The Kunsthalle Tübingen is an internationally renowned exhibition venue for contemporary art that has consistently presented retrospectives of outstanding positions of the classic modern period and of postwar art. Its founding can be attributed to the financial commitment of two private persons: in 1971, the sisters Paula Zundel and Dr. Margarethe Fischer, the daughters of Robert Bosch, made it possible for the City of Tübingen to carry out the construction of a gallery and to operate it as a permanent institution in remembrance of the painter Georg Friedrich Zundel (1875–1948). The Kunsthalle was built in what was then a newly developed district to the north of the university town as functional one-story building with excellent lighting conditions.
The Kunsthalle Tübingen opened on September 11, 1971 under the auspices of Hilda Heinemann, the wife of the then Federal President Gustav Heinemann. In the 1970s, a continuous and demanding exhibition program under the direction of Prof. Dr. Götz Adriani established the Kunsthalle Tübingen’s international reputation. Besides the high demand on quality, alternating between modern and contemporary art was one of the essential features of this program. Prominent contemporary artists were often presented at the Kunsthalle at an early stage of their internationally successful careers, for example Franz Erhard Walther (1972), George Segal (1972), Ulrich Rückriem (1973), Joseph Kosuth (1973), Joseph Beuys (1973), Richard Hamilton (1974), Claes Oldenburg (1975), Sigmar Polke (1976), Frank Stella (1977), and Richard Serra (1978).
The monographic exhibitions of the great pioneers of the modern period, such as Cézanne (1978, 1982, 1993), Degas (1984, 1995), Renoir (1996), Toulouse-Lautrec (1976, 1986, 2002), Picasso (1986, 2001) or Rousseau (2001), aroused the keen interest of the public and attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors. The revenue this created was not only invested in further improving the Kunsthalle’s infrastructure and constructing an administration building. It also placed the Kunsthalle in a position to become a nonprofit foundation under civil law. Besides pioneers from the classic modern and the postwar modern period, outstanding contemporary artists have also been presented, including Anselm Reyle (2009), Karin Kneffel (2010), Evan Penny (2011), and Santiago Sierra (2013).
Following extensive renovation measures and the addition of a further exhibition hall, since spring 2017 the Kunsthalle Tübingen has been focusing on the presentation and communication of thematically conceived group exhibitions and outstanding solo exhibitions of internationally renowned artists. Thanks to its wide range of programs accompanying each exhibition, the institution shapes and enlivens the cultural offerings of the university town of Tübingen.