22 January 2019
Foundation Facilitates a Spectacular Acquisition
Photo Series for the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich

Thanks to the generous support of the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung, the Pinakothek der Moderne is able to acquire an important work for its photography collection. The spectacular purchase of the famous series The Brown Sisters by the photographer Nicholas Nixon adds an iconic work to the collection of the Pinakothek der Moderne. The series of forty-four photographs has long since been on the wish list of Dr. Inka Graeve Ingelmann, director of the Collection of Photography and New Media. To make that possible, the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung is covering the entire cost of the purchase.

“We are aware that public positions are scarcely in a position any longer to acquire significant works for their collections without private support. Outstanding works are, however, indispensable to building an internationally respected collection, to the reputation of the institution in question, and for the City of Munich and the Free State of Bavaria,” says the chairwoman of the board, Dr. Eva-Maria Fahrner-Tutsek.

So it is one of the goals of the foundation, in addition to its own collecting activities and its annual exhibitions, to support public collections. It is in keeping with its self-image that the institution in question chooses the work itself and acquires it with funds provided by the foundation (the works are not permanent loans but rather become the property of the public collection). The only condition for the acquisition of the series The Brown Sisters is that the work be presented in the museum within the next five years.

The Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung has supported photography at the Pinakothek der Moderne on earlier occasions. It funded the three-part exhibition series Fotografie heute – Künstlerische Fotografie im digitalen Zeitalter (Photography Today: Art Photography in the Digital Age), which began in 2016 and will run until 2020. Moreover, the Collection of Photography and New Media was supported by the foundation financing entirely the acquisition of two central photographic works by the American artist Zoe Leonard.

Nicholas Nixon is one of the most important American photographers of his generation. His work The Brown Sisters has come to be regarded as one of the icons of the history of photography. Since 1975, the photographer has been taking a portrait of his wife and her three sisters every year. Over a period of nearly forty-five years, a singular work has resulted, which both expresses the essence of photography and bears witness to ephemerality and the passing of time. In his objective, documentary-like style, Nixon manages to reveal the ever-changing relationships of the sisters. At the same time, he portrays a society in transition. A monographic exhibition was dedicated to the series at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2014. The Pinakothek der Moderne showed the series in 2015, as did the C/O Berlin in 2018.

Preview Photo (detail): Nicholas Nixon, The Brown Sisters, New Canaan, Connecticut, 1984, Silver gelatin print on baryta paper, 20,3 x 25,4 cm, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Sammlung Moderne Kunst in the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich © Nicholas Nixon

Translation: Steven Lindberg