Independent Collectors

Collection Night

A new twilight initiative takes places in Berlin to bring private collections together in a special programme.

Julian Rosefeldt, Deep Gold, 2013/2014. Courtesy Sammlung Wemhöner. © Julian Rosefeldt und VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Julian Rosefeldt, Deep Gold, 2013/2014. Courtesy Sammlung Wemhöner. © Julian Rosefeldt und VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Collection Night arrives in Berlin – a new collective initiative realised as a twilight event to bring together the city’s plethora of private collections in a special programme.

The count of such in the city, is truly numerous and they occupy a great diversity of spaces, such as ‘Altbau’ private apartment dwellings, aboveground World War II bunkers, DDR building complexes, off-spaces and contemporary architectural creations. These historically charged locations are sprawled out across the capital and are given a new identity. Whatever the context, private spaces opened up for public visitation offer an unparalleled intimacy to art viewing.

In celebration of these engagements, for a one night only special programme, Collection Night will launch on Friday August 23 at 5pm. The night will see a dozen of Berlin’s private collections opening up their doors to the public in a collective effort, offering exhibitions, accompanied tours, one-off film screenings, lectures and even wine – the evening will extend to midnight. Participating collections include the Bergmeier Collection / Kunstaele Berlin, the Boros Collection, the Feuerle Collection, the Haubrok Foundation, the Kienzle Art Foundation, me Collectors Room / Olbricht Foundation, the Rocca Foundation, the Ulrich Seibert Collection, the Julia Stoscheck Collection, the Wemhöner Collection, Collection Ivo Wessel and the Wurlitzer Pied à Terre Collection.

Further details and the full programme lineup can be found on the Berlin Collectors website. The ladies behind Collection Night are Juliet Kothe and Julia Rust, who by day, are the Directors of private Berlin institutions.

Following is the conversation that IC had with Juliet and Julia about their initiative, as part of our ‘People’ exploration on our platform.

This year on the evening of August 23, will be the very first Collection Night, tell us a little bit about how the idea came about.

Juliet Kothe: The private collections in Berlin have a supportive and friendly relationship with each other yet they never really have bundled their programs in a common initiative. Through a regular exchange with various Directors of these participating private institutions, the idea came along to manifest the contribution of the private collections to the vivid Berlin art field in a specific happening. As well as the fantastic gallery scene, public spaces and institutions, the collections truly widen the range of possibilities in order to engage with art.

Please explain the concept of this new initiation. What differentiates it from the collections programme during Berlin Gallery Weekend or Berlin’s upcoming Art Week?

Julia Rust: The COLLECTION NIGHT purely focuses on the different concepts of collecting or the various possibilities of making private collections accessible to the public. Every collector or collectors-couple does not have to make any compromises. They are absolutely free in their choices. So often a collection is far more extreme and radical. Look at Ulrich Seibert’s collection focusing on Pop-Surrealism and Pop-Comic-Surrealism. This art is colourful, figurative, bizarre and unique. He and other participants will allow an insight into their collectors approach for the first time. We think Berlin as a city should celebrate the fact that it actually is home of so many publicly accessible art collections.

Is there something particularly special as part of this year’s program to mark the inauguration of the event?

Julia: The Wemhöner Collection just acquired a historic ballroom from 1899 in Kreuzberg. Incredible that you still find these architectural jewels in Berlin. They will allow access to the collection for only this one night screening of the monumental film Deep Gold by Julian Rosefeldt. After it will be architecturally transformed – only for this one night you can sneak inside and get an idea of its original purpose as a dance hall.

Julian Rosefeldt, Deep Gold, 2013/2014. Courtesy Sammlung Wemhöner. © Julian Rosefeldt und VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Julian Rosefeldt, Deep Gold, 2013/2014. Courtesy Sammlung Wemhöner. © Julian Rosefeldt und VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

What do you hope for the future direction of Collection Night?

