The Montblanc Cultural Foundation, based in Hamburg, was founded in 1992 with a mission to promote innovative thinking through supporting the arts worldwide. Its core initiatives include the globally recognized Montblanc Arts Patronage Award and the Montblanc Art Collection. In 2016, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath were appointed as Chairmen and have since been leading the Foundation’s new strategic direction.

Montblanc Arts Patronage Award

The Montblanc Arts Patronage Award has to date honored close to 300 patrons in 25 countries and contributed around 5 million Euros towards the awarded organizations. Over the past years, the Foundation has expanded its geographic reach by recognizing patrons in South America, South Asia and the Middle East. The award acknowledges the essential role that patrons play in supporting the arts where it is most needed. It seeks to spotlight the patron’s organizations publicly, and to inspire others to follow their example. The recipients are nominated each year by an extensive network of 50 established cultural figures from around the world, and the final selection is made during the annual meeting of the Foundation’s Board and its Curatorium.

Montblanc Art Collection

Since 2002, the Foundation has supported more than 170 artists to produce new artworks for the Montblanc Art Collection through its Artist Commission Program. The Foundation enables young and emerging artists to produce new works within the context of a temporary exhibition, a biennale, or an art festival. It is geographically inclusive and open to all forms of contemporary artistic practices. Projects are nominated internally and connect to themes that are of relevance to the Foundation. The collection includes many artists who went on to become internationally renowned figures such as John Armleder, Monica Bonvicini, José León Cerillo, Thomas Demand, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Sylvie Fleury, Liam Gillick, Gary Hume, Fang Lijun, Thomas Ruff, Tom Sachs, Chiharu Shiota, Thomas Schütte, Cerith Wyn Evans, and Heimo Zobernig.
Most recently, the Montblanc Cultural Foundation supported the work of ruby onyinyechi amanze as part of the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo, Mercedes Dorame’s as part of the Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. exhibition, Emmanuelle Lainé at the Hayward Gallery’ HENI Project Space, and of Katherine Nuñez and Issay Rodriguez at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Curatorium

In 2017 the Foundation established its Curatorium, an international advisory board to strengthen the Foundation’s global network. The Curatorium and the Chairmen jointly decide each year on the recipients of the Foundation’s Arts Patronage Award, as well as the Montblanc Art Commissions. The members of the Curatorium are invited on a rotational basis. Its current members are Anne Barlow (Director, Tate St. Ives), Sunjung Kim (Director, Gwangju Biennale), Jean de Loisy (President, Palais de Tokyo), Franklin Sirmans (Director, Perez Art Museum), and Jochen Volz (Director, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paolo).

2019
Istituto Europeo di Design, School of Visual Arts Venice, Italy

Contemporary Curating in a Global Context. April 11, 2019

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K20 Düsseldorf, Germany

Transmodernism: The Arab Context. February 20, 2019

Presented as part of the lecture series for the “Museum Global” project

2018
University of North Texas, College of Visual Art & Design Denton, USA

Insights into Curatorial Practices. November 28, 2018

Northwestern University, Department of Art History Evanston, USA

Ways of Seeing: Insights into Curating / Egyptian Surrealism: Art et Liberté. November 5, 2018

Akademie der Bildenden Künste Nürnberg Nürnberg, Germany

Curating in a Global Context. May 2, 2018

Savannah College of Art and Design, SCAD Museum of Art Savannah, USA

Ways of Seeing: Insights into Curating. February 22, 2018
Presented as part of deFINE ART

Södertörn University and Moderna Museet Stockholm, Sweden

Surrealism in Egypt: Modernism and the Art and Liberty Group. January 25, 2018
Presented at the conference “Narrating Home in Visual Arts Through an East West Divide”

University of Cambridge, Department of History of Art, Cambridge, UK

The Intersection of Proto-feminist Practices and Surrealism in Egypt (working title). June 2, 2018
Presented at the symposium “Subversive Intent & Beyond” Surrealism, Politics, Sexuality

2017
MESA (Middle East Studies Association) 51st Conference, Washington D.C., USA

Rethinking Surrealism: Art et Liberté (f. 1938), and the Subjective Realism of Ramses Younane (1913–1966). November 21, 2017

The University of Liverpool, School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, Liverpool, UK

The Art and Liberty: Towards A New Art-historical Definition of Surrealism. November 15, 2017

Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark

Surrealism in Egypt and the making of the exhibition Art et Liberté. November 2, 2017

Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain

The Art et Liberté Group: Towards A New Art-historical Definition of Surrealism. February 15, 2017

Presented as part of the exhibition’s public programs

2016
Centre Pompidou – In collaboration with the Institut National d’Historie de l’Art (INHA), Paris, France

Art et Liberté: A New Definition of Surrealism. November 25, 2016

Presented at the conference “Art and Liberty (1938–1948) and modernity in Egypt” Beyond the post-colonial discourse

The Orient-Institute, Beirut, Lebanon

The Art and Liberty Group and the Reworking of Surrealism in Egypt. November 14, 2016

Presented at the conference “The Avant-Garde and Its Networks” Surrealism in Paris, North Africa and the Middle East from the 1930s

Sydney College of Art (SCA), Sydney, Australia

Tea with Nefertiti: or how the arts shape culture. May 12, 2016

University of North Texas, Denton, USA

Revisiting Surrealism: The Modernism of the Art and Liberty Group. February 23, 2016

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K20, Düsseldorf, Germany

Long Live Degenerate Art: The Art and Liberty Group and Surrealism’s Fight Against Fascism in Egypt. January 20, 2016
Presented at the conference “museum global” Multiple Perspectives on Art, 1904–1950

