New museum director at the Franz Marc Museum Kochel – Bavaria

Jessica Keilholz-Busch immediately goes into raptures when she talks about her new job. “Wonderful, wonderful, beautiful,” she says. She will succeed Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy on April 15th. The long-time director of the Kochler Franz Marc Museum is retiring.

The art historian, born in Mönchengladbach in 1984, has just celebrated her 40th birthday. She still works at the Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg and has been curating exhibitions there since July 2018 as curator of classical modernism and Wilhelm Lehmbruck. She is currently preparing to move to Kochel. She already has an apartment and is moving into the museum’s old building with her husband. You can’t be closer to your workplace.

So far she has only worked in cities. After completing her studies – art history, psychology and political science – she completed a traineeship at the Frankfurt Kunsthalle Schirn and stayed there until she had the opportunity to take on parental leave as an exhibition manager at the Kunstpalast, the art museum of the city of Düsseldorf. After a break with an almost five-month trip to Asia and Oceania, she went to the Art Center Basel for a year and a half, where, among other things, she curated a Kirchner exhibition before moving to Duisburg. Because of the museum’s namesake alone, she says, she specializes more in sculptures. On the other hand, the house also has a large collection of expressionist paintings. “And I’m busy reading up.”

Her predecessor was still preparing the first exhibition that she will put on in the Marc Museum. In “Rotwild” (from June 16th) the focus is on Marc’s deer, in his view victims of human civilization. A topos that runs through art history and, as the exhibition will show, can still be found in Joseph Beuys.

As far as further planning for the fall is concerned, she is keeping a low profile. “I want to get there first and get used to it,” she says. Also about the financial possibilities, “I still have no idea what the budget for exhibitions is.” What she knows for sure: Nothing will change in the focus on Franz Marc under her leadership. “But I want to bring him and his deep connection to nature into the present.” She is therefore planning to establish a series with current art. She has sustainability in mind as a topic.

Whether she can implement her plans remains to be seen. Jessica Keilholz-Busch, who also earned a master’s degree in museum management, is completely relaxed. For them, there would be nothing worse than making an aloof program for a few and missing the actually important target groups. “A museum must always ask itself the question of social benefit.”

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