Fondo Santa Eulalia

Moda tendencias y estilo en Barcelona – Blog Santa Eulalia

Erika Hoffman: The secret berlin museum

The Sammlung-Hoffman collection is a secret place in Berlin. Insiders know that this privileged place only opens to the public on Saturdays.
The Hoffmans have always been special. In 1963, Rolf Hoffman married a Dutch art student, Erika Koenig. From that point, both embarked on an adventure, sharing the pleasure of design, art and the exquisite.
Heirs of a business related to clothing; together they made a small family business evolve into an international company called Van Laack.
They spent many years balancing art collecting with the family business, and took their love for art to its logical conclusion: their collection of Soviet constructivism evolved and resulted in the launch of a clothing collection based on the 1917 revolution.
Marcel Broothaers, the great Belgian conceptual surrealist, worked with advertising at the firm. Warhol painted his portrait in 1980 and redesigned his shirts for a fashion show at his loft in Manhattan. Art and fashion went hand in hand.
They began collecting in 1968; Arte Povera and the members of the group Zero were some of the couple’s first acquisitions.
The excellent vision of Rolf Hoffman and his interest in art led him to the real estate business in Tribeca, New York, where he built the first luxury building in the area that eventually became the most “arty-cool” area in the city.
Frank Stella, Bruce Nauman and Mike Kelley were then part of the collection with the most spectacular pieces.
The sale of the textile business was key for them to be able to dedicate themselves exclusively to art. The dream of every collector.
In Berlin in 1994 they bought a former biscuit factory and dedicated two floors to their art works and the other two floors became their home. In this unique museum there are paintings, photographs, art, video, design and installations. All of them unquestionable pieces, products of passion and a life devoted to art.
Year after year, they buy emblematic pieces, and never in art shows. The museum has works by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Nan Goldin, Gerhard Richter and other artists in the pantheon of art.
Rolf Hoffman died in 2001, but Erika goes shopping alone now, and that space in Berlin is now a private exquisite little museum that can be visited only on Saturdays by appointment.
During the month of July, Erika repositions the collection including the new pieces and like that the collection stays alive, beating, growing. She has to be careful to not overload it, but it´s a question of mastery that Hoffman has been practicing since that first encounter with art as a teenager.
Some people say that art is useless. That collecting is to gather, assemble, possess. It’s sharing. What at first seams to have no reason to exist is what is left. What is saved.

Erika Hoffman



  1. india / 30 January 2012

    Ahora me siento afortunada por pertenecer al grupo de los que saben que los sábados hay un lugar privilegiado que abre sus puertas en Berlín… pero a la vez, apena la inconsciencia de no haberlo sabido antes. Bah! los sentimientos improductivos no me llevarán a Berlín y permanecer mínimo hasta un sábado, así que… me repito, “India, ya sabes que los sábados es el único día que abre al público un lugar privilegiado en Berlín”, de la misma forma que me digo y sé, afortunada por conocer este lugar y la existencia de su escritura, que comparte porque colecciona, que colecciona porque comparte… mientras me quedo juntando y agrupando cada párrafo, Sra.Garrido… para que todos se salven en mi memoria.

  2. Lola Garrido / 1 February 2012

    Gracias India, es un privilegio escribir para personas que mejoran y agrandan el post con sus lucidos comentarios.
    Un saludo agradecido

  3. Pilar Mandl / 2 March 2012

    ¿Será suficiente con llamar para conseguir una cita? Cuestión de probar…
    Muchas gracias por la valiosa información.

    Un saludo

    Pilar Mandl

  4. santa eulalia / 8 March 2012

    ¡Seguro que sí! Un abrazo Pilar.

Leave a Reply