|History of the Foundation
In 1977, the Künstlerhaus Vienna showed a selection of works of contemporary art from the collection of Peter and Irene Ludwig entitled "Art around 1970". These were, above all, works of American and English Pop Art and of photorealism from the 1960s and 1970s. Following this exhibition the idea developed to make some of those works available to the Austrian state on loan and in this way to support the expansion of a collection of modern art in Austria. On February 21, 1978, a contract was concluded by which Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig agreed to make around 130 works of art available to the Republic of Austria on loan for five years. The works were exhibited in the Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts [Museum of the 20th Century] in the so-called Swiss Garden and also in the baroque Liechtenstein Palace, which had specifically been adapted for that purpose. Both museums then constituted the "Museum of Modern Art", both organizationally and conceptually.
On January 19, 1981, the Austrian Ludwig Foundation for Art and Science was founded. At the same time, 128 works of art from the Ludwig Collection were contributed to the Foundation; in turn, the Republic of Austria undertook to support the Foundation financially on an annual basis for a period of 15 years. In addition, the Foundation was given around 20 works of art by an anonymous donor and received other donations from various artists living in Austria.
In 1991, a further 100 works of art belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig were transferred to the Foundation, and the Republic of Austria extended its undertaking to make yearly payments to the Foundation for another 15 years, i.e. until 2010. The two institutions mentioned were renamed the "Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna".
When the new build museum (MUMOK) was erected in the MuseumsQuartier in 2001, most of the works of art donated in 1981 and 1991 were displayed together in one building. Since the year of foundation, 1981, the number of works of art has increased by almost seven times through annual purchases and the second donation in 1991.
The registered office of the Austrian Ludwig Foundation for Art and Science is in Vienna.