retrospectives of timeless, existential themes are combined with views of current, contemporary material. In so doing, discoveries and surprises are consciously taken into account, the works are designed to transport the visitor into a realm of sheer astonishment and thus elicit new ways of looking at the world in the viewer. The Olbricht Collection and other international private art collections have found in me Collectors Room Berlin a permanent exhibition space in which to showcase their works ever since it opened in May 2010. In each show, the curators involved get to form their own personal view of the collections opened up to them. Besides these temporary exhibitions, predominantly of contemporary art, the Wunderkammer Olbricht, with its array of historical objects, is on permanent display. Berlin Collectors me Collectors Room Berlin / Olbricht Collection is part of the Berlin Collectors, an association of Berlin’s private contemporary art collections, that are open to the public.