The collection

An international contemporary art collection

The Mudam Collection is the most important collection of contemporary art in Luxembourg. Resolutely international in its scope and ambition, the collection's holdings consist of close to 700 works of art in all media by artists from Luxembourg and around the world. A small nucleus of the collection consists of fashion and design objects. Over 54 works are the result of commissions by Mudam for its distinctive architectural context. The constitution of the collection traces back to the first acquisitions for the museum in the 1990s, the creation of the Museum of Modern Art Grand-Duc Jean Foundation in 1998, and the opening of the Museum in 2006. While the decade of the 1960s serves as an historic point of reference for contemporary art, the majority of works in the collection date from 1989 to the present. An exception to this historical span is the ensemble of furniture for the Paimio Sanatorium, designed between 1931 and 1933 by the architect Alvar Aalto, and acquired in 2002.

The process of acquiring artworks for the Mudam Collection was initiated in 1996 by the National Cultural Fund (Focuna), a public establishment presided over by Paul Reiles. The Focuna acquisitions committee includes then Bernard Ceysson, Maria de Corral, Jeff Erpelding, Lorand Hegyi, Lucien Kayser, Paul Reiles and HRH the Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg. Furthermore, in 1998 Bernard Ceysson became the first director of the Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (Mudam) Foundation.

From 2018 to 2020, under Suzanne Cotters direction, the board members selecting the artworks for Mudam Collection, are Nancy Spector (Artistic director – Chief Curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York), Daniel Birnbaum (Director of Acute Art in London) Okwui Enwezor (former Director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich). 


In 2000, with the arrival of Marie-Claude Beaud as director, acquisition was taken over by the Mudam Foundation. In order to advise Mudam about its acquisitions policy and to validate the quality of selected artworks and their pertinence with regard to international production, Marie-Claude Beaud created a board which included Carmen Giménez (20th century art curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York), Paul Reiles (vice president of the Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean Foundation and honorary director of the Musée national d’histoire et d’art, Luxembourg), Dr. Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen (rector of the Kunstakademie of Vienna) and Sir Nicholas Serota (director of the Tate Gallery, London). Sir Nicholas was replaced in 2007 by Alfred Pacquement (director of the Musée national d’art moderne du Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris).

In 2010, Enrico Lunghi (director of Mudam from 2009 to 2017) changed the members of the board. It included Barnabás Bencsik (directeur of Ludwig Museum Budapest, and afterwards director of ACAX – Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange, Budapest), Jimena Blázquez Abascal (director of the NMAC Foundation, Vejer, Cádiz, Spain), Dr. Julia Draganovic (director of Kunsthalle Osnabrück) and Paul Reiles (vice president of the Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean Foundation and honorary director of the Musée national d’histoire et d’art, Luxembourg).

In 2016, the board members were Suzanne Cotter (director of Museu Serralves, Porto), Dr. Ulrike Groos (director of Kunstmuseum Stuttgart), Hou Hanru (art director of MAXXI, Rome) and Thierry Raspail (director of Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon).

The Luxembourgish context

The collection is devoted to international artworks as well as to local productions. Luxembourgish artists make up around ten per cent of artists in the collection. They are chosen for their quality and relevance, without having to fulfil any quotas, and always in consultation with the scientific committee.

Mudam’s arts programme also took Luxembourg itself and its particular situation into consideration by ordering a series of new collections within a local context. Both artists who originate from this country, and those who do not, are commissioned for these productions.