Germany-wide support for contemporary visual arts and artists
For more than 40 years, the Stiftung Kunstfonds has been committed to promoting artistic practice in Germany and supporting the dissemination and appreciation of contemporary visual art throughout Germany. We award scholarships and project grants, support exhibitions and publications and preserve the lifetime achievements of artists. Promoting and maintaining artistic quality is the essence of our philosophy.
The Stiftung Kunstfonds awards up to 2 million euros annually within the framework of its regular funding programmes. In 2020/21, the Stiftung Kunstfonds is making a significant contribution to supporting the art scene during the coronavirus pandemic as part of NEUSTART KULTUR, the German government's rescue and future support package for cultural life.
Please note: To be eligible for funding, artists must be permanently resident in Germany. Subsidised institutions, such as museums, art associations, art libraries or galleries, must also be based in Germany.
The Stiftung Kunstfonds is an autonomous funding institution with artists' associations on the Foundation Board
In keeping with the spirit of "self-responsibility of the art world", all fundamental questions of the Foundation's operations are decided democratically by the Foundation Board (Stiftungsrat), including the appointments to the Board of Directors (Stiftungsvorstand), the Advisory Board (Beirat), the Board of Trustees (Kuratorium) and the award juries (Vergabejuries).
The Foundation Board consists of relevant actors and associations in the art world. It acts democratically and is bound solely by the Foundation's statutes. An important principle of the Stiftung Kunstfonds is also: Visual artists are always in the majority on all committees.
The award juries also have a majority of visual artists, but gallery owners, art association directors and museum representatives are also represented. They vote democratically on the annual allocation of grants for artists as well as on project, exhibition and publication funding. The award juries are elected by the Foundation Board for a period of three years, a second term is possible. The Board of Directors has no say in this.
The composition of all committees and award juries can be viewed here.
Preserving artistic heritage
The Artists' Archive, founded in 2010, is a successful model project that collects contemporary artistic œuvres, makes them acessible for restoration and art historical research and works to ensure that the artworks remain visible, e.g. as (permanent) loans for museums and exhibition projects in Germany and abroad. At the same time, the Archive functions within a broad academic network as a centre of expertise for handling the estates and bequests of visual artists.
The Kunstfonds furthermore promotes the creation of catalogues raisonnés: This ensures that works are not forgotten and remain accessible for research in the long term. For artists, they provide an opportunity to document and reflect on their own artistic work.
The main partner supporting the Kunstfonds is the German government. Since 2018, the Minister of State for Culture and the Media has provided the Foundation with 2 million euros annually. The Kunstfonds receives additional funding of 395.000 euros per year from the Stiftung Kulturwerk of VG Bild-Kunst. 100.000 euros of this are used for the Artists' Archive.