On occasion of the Generali Foundation’s thirtieth anniversary, this presentation shines a spotlight on selected key aspects of Kristian Sotriffer’s archive. The art critic (1932 Bolzano, IT—2002 Vienna, AT) served on the Generali Foundation’s inaugural artistic advisory board and helped draw up the first concept for a collection of Austrian postwar sculpture to be assembled.

In 2004, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg acquired the sizable personal library of Kristian Sotriffer, adding ca. 8000 titles to its holdings of art books. To our surprise, Sotriffer’s collection turned out to be far more extensive and illuminating than the contents of the books themselves would suggest: hidden inside it is an archive Sotriffer compiled and, presumably for pragmatic reasons, stored in the books—a wide variety of materials ranging from newspaper articles and press releases and photographs to invitation cards, posters, and his own photographs. Taken together, this secret treasure sketches a sweeping portrait of the Austrian and European arts scene after 1960.

The Generali Foundation’s archive and library (about 16 000 titles) are now housed at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg and have been accessible to the public at the Generali Foundation Study Center in the Rupertinum building since the summer of 2016. The illustrated chronology along the walls and the projections highlighting selected exhibitions and aspects of the collection present a survey of the history of this influential private art institution.