2015
Northwestern University, Department of Art History, Chicago, USA

Curating Research: on exhibiting documents and research archives. June 3, 2015

2014
Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

The Art and Liberty Group and Manifestations of Surrealism in Egypt 1939-1945. May 22, 2014
Presented at the conference “Postwar – Art between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965”

University of North Texas, Denton, USA

On Representation: making exhibitions, creating narratives. February 27, 2014

Brown University, Department of Visual Art, Providence, USA

On Curating: methodologies and practices of curating. February 25, 2014

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Architecture, Cambridge, USA

Tea with Nefertiti: how the arts shape culture. February 24, 2014

2013
Université Saint Joseph, School of Humanities, Beirut, Lebanon

History of Modern Art in the Arab World 1880–1970. November 18 – 22, 2013

Institut National d’Historie de l’Art (INHA), Paris, France

Egyptian Surrealsim and the Dis-entangling of Art and Nationalism. June 26, 2013
Presented at the conference “L’Égypte en ses miroirs. Art, architecture et critique, à demeure et au-delà”

University of North Texas, Denton, USA

Tea with Nefertiti: the making of an exhibition. February 25, 2013

2012
Université Saint Joseph, School of Humanities, Beirut, Lebanon

History of Modern Art in Egypt 1850–1950. December 17 – 21, 2012

2019
Bonhams, London, UK

Paul Guiragossian: Displaying Modernity. April 28, 2019

Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE

Presentation of the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates. March 21, 2019

2018
Art Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Models of Patronage: The Montblanc Cultural Foundation. November 17, 2018

Seminário Internacional ARTE!Brasileiros, São Paolo, Brazil

Models of Patronage: The Montblanc Cultural Foundation. September 6, 2018

Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE

Modernity in the Gulf / MoMA’s Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents. March 19, 2018

2017
Code Art Fair, Copenhagen, Denmark

ArtReActs: Rethinking Museums Collecting & Displaying Strategies. September 1, 2017

Sommerfrische Kunst, Bad Gastein, Austria

Buona Sera Salon. July 30, 2017

Schmela Haus, Kunstasammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K20, Düsseldorf, Germany

The making of the exhibition “Art et Liberté. Umbruch, Krieg und Surrealismus in Ägypten (1938–1948)”. July 6, 2017

Saudi Art Council, Jeddah, KSA

Curatorial Practices and Shifting Grounds. May 6, 2017

Art Dubai, UAE

Art Dubai Modern Symposium: Women and Modernity. March 17, 2017

Saudi Art Council, Jeddah, KSA

Jeddah Art Week: al muntada – a series of moderated panels. February 2–4, 2017

2015
Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, USA

Tea with Nefertiti: how the arts shape culture. June 2, 2015

Art Cologne, Cologne, Germany

4. Kölner Kunstversicherungsgespräch–Leihverkehr–Kunst on Tour. April 16, 2015

Art Basel, Art Salon, Hong Kong

Parallel Histories in Abstraction. March 15, 2015

Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore

Tea with Nefertiti: how the arts shape culture. March 10, 2015

2014
Université Saint Joseph, Université Pour Tous, Beirut, Lebanon

A Museum for Here and Now: challenging the function of the conventional museum. October 2, 2014

Casa Arabe, Madrid, Spain

Tea with Nefertiti: how the arts shape culture. January 21, 2014

2013
Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha

Public Art and Monuments: Symbol Or Instigator. March 27, 2013

2012
Dar Al- Ma’mun, Marrakech, Morocco

Art Practice and Research: Resources and Translations. December 12–13, 2012

Art Basel, Art Salon, Basel, Switzerland

The Arab Spring and Its Impact on Artists. June 14, 2012

The Arts and Patronage Summit, British Museum, London, UK

Collections and Collecting: how to make a difference, big or small. January 12, 2012

2010
Istanbul Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey

Burn After Seeing: contemporary art in Iran. November 26, 2010

Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

The Future of Tradition–The Tradition of Future. September 27, 2010

Sothebys, New York, USA

Art, Patronage and Collecting in Emerging Markets. May 5, 2010

Across Histories, ArteEast, The Swiss Institute, New York, USA

In Conversation with Artist Ghada Amer. March 25, 2010

Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar

Encounters between the Modern and the Contemporary. December 17, 2010

Making Art: from process to political engagement. December 16, 2010
Presented at the AMCA Conference “Objects, Histories, and Methodologies”

2008
Chelsea Art Museum, New York, USA

ItaliaArabia: modernity and social realism across the Mediterranean. December 5, 2008

Since 2016
The Montblanc Cultural Foundation, Hamburg, Germany

Chairmen of the board

2017 – 2018
Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE

Guest curators and members of selection committee

2016 – 2019
Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

Members of the Curatorium – Friends of the Haus der Kunst

2016
Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, USA

Nominators for the Independent Vision Curatorial Award

2015
The 19th Contemporary Art Festival. Videobrasil, Sao Paolo, Brazil

Members of judging panel

2014
Exposure, annual exhibition for emerging artists in or from Lebanon. The Beirut Art Centre, Beirut, Lebanon

Members of judging panel

Akbank Sanat International Curator Competition. Akbank Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey

Jury members of judging panel

2013
The Boghossian Foundation Prize for Young Lebanese Artists. Boghossian Foundation, Brussels, Belgium

Members of judging panel

Ongoing
The Jameel Prize. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

Members of nomination committee

Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Aga Khan Foundation, Geneva

Members of nomination committee

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