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Hey, Big Lender - The press on the cooperation between the Deutsche Bank Collection and the Städel Museum
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"Hey, Big Lender"
The press on the cooperation between the Deutsche Bank Collection and the Städel Museum

Deutsche Bank will give a group of 600 works to the Städel Museum. 60 paintings and sculptures, 161 paper originals, and 379 prints-for the most part by classics of contemporary German art such as Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke, and Gerhard Richter-will permanently augment the Frankfurt museum's collection when it opens its annex in late 2010 / early 2011. The exhibition "First Choice-the Deutsche Bank Collection at the Städel Museum" now presents a selection of these works. Press reactions to the cooperation between the bank and the museum have been remarkably positive.

Works of a "consistently high aesthetic value and art historical significance"-this is how Michael Hierholzer of the FAZ describes the works from the Deutsche Bank Collection that will be given over to the Städel Museum on permanent loan. As a result, the museum's collection receives an "enrichment of a magnitude that is unique in its history. The bank is honored by the fact that it decided to take this step despite a prevailing 'shareholder value' mentality." Julia Voss, also of the FAZ, asks "how far our public cultural institutions should be permitted to go when they need sponsoring." Although previous bad experiences with private collectors will "first make people wince at the word 'permanent loan,'" the contract between Deutsche Bank and the Städel Museum leads her to the conclusion that "in the final analysis, a good solution has been found for both sides that preserves the greatest asset of our public cultural institutions: their autonomy."

An article in the Berliner Zeitung quotes Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee of Deutsche Bank, on the motives behind the cooperation with the Städel. "What Deutsche Bank is doing here is neither sacrifice nor alibi, neither sale of indulgences nor repair commission. (…) We do not dispense charity with our shareholders' money, but engage in financial investments both in our own future and in the society in which we operate." The Börsen-Zeitung speaks of the "social capital" resulting from "Deutsche Bank's social activities" and calls the permanent loan a "treasure that can be deemed especially valuable." The Frankfurter Neue Presse also speaks of "works of remarkable quality." For their report, the Financial Times Deutschland borrowed the title of Peggy Lee's sixties hit Hey Big Spender. Under the heading "Hey Big Lender," it notes that the loan "catapults the Städel into a league of museums of international standing." The Frankfurter Rundschau dedicates a leading article to the loan in which Matthias Arning attests a "new dimension" for the Städel enabling it to "take a mammoth step forward into modern times." And in a second article on this "historical hour" for the museum, Arning also speaks of a "treasure whose dimension can at least be surmised in the exhibition 'First Choice'" and quotes the mayor Petra Roth, who declared that Deutsche Bank "contributes to the strengthening of the city of Frankfurt" by "opening this treasure."

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