HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATION
The Egon Schiele Art Centrum owes its foundation in 1992/93 to the private initiative of several individuals who recognized the uniqueness of the situation after the fall of the Iron Curtain. They dedicated themselves to the idea of an international culture centre in one of the most beautiful Renaissance towns in Europe.
The following people belonged to the team that built up the Egon Schiele Art Centrum :
Serge Sabarsky (USA), (1912 - 1996) - one of the worldwide best-known collectors of Expressionist art and an exhibition, art and Schiele expert. Since his death in February 1996 the centre has carried on his idea of making art available to as many people as possible.
Gerwald Sonnberger (A), (1950-2001) Director of the Museum of Modern Art in Passau (Bavaria) until the year 2000, Director of the Egon Schiele Foundation / Český Krumlov and Director of the "Neue Galerie New York" (New Gallery New York – Museum for German and Austrian Art).
Hana Lazarowitz Jirmusová (CZ), Director of the Egon Schiele Art Centrum.
The prominent 16th century building complex of the former town brewery was chosen as a suitable location for the planned Culture Centre. Gerwald Sonnberger developed the concept and cooperated with Serge Sabarsky and Hana Jirmusová to fulfill the plan.
With international help they were able to partially rennovate the dilapidated Renaissance building in the record time of 11 months and to open it in November 1993 with a Schiele exhibition.
Besides a presentation documenting the life and work of Egon Schiele and a permanent exhibition of his watercolours and drawings the ESAC presents regularly changing exhibitions. These classical and contemporary 20th century art exhibitions occupy a space of 3000 square metres. Czech representatives in particular are presented alongside international artists.
In order to encourage international exchange part of the museum complex was converted into generously proportioned studios for long-term study and working visits by East and West European artists. The studios can be leased for 10 years by international organisations and flats are currently being prepared for authors as well.
In addition an extensive museum shop and a traditional café with Bohemian specialities have been opened. They serve as a stimulating meeting place for artists and art enthusiasts.
This project could be realized thanks to financial support from several sources:
In addition to financial support the Municipality of Český Krumlov provided the building complex. Furthermore the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Region of South Bohemia made an important contribution. On the Austrian side fundamental support was provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Art (Kulturkontakt) and by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other subsidies came from the Ministry of Science and Art of the State of Hessen (Germany) and private supporters.
Since its opening in 1993 the ESAC has developed into an internationally renowned, much visited facility. Such a project is unthinkable without the great commitment of private individuals together with institutional financial help. At this point we'd once again like to thank all those who have generously and enthusiastically supported the centre.