The Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art, abbreviated to Mudam, is a museum of modern art in Luxembourg City. Mudam is the foremost museum dedicated to contemporary art in Luxembourg, and strives to be attentive to every discipline. Its collection and programme reflect current artistic trends and appreciate the emergence of new artistic practices on a national and international scale. The museum stands on the site of the old Fort Thüngen, in the Clausen quarter, in the north-east of the city.
The plans to build a museum of modern art came about in the late 1980s, when it became clear that there was a platform for such art in Luxembourg. The museum presents various art genres ranging from painting, drawing, photography, multimedia, fashion, design, graphics and sound to architecture.
First proposed in 1989 and championed by then-Prime Minister Jacques Santer, the location of the future museum was much disputed, until it was agreed in 1997 to use Dräi Eechelen Park and connect the museum to Fort Thüngen. The building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I. M. Pei, and cost $100m to build. The museum was inaugurated on 1 July 2006 by Grand Duke Jean, to whom the building is dedicated, and opened to the public the following day. The museum is directed by Enrico Lunghi.
The museum building is located on the site of Fort Thüngen in the Dräi Eechelen park (“three acorns” – referred to the three acorns that adorn the three towers of the fortress), designed by Michel Desvigne and located between the city center and The district of Kirchberg (district of Europe).
The layout of Fort Thüngen was used to draw plans for the future museum.
The exhibitions are presented on three levels (4,800 m² of publicly accessible surfaces – and 10,000 in total).
The Grand-Duc Jean Museum of Modern Art opened in the first year of operation, attracting more than 115,000 visitors, an absolute record for a Luxembourg museum.
The museum’s guiding principle is “all-art”: besides works of art, Mudam’s functional furniture (armchairs, boutique, café, website, offices) is also a creation of artists-designers. And this principle extends to the archiving: the photographer Pierre-Olivier Deschamps was entrusted with the task of constituting the photographic memory of the construction of the museum.
Moreover, many of the artists in the collections belong to the world of design (fashion, decoration, sound, graphic design), so the Mudam is always on the borderline between “noble” art (“free” Of a more utilitarian art. This “all-art” will is titled “Be the Artists’ Guest”.
The collections are not presented permanently and in an exhaustive way, a rotation is organized in the form of exhibitions on the proposal of curators external or internal to the museum.
As Luxembourg had no public modern art collection and the museum budget did not allow acquiring a modernist collection, the museum focused on contemporary art – its permanent collection includes works by 100 artists, including: Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Julian Schnabel, Thomas Struth, and Daniel Buren.
In its first year being open to the public, the museum had more than 115,000 visitors, which is a record attendance in Luxembourg.
The Museum’s collections are set out on three floors and include works by many artists and designers such as Alvar Aalto, Marina Abramović, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Pierre Bismuth, Sophie Calle, Hussein Chalayan, Claude Closky, James Coleman, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Mark Dean, Stan Douglas, Jan Fabre, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Roland Fischer, Günther Förg, Gilbert & George, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Hirschhorn, Fabrice Hybert, William Kentridge, Mark Lewis, Richard Long, Michel Majerus, Christian Marclay, Martin Margiela, Steve McQueen, Bruce Nauman, Shirin Neshat, Albert Oehlen, Blinky Palermo, Philippe Parreno, Grayson Perry, Fiona Rae, Pipilotti Rist, Thomas Ruff, Charles Sandison, Thomas Scheibitz, Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, Thomas Struth, Wolfgang Tillmans, Cy Twombly and Kara Walker.