Collecting art while supporting museums and research went hand in hand for Peter and Irene Ludwig. Shortly after the war, with an entrepreneurial spirit and seeking to foster international understanding, they realized that the public sector could never offset the losses suffered, neither intellectually nor economically. From 1957 they turned this insight into a mission to act in the public interest. With loans to the Suermondt Museum in Aachen and the Schnütgen Museum in Cologne, the idea was developed to “close information gaps” by collecting, which on a practical level resulted in cooperation between the public institution and private ownership. The Collection was gradually handed over to the public sector for independent research and presentation.