The Walther Collection is a private international art collection dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary photography with special emphasis on the works of African and Asian artists. The inaugural exhibition of the collection will open to the public in June 2010 in the village of Burlafingen near Ulm, Germany.
The Walther Collection is a dynamic collection, constantly growing and driven by four core activities: collecting, curating, exhibiting and publishing. Each activity is designed to present the works of the artists and to engage them in dialogue with the general public and the specialized field of contemporary art. The Walther Collection encompasses more than 700 works of widely noted as well as exciting new African and Asian artists, which makes it one of the most comprehensive collections of African photography worldwide. These extensive holdings are contextualized and complemented by historically significant contributions to the art of photography mainly from Germany and the United States, which expand the understanding, conception and history of the medium. The exhibitions and their curators at the Walther Collection will change once a year. Each year, based on a different curatorial emphasis, the collection will be examined and new constellations of the holdings and the new acquisitions will be presented.
In June 2010 the Walther Collection will open the inaugural exhibition presentation of its collection with a series of four projects in the nine galleries of its three buildings under the curatorial direction of Okwui Enwezor. It will integrate the work of three generations of African artists and photographers and a selection of the work of classical German photographers: Seydou Keïta (Mali), Malick Sidibé (Mali), J.D. ’Okhai Ojeikere (Nigeria), Rotimi Fani-Kayode (Nigeria), Santu Mofokeng (South Africa), as well as August Sander (Germany), Bernd and Hilla Becher (Germany), and many more. The exhibition series will center on the issues of portraiture, identity, the body, sexuality and performance. In total 230 works of 31 artists from 13 nations, among them South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mali, Benin, Cameroon and Senegal, are presented. The intention is to place the works in conceptual and formal dialogue – a contraposition, which will serve as a model for the kind of curatorial process that animates the character of the collecting program.
The Walther Collection will be open year round to the public and will be accessible by appointment only. The detached location near the city of Ulm in Southern Germany is designed to afford the visitor the opportunity to thoroughly engage in the curatorial investigation of the medium of photography, which each exhibition newly embarks upon.