According to its two founders, Achim Schneider and Gabriele Forberg, the fact that private property entails obligations has to be more than just a hollow phrase in Germany’s constitution. Today citizens are increasingly called upon to recall the tradition of patronage borne by earlier generations and to involve themselves more closely in the public good. By the same token, artists discover, in a patron, a flesh-and-blood advocate and partner to whom they needn’t pander their services, and who value their work without stipulating its contents.
Patronage is not an infusion of blood, but a compact between generations:
“... not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead and those who are to be born… .” This compact turns acquired or inherited abilities into a slice of freedom to be administered by the artist in the present moment. It also turns freedom into a dual source of happiness – for recipient and patron alike.
In September 1997, when they established their Foundation in Frankfurt am Main, the founders chose two points of emphasis especially close to their hearts: contemporary music and landscape architecture. Following the death of its founder Achim Schneider in 2000 and its relocation to Bavaria in 2007, a change was made to the Foundation’s statutes. The Munich Foundation now limits its patronage to contemporary music and musicology, including its relations to other areas of art.
“Art results from the urge to allow things never heard, seen, or thought before to flourish, to see the extraordinary in the disorderly, and to elevate it above the stone walls of convention.”
“Probably never before has the art of the present day received so little respect and acceptance as in our times, where every thought seems clearly governed by the need for security and is thus actually incompatible with the imaginative, which, at the moment of its inception, is by nature given over entirely to disorder.”
Carla Henius’s wise plea on behalf of contemporary music (1974) is also grounded in experiences from ecology: “Only a constant influx of the new will prevent a threatened body of water from turning brackish.”