Over the past 30 years, Thomas Olbricht, born in 1948, chemist, doctor of medicine and endocrinologist, has put together one of the most extensive private collections in Europe. The collection encompasses works from the early 16th century all the way to the most recent contemporary art. The chief source of inspiration for his collecting was his great uncle, Karl Ströher, who maintained an interest in contemporary art even into his old age. The collection, which crosses genres and epochs, is shaped by the subjective choices of a passionate collector, whereby the desire to discover and understand human nature provides the central impetus. Existential themes such as love, life, Eros, transience and death form the key programmatic emphases of the Olbricht Collection.
The collection hosts a number of great names, such as Thomas Schütte, Eric Fischl, Franz Gertsch, Cindy Sherman, Marlene Dumas and Gerhard Richter who consort with new discoveries, such as Wolfe von Lenkiewicz, Simmons & Burke, Grayson Perry, Julie Heffernan, Elmgreen & Dragset, Kate MccGwire and many more. The diversity of the names points to the multiplicity of artistic media contained in the collection: painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and the new media. Historical retrospectives of timeless, existential themes are combined with views of current, contemporary material. In so doing, discoveries and surprises are consciously taken into account, the works are designed to transport the visitor into a realm of sheer astonishment and thus elicit new ways of looking at the world in the viewer.
The Olbricht Collection and other international private art collections have found in me Collectors Room Berlin a permanent exhibition space in which to showcase their works ever since it opened in May 2010. In each show, the curators involved get to form their own personal view of the collections opened up to them. Besides these temporary exhibitions, predominantly of contemporary art, the Wunderkammer Olbricht, with its array of historical objects, is on permanent display.
me Collectors Room Berlin / Olbricht Collection is part of the Berlin Collectors, an association of Berlin’s private contemporary art collections, that are open to the public.