The Kunstverein München is one of the oldest and, with around 1,400 members, largest institution of its kind in Germany. With its spaces located in the historical arcades of the Hofgarten, it has not only been an integral part of Munich’s art scene since its founding in 1823 but has also gained international recognition far beyond the city limits as an innovative and controversial platform for contemporary art and its discourses.
Kunstvereins [art associations] were not only spaces for presenting contemporary art but primarily also for social exchange, where a critical awareness of “contemporaneity” could develop through an active engagement with current art. It is precisely this central notion of a vital social exchange on uncertain cultural terrain that still defines the Kunstverein's work as an indispensable force in the network of cultural institutions – even though, naturally, the political and societal conditions have changed significantly. As a members-based, privately sponsored association, Kunstverein München operates relatively independent of both direct economical as well as (cultural) political interests. This twofold autonomy predestines it as a space for artistic experimentation in which innovative curatorial work can be carried out. In addition, its slender organisational form allows it to react flexibly, quickly and non-bureaucratically to current artistic developments and to actively engage in these. In recent years, the Kunstverein particularly pursued this active engagement on an international scale through cooperations with the S.M.A.K. (Gent), CAC (Vilnius), Museo Tamayo (Mexico City), transit.sk (Bratislava), ICA (London), and the Whitney Museum (New York), a.o.
1970–1971 Reiner Kallhardt
1971–1975 Haimo Liebich
1975–1977 Hans Joachim Grollmann
1978–1985 Wolfgang Jean Stock
1986–1991 Zdenek Felix
1992–1995 Helmut Draxler
1996–2001 Dirk Snauwaert
2002–2004 Maria Lind
2004–2009 Stefan Kalmár
2010–2015 Bart van der Heide
2015–2019 Chris Fitzpatrick
since 2019 Maurin Dietrich
1992–1996 Hedwig Saxenhuber
1996–2001 Heike Ander
2002–2004 Søren Grammel
2005–2009 Daniel Pies
2012–2015 Saim Demircan
2016–2019 Post Brothers
since 2019 Gloria Hasnay
 Arkaden 1955, Courtesy Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Photo: Felicitas Timpe (timp-009367).
 Friedrich Thiersch, perspective cut to the reconstruction project for the Kunstverein building in Munich, May 1890. Courtesy Architecture Museum of the TU Munich.
 Friedrich Thiersch, Skylight - Hall (perspective), reconstruction project for the Kunstverein building in Munich 1889–99. Courtesy Architecture Museum of the TU Munich.
 Galeriestraße, view from the Hofgarten parterre to the Kunstverein building, behind it the tower of the Hofgartenbrunnhaus, 1924. Courtesy City Archive Munich (DE-1992-FS-NL-PETT1-1039).
 Galeriestraße, 1935. Courtesy Stadtarchiv München (DE-1992-FS-NL-PETT1-1037).
 General Meeting 1971. Courtesy Kunstverein München e.V.; Photo: Branko Senjor.
 Installation View „Entrance“ by Apolonija Šušteršič at Kunstverein München e.V., 2002. Courtesy Kunstverein München e.V.
 Arcade Dinner 2019, Courtesy Kunstverein München e.V. Photo: Margarita Platis.