Susanne Gaensheimer Is the New Director of Germany’s NRW Collection

The collection of North Rhine-Westphalia is one of Germany's best.

Prof. Dr. Susanne Gaensheimer. Courtesy Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
Prof. Dr. Susanne Gaensheimer. Courtesy Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen

Susanne Gaensheimer has been announced the new director of the NRW Kunstsammlung, the art collection of North Rhine-Westphalia, in Düsseldorf. She succeeds Marion Ackermann, who took up a post as director general of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in November 2016.

“The Kunstsammlung NRW is among the most important collections of classical Modernism, Postmodernism, and Contemporary art internationally, and it is a great joy and a tremendous honor for me to assume responsibility for this very special collection, both at the K20 as well as at the K21,” said Gaensheimer of her appointment.

Prior to this appointment, Munich-born Gaensheimer, who takes up her role in September 2017, has served as the director of the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, since 2009. There, she oversaw the successful addition of a second branch in the shape of MMK2. Prior to that, she directed the collection for contemporary art in the Städtische Galerie at the Lenbachhaus in Munich.

The minister-president of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hannelore Kraft, stated, “With Susanne Gaensheimer, we have succeeded in recruiting an exceptionally competent museum director who is as experienced as she is committed.”

Kraft oversaw Gaensheimer’s appointment, which was recommended by a search committee headed up by secretary of state for culture, Bernd Neuendorf.

The position marks a return for Gaensheimer to the region, who worked as the Director of the Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster from 1999 – 2001.

Gaensheimer wrote her dissertation on Bruce Nauman, and is considered an expert in Germany on American, Postwar, and Contemporary art. “[Working with] Modern art is a new, further step for me, which I am looking forward to engaging with intensively,” she said in a statement.

Gaensheimer curated the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale twice. In 2011, she worked with Christoph Schlingensief on his exhibition at Venice, a project that had to be finished by her and Schliengensief’s widow after his passing. The pavilion was awarded the Golden Lion.


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