Similar to the Skulptur Projekte Archive the public collection also reflects the history and continuity of Skulptur Projekte in Münster. Starting with Sculpture Exhibition in Münster 1977, the public collection has progressively grown with each new edition of Skulptur Projekte and now already encompasses over forty works in public space. It comprises all those contributions previously made to Skulptur Projekte that, subsequent to each respective exhibition, were permanently retained in Münster either through purchases or long-term loans. As a result it is possible to explore and study in situ the historical traces of the exhibition that has shaped the image of the city.
Owners of these works are the City of Münster, the WWU University of Münster and the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, each of which are responsible for the care and maintenance of the works, depending on their respective ownership. Recently, for instance, the Eagle created by Martha Rosler in 2007 as part of her work Unsettling the Fragments was temporarily removed for restoration. On the other hand, the Auto Office Haus installed by Kim Adams in 1997 on the roof of the former petrol station in the Aegidiistrasse had to be dismantled in November 2016 as a result of severe storm damage. Up till then the work had not been purchased.
While the large majority of works in the public collection are still on view within the city’s public space there are a few exceptions which for conservational or work-specific reasons cannot be kept outdoors. Several works will from now on be exhibited in an altered form in the museum. This is the case, for instance, with the works by John Knight, Michael Smith, Koki Tanaka and Hervé Youmbi purchased after Skulptur Projekte 2017.