Martin Roth Symposium

Founded in 2018, the Martin Roth Symposium, named after one of the most notable museum directors, aims to honour his groundbraking achievements on behalf of the developement of cultural and social topics by perpetuating his ideas.

2020: MuseumFutures

This year’s five-day symposium asked critical questions about the museum’s future. It identified innovative strategies which, from a global perspective, are needed to establish a space of democracy through architecture, analogue and virtual formats, local and international exchange, and alternative international (art) histories.

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Conference Report

Giovanna Dunmall has summarised the highlights of the second Martin Roth Symposium.

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Interviews with actors in the international museum landscape, which provide an insight into current museum practices and civil society actions of museums worldwide.

Current Articles

[Translate to english:] Design Society in Shenzen

A Global Language and Mutual Learnings

At the Design Society in Shenzhen, Curator Lu Yangli saw several international projects disrupted by the pandemic, but remains committed to cross-institutional cooperation and exchange.

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Museo La Tertulia

Out of the Crisis, A New Solidarity

At Museo La Tertulia in Cali, Colombia, curator Alejandro Martín Maldonado and Head of Education Carlos Hoyos Buchelli have met the ongoing challenges of the pandemic with renewed ...

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Installation view Mapping the Collection in the Museum Ludwig in Cologne 2020

A Permeable Place for Meeting and Exchanging Ideas

For Yilmaz Dziewior, Director of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, museums are both socially formed and formative for society: they do not operate in a vacuum, but are specific to their ...

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2018: What can culture do?

Martin Roth Symposium 2018 in the Kraftwerk Berlin

The opening Martin Roth Symposium put the question, 'What can culture do?'. To give an answer, 44 international society and culture experts ressembled in the Kraftwerk Berlin to face more than 300 vistors, followed by inspiring and lively discussions with the audience.

Pictures and impressions of the conference | 2018

Statements, impressions and opinions | 2018

Martin Roth

'I am convinced, that art and culture represent an indispensible foundation
of a society of democratic and peaceful coexistence.'

  • About

    As director general Martin Roth (1955-2017) did make his impression not only on the Dresden State Art Collections, but the international museum scene as well. Thus, as recognition for his outstanding cultural achievements he was invested with the order of knights respectively by France and Denmark. After his ten years’ stay in Dresden he was appointed as director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. There he lead the museum into a new era by opening the museum not only literally by the new Exhibition Road entrance he had added but also figuratively by daring to search for new ways to attract a broader audience and rethink the role museums can play in society. In 2016 after having returned from London he was unanimously elected honorary president of ifa.

    In honour of his accomplishments as museum director and cultural scientist and in remembrance of his great personality, the Federal Foreign Office of Germany instituted the Martin Roth Initiative  to enable creative artists and cultural mediators, who are repressed in their home countries a stay abroad to proceed their artistic and cultural work. Likewise, in 2018, the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden started a series of lectures, named after their former director general, Martin Roth Lecture. Since then the biennial conference, the Martin Roth Symposium, has been launched by ifa and the Federal Foreign Office.


Rainer Koch

Charlottenplatz 17
D-70173 Stuttgart

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Funded by the Federal Foreign Office