The previous history of today's Kunsthalle Krems dates back to 1992, when ambitious exhibitions were held at Krems Minorite Church under the auspices of the founding director Wolfgang Denk. At the same time it was planned to convert the former 19th century tobacco factory into the then most modern exhibition hall in Austria. A competition was held, from which the project by Prof. Adolf Krischanitz emerged as the winner; with him, Kunsthalle had also found the architect who has since supported every one of Kunsthalle's conversions. In 1994 and 1995 this architect succeeded in creating a wealth of exhibition rooms by implementing a sensitive revitalisation of the existing structure and its clear, rational extension to 1,400 m2; these rooms enable organisers to meet any of the different requirements by means of state-of-the-art technology.
Opening of the new Kunsthalle Krems on the 31st of March 1995
The opening of the 'new' Kunsthalle Krems was staged on the 31st of March 1995. The international star curator Werner Hofman was recruited for the inaugural exhibition "Water & Wine". An ambitious project, Kunsthalle Krems thus stood at the beginning of an exemplary museum boom, which has ultimately led to today's density of museums and exhibition halls in Austria. In the list of directors, Wolfgang Denk was followed in 1997 by Carl Aigner, who had already acted as a curator of major photo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Krems. The curator work of the subsequent director reached back to 2001, Tayfun Belgin had already been responsible for a large number of successful exhibitions – mainly about the art of the 19th century – before his appointment in November 2003. His principle of 'telling stories' not only led far into the future of programming, but also determined the exhibition "Renoir and the Female Image in Impressionism", the preliminary opening of which was held on the 31st of March 2005, which was also the celebration of the ten-year anniversary of Kunsthalle Krems. Following the most successful exhibition "Harem - Secret of the Orient" Director Belgin continued to steer Kunsthalle's successful path with the exhibitions "The Triumph of Beauty. The Epoch of Salon Painting from Makart to Rosetti" and "The Hungarian Soul. Realism in the Land of the Magyars" in 2006.
New Director of Kunsthalle Krems
Dr. Dr. Dieter Buchhart – since January 2008 the new Director of Kunsthalle Krems – promises the same high quality in his continuation of thematic shows in the tradition of Tayfun Belgin, but will also shift the focus from the 19th century to Classic Modernism, extending up to contemporary art. His programme focus is on the rediscovery of seemingly well-known masters of Modernism and presentations of international artists' personalities who have to date hardly – or not at all – been shown in Austria and Central Europe.