In Memorium: Heiner Pietzsch


Heiner Pietzsch, the renowned Berlin entrepreneur and a generous patron of the arts has passed away. He died on Tuesday evening at a Berlin clinic at the age of 91, after an extended illness.

The Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Nationalgalerie owe Heiner Peitzsch an enormous debt of gratitude and will forever honour him in our memory. Through their generous patronage, Heiner Pietzsch along with his wife Ulla have made incomparable contributions to the collections of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin with their outstanding art collection, enriching the life of the broader public. Their collection has been a veritable treasure trove for the Nationalgalerie when it comes to putting together special exhibitions, and continues to be so. With this collection, a BITTER GAP in the collection of the Nationalgalerie can be filled. Heiner Pietzsch has been connected with the Nationalgalerie for decades, and was for many years part of the board of the Freunder der Nationalgalerie, serving as its treasurer.

The donation of the Pietzsch Collection to public ownership was also central to the political decision to create the Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts at the Kulturforum, which is currently under construction. At this location, the collection of Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch will be able to be displayed in its full breadth and significance.

The Pietzsch Collection is one of the most outstanding private collections of Modernist art in Germany. It is centred around IMPRESSIVE works of Parisian Surrealism and of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism, including works by Max Ernst, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Paul Delvaux and Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell and Barnett Newman, but also by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. 

The donation, made to the city of Berlin in 2010, comprises some 150 paintings, drawings and sculptures in total, with an estimated worth of 120 million euros. It was transferred by the LAND BERLIN to the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz as a permanent loan for the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s Nationalgalerie. The Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz commits to making a permanent presentation of parts of the collection in the context of its own collection of Modernist art.