Stiftung KUNSTFORUM der Berliner Volksbank gGmbH

Through the Stiftung KUNSTFORUM der Berliner Volksbank gemeinnützige GmbH, the Berliner Volksbank eG primarily promotes art and cultural work in the Berlin-Brandenburg region that inspires and excites art lovers, customers and employees. It was founded in 2007
as the umbrella under which the Berliner Volksbank eG combines its promotion of art and culture.

This work rests on the following three pillars:

• Stiftung Kunstforum Berliner Volksbank (museum)
• Werkstatt für Kreative (educational outreach programme)
• Kunstsammlung der Berliner Volksbank (art collection)

Stiftung Kunstforum Berliner Volksbank

The exhibition space Stiftung Kunstforum Berliner Volksbank at Lietzenseepark has a modern and contemporary appearance in a bright gallery style. With the move to this new location in November 2018, the focus was placed on presenting art from the bank’s own collection from various art-historical perspectives.

Solo exhibitions were held in honour of the Berlin artists Harald Metzkes and Hans Laabs. For the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the exhibition Zeitenwende (Turn of an Era), put the spotlight on works with the East-West theme. Further exhibitions followed that put the focus on the bank’s own art collection.

The exhibition space Stiftung Kunstforum Berliner Volksbank opened its doors in 1985 at Budapester Strasse 35 as the Kunstforum der GrundkreditBank on the ground floor of the then headquarters of this cooperative bank. Following the merger with the Berliner
Volksbank it took the name Kunstforum der Berliner Volksbank. This was followed by the move to Kaiserdamm 105 in Berlin-Charlottenburg in 2018. In 2021 the exhibition space was renamed Stiftung Kunstforum Berliner Volksbank.

Since mid-2021 additional space has been added on the first floor, connected to the existing rooms on the ground floor. This significant expansion of the exhibition space enables the Stiftung Kunstforum Berliner Volksbank to cooperate again with regional, national and
international partners.

Werkstatt für Kreative

With the Werkstatt für Kreative (Workshop for the Creative) launched in summer 2005, the Stiftung KUNSTFORUM der Berliner Volksbank gGmbH is one of the pioneers in the cultural mediation segment for children and young people in Berlin. The interactive, age-differentiated tours and workshops for school classes, in particular, have been and are very well received. Since it was founded, well over 50,000 children and young people from Berlin and Brandenburg have taken part in the workshops, which are largely free of charge.

In the framework of the exhibitions in the Stiftung Kunstforum Berliner Volksbank, children and young people learn artistic techniques such as drawing, watercolours, drypoint, collages, printing or modelling under the expert guidance of museum educators.

As well as this, the Werkstatt für Kreative also offers external art education programs, for example during the IGA Berlin 2017 and regularly contributes to holiday activities such as FEZitty, kids Kreativ and KinderKulturMonat.

Kunstsammlung der Berliner Volksbank

The original leitmotif “Bilder vom Menschen – Bilder für Menschen” (Images of People – Images for People), to which “Bilder von der Stadt” (Images of the City) was later added, still forms the conceptual basis for the art collection of Berliner Volksbank founded in 1985.

When GrundkreditBank – Köpenicker Bank merged with Berliner Volksbank in 1999, the institutes’ art collections were also melded to form a unique ensemble. In the first years, the concept produced in 1985 led to a concentration on artistic positions in German post-war art, mainly realism. It put emphasis on artists from Berlin and East Germany – an orientation that was considered visionary in West Berlin in the 1980s.

Since then the balance between East and West German art has been evened out. Thus the collection offers an opportunity to compare artistic work by younger and older generations from the art scene in Berlin as well as in adjoining regions of the East and West before and
after the fall of the Wall in a remarkable collecting context.

The collection currently consists of some 1,500 works by around 160 artists with a strong emphasis on German representational art after 1950. It is characterised by high artistic quality. From the point of view of art history and cultural policy, too, this is an important collection, as it traces artistic developments in Germany over the past seven decades. Paintings, sculptures and works on paper are collected.

In addition, the Stiftung KUNSTFORUM der Berliner Volksbank gGmbH looks after around 800 other works of art of painting, graphics and sculpture that are not part of the core inventory of the art collection.