Pontus Hultén donates 700 works to Moderna Museet

Pontus Hultén, one of the giants of the world's modern art scene, has announced that he is donate almost his entire personal collection of works to Stockholm's Moderna Museet.

He is to give around 700 works to the museum, on condition that any works not shown in the main exhibition be made available to the public in a user-friendly warehouse.

This solution, described as “Hulténesque” by the museum in a press release, will give the viewer the freedom to browse among the masterpieces in a kind of art library. It has been accepted by the museum and the Swedish government.

The architect for this exhibition warehouse will be Pontus Hultén’s friend and former business partner Renzo Piano, known for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

Hultén was made director of the Moderna Museet in 1960, just a couple of years after it was founded. His appointment marked the beginning of a highly successful era in which many of the world’s great modern works were displayed – and some acquired.

The Museum’s current Director, Lars Nittve, speaking at a press conference in Paris, said that he and his staff were “extremely pleased” with the donation.

“To me, Pontus Hultén’s importance in the history of the Museum is absolutely pivotal,” said Nittve.

“The parts of the collection that came to the Museum during Hultén’s directorship are some of its central features today. Pontus Hultén’s donation entails another upgrade of the Museum’s collection, consolidating its position as one of the most prominent collections in the world.”

When the collection arrives in Stockholm it will be inspected and then a number of key works will be shown in the permanent exhibition. The public warehouse is expected to be finished by 2008.