Peter und Irene Ludwig StiftungLogo: Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung

Anniversary: Twenty-five Years of the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation

Twenty-five years ago, in 1997, Irene Ludwig set an important precedent in philanthropic support for art and culture in the public sphere by establishing the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation.

The foundation would continue to pursue the vision that Irene Ludwig shared with her late husband: to acquire first-rate works of fine and applied art for the public in collaboration with international museums, with a cosmopolitan, global perspective across all eras, genres, and borders, and to support exhibitions of and research on these works.

Today the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation works with over twenty-five public institutions across three continents and has supported a large number of multifaceted projects and initiatives.

The team at the Ludwig Foundation would like to take the twenty-fifth anniversary as an opportunity to offer insight into our activities over the course of the year and to present the faces behind the foundation on our new “About Us” page. In addition, this summer the artist Andreas Schmitten will present a project that focuses on Haus Ludwig, which was previously the Ludwigs’ residence and now serves as the foundation’s headquarters.

Peter and Irene Ludwig

The two German art collectors have changed the world. They began building their collec­tion, comprising more than 14,000 objects, in the 1950s. Today, the collection is spread across 26 public museums in three continents. Twelve institutions bear the name Ludwig and have bene­fited from generous donations. Their perspective on art as a unique principle of human expression that over­comes national borders and is open to the world, moti­vated the founders and continues to define the activity of the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foun­dation.


Contemporary art, Pop art, Picasso, Russian avant-garde, Soviet art, ancient Chinese and pre-Columbian art, classical antiquity, sculpture from the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, Baroque and Rococo faïence.


Irene Monheim and Peter Ludwig get to know one another at the end of the 1940s while studying art history at Mainz University. Peter Ludwig completes his PhD there in 1950 with a thesis on Picasso’s image of man.


The Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation is continuously researching, organizing, and expanding the Ludwig Collection. With the “Ludwig Project”, since 2015 an interview campaign is gathering the views and impressions of contemporaries.


“World art” is a guiding principle. The Ludwigs broadened their perspective early on to include non-European regions and pursue the idea of a global art.


Elucidating the qualities and meanings art possesses across history, cultures and countries, highlighting its universal value, inspires our intellectual approach.


28 public institutions are linked to us globally. Outside of Germany, we are active in Cuba, China, Russia, Hungary, Austria, and Switzerland.

CREDITS - Above: Jean-Olivier Hucleux, Peter and Irene Ludwig, 1975-76 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016. Left: Andy Warhol and Peter Ludwig, Cologne 1980 © Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung. Right: Research- and exhibition project, Plattform Aachen, Ludwig Forum 2014 © Carl Brunn. Center: Exhibition view „Eastwards“, Ludwig Forum 2014 / 2015, Photo: Carl Brunn