Germany’s Wealthiest Woman Inaugurates a Nature-Themed Private Art Museum in Bavaria

Her 600-piece collection focuses on works engaging with nature.

Susanne Klatten, November 2015. Courtesy Stiftung Nantesbuch, Photo by Lioba Schöneck.

This past Friday, German businesswoman Susanne Klatten—a majority BMW shareholder with an estimate net worth of $22.1 billion, according to Forbes—opened the private museum run by her foundation Stiftung Nantesbuch, in the Bavarian pre-Alpine lands.

The richest woman in Germany, whom Forbes describes as someone who keeps “an extremely low profile,” did not disclose the cost of the museum spread across two defunct farms.

Klatten’s concept for the foundation and its activities is closely linked to its bucolic surroundings, and the opening days’ program includes for example hikes with an artist and a botanist. “The underlaying idea for Nantesbuch is mine,” Klatten told the German Press Agency. “I wish I could take part in all the hikes and explorations,” she added. “My senses are awake in nature, and that’s where I find my inner peace.”

The terrain of the Stiftung Nantesbuch. Photo by Klaus Leidoff

The terrain of the Stiftung Nantesbuch. Photo by Klaus Leidoff.

Her love of nature is also reflected in Klatten’s 600-piece collection, themed “an die Natur,” which is slated to be displayed in the second, yet to be completed building on site.

The collector focuses on pieces that engage with “Micro- and Macrocosmos, flora, fauna, and mankind,” she said. It includes works by the likes of Michael Beutler, Olaf Holzapfel, Kaarina Kaikkonen, Alex Katz, Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, Wolfgang Laib, Robert Longo, Markus Lüpertz, Hiroyuki Masuyama, David Nash, and Hermann de Vries, among others.

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