Julia: We hope that the public participates. Somehow we are grabbing onto the very successful idea of the “Night of the Museum”. All Berliners should be aware of the cultural richness of their city and further engage with it. We hope for a lot of people, happy collectors and a positive vibe that transports the idea into the future.

Exterior view of The Feuerle Collection. © The Feuerle Collection Photo: def image
Exterior view of The Feuerle Collection. © The Feuerle Collection Photo: def image
Installation view of The Feuerle Collection. Khmer Deities from 10th to 13th century with Chinese Platform, Han Dynasty, China, 2nd century BC – 2nd century AD. © The Feuerle Collection. Photo: def image
Installation view of The Feuerle Collection. Khmer Deities from 10th to 13th century with Chinese Platform, Han Dynasty, China, 2nd century BC – 2nd century AD. © The Feuerle Collection. Photo: def image

Do you think that this is an initiation that could be adapted to other locations, which also have several publicly accessible private collections?

Juliet: The art field continuously thinks of new ways to expand the possibilities to create visibility – it’s the purpose of art to be seen. Looking back to the first “Kunstmarkt” in Cologne or the first “Gallery Weekend” in Berlin it is quite obvious that these initiatives can be exported to other cities and locations although… Berlin is unique in its diversity and number of private collections.

If you think about Collection Night in its own way, it is a form of art mediation. How important is art mediation to accessing private institutions and contemporary art?

Juliet: I think it is the key. Mostly people need a bridge to understand the narratives of artistic production. I believe that if art is mediated by someone with a strong personal approach towards it, it becomes far more enriching for a visitor. Someone shares a perspective, which is always not more than an offer. I always say to our guests: you don’t have to believe what we say, it is one perspective, art is open and so is its perception. For me personally, I love to listen to artists and their stories. I try to do a lot of studio visits. It is my way of getting closest to art.

Exterior view of the Boros Collection / Bunker Berlin. Photo: © NOSHE
Exterior view of the Boros Collection / Bunker Berlin. Photo: © NOSHE
He Xiangyu (installatiion view), The Boros Collection. Photo: © NOSHE
He Xiangyu (installatiion view), The Boros Collection. Photo: © NOSHE

As Directors of private collections in your regular work, which therefore results in intimate insights into their workings, have you observed a shift in the attitude towards collecting?

Juliet: I think there are certain collectors that are more globally orientated and not so much regionally. I recently visited the Aïshti Foundation in Beirut, which is a good example of an international art hub, because the principles of showcasing and collecting are following certain international principles – it doesn’t really resonate with the fantastic local art scene or community. This white cube-style-museum, which is stunning and impressive and comprises fantastic works, could be located anywhere. It really could grab on the chance of interacting with the people in Beirut. That is what a strong art mediation program could do.

Do you find that other collectors regularly visit the spaces of which you direct?

Juliet & Julia: Definitely. We have collectors from all over the world, some even ask for advice as to how we are running our Foundations – and we are always happy to share experiences and our perspectives.

BEYOND (installation view), 2019. © me Collectors Room Berlin, Olbricht Foundation. Photo Eric Bell
BEYOND (installation view), 2019. © me Collectors Room Berlin, Olbricht Foundation. Photo Eric Bell
View of the Olbricht Wonder Cabinet. © me Collectors Room Berlin, Stiftung Olbricht. Photo: Daisy Loewl
View of the Olbricht Wonder Cabinet. © me Collectors Room Berlin, Stiftung Olbricht. Photo: Daisy Loewl

Do you own any pieces of contemporary art and collect yourselves?

Juliet: Yes, I do own pieces, but I would not call it collecting really. Collecting starts somewhere else.

Julia: I am the opposite of a collector, I love art and to think about it, but I don’t feel the necessity to own it. But of course, working in the art world for many years I do have a few very personal pieces at home.

In your opinion, how can young people approach art collecting, when it is at large presented as something that you need a great deal of money for?

Juliet: I think that today there is such a wide range of artistic production accessible through editions, prints or auctions. Some auction houses do specific sales for works under 2000,00 Euros. To also discover someone who is not at all in the focus (and for that matter inexpensive) can be a true joy of collecting. You have to love what you buy, then you never regret.

ALTE FREY and JULIAN REISER, Gaming - The System, exhibition at the Kienzle Art Foundation. Photo: Eric Tschernow
ALTE FREY and JULIAN REISER, Gaming - The System, exhibition at the Kienzle Art Foundation. Photo: Eric Tschernow

Which publicly accessible private collections would you recommend visiting outside of Berlin and Germany?

Juliet: For me it is Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght. Just 25 kilometres away from Nizza it is located right at the most beautiful village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. In the garden you discover dozens of sculptures, mosaiks and installations by artists like Giacometti, Miró or Braque.

Julia: I admire the work of the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Torino. It is always worth a visit because of their very contemporary and wonderfully curated programme. The Collector, Patricia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo is not only showing her beautiful collection but she has a strong focus on supporting young artists and curators and she is always trying to involve as many audiences as possible. Not only the art professionals and cultural tourists, but also children, youngsters and neighbours.

The participating collections of “Collection Night” can also be found in The BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors.

JOYCE PENSATO's studio 2018 (detail). Courtesy Haubrok Collection. Photo: Haubrok Collection
JOYCE PENSATO's studio 2018 (detail). Courtesy Haubrok Collection. Photo: Haubrok Collection

Germany (114)

You are the Concept

Private sessions with IC founder and strategist Christian Kaspar Schwarm.

Sammlung Gräfling

The young couple merges private and public spaces by displaying their collection at their home in a prestigious historic apartment.

Mario & Julia von Kelterborn

The von Kelterborn Collection isn’t for the faint of heart—although that’s not to say the works are visually jarring.

Julia Stoschek

Sergej Timofejev in conversation with Julia Stoschek: one of the most active and famous collectors of time-based art.

Boros Bunker #4

This former techno-club has been home to the private collection and residence of Christian and Karen Boros.

Christine and Andrew Hall

Interview with the collectors behind Hall Art Foundation

The Walther Collection

A collection of photographs, spanning the early days of photography to the contemporary

Philara Collection

Since the mid 1990s, Gil Bronner’s collection has grown to more than 1 400 works

haubrok projects

Lollie Barr meets collector Axel Haubrok in Lichtenberg

Wurlitzer Berlin-Pied-à-Terre Collection

Gudrun and Bernd Wurlitzer have created a space where artworks sit comfortably alongside signs of everyday life


Geraldine Michalke provides one of the most dynamic sites for aesthetic exchanges in Berlin

The Feuerle Collection

Désiré Feuerle has turned a site of isolation and paranoia into a place infused with humanity, lightness and sensuality

Ingrid & Thomas Jochheim

The collector couple describes the discovery process, which has led them to around 700 artworks to date, as emotional

ARNDT Collection

Tiffany Wood and Matthias Arndt aim to collect works that create disturbance

Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung

Alexander Tutsek and Dr. Eva-Maria Fahrner-Tutsek share a passion for glass

PRIOR Art Space

Oliver Elst and Laura del Arco have built significant collections, both individually and together

Elke and Arno Morenz Collection

A collection about seven postwar avant-garde movements

BRAUNSFELDER Family Collection – Gute Nacht

An exhibition inspired by a song from Franz Schubert’s cycle “Winterreise” (1827)

Museum Brandhorst

Francesca Gavin and Benjamin Jaworskyj explore this dazzling space in Munich.


Video art in times of crises: Selection 12 presents the work of Berlin artist and performer Constantin Hartenstein.

The Essence of Existence at Woods Art Institute

The Woods Art Institute (WAI) is a park destination near Hamburg for the experience, teaching & creation of art located in nature, as part of the Sachsenwald Forest.

Wege Zur Welt / Connections To The World

The Hildebrand Collection showcases its thirteenth temporary exhibition at its Leipzig home, the G2 Kunsthalle.

Alexander Tutsek Stiftung – About Us

See inside the exhibition, About Us, intended as a contribution to the discourse on contemporary photography in China.

You Are Here

"You are here" presents works from the Peters-Messer Collection, exhibited at the Werkschauhalle in Leipzig's former cotton spinning mill.

Warhol and Works on Paper

Editions and works on paper from The Dirk Lehr Collection.

Art is a Window – Christian Kaspar Schwarm

Una Meistere in conversation in Berlin with IC founder Christian Kaspar Schwarm.

Young Desire and Cuperior

A young collector pushing young artists to be seen and heard.

Kunstwerk – Sammlung Klein

Alison and Peter W. Klein are two collectors who do not follow art-market trends but instead only buy what they love.

The Peters-Messer Collection at the Weserburg

Bremen’s river museum, the Weserburg, hosted works of the Peters-Messer Collection, provoking an investigation of present day qualms and the function of art alongside these.

Friedrich & Johanna Gräfling

The young collectors with collaboration at the heart of their collection.

ALLES NOTWENDIGE (Everthing Necessary)

We newly introduce Braunsfelder – the private initiative of a Cologne family, who in their current exhibition (which can be visited) present the urgency for art, especially in difficult times.

Dirk Lehr Collection

A look inside the Berlin-based collection that refuses to follow trends.

The Art of Recollecting

A selection of artworks from the Hildebrand Collection that explore individual and collective memories.

Max & Corina Krawinkel

What might have initially begun as two collectors with two very different tastes has now resulted in one of Germany’s most important collections of contemporary art by West German artists.

Generation Loss

With fifteen exhibitions under its belt and over 100 000 visitors through its doors, the Julia Stoschek Collection is officially celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Recent Histories

Uniting the perspectives of contemporary artists of African descent who investigate social identity.

Yvonne Roeb

Inside the studio of the artist with the unusual collection.

Christian Kaspar Schwarm “Young Collections”

Inside the constantly growing and unconventional collection of the IC co-founder.

The Vague Space

The continuously contouring art collection from Independent Collectors’ co-founder.

Boros Bunker #3

A look inside the belly of Berlin's most known World War II Bunker.

Gudrun & Bernd Wurlitzer

On the occasion of the sixth edition of Berlin Art Week, Gudrun and Bernd Wurlitzer will be opening up their home and private collection to the public.

Colors of Descents

Taking you on a time-warp to the gaming iconography of the early 1990s.

Why Am I Actually German?

The exhibition from Kiel's Haus N Collection and Sammlung FIEDE were on display at the Kunstverein Wiesen.

Geometric Abstraction

What came first – the chocolate bar or the collection?


An exhibition on display at Weserburg’s Museum of Modern Art, featuring works from the Miettinen Collection in Berlin and Helsinki, that presents insights into the contemporary art scene in Finland.

Anti Social Distancing

As an anti statement to current new norms, Johanna and Friedrich Gräfling have compiled a selection of works from their collection in a visual narrative.

Gudrun & Bernd Wurlitzer 2017

After the German reunion Gudrun and Bernd Wurlitzer witnessed the gallery scene in Berlin change dramatically.

Schloss Kummerow Collection

A world-class contemporary photography collection housed in a baroque-style castle in Germany’s Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

me Collectors Room – Picha/Pictures

"Picha/Pictures – Between Nairobi & Berlin" at Berlin's me Collectors Room features artworks by Berlin-based artists and children that live in Kibera, East Africa’s largest slum.

Deichtorhallen Hamburg

From the beginning of 2011 the Falckenberg Collection belongs to the Deichtorhallen Hamburg, one of Europe’s largest exhibition centers for contemporary art and photography.

Gill Bronner

Interview with the collector behind the Philara Collection.

Goetz Collection

An internationally significant collection of contemporary art located in Munich.

The Order Of Things

Exploring how the organization of photographs into systematic sequences or typologies has affected modern visual culture.

How to Be Unique

An exploration of the interlacing of textual, structural, and lingual elements and painting with a special emphasis on their material manifestations.

Grässlin Collection

Providing an overview of the history of Austrian, German and Swiss painting over the last thirty-five years, as well as the story of one of the most notable German private collections.

New Acquisitions

In their second IC Online Exhibition, Leipzig’s G2 Kunsthalle celebrates its second anniversary of the foundation with a selection of new acquisitions from the Hildebrand Collection.

Lines of Quiet Beauty

Located in a former residential and commercial property from the 1960‘s, the Swiss architect Hans Rohr transformed into a home for contemporary art with over 2 700 square metres of exhibition space.

Kuhn Collection

Offering a bright perspective of young contemporary art.

Archivio Conz x KW

Archivio Conz presents “Pause: Broken Sounds/Remote Music. Prepared pianos from the Archivio Conz collection” at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin.

Haus N Collection & ROCCA Stiftung

Two collections joined forces to create a unique cultural experience in an abandoned car dealership in Kiel, Germany.

Through A Glass, Clearly

Exhibition at the G2 Kunsthalle showcases new works on paper from artists Sebastian Burger and Stefan Guggisberg.

Kuhn Collection I

This exhibition is the first in a series in which Michael Kuhn and Alexandra Rockelmann share works from the Kuhn Collection on IC.

Recording Memories

Mimi Kolaneci shares parts of his collection

Haus N Collection & Wemhöner Collection

ach, die sind ja heute so unpolitisch

Blinky Palermo Printed Matter

Rüdiger Maaß quite religiously collects artist and exhibition paraphernalia surrounding Blinky Palermo.

RealitätsCheck (Reality Check)

“Reality Check” presents works from the the ‘Art’Us Collectors’ Collective’, a combined effort of four private collections in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Munich and Stuttgart.

Primary Gestures

The Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung in Munich has an active interdisciplinary program committed to the special, the neglected, and the overlooked in art and science.

Dominic & Cordula Sohst-Brennenstuhl

Talk about being part of the “Young Collections” series at Weserburg.

Oliver Osborne: Der Kleine Angsthase

We’ve all experienced fear this year. The exhibition DER KLEINE ANGSTHASE at Braunsfelder, curated by Nils Emmerichs, presents works by Oliver Osborne, as well as a conversation with Nicolaus Schafhausen.

STUDIO BERLIN – Boros Foundation x Berghain

We are here with insight into the seductive new Berlin happening, STUDIO BERLIN, with an interview with Karen Boros and Juliet Kothe, Artistic Directors of the project.

Philara Collection 2016

Gil Bronner’s Stiftung Philara is on the move.

Jan Peter Kern

Death is Beautiful

me Collectors Room Berlin/Stiftung Olbricht

My Abstract World

Haupt Collection

Dreissig Silberlinge

Wemhöner Collection

»The art I encounter and surround myself with improves my quality of life. It gives me strength and inspires me,«

Désiré Feuerle

Publicly accessible private collection in an old bunker.

Lapo Simeoni

Collectors who have a special bond with Berlin.

Timo Miettinen

Finnish collector talks about the impossibility of ignoring Berlin’s relevance in today’s art world.

Debunking the myths

IC Director Nina Raftopoulo helps new collectors develop confidence.

From Sponsorship to Authorship

Creative workshops for brands who want to become great story-tellers.

Kai Bender

Collectors who have a special bond with Berlin.

Olaf Schirm

Collectors who have a special bond with Berlin.

Nils Grossien

100 Years of DADA with the last living DADAIST of Germany: PRINZ

Manfred Herrmann

The Berlin based tax consultant Manfred Herrmann and his wife art historian Burglind-Christin Schulze-Herrmann have been collecting contemporary art for the last 30 years.

me Collectors Room – Private Exposure

For the fifth time, the Olbricht Foundation has invited London Metropolitan University students from the ‘Curating the Contemporary’ Master’s program in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery, to curate and develop an exhibition with works from the extensive art collection of Thomas Olbricht.

