THE STÄDEL MUSEUM EXTENSION
Since its foundation in 1815, the Städel Museum has expanded its holdings continually by pursuing an active acquisition policy. These activities have gone hand in hand with numerous expansions and modernizations of the museum’s facilities. This tradition is now being continued by the spectacular extension designed by the architectural firm schneider+schumacher of Frankfurt, which in February 2008 was awarded first place in the competition advertised by the Städel for this purpose. An impressive hall located beneath the Städel garden created 3,000 square meters of additional exhibition space for the presentation of contemporary art. The new gallery is illuminated with natural light through 195 skylights which creates a striking pattern on the garden’s lawn. In addition to this new construction measure, extensive repairs have been carried out in the old building.
It was the Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung which laid the financial cornerstone for the expansion in September 2007 with a donation of seven million Euros. The B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. Bank of Frankfurt and the Metzler family contributed three million Euros to the project in September 2008. In 2009 a number of further important sponsors joined their ranks: the Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft, the accountancy firms KPMG and PwC and the FAZIT foundation. Major donations have continued to come in since that time, among which we would here like to mention the support of the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2010 and private contributions from the Haub and Merz families, the Hückmann, Mayer and Ackermann couples and Hilmar Kopper as well as a further generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
The public sector likewise helped to finance the Städel extension. The city of Frankfurt provided five million Euros for the new annex and eight million for the refurbishment of the old building. A further five million came from the funds of the Hessisches Sonderinvestitionsprogramm. In June 2009 the city of Eschborn contributed a total of four million to the project’s financing, and in early 2010 the state of Hesse participated in the new construction in the amount of one million Euros.
Under the motto "Frankfurt is building the new Städel. You can join in the effort”, a major fundraising campaign was launched for the Städel expansion. Numerous partners from private enterprise, society, the media, sports and culture as well as many private citizens supported the cause with creative fundraising projects and contributed a total of more than five million Euros to the overall costs.
The structural expansion of the museum is going hand in hand with an expansion of the collection with regard to content. In the past years, the Städel has made a great number of new acquisitions in the area of contemporary art. In March 2008 it received more than two hundred top-class works from the prestigious DZ BANK art collection of contemporary photography as well as six hundred outstanding works from the corporate collection of the Deutsche Bank. The collection owes the addition of further artworks to the concentrated purchasing policy of the Städelkomitee 21. Jahrhundert, a privately initiated and financed organization, and prominent donations from Margarethe and Klaus Posselt, Fritz Peter, Waltraud Mayer and others.
The Städel Museum presented its new face in three stages. Since the reopening of the areas "Modern Art” (November 2011) and "Old Masters” (December 2011), the refurbished old building on the Main riverbank features masterworks by a spectrum of artists ranging from Holbein, Cranach, Dürer, Botticelli, Rembrandt and Vermeer to Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Kirchner and Beckmann, presented in new and compelling arrangements. Finally, the opening of the museum’s all new contemporary art annex took place in February 2012. Since then, one of Germany’s oldest and most important museum foundations shines with new splendor.