The Background of the Collection

The Eccel Kreuzer art collection currently includes about 1500 works of art by over 300 male and female artists from the 20th century onwards. The stalwarts of the collection include three painters whom the Eccel and Kreuzer families had been best friends with for decades: Hans Ebensperger, Karl Plattner and Peter Fellin.

The collection was originally inspired by the great interest that the founder of the company, Friedrich Eccel, and his wife Hilde Eccel Tapfