The Marta Collection

As soon as the Marta Herford opened, it began to develop a young museum collection. This is made up to today mainly of striking works from the diverse exhibition program and the close artist collaborations. Numerous location-based installations have also been acquired permanently for the museum collection.



The still relatively young Marta Collection contains almost 500 works of contemporary art, many of them large-format works.. In keeping with the museum program, it includes outstanding works that engage with questions of design and architecture. The core of this is made up of a wide range of large-format, room-oriented works such as Panamarenko’s “Papaver”, Cai Guo-Qiang’s “Flying Carpet” or Reinhard Mucha’s “Halver. The Bread of the Early Years”, which enter into a special relationship with the Gehry architecture.



The collection serves us as a trove of artistic, cultural and social questions in which something new can be found again and again with reference to the present. For the changing exhibition contexts we actively draw on this collection, integrating the works in current theme complexes, thus opening up ever new fields of experience. At the same time, at irregular intervals we take a theme-specific look at our own inventories in order to make these accessible to the public in collection presentations: “Sammlung Marta Herford” (2006), “Hellwach gegenwärtig” (2009), “Frisch ausgepackt” (2011/12), “Fragen wagen” (“Daring to ask”, 2014), “Paarweise” (“Two by two”, 2015/16) and “Marta Maps” (2022). Many of the works can also be seen as loans in other internationally acclaimed museums and major exhibition projects.



We have made it our business to preserve and to question artistic engagements and attitudes that are leading the way for a whole society. With the support of the Friends of Marta Herford, this mission can be fulfilled even without our own acquisition budget, thus constantly extending the multi-voiced nature of the living inventory.

Even before the Marta Herford opened, the founding director Jan Hoet began building up the Museum collection. Since 2011 it has been housed in the newly installed Marta Depot.