Harald Falckenberg

The Parallel World of Harald Falckenberg – Daiga Rudzāte spoke with German art collector Harald Falckenberg in Hamburg about art as a historical document and the relationship between freedom and collecting.

The Mechanics of Minimalism

Sometimes someone’s own profession and artistic interests go hand in hand. At least thematically.


From a very early age, Pétur Arason enjoyed visiting artists in their studios with his father. Today, Arason has built up his own collection spanning more than 1 200 works.

Wilhelm Schürmann

Together with collector and photographer Wilhelm Schürmann we have started the new On-Site category “Inside Sailing”, which brings you fresh photographs from the art world on a regular basis

Aus Ihrer Mitte Entspringt Die Kraft

The Reinking Collection is a place where man and art come together in order to evolve as one.

Behind Your Eyes

Tobias Gombert is an art collector who just loves to learn.

Kunststiftung Meier-Linnert

German collector, Gerd Meier-Linnert, is someone who sees the beauty in simple shapes.

The Secret Garden

Originally founded in 2001 and opened up to the public five years later, the Gerisch Collection hosts an extensive collection in the surroundings of its very own sculpture park, where art can be found down winding paths, in hidden corners and on ponds among blossoming water lilies.

Ingvild Goetz

Margarita Zieda talks to Ingvild Goetz about the talent involved in differentiating a good piece of work from a lucky one hit wonder.

Cindy Sherman – Works from the Olbricht Collection

Arguably one of the most important photographers of the late 20th Century, Cindy Sherman is not just a master of disguise but also a master at captivating her audiences.

Gute Kunst? Wollen!

Born into a family of textile merchants that spans over four generations and a long tradition of passionate art collecting Thomas Rusche’s passion for collecting art started early, with his first purchase at the age of 14. Over the years that followed, his passion for collecting has grown into a vast accumulation of 17th century Old Masters, contemporary painting, and sculptures.

Part Two

What happens when the private interacts with the public, and when personal decisions become a public matter?

Frisch Collection

The Berlin based couple, Harald and Kornelia Frisch, have been collecting idiosyncratic painterly and sculptural positions from different artistic generations free from market-based aesthetics since the 1960s.

Haus N – Part One

What happens when the private communicates with the public and when personal decisions become a public matter?

Le Souffleur

Wilhelm Schürmann presents his collection with works from the Ludwig Collection in “Le Souffleur.”

Slavs and Tatars: Friendship of Nations

An exhibition from the Berlin-based collector Christian Kaspar Schwarm, featuring work from the art collective, Slavs and Tatars.


Female Artists from the Olbricht Collection at me Collectors Room, Berlin.

Barbara Klemm: Photographs

A new exhibition from the Berlin collector Werner Driller.

Karsten Schmitz

Art collector, art philanthropist, social entrepreneur and the developer of one of Germany’s largest contemporary art spaces, the internationally renowned Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, Karsten Schmitz shares his vision of how artistic, architectural, as well as the social metamorphosis of art spaces can transform the lives of artists, the public, even entire cities.

I Have Nothing Against Women But…

A look inside the exhibition “I Have Nothing Against Women but Can’t You Ring at Another Person’s Door”

Collection Regard

En Passant

To the patrons of tomorrow

Laurie Rojas on the future of art patronage and how to nurture enthusiasm for good art, worldly sensibility, curiosity, and connoisseurship.

The Rediscovery of Wonder

»Good art is rarely simple, but it is hardly ever incomprehensible, « says Christian Kaspar Schwarm, IC founder and avid collector who has never lost his excitement for complexity.

Mario von Kelterborn – Weserburg

As part of the "Young Collections" series at the Weserburg, Mario von Kelterborn presented works from Collection von Kelterborn in the exhibition "Young Collections 02".

Matthias Arndt

„In the beginning and in the end, you have to love your artworks for their inherent value, the beauty but also the artistic vision they represent“


A unique cultural space of international significance

A Change of Scenery

Artists' wallpapers from the Sammlung Goetz

Issa Masé

Emerging Collectors - The Ori House