Had it not been for Lower Saxony and its federal state capital, Hanover, and their efforts to secure contracts ensuring that the Sprengel Museum Hannover would be run professionally, the present collection and direction of the museum would have had little room for development. Over the past 30 years, close relationships have developed with both collectors and people contributing through art loans, as well as supporters and other diverse initiatives. This in turn has enabled the museum to maintain its standard. Today the Sprengel Museum Hannover is viewed in its entire context and through the, sometimes very comprehensive as well as high-quality, loans of art, manages to maintain its incomparable nature.
The most significant support comes from the Niedersächsische Lottostiftung, E.O.N. Energy, the Volks- and Raiffeisenbanken Foundation as well as the Ahlers Pro Arte Foundation, who have been responsible for guaranteeing a number of important projects over the last few years. Another positive factor is also the fact that the museum has received substantial gifts of relevant works of art over the last few years. The largest of these gifts, of course, is that of the many works of art realised by Niki de Saint Phalle, which she gave the museum in 2000. Another important gift was from the Sparkasse Hannover, which contributed its collection of “Neue Sachlichkeit from Hanover“ to the museum in 2006. Other gifts from private collections, such as the wonderful works given to the Sprengel Museum Hannover by Gerda Garve from Hamburg or Gunda-Anna Gleichmann-Kingeling from Hanover, have made a difference. In 2001, the Kurt and Ernst Schwitters Foundation gave their entire collection of works to the Sprengel Museum Hannover on permanent loan. Another foundation that kindly gave its complete works of art to the Sprengel Museum Hannover on permanent loan is the Rudolf Jahns Foundation back in 2003. Other important long-term loans of art include those from the estate of Robert and Ella Bergmann-Michel, the Wolf and Ursula Hermann collection, as well as that of the Felixmüller and Watenphul families. The Winter-Rust heirs have also given a number of works to the museum on permanent loan and a collector of art from Hong Kong has kindly offered long-term loans of paintings from the 1960s for a number of different exhibitions as well. Additionally, Lower Saxony’s Ministry of Science and Culture (together with the Heinrich Riebesehl Archive) and the Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft im Bundesverband der deutschen Industrie e. V. (the Circle of the Culturally-Interested among Members of German Industry) have also loaned works on a permanent basis to the museum. A considerable number of works have been sent to the Sprengel Museum Hannover, ranging from a painting by Carl Buchheister from Irmgard Vopelius’ private collection to the extremely kind bequest of a Kurt Schwitters’ painting realised in 1937 and left to the museum by Roswitha von Bergmann (deceased) from Düsseldorf, to mention only a few.
It is thanks to the manifold activities of these art lovers who were willing to put their energies into a museum even when it was under-funded that a number of initiatives could be realised in the past. These include ambitious projects, like the completion of the index of Kurt Schwitters’ works, which was made possible by the afore-mentioned foundations, as well as the museum’s permanent collection. This has made it possible for the museum to hold its own in the league of top-ranking international museums. We heartily thank our collectors and members of these foundations, those who have donated funds and works of art, for their support.