Guggenheim, Hermitage, and Kunsthistorisches

Guggenheim, Hermitage, and Kunsthistorisches


Partners in Tri-Lateral Alliance are Brought Together For First Planning Session To Develop Joint Exhibitions, Loans, Internet Projects, Education, and Other Initiatives

NEW YORK, NY, March 26, 2001—A three-day summit meeting of the directors and chief curators of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the State Hermitage Museum, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum convened earlier this month in St. Petersburg to begin the development and planning of joint initiatives, as outlined in the tri-lateral collaborative agreement that was announced in January. Guggenheim Director Thomas Krens joined Prof. Mikhail Piotrovski and Prof. Dr. Wilfried Seipel of the Hermitage and Kunsthistorisches, respectively, in discussions with senior curators from the three institutions on intra-museum initiatives, including exhibitions, loan programs, internet projects, publications, scholarly research, and educational outreach.

"With this first meeting of the Guggenheim-Hermitage-Kunsthistorisches collaboration, our consortium is realizing its potential to present a full spectrum of exhibitions and scholarly research projects from pre-historic times to the present," said Krens. "By bringing together our curatorial expertise, our manpower, and, of course, our collections, we are planning programs of extraordinary scope and quality," Krens continued.

"The meetings among the directors and curators of our three institutions were extremely productive," said Prof. Piotrovski. "Through these active and ongoing discussions our plans for an unparalleled new kind of museum will become a reality."

The meeting of the Guggenheim-Hermitage-Kunsthistorisches alliance was the first opportunity for international colleagues from diverse fields of expertise—from classical antiquity and arms and armor to twentieth-century art—to come together for an exchange of ideas. According to Lisa Dennison, Chief Curator and Deputy Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, "It was a truly enlightening experience to be in the presence of such a wide range of talented colleagues and to entertain, for the first time, the possibilities that are now available to all three institutions. These three museums have, collectively, among the greatest collections in the world, with an intercultural network that will engage in a new discourse across borders. Together, we have the capacity to create a new range of superb cultural narratives and exhibitions."

The projects that were discussed include:

* a collaborative exhibition to be shown at all three venues that will feature masterpieces collected by the institutions' great founding patrons: Leopold Wilhelm, Catherine I, and Solomon R. Guggenheim, all contemporary collectors in their respective eras;

* a loan program in which signature artworks from each collection will be on view at the other partner institutions on a constant basis. Works under consideration for the initial loan presentation include: from the Guggenheim, Picasso's Moulin de la Galette (1900) and Rauschenberg's Barge (1963); from the Hermitage, Caravaggio's The Lute Player (1573-1610) and Ruben's Perseus and Andromeda (1577-1640); and from the Kunsthistorisches, Vermeer's The Artist's Studio (c. 1665/66) and Velazquez's Infanta Margarita Teresa in a Blue Dress (1659);

* an exhibition of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe, to be presented in dialogue with Mannerist works from the Hermitage collections, that would be presented in Russia;

* a feasibility study undertaken by the Guggenheim for the restoration of the Hermitage's General Staff Building, a 400,000 square-foot nineteenth-century structure on Palace Square in St. Petersburg.

While the Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas (scheduled to open in September 2001) is a partnership between the two named institutions, the Kunsthistorisches Museum will have an opportunity to participate in future exhibitions at this venue. Also confirmed at the meetings in St. Petersburg was the final checklist for the inaugural exhibition of the Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas, Masterpieces and Master Collectors: Impressionist and Modern Paintings from the Hermitage and Guggenheim Museums. The exhibition will include: from the Hermitage, Claude Monet's, Lady in the Garden, Sainte-Adresse (1867), Henri Matisse's Nymph and Satyr (1908-09), and Pablo Picasso Three Women (1908); and from the Guggenheim, Vasily Kandinsky's Improvisation 28, (1912), Fernand Leger's Woman Holding a Vase (1927), and Marc Chagall's Green Violinist (1923-24).

Additionally, the Guggenheim, Hermitage, and Kunsthistorisches have agreed to develop and implement joint educational programs—above all for children—and to make use of new information technologies in pursuing their educational objectives. The three partners have also agreed to focus attention on the development and implementation of special training programs for museum staff, specialists, and scholars in the areas of museology, exhibition inventory, restoration and conservation, publishing, marketing and new educational technologies, and that they will engage in a permanent exchange of experience in these areas.

Representatives from the Guggenheim Museum, Hermitage Museum, and Kunsthistorisches Museum will continue to meet on a quarterly basis. The next meetings will take place in June in Venice, Italy; and in the fall in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the openings of the Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum and the Guggenheim Las Vegas.

Kunsthistorisches Museum
Assembled by the Hapsburgs over the centuries, the Kunsthistorisches Museum's collection ranges from Egyptian, Near Eastern, Greek and Roman Antiquities, early Netherlandish painting and Flemish art, splendid Italian Renaissance and Baroque collections, sculpture and applied arts, to ecclesiastical and secular treasuries. The Kunsthistorisches boasts the largest collection of paintings by Bruegel in the world, as well as masterpieces by Cranach, Dürer, van Eyck, Holbein, Mantegna, Poussin, Raphael, Tinteretto, Titian, Velazquez, Vermeer, and van der Weyden.

The State Hermitage Museum
The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, is renowned for its many collections, which range from prehistoric cultures to modern art, including Middle Eastern and Egyptian, Greek and Roman art, Islamic and Oriental art, Italian Renaissance art, Flemish painting, and 19th- and 20th-century art. Its collection includes masterpieces by Giorgione, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, and Titian. Its extensive collection of French paintings includes major holdings of works by Degas, Gauguin, Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, and van Gogh. The Hermitage recently opened collection facilities in London at Somerset House, and will be opening additional exhibition space in Amsterdam in 2006.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Established in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation operates an international network of museums, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Guggenheim Museum SoHo in New York; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin; and Guggenheim Las Vegas and Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas (currently in construction). The Foundation's mission is to collect, preserve, present, and interpret modern and contemporary art and culture. The Guggenheim maintains a premier collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century art, with significant holdings of artworks by Beuys, Brancusi, Cézanne, Chagall, Kandinsky, Klee, Léger, Picasso, Pollock, Rauschenberg, and Serra, among many others. The Global Guggenheim: Selections from the Extended Collection, the first comprehensive exhibition of the Guggenheim's collection from its constellation of venues and partners, is currently on view through April 22, 2001.

March 26, 2001

For Press Information: Betsy Ennis
Department of Public Affairs
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Telephone: (212) 423-3840
Telefax: (212) 423-3787

Larissa Sergeievna Aerova
Manager, Press Services
State Hermitage Museum
Telephone: 7 (812) 315-7722
Telefax: 7 (812) 312-1567

Annita Mader
Press Office/Public Relations
Kunsthistorisches Museum
Telephone: 43 1 525 24 403
Telefax: 43 1 523 27 70

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