The Deka collection includes more than 1,600 extraordinary works of contemporary art. We have been supporting renowned museums for many years and we are committed to promoting the appreciation of art and culture.
The Deka Art Collection
1,600 works by more than 450 artists from all over the world: Deka has been building up its art collection since 2003. It reflects for the company’s sense of social responsibility and shows contemporary art with all its productive power and creative potential. Painting, drawing, photography, video, sculpture, installation – the entire range of media has been taken into account in the expansion of the collection, which is currently on view at the company’s Frankfurt headquarters, the Trianon high-rise.
In the building, the works of art are presented on the floors where employees work and on the conference floors. The works of art are also frequent travellers: We regularly lend works from our collection for exhibitions at museums and institutions around the world.
Martin K. Müller, Member of the Board of Management
Art opens up new perspectives for us by using a purely visual language of forms to reflect current issues in society as well as the people that define our lives. I always find these encounters within the company exciting!
The art collection is an important part of DekaBank's cultural engagement. We promote up-and-coming artists by giving special consideration to talented young people. The collection shows how diverse contemporary art is and therefore includes a wide range of different media, such as paintings, drawings, photographs, videos, sculptures and installations.
Exhibitions of the collection in the Trianon building encourage discussions among employees and business partners. It is integrated into the Company's day-to-day life and allows people to come into direct contact with contemporary art. We would like to invite viewers to look at the art with an open mind and reflect on the themes.
The Deka Art Collection – A mirror of society
The 44th floor of our corporate headquarters marks the beginning of the collection. Here is where the first major works and commissioned works were presented. Currently, under the title “The Deka Art Collection – A Mirror of Society”, established artists such as Corinne Wasmuht or Thomas Bayrle and young, up-and-coming artists such as Daniel Gustav Cramer or Jagoda Bednarsky are on display.
The dialogue between these works and the commissioned works of Katharina Grosse or Liam Gillick, which were created for the 44th floor in 2003, is particularly exciting. They are among the central works of our art collection.
Experience the Deka Art Collection
Art enthusiasts, people interested in art and even those who are sceptical are all welcome, as we can introduce people to contemporary art in tours and increase awareness of the collection. During the conversations, it becomes clear that art has the ability to create openness and tolerance to unfamiliar perspectives. As a result, Deka's involvement with art also fulfils an educational mission.
In 2005, "Kunst privat! Hessische Unternehmen zeigen ihre Kunst" (Private art! Hessian companies show their art collections) was launched by the Hessian Ministry of Economics, Transport and Regional Development. Deka has been involved in this initiative since that time and offers visitors a glimpse into its art collection. Due to the pandemic, “Kunst privat!” couldn't take place in 2020. We hope, however, to be able to welcome you in good health in 2021 when you visit our art collection.
Deka and the MMK: a partnership for art
The MUSEUM MMK FÜR MODERNE KUNST Frankfurt am Main (MMK, Museum of Modern Art) Frankfurt am Main is one of the most important institutions for contemporary art. More than 5,000 works from the 1960s to the present form the museum’s collection – and the number of works is growing all the time: The MMK is constantly adding important works to its collection. To ensure that it can continue to do so, we have been supporting the MMK with EUR 40,000 per year since 2002.
The MMK now has three locations in Frankfurt: In addition to the MUSEUM MMK and the ZOLLAMT MMK, the TOWER MMK was founded in 2014. Close by, in the TaunusTurm in Frankfurt’s banking district, it presents changing special exhibitions and collection presentations on current topics. As a founding partner of the TOWER MMK we support the exhibitions at this third location of the museum together with other partners.
Frankfurt am Main is one of the most important locations for museums in Germany. Our support for the MMK helps the city to strengthen its cultural importance. An important goal of the partnership is to promote presentation and learning about contemporary art, so that it can fulfil its important educational mission. This is because art can help one's understanding – which is highly important at a time when society is facing many major challenges.
The MMK hosts the Deka Art Collection
In 2018, Deka turned 100 years old. A special occasion for an extraordinary exhibition: The MMK invited Deka to show key works from its corporate collection in a museum for the first time. The result was the exhibition “Social Façades. A Dialogue between the Collections of MMK and DekaBank”. It highlighted the conceptual, thematic and artistic connections of both collections.
As part of this anniversary exhibition, the MMK received a donation of four works from the Deka Art Collection, including three large-scale installations by the artists Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Michael Beutler, Tue Greenfort and a sculpture by Martin Kippenberger.
World famous paintings, sparkling jewels: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
The Dresden museum landscape is spectacular. Some of Europe’s most famous museums are located in Dresden. We wish to preserve this unique cultural heritage and to communicate its extraordinary importance to the people. For this reason, we have been the main sponsor of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD, Dresden State Art Collections) together with other institutions of the German Savings Bank Finance Group (Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe) since 2006.
We support the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in major projects that have been international sensations, for example:
The restored Grüne Gewölbe (Historic Green Vault) opened in 2006, where more than 3,000 unique works of jewellery and goldsmith’s art sparkle and shine: It shows as faithfully as possible the state of the treasury under August the Strong.
In 2010 the redesigned Albertinum was reopened. It shows the Galerie Neue Meister (New Masters Gallery) and the Skulpturensammlung (Sculpture Collection) with art of the 19th and 20th centuries and the present.
In 2020 the Zwinger mit Semperbau (Semper Building at the Zwinger) was reopened with the works of the world-famous Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery) of the Skulpturensammlung (Sculpture Collection) until 1800.
German Savings Bank Finance Group support for the SKD
Another highlight: In 2020 the Kupferstich-Kabinett (Cabinet of Prints, Drawings and Photographs) will celebrate its 300th anniversary. It is the oldest publicly accessible special collection of art on paper in the German-speaking world. Together with other institutions of the German Savings Bank Finance Group, Deka has been sponsoring, among other things, the exhibition “Günther Uecker zum Geburtstag” (Günther Uecker on his birthday) on the occasion of the 90th birthday of this internationally important artist of the post-war generation.
Young people are especially important to us. The museum should be a place of learning for them. For this reason, as a member of the German Savings Bank Finance Group, we support the S-School Laboratory, where schoolchildren gain direct insights into research at the museum. For example, they can study the art historical value of the works. Or analyse the materials and research the origin. This hands-on approach brings art research to life.
The German Savings Bank Finance Group is one of the largest public supporters of the arts in Germany. Its support for the SKD is an example of the important social engagement practised by the savings banks and their alliance partners. The institutions providing the support, such as DekaBank, also want to make the extraordinary breadth and depth of the SKD's art collections accessible to the public. Savings bank customers receive a special benefit in the form of a 25% discount on the admission price. More information is available here.
It is considered one of the most important landscape paintings of the Romantic period: “The Watzmann”, painted in 1824/25 by Caspar David Friedrich. From 1937 it belonged to the holdings of the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) in Berlin. In 2003 it became clear that the history of the painting had a dark side: Martin Brunn, a Jewish art collector and owner of the “Watzmann”, was forced to sell the painting under pressure from the National Socialists. In 2004, the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) returned the work to Martin Brunn’s heirs.
The German Savings Bank Finance Group was and is committed to preserving the unique painting as part of the national cultural heritage. On behalf of the German Savings Bank Finance Group, Deka purchased the “Watzmann” and gave it to the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz on permanent loan. This meant that the work could remain in the Alte Nationalgalerie. To this day, the Friedrichsaal still attracts the attention of museum visitors – and captivates them with a masterpiece of cultural history.
A life for photography: Michael Schmidt
He is one of the most important contemporary photographers: Michael Schmidt. Like almost no other photographer, he managed to capture the attitude to life of his time. His works have been shown in numerous solo exhibitions in his home city of Berlin and in the world’s most renowned museums, such as New York’s MoMA.
His work has served as a model for numerous younger artists. Shortly before his death in 2014, he received the prestigious Prix Pictet for his series “Food”. The Deka Art Collection owns some photographs from this series.
The “Stiftung für Fotografie und Medienkunst mit Archiv Michael Schmidt" (Foundation for Photography and Media Art with the Michael Schmidt Archive) was founded in 1999. Together with other partners, Deka has been one of its sponsors since that time. The foundation pursues two goals:
1. Promoting contemporary photography and media art from 1970 onwards
2. Preserving works and archives of important contemporary photographers and media artists
In this partnership, we would like to support the reappraisal of the life work of Michael Schmidt in order to show the importance of this artist for contemporary photography and art. Our involvement with the “Stiftung für Fotografie und Medienkunst mit Archiv Michael Schmidt” also has a meaningful and credible connection with the Deka Art Collection.
Michael Schmidt's life work on a tour of Europe
For the past five years, we have supported the "Stiftung für Fotografie und Medienkunst mit Archiv Michael Schmidt" in realising a retrospective in the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin, which has presented the life work of Michael Schmidt for the first time.
The retrospective will be shown afterwards in the following exhibition venues: Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris (11 May - 29 August 2021), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (28 September 2021 - 28 February 2022) and Albertina Museum, Vienna (24 March - 12 June 2022).