Kolumba
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Museum of the Year 2013
German Section of the International
Association of Art Critics (AICA)

November 18, 2013 : The German Section of the International Association of Art Critics ( AICA ) declared Kolumba as "Museum of the Year 2013". This decision was explained with the rationale that the museum was distinguished by its »outstanding architecture« as well as its "first-rate collection that spans the gap between the art of the old Masters and contemporary art". In addition, it also provides an audience and stage for artists who generally do not attract much media interest. | The award ceremony took place at Kolumba on Monday, May 5, 2014. On the same occasion a prize was to be awarded for the best exhibition (Museum Folkwang, Essen) with a further prize for the best special exhibition (Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach). Admission is free. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. | The following is the complete text listing the reasons the jury gave for reaching its decision: »Each year, the AICA Germany honors a museum, which distinguishes itself through the autonomy of its program and counters the prevailing trends of art as entertainment. This year's award goes to a museum, whose collection harks back to 1853, and whose new building, expansion of the collection, and exhibition concept has been continually revised and refined down to the last detail over the course of the past decades: Kolumba Museum, as the Art Museum of the Cologne Archdiocese is referred to today. Around 1990, the decision was made to expand the museum's old holdings of ecclesiastical artifacts to include works of contemporary art that dealt in the broadest sense with Christian values, the sublime, the numinous, or else with the timeless. In 1991, the bar was put high when the philosopher Walter Warnach donated a Beuys work that consisted of an ammunition box with "Cross with Sun", and a spruce trunk with "miner's lamp". Hence, there was an understanding of contemporary art as being in continuity with the museum's old holdings. It is a mutual encounter of tradition and innovation. This aspect also applies to the extraordinary architecture of the museum designed by Peter Zumthor, which opened in 2007. The architect has built a sensitive and sophisticated new building around the collection, with rooms of varying heights that correspond optimally to the needs for exhibiting the collection and presenting special exhibitions that change annually. In addition, he made it possible to visit the ruins of the St. Kolumba church, thus creating a symbiosis between the church destroyed in the war and the collection of the Archdiocese. The Kolumba Museum's emphasis is on perception and contemplation: There is no staging using light effects, there is only the daylight for presenting artworks equally. It is left up to the visitor to select his own favorites. There are no labels, but there is a booklet containing brief information about the exhibited works. There are places to sit down, but there are no disruptive guided tours during opening hours. There is no cafeteria and no shop, but the admission ticket is valid for the entire day and one may enter and leave the museum repeatedly. Once each year, the collection is re-structured according to certain thematic criteria. This year's theme is the shrine. Each year there is only one monographic exhibition, which focuses on an artist whose work connects thematically with the collection. Accompanying the exhibition is a well thought- out and lavishly designed publication containing comprehensive professional expertise. To substantiate the continuity from exhibition to exhibition, works that had been on display in the special annual exhibition of the previous year are integrated into the display of the collection for its next hanging of works. The program of accompanying events, by contrast, examines various aspects of the special exhibition. In summary, Kolumba Museum is distinguished by its superb architecture, its first-rate collection that spans the gap between the art of the old masters and contemporary art, and its convincing and logical exhibition concept that goes hand in hand with the collection and which presents artists situated at the periphery of media interest. Everything is geared towards contemplation and perception, for attuning us to the slowness of seeing - this is truly a museum that acts against the rush of time, and thus, it is a museum that goes against the grain, precisely what the AICA appreciates.« Koblenz, Danièle Perrier 2013 (source: www.aica.de )

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2014 Museum of the Year 2013
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KOLUMBA :: Awards :: 2014 Museum of the Year 2013

Museum of the Year 2013
German Section of the International
Association of Art Critics (AICA)

November 18, 2013 : The German Section of the International Association of Art Critics ( AICA ) declared Kolumba as "Museum of the Year 2013". This decision was explained with the rationale that the museum was distinguished by its »outstanding architecture« as well as its "first-rate collection that spans the gap between the art of the old Masters and contemporary art". In addition, it also provides an audience and stage for artists who generally do not attract much media interest. | The award ceremony took place at Kolumba on Monday, May 5, 2014. On the same occasion a prize was to be awarded for the best exhibition (Museum Folkwang, Essen) with a further prize for the best special exhibition (Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach). Admission is free. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. | The following is the complete text listing the reasons the jury gave for reaching its decision: »Each year, the AICA Germany honors a museum, which distinguishes itself through the autonomy of its program and counters the prevailing trends of art as entertainment. This year's award goes to a museum, whose collection harks back to 1853, and whose new building, expansion of the collection, and exhibition concept has been continually revised and refined down to the last detail over the course of the past decades: Kolumba Museum, as the Art Museum of the Cologne Archdiocese is referred to today. Around 1990, the decision was made to expand the museum's old holdings of ecclesiastical artifacts to include works of contemporary art that dealt in the broadest sense with Christian values, the sublime, the numinous, or else with the timeless. In 1991, the bar was put high when the philosopher Walter Warnach donated a Beuys work that consisted of an ammunition box with "Cross with Sun", and a spruce trunk with "miner's lamp". Hence, there was an understanding of contemporary art as being in continuity with the museum's old holdings. It is a mutual encounter of tradition and innovation. This aspect also applies to the extraordinary architecture of the museum designed by Peter Zumthor, which opened in 2007. The architect has built a sensitive and sophisticated new building around the collection, with rooms of varying heights that correspond optimally to the needs for exhibiting the collection and presenting special exhibitions that change annually. In addition, he made it possible to visit the ruins of the St. Kolumba church, thus creating a symbiosis between the church destroyed in the war and the collection of the Archdiocese. The Kolumba Museum's emphasis is on perception and contemplation: There is no staging using light effects, there is only the daylight for presenting artworks equally. It is left up to the visitor to select his own favorites. There are no labels, but there is a booklet containing brief information about the exhibited works. There are places to sit down, but there are no disruptive guided tours during opening hours. There is no cafeteria and no shop, but the admission ticket is valid for the entire day and one may enter and leave the museum repeatedly. Once each year, the collection is re-structured according to certain thematic criteria. This year's theme is the shrine. Each year there is only one monographic exhibition, which focuses on an artist whose work connects thematically with the collection. Accompanying the exhibition is a well thought- out and lavishly designed publication containing comprehensive professional expertise. To substantiate the continuity from exhibition to exhibition, works that had been on display in the special annual exhibition of the previous year are integrated into the display of the collection for its next hanging of works. The program of accompanying events, by contrast, examines various aspects of the special exhibition. In summary, Kolumba Museum is distinguished by its superb architecture, its first-rate collection that spans the gap between the art of the old masters and contemporary art, and its convincing and logical exhibition concept that goes hand in hand with the collection and which presents artists situated at the periphery of media interest. Everything is geared towards contemplation and perception, for attuning us to the slowness of seeing - this is truly a museum that acts against the rush of time, and thus, it is a museum that goes against the grain, precisely what the AICA appreciates.« Koblenz, Danièle Perrier 2013 (source: www.aica.de )