© Katarina Hudacinova

[Translate to English:] Schenkung Sammlung Hoffmann

Since 2018 the internationally important private collection of Erika and Rolf Hoffmann has been housed at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden as a gift. It brings together some 1,200 works of painting, photography, drawing, sculpture, installation, film and video art.

[Translate to English:] Schenkung Sammlung Hoffmann

Among those represented are Jean-Michel Basquiat, Monica Bonvicini, Marcel Broodthaers, Miriam Cahn, Tracey Emin, Isa Genzken, Félix González-Torres, Roni Horn, On Kawara, William Kentridge, Julie Mehretu, François Morellet, Sarah Morris, Bruce Nauman, Ernesto Neto, Hermann Nitsch, Albert Oehlen, Sigmar Polke, Arnulf Rainer, Ad Reinhardt, Pipilotti Rist, Thomas Ruff, Anri Sala, Frank Stella, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Wolfgang Tillmans, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol. The collection, which has been housed in the Sophie-Gips-Höfe in Berlin-Mitte since 1997, will find its final location in Dresden over the next few years.

It is the understanding of the collector, her children and the idea of the donation that it should not be presented as a closed bundle at a fixed location, but rather be absorbed into the museum network of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. In addition to the regular presentation of the collection and the integration of works in special exhibitions, it is her concern to allow individual works to enter into a dialogue with the objects in the various museums that transcends epochs, thus opening up different perspectives and levels of meaning. 

Team Schenkung Sammlung Hoffmann

© SKD, Foto: Klemens Renner
[Translate to English:] Das Team der Schenkung Sammlung Hoffmann: Franziska Klinkmüller, Dr. Dorothée Brill, Katarina Lozo (v.l.n.r.)

History of the collection

The beginnings of the Hoffmann Collection go back to the 1960s. Initially based in Mönchengladbach and later in Cologne, the Erika and Rolf Hoffmann were closely associated with the vital art scene of the Rhineland. Like many private collections it was born out of the desire to live in a close and lively relationship with the works of art. The motivation for the purchases was always the direct and intensive exchange with the works and often also with the artists, whose work Erika and Rolf Hoffmann often accompanied over a long period of time. The variety of artistic expressions enthused them as a characteristic of contemporary art that they considered to be essential. They were looking for innovations, no matter in which medium. The preoccupation with contemporary art offered them the opportunity to deal with the current issues of society.

[Translate to English:] Zitat E.H.

At the time of its creation, a work of art should be formally and content-wise independent, in other words new; at the same time contemporary and forward-looking, reflect current problems of a changing society; challenge us intellectually and emotionally; show idea and form as a unity, its realisation should not be conceivable other than as it is; retain a remnant that cannot be explained to us, thus irritate us continuously; and finally possess power and urgency, great breath and density.

Erika Hoffmann

[Translate to English:] Sammlungsgeschichte 2

After the sale of their company Van Laack in 1985, the Hoffmanns were able to intensify their collection activities. Immediately after the German reunification, and with the desire to play an active role in shaping social and cultural changes, they developed the idea of an art gallery in Dresden in a public-private partnership based on a bold architectural design by the American artist Frank Stella. When the project failed, they began to think about a private and independent way of opening their collection to the outside world and sought premises in Berlin-Mitte. In a former sewing machine factory, they were able to enable not only themselves but also the public to encounter works of art from their collection in annually changing presentations. Since moving in 1997, the living and working rooms have been open to the public every Saturday.

[Translate to English:] Foto Sammlerpaar

© Sammlung Hoffmann
Erika und Rolf Hoffmann, 1997

[Translate to English:] Sammlungsgeschichte 3

Since the death of her husband in 2001, Erika Hoffmann has consistently continued the collection's activities and expanded its focus towards Eastern Europe. In 2018 the Hoffmann family donated its extensive collection to the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, where it enriches not only the contemporary holdings but also all museums in the association with outstanding works.

[Translate to English:] Zitat E.H. 2

Since the beginning of the 1990s, the connection between my husband and me towards Dresden has never completely broken off. It began with the former general manager of the SKD Werner Schmidt and happily led via Martin Roth to Marion Ackermann. Now integrating the Sammlung Hoffmann into the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden fulfils the original wish for a dialogue with art across borders and generations, as I have been trying out for over twenty years in a private setting in Berlin. The examination of contemporary art seems to me to be essential for understanding our present. May our collection, in dialogue with the SKD collections, provide the public with new insights and comprehension.

Erika Hoffmann

[Translate to English:] Video-Clip

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Sammlung Hoffmann


In the spirit of the absorption of the donation in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, works from the collection will be exhibited in various formats. In addition to the integration of individual works into the permanent exhibitions of the Albertinum and the Kupferstich-Kabinett, they are constantly supplemented and enriched by special presentations. The extensive donation holdings are also to be made visible in regularly held special exhibitions.

In addition to these exhibition formats, the integration of individual works, especially into the historical and non-European holdings of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, is an important element of the work with the donation. These dialogues between contemporary and historical or scientific exhibits are intended to open up unexpected perspectives and new contexts for visitors.

The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen regard the presentation of its holdings throughout Saxony and beyond its locations in Dresden, Leipzig and Herrnhut as a central concern. In the long term, the donation of the Sammlung Hoffmann is also intended to be shown repeatedly in museums and art spaces throughout Saxony, thus demonstrating and discussing the diversity and social relevance of contemporary art beyond the city limits.




Since 2020, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden have been granting the Fellowship Schenkung Sammlung Hoffmann. The three-month fellowship is intended to support research projects dedicated to the Sammlung Hoffmann, e.g. its history and conception, its focal points, individual works or groups of works, or its mediation and exhibition strategies.

The annual call for applications is aimed at graduates (Master's or Diploma), doctoral candidates and postdocs in art history, cultural studies and other humanities disciplines. Research projects from art academies or from the field of restoration and materials science are also possible. The results will be published as a digital publication after completion of the fellowship and presented at an event in Dresden or Berlin.

Fellowship holder*in 2020

With the research project by Stefanie Regenbrecht (Hamburg), the jury decided on a topic that focuses on the history of the collection of donations. Regenbrecht examines the interplay and mutual influence of collecting, living and exhibiting as a specific feature of the Sammlung Hoffmann since its move from the Rhineland to Berlin in 1997 to the present day. 

[Translate to English:] Mehr erfahren


From foam to VHS cassettes: restoring contemporary works of art

Restorer Franziska Klinkmüller looks after the works of art in the Hoffmann Collection. At the SKD BLOG she talks about the special challenges of restoring contemporary objects.

Restauratorin Franziska Klinkmüller in den Ausstellungsräumen
© privat
Press release from 9.3.2018

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden receive the Hoffmann collection, an internationally significant private art collection

In March 2018 the donation of the Hoffmann Collection to the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden was announced.

Eva-Maria Stange, Erika Hoffmann und Marion Ackermann stehen vor einem Feld aus goldenen Bonbons, einem Werk von Félix González-Torres
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