Ludwig Museum (pop art)Cologne
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Roy Lichtenstein’s M-Maybe, Andy Warhol’s Brillo Boxes and George Segal’s Restaurant Window, all icons of American pop art, had only just been completed when they were loaned to the Wallraf Richartz museum in 1969. The works belong to Peter and Irene Ludwig, who put together the biggest pop art collection outside the United States.
The Ludwig Museum was founded in 1976, when the Ludwigs made an endowment of some 350 modern artworks. In return, it was to be the first museum in Cologne dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art. In addition to their pop art pieces, the Ludwigs donated an extensive collection of works by the Russian avant garde, covering the period from 1906 to 1930, and also permanently loaned several hundred works by Pablo Picasso to the new museum. These Picasso pieces passed into the museum’s ownership as a result of two generous donations by the Ludwigs in 1994 and 2001. The modern wing of the Wallraf Richartz museum with the Expressionism collection from Dr Josef Haubrich, a Cologne lawyer and benefactor, formed the basis of its contemporary art collection and was likewise integrated into the Ludwig Museum.
The museum continued to collect contemporary art, with its most recent additions never more than just a few months old. In this way, German art from the seventies and eighties, new international styles and installations by young, avant-garde artists have also found their way into the Ludwig Museum.