Peter und Irene Ludwig StiftungLogo: Peter und Irene Ludwig Stiftung

25 Years of the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation: Project "Vor Ort" by Andreas Schmitten

Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, the Chairwoman of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, pays tribute to a quarter-century of the Ludwig Foundation: "Today, we celebrate an important milestone in our non-profit activities. For over 25 years, we have enjoyed a close partnership with the public institutions around the world which the Ludwigs generously endowed with donations or permanent loans. Irene Ludwig was chairperson of the Foundation until her death in 2010. Her cosmopolitanism and her maxims of promoting mutual understanding through international artistic activities and responding to new challenges remain our guiding principles to this day. We look forward to many more years of successful cooperation with our partners in the spirit of the founders – for art."

To mark this occasion, the sculptor Andreas Schmitten has created a site-specific work at the home of the Foundation, the founders' former private residence in Aachen. The project is not open to the general public. The Foundation is working together with supporting organisations of the museums which are connected with it to make it possible for those who are interested to view the project in the form of organised tours.

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.

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.


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.


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