The Master Drawing. Friends of the Hamburger Kupferstichkabinett

The Kupferstichkabinett – the Hamburger Kunsthalle’s department of prints and drawings – ranks among the most significant graphics collections in the world. It accommodates over 130,000 drawings and prints from the Renaissance to the present day, comprising works from Leonardo, Raffael, Michelangelo, Dürer, Breughel, Rembrandt, Piranesi, Goya, Beckmann, Kirchner, Nolde, Baselitz and Polke. These graphic holdings constitute the core of the Hamburger Kunsthalle’s collections. In view of their sensitivity to light, only small parts can be presented to the public for only limited amounts of time. For this reason, we organise alternating exhibitions and periodical presentations in the “Harzen Kabinett”, inviting visitors to come and discover our treasures on a regular basis.

Essentially, Hamburg owes this outstanding collection to the commitment and generosity of its citizens. Patrons like Georg Ernst Harzen and Johann Matthias Commeter have provided the foundation of the collection by donating nearly 30,000 works on paper on the occasion of the opening of the Kunsthalle in 1869. The collection has been continually supplemented through acquisitions ever since.

In 1980 the charitable association “Die Meisterzeichnung. Freunde des Hamburger Kupferstichkabinetts” (The Master Drawing. Friends of the Hamburger Kupferstichkabinett) was founded with the aim of supporting the Kupferstichkabinett’s work both on the ideational and especially on the financial level. Particularly now, we are seeking interested and committed friends and supporters of the arts who would like to contribute to the further expansion of this internationally renowned collection and maintain the highest of international standards. Acquisitions by the association are based on the decisions of its board, elected in the frame of the members’ meeting. The board includes the director of the Kupferstichkabinett who proposes specific artworks to be purchased. These acquired works are presented to the members exclusively.

In return for their commitment, the members of “The Master Drawing. Friends of the Hamburger Kupferstichkabinett” benefit from many amenities: they are granted free entry into the Hamburger Kunsthalle and are invited to exhibition openings, lectures and special guided tours of the Kupferstichkabinett. Selected artworks from the collection are introduced and presented to them. Collectors are offered specialist advice. In addition, members may participate in excursions to exhibitions, museums and artists’ studios.