The Ricke Collection

Unique collaboration between three museums

In acquiring the art-historically important Ricke Collection in 2007, the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein and the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main were entering into a whole new field of innovative trans-border cooperation between museums. Although the collection is divided between three, in terms of possessive right, it remains intact as the partner museums will have equal access to the complete stocks.


The Ricke Collection is a unique collection of works of great artistic quality. It consists mainly of US American art since the 1960s, represented by trail-breaking artists such as Donald Judd (1929–1994), Richard Artschwager (1923–2013), Barry Le Va (1941–2021), Keith Sonnier (1941–2020) or Richard Serra (*1939). The collection is unique worldwide because of dense work groups that complement one another to an ideal degree.


The fact that the Collection was not broken up is due to a new concept and a unique collaboration between three museums. At the same time, the acquisition of the collection represents a new direction in classical museum activities, a considered focus on the needs of a collection, whereby a collaboration in partnership allows a private collection to be kept intact for the public and for coming generation despite narrow financial scope. 

Rolf Ricke

For more than 40 years, Rolf Ricke has been regarded as pioneering herald of contemporary art. His gallery in Cologne was considered one of the most interesting venues for contemporary artists. As a co-founder of ART COLOGNE and a free-lance curator, Ricke repeatedly opened up whole new perspectives on art. At his legendary gallery he not only exhibited the greats of recent art history, he also promoted meantime almost forgotten artists like Bill Bollinger (1939–1988) and Lee Lozano (1930–1999), whose works are only recently being rediscovered.


A catalogue documenting the collection has been published by the three museums. For this publication on the Ricke Collection, Christiane Meyer-Stoll, curator at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, researched and compiled recorded talks with Rolf Ricke and the artists, essays, as yet unpublished interviews with and letters from the artists, thus providing lively insight into art from the late 1960s to the present.


This source material is complemented by an extensive illustrated chronology of the gallery and an informative time-line of the most important events in politics and art. The book also presents in detail the 150 works that make up the collection and so impressively documents 40 years of contemporary art history.