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Walter Gauer (1933 – 2016)
As a freelance journalist, Walter Gauer had accompanied Kolumba's inception since the beginning of the 1990s with his writing. He tracked the entrance into modernity and the new Museum concept with great curiosity and expertise, reporting on this at an early stage already in numerous print media. He died in Cologne on October 12 at the age of 83.
Martin Seidler (1960 – 2015)
Much too early, Dr. Martin Seidler died on May 17th following a serious illness. He had been working as an art historian in the Cologne Archdiocese since 2001, in charge of inventorying and the conservation, restoration, and presentation of church treasures. In addition, he was one of the few authorities on bells, greatly esteemed even beyond the region. Despite occasional, inevitable conflicts of interests, we collaborated closely, among other things, on the several-year presentation of the Shrine of St. Anno at Kolumba.
Ludwig Gierse (1913 – 2015)
During his long period as a retiree, the impassioned historian Ludwig Gierse had maintained close ties with the Museum of the Archdiocese since the beginning of the 1980s. He accompanied the change in the Museum concept with critical benevolence and donated to Kolumba his extensive collection of devotional pictures. Formerly a social worker, he was an acknowledged expert on 19th-century Christian art. In the exhibition "Cologne Archbishops. His history of the Verein für Christliche Kunst (Society for Christian Art) laid the foundation for the Museum Chronicle that was published for its 150-year anniversary. In addition, Gierse was the publisher of the diaries of Museum founder Friedrich Baudri. He died on May 4th, having lived a full life.
Dina Baumgarten (1926 – 2014)
"Art is the persistence of what remains behind", this statement by the Cologne Progressive artist Heinrich Hoerle, has rarely proven so appropriate as in the case of Dina Baumgarten. After the death of her husband Claudio (1919–1991), she held together the estate of her father-in-law, the painter and poet Georg Baumgarten, to that point preserved intact, sparking the first interest for his work by contacting galleries and museums. After our purchases on the art market, we established personal contact, which led to our taking on 81 selected works. Dina Baumgarten was not to live long enough to witness the actual carrying out of a promised publication. She died in Düsseldorf on October 25th.
Margret Schriefers (1928 – 2014)
Cologne textile designer and object artist Margret Schriefers died on October 4th, only a few days before her 86th birthday. After studying at the School of Textile Engineering and the Werkkunstschule (School of Arts) in Wuppertal, she completed her master craftsman's certificate as a weaver in 1956. Parallel to her studies, she had already been successful with her work for notable German textile and furniture designers. Kolumba owns a mixed lot of her designs and textile weave samples. In her freehand works, she brings about flowing connections of the seemingly disparate worlds of nature and technology, frequently using pieces she had found, ones "that time had not yet finished with". Together with her son Thomas, she brought about the donation of the Collection of Works and Forms" by her husband, Cologne painter Werner Schriefers.
Hans-Georg Hartmann (1954 - 2014)
On April 26th, our colleague Hans-Georg Hartmann, who had been working at the museum's entrance reception area since July 1989, died at the age of 60. He was decidedly tactful and helpful in his role to provide visitor information. Highly educated, his versatility particularly in literary and theological interests, and his knowledge of foreign languages made him a stimulating conversation partner for any visitor who turned to him, one who always represented Kolumba wholeheartedly.
Anna Maria Sala (1930 - 2013)
On December 31st, 2013 Anna-Maria Sala died in Bad Godesberg at the age of 83. After studying music, literature and art history, together with her husband Marzio Sala (1924-2009) she created a conceptual work to be realized in various media that dealt with the artistic exploration of space and time structures. This work was shown at the documenta 8, among other locations. Kolumba has received as a gift the estate of this artist couple.
Stefan Wewerka (1928 - 2013)
On September 14th, 2013 Stefan Wewerka died in Berlin. The artist, born in 1928, had worked in Cologne since the 1960s. Among other things, he was a professor at the Kölner Werkschule (School of Crafts). His artistic work assumes a special place of importance in our collection due to its smooth transitions from the applied arts to the liberal arts.
Sven Seiler (1940 - 2013)
At the age of 73, Dr. Sven Seiler passed away on September 2nd, 2013. Employed by the Cologne Bodendenkmalpflege, Dr. Seiler was head of the archaeological excavations in St. Kolumba from 1974 to 1976. We had a very friendly relationship with him over the many years, and he stood by us in all questions concerning the excavation. We will miss his in-depth expertise and his kindness.
Norbert Schwontkowski (1949 - 2013)
Norbert Schwontkowski died on June 14th, 2013 at the age of only 64 following a serious illness. Just last year we had nominated him for the art prize of the Dieter Krieg Foundation. The prize money established the basis for a group of works, the selection of which we were yet able to agree upon with him in the spring. We would have loved to have him with us longer.
Hans Josephson (1920 - 2012)
Hans Josephson died on August 21st, 2012. He was a unique sculptor whose "Large Reclining Figure" in the courtyard is a lasting remembrance of the intensive exchange that led to a large group of works at Kolumba. It was a great honor for us to be allowed to organize an evening for him at the museum on the occasion of his 85th birthday in 2005.
Johannes Bastgen (1947 - 2012)
On March 11th, 2012 the Dean of the City of Cologne, Prelate Johannes Bastgen passed away, with whom we had often cooperated on many an occasion.
Gehard Kahlert, who died in March 2012, had been the engineer responsible for heating, climate control and geothermal energy in the new museum building. Already in his position as a preliminary examiner for the competition jury, he had spoken out in favor of the solid construction of this museum design. Of all of the specialist engineers, he was involved in the planning with particular intensity, and after the building was completed, he carried out the fine-tuning of the system equipment. His technical expertise will be sorely missed.
Frank Köllges (1952 - 2012)
On January 1st, 2012, Frank Köllges, the percussionist and performance artist with the adam noildt missiles and piccola banda metafisica who had helped shape many events at Kolumba, died at the age of 60; indelible in our memories is the great celebration for the 150th anniversary of the museum, which was celebrated at the Maternushaus in 2003.
On October 17th, 2010, the Cologne architect Wolfram Stein died following a short illness. Together with Peter Zumthor, Stein's office had been entrusted with the extremely complex construction management of the new building.
Krimhild Becker (1940 - 2010)
On March 10th, 2010, the Cologne artist Krimhild Becker passed away after a short illness at the age of 69. In recent years the burden that had fallen to her of having to manage the estate of the sculptor Heinz Breloh weighed heavy upon her. A bundle of her own works, the compilation of which had already begun with her cooperation, will provide an insight into her work in the future.
Jörg Buchli (1944 - 2010)
Swiss structural engineer Jürg Buchli died unexpectedly on February 16th, 2010 at the age of 66. It is to his experience and creativity that Kolumba owes the innovative statics of its new building, produced in conjunction with the Cologne office of Schwab-Lemke.
Adolf Egner (1933 - 2010)
On January 7th, 2010, the Frechen ceramics collector Adolf Egner died at the age of 77 following a long illness. We think back on many happy meetings, during which we were permitted to select 266 European ceramic works that had been created over the past 50 years, which he then donated to the Museum in 2004.
Heinrich Küpper (1919 - 2009)
The drawing artist Heinrich Küpper died on December 22nd, 2009, only a few weeks after his ninetieth birthday.
Anton von Euw (1934 - 2009)
On November 10th, 2009, Professor Anton von Euw passed away. This highly erudite medievalist was a great friend to Columba, and we are grateful to him, among other things, for the articles he contributed to the publications pertaining to manuscripts.