“The Musée Unterlinden is managed and administered by the Société Schongauer (a private association governed by the laws of Alsace and Moselle, specifically the local ‘Law of 1908’) and is housed in the former Dominican convent belonging to the city of Colmar. This association’s mission is to conserve, study, classify and enrich the collections of works held by the museum.
“Société Schongauer is responsible for the presentation of these works, facilitates access to the premises, raises public awareness about the museum and its treasures, and takes all necessary measures to safeguard them for future generations of museum visitors.…
“It is responsible for the museum’s
programming and the organisation of temporary exhibitions.”
(Excerpt from Société Schongauer’s Articles of Association, 1994)
Société Schongauer, an association of civil society volunteers, the administrator of the Musée Unterlinden, is endowed with both administrative and financial independence. It approves and funds the various initiatives proposed by the museum’s curators: acquisitions and gifts, exhibitions, restoration projects. It takes part in efforts to enrich and expand the museum’s collections. For instance, the association recently was instrumental in obtaining two major gifts for the museum, one consisting of 147 works and objects from the collection of Jean-Paul Person (Dubuffet, Chaissac, de Staël, etc.) and the other comprising a group of 124 works by the American artist Joe Downing.
The governance model used for the Musée Unterlinden is unlike that of any other institution of its kind in France, involving close cooperation between administrators and the curatorial team. Société Schongauer recognises the importance of scientific research in the organisation of exhibitions and supports the development of the museum’s collections.