Kunsthalle / Our collection / Moving the Collection

Hello Beckmann and Boccioni // Most people have experienced how nerve-racking and expensive a move can be. But what if instead of a kitchen table and a sofa, you were transporting, unpacking, and putting away priceless paintings of international acclaim and monstrously heavy sculptures? Under the leadership of Dr. Inge Herold, the expert team at Kunsthalle—comprised of conservators, registrars, curators, and exhibition technicians—are currently in the midst of preparations for moving the Mannheim collection into the new building. It’s a mammoth project that will cause chaos behind the scenes right up until the December opening.
In 2014, everything had to be moved out of the storage space beneath the old Kunsthalle before the demolition, as flooding threatened to destroy the city’s art treasures. Around 2,700 works of art were transferred to various places in and around Mannheim according to value and material. In autumn 2017, the much-beloved Beckmanns and Lehmbrucks will return. An operation of military precision will see some1,000 paintings, 650 sculptures and installations, 400 framed graphic works, and 600 artisan objects moved into the depots and exhibition spaces of the new building. On August 28, the first big truck from a well-known art transport agency will make its way down Tattersallstraße for the new art deliveries. The gate will open and the precious cargo, stored in tailor-made boxes, will be directed to the “base camp” on the ground floor. By November, a total of fifty art deposits will have been carried out. After being left to acclimatize, they will be unpacked, and parts of the treasured collection will be transported directly into the sophisticated warehouse system in the museum’s basement floor via two freight elevators. Every sculpture, every painting, and every ceramic object will be given a barcode so that all future changes of location can be automatically accounted for in the museum database. Selected masterpieces and large installations will soon take their places—which have been hotly contested within the curator’s team—for the opening exhibition.

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