Paul Maenz and Gerd de Vries donate around 750 works to the Graphische Gesellschaft zu Berlin


On Monday, 12 December 2022, the Graphische Gesellschaft zu Berlin, the Association of Friends of the Kupferstichkabinett e. V., celebrated its 25th anniversary. On the occasion of this jubilee, the Graphische Gesellschaft zu Berlin officially announced that Paul Maenz and Gerd de Vries had donated around 750 works on paper to the association as an act of civic commitment. In doing so, they not only wish to contribute to strengthening the collection of the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings) of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and to complement it in an outstanding way, but also to emphasize the support of the museum by its friends and patrons. This is already the second donation of this kind, after Paul Maenz and Gerd de Vries had already made a donation of 250 works to the Graphische Gesellschaft and the Museum of Prints and Drawings in 2004.

From 1970 to 1990, Paul Maenz and Gerd de Vries were running the "Galerie für die Kunst der internationalen Avantgarde" in Cologne. The gallery's program included early Anglo-American conceptual art, Italian Arte Povera, socio-political statements as well as "Wilde Malerei" (“Wild Painting”) or singular figures such as Anselm Kiefer or Keith Haring. Even beyond the gallery's closing, art remained a central part of their lives, and so this year's donation includes works on paper that span a period that extends well beyond 1990 to the immediate present. By handing over the extensive collection to the Graphische Gesellschaft as a cohesive unit, the history of the collection and a piece of German gallery history will be preserved and conserved.

The donation includes drawings, sketches, printed portfolios, editions and collages as well as letters and postcards by Saâdane Afif, Art & Language, Robert Barry, Monica Bonvicini, Sandro Chia, Enzo Cucchi, Walter Dahn, Hanne Darboven, Martin Disler, Jiří Georg Dokoupil, Hans Haacke, Anselm Kiefer, Joseph Kosuth, Giulio Paolini, Jonathan Monk, Bruce Nauman, Thomas Ruff, Salvo and Thomas Schütte, among others.

The Graphische Gesellschaft and the Kupferstichkabinett of the National Museums in Berlin are extremely happy and grateful that Paul Maenz and Gerd de Vries have decided to make this generous donation. For the year 2025, the Kupferstichkabinett is planning an exhibition including an accompanying catalog.

The Graphische Gesellschaft zu Berlin

Since 1997, the Graphische Gesellschaft zu Berlin has been the Association of Friends of the Kupferstichkabinett e. V. With approximately 660,000 works on paper, the Kupferstichkabinett Berlin owns one of the most extensive art collections in Germany. This includes primarily drawings, prints, watercolors, oil sketches, miniatures and manuscripts. The museum's holdings, which are among the four most important graphic collections in the world, range from the late Middle Ages to the present. The Circle of Friends serves the purpose of promoting the Kupferstichkabinett in the long term, contributing to the development of its collection, and raising public awareness of the museum.