The Kunstsammlungen & Museen Augsburg formed when eight different museums and art galleries merged together to create the second largest municipal museum association in Bavaria. Our amazing collection of artworks and historically and culturally significant artefacts are an excellent example of the cultural and historical riches that can be found in Europe’s cities – from the ancient world to the present.
We represent a major facet of Augsburg’s cultural identity. In addition to the Römische Museum and the Stadtarchäologie, the Kunstsammlungen & Museen also boasts the Maximilianmuseum, the Schaezlerpalais, which houses the Deutschen Barockgalerie and the Karl- und Magdalene Haberstock-Stiftung, the Grafische Kabinett and Neue Galerie in Höhmannhaus, the Brechthaus, the Leopold-Mozart-Haus, and the H2 – Zentrum für Gegenwartskunst and Halle 1 – Raum für Kunst in the Glaspalast. The exhibits are showcased in listed buildings and structures and, time and again, allow visitors to experience the thrill of encountering a piece of history or artwork that they may not be familiar with and that showcases the rich history of the City of Augsburg, which has existed for millennia.
Our top priority is to collect, preserve, facilitate and present the cultural assets that have been entrusted into our care, so that they can be viewed and studied by people both now and in the future. In addition to classical museum duties, we place significant value on the scientific investigation and development of our collection. Starting in 2001, we became one of the very first Bavarian institutions to invest heavily in provenance research, in order to ensure that the public is aware of where the items in our collection come from.
We believe in the importance of taking regional differences into account when studying art and culture, combined with the importance of placing them in a wider context. To that end, we cooperate with other museums, universities and research institutions, both national and international. The goal of our exhibitions is to help our guests develop a comprehensive understanding of the past and a better sense of the present, so that they are empowered to engage with and shape the future in a sophisticated manner. Our exhibitions and collections are designed to kindle a love of art and history.
The Kunstsammlungen & Museen work hard to ensure that everyone is welcome. A diverse and accessible communication concept, combined with participative programmes, allows us to attract the interest of a broad audience, who are then empowered to engage in active participation, designed to foster inclusivity. We enter into a cultural dialogue with our guests and are always open to suggestions and constructive criticism.
We are an organisation that is always learning, and we are particularly committed to the values of interculturalism and diversity. To us, diversity means more than just diversity within our collections, which represent cultural wealth, intellectual rigour and developmental potential. We know that for museums, diversity also means engaging critically with the items in our collections, questioning truisms and participating in social discourse on art, history and society.
We believe that mutual respect, openness and tolerance are essential to valuing and understanding our cultural heritage. These are also the values that guide us as we interact with all our guests, and the values we practise when working together as employees and colleagues. Our goal is to ensure that our museums offer a safe and respectful environment for both our guests and our employees. We are a tight-knit team that trusts each other and provides information and support as we manage the many challenges presented by our work. In doing so, we also make sure to honour and respect the unique focus of each individual institution, and utilise our employee’s extensive expertise as we work together to design and implement innovative exhibitions and projects.
Our goal is to ensure that our collections are accessible to all members of the diverse society we live in. In light of that, we are doing our best to ensure that our exhibition rooms are accessible, despite the fact that many are housed in listed buildings. The elevator in the Schaezlerpalais, which has been in operation since the end of 2022, is an important step, as is the creation of access via Braille, audio guides and offerings in sign language. We also continue to develop programs and formats in a variety of languages and for a wide range of guests.
In addition, we understand how important it is to offer digital access to our cultural heritage. As such, we aim to continually expand our digital formats. This creates virtual spaces for cultural exchange that complement our on-site locations and artefacts.
The Kunstsammlungen & Museen Augsburg offer a place for everyone within the city, regardless of their place of origin, education or age, and our goal is to develop and expand that offer. We want everyone to have access to our collections, and we are achieving this goal by ensuring that our exhibition spaces are as accessible as possible and by expanding digital access to our collections. A holistic digitalisation strategy allows visitors and employees digital access to our collections and storage facilities, while also providing public access to our services and programs on a variety of media channels. We are in the process of establishing a Centre for Visitor Information, responsible for coordinating digital services and all other types of communication with our visitors.
To ensure that our collection is preserved and accessible to current and future generations, we plan to design a central storage facility, including an on-site restoration department. This department, working together with our established archaeological collection, will investigate, document, preserve and research the historical significance of the many diverse objects in our collection.
We research the history of the city of Augsburg and the many diverse cultural influences from across the globe that have made their mark here, from Ancient Rome to today, working on a variety of projects designed to make our history and these cultural influences visible. The construction of a new building to house the Römische Museum is one such project, and an immensely important one, designed to do justice to the city’s long history and Roman heritage. At the same time, we understand our museums to be decentralised institutions, working together and inviting participation with community stakeholders across Augsburg’s city districts to honour the diversity inherent in our culture of memory and to engage with relevant contemporary issues. All of these goals are implemented with special consideration of aspects of sustainability.