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Private Practices: A Look at 12 Private Museum Openings

It’s been projected that in the next five years, 1,200 museums will be built in China; 400 of those spaces are expected to be private. Though more museums are opening in China than anywhere else in the world, it’s a global trend all the same—private museums are popping up everywhere. “It’s partly a shift toward the private,” said Philip Dodd, who recently founded the Global Private Museum Network. “Good or bad, there’s been a shift away from critics toward collectors.” With that comes grand possibilities, from an Indonesian art park that spans some 538,000 square feet to a museum in Berlin with a cutting-edge collection of digital art. As Dodd said, “Private museums will be able to do crazier, wackier programming than public museums, which have to do Picasso, Matisse, what have you. That kind of ambition is, as you talk to the museum owners, what they’re really interested in.” Below, a look at recently opened or soon-to-open private museums and expansions of existing ones across the world.


Why open a museum, anyway?

Désiré Feuerle.

Désiré Feuerle.

“When you collect, you, of course, accumulate a lot of things. I thought, ‘It’s time now, to look for a good space in a good city.’ ”
Désiré Feuerle

“Growing up in Indonesia, I have always been aware of the limited opportunities to engage with and learn about the arts in this country. There are countless talented artists here in Indonesia who deserve a platform to share their work with the world.”
Haryanto Adikoesoemo

“We can be more nimble than a traditional museum and create a dialogue between the four categories we collect.”
J. Tomilson Hill

“We have commissioned so many artworks that are so large and so big and so important in the world. We’ll bring them to Budidesa for permanent display.”
Budi Tek

“We need to collect foreign art so that our museums can be on par with foreign peers.”
Wang Wei [as told to the Financial Times]

NEW MUSEUMS TO WATCH: Marciano Art Foundation (Maurice & Paul Marciano, Los Angeles, early 2017) • Pinault Collection (François Pinault, Paris, 2018) • Art Jameel Center (Jameel Family, Dubai, 2018) • JNBY Art Center (Li Lin, Guangzhou, Fall 2018) • GES2 (Leonid Mikhelson, Moscow, 2018)


Top200_Info_CrystalBridgesBefore it was home to a museum, the new branch of Crystal Bridges was a cheese-making facility owned by Kraft Foods. Located a couple miles from the main Crystal Bridges building, it will retain it’s industrial look.

4,000: Number of water lilies, irises, and rushes on Glenstone’s verdant property in Potomac, Maryland.

After deciding that she didn’t want a bunker or a factory for her Berlin museum, Julia Stoschek settled on a World War II–era Czech cultural center. “The space in Berlin marks a very important and very interesting chapter of East German history,” she said.

Public and private are never completely separate, and this is especially the case with Museum Voorlinden, which hired Wim Pijbes as its director. Pijbes had been a general director for eight years at one of the world’s most important institutions—the Rijksmuseum.

A version of this story originally appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of ARTnews on page 84 under the title “Private Practices.”

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