Collections departments

Painting, sculpture and installation

The Sammlung Goetz grew out of the collector’s early days as a gallery owner in the 1960s and 1970s. A look back at that time can be found in the exhibition's catalogue Happy Birthday. 20 years Sammlung Goetz, which was published in 2013 on the occasion of the collection’s jubilee.

The works acquired during the gallery period also defined the collection’s initial focus in the early 1990s on Arte Povera. The later shift to an emphasis on contemporary art led to the acquisition of works by Young British Artists as well as of American painting and sculpture. Yet, artistic trends and important individual positions –  including those of Thomas Schütte, Roni Horn, Cindy Sherman, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Mona Hatoum, Michael Buthe, Ulrike Ottinger, Rodney Graham, Mike Kelley and Matthew Barney in all their medial diversity –  have been a collection focus since the beginning. This cross-genre approach of the Sammlung Goetz is also evident in large thematic survey shows, including Imagination Becomes Reality at the ZKM in Karlsruhe (2007); When Now is Minimal at the Neues Museum Nuremberg (2013) and at the Museion in Bolzano (2014), as well as Staged! in the Kunsthalle Munich (2016).

In addition to strengthening existing positions with new works, the Sammlung Goetz will continue its expansion through new discoveries or rediscoveries. Recent collection activities have concentrated on Italian art of the 1960s and 1970s, works of which will be shown in-house in the collaborative exhibition Tutto in 2019/20, following their presentation in 2018/19 in Bolzano, as well as the Japanese avant-garde group Gutai.

Paintings in the collection’s storage, © the artists, photo: Nikolas Winter


The genre of photography occupies a significant position in the Sammlung Goetz. With nearly 1500 works, it not only constitutes the largest collection within the collection, but also spans the greatest temporal arc. The scope of the photographic works ranges from Eadweard Muybridge’s studies of motion from the 1880s and People of the 20th Century by August Sander from the 1920s to the light boxes of Jeff Wall and Rodney Graham, the methodical photographic staging of Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons and Thomas Demand and the photographic experiments of Wolfgang Tillmans’ from the 21st century. Within an otherwise contemporary collection, the Sammlung Goetz is particularly fortunate to be able to follow the development of this medium, which has shaped the 20th century in particular like few others.

A comprehensive overview of the photographic collection is provided in the exhibition catalogue Street Life & Home Stories, which was published in 2011 for the eponymous show in the Museum Villa Stuck, Munich.

Photograph by © Cindy Sherman in the collection’s storage, photo: Nikolas Winter

Works on paper

With more than 1000 artworks, works on paper constitute an additional focal point of the Sammlung Goetz. These works include drawings, lithographs, collages, watercolors and etchings as well as an extensive number of portfolio works. This holding is also part of the “former” Sammlung Goetz, as many of the works were collected by Ingvild Goetz when she was a gallerist and ran a graphics publishing house in the 1970s.The inventory includes works by Brice Maden, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold and Jannis Kounellis. The graphic collection also provides a valuable overview of the artists in the Sammlung Goetz because nearly all of them are also represented in the collection with works on paper.


Graphic portfolios in the collection’s storage, photo: Nikolas Winter

Media art

A relatively new focus of the collection is media art, which includes films, videos, slide projections, extensive multi-channel projections and large-scale installations. With more than 500 works, this collection of media art is one of the most extensive worldwide. Ingvild Goetz discovered this genre in the early 1990s, at a time when most museums still hesitated to embrace it. This reluctance was in part because the demands placed on the storage, preservation, maintenance and presentation of media art differ from those of classical art genres and are subject to constant change as a result of the rapid development of new technologies. The focus of the media art collection is on works from the 1990s and 2000s; these are well documented in the exhibition catalogs fast forward 1 und 2. Works include the complete CREMASTER cycle by Matthew Barney; installations by Pipilotti Rist and Mike Kelley; slide projections by Peter Fischli & David Weiss and Francis Alÿs; and the films by Ulrike Ottinger. New productions, however, are also commissioned, including, for example, Flora by Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler for the Venice Biennale 2017 and Cockaigne. I am not sea, I am not land (2020) by Cyrill Lachauer. Such pieces complement the collection and further develop it with younger positions.

In order to adequately present the growing holdings of media art, an addition was built in the Sammlung Goetz, the underground exhibition space BASE 103.

Media art in the collection’s storage, photo: Nikolas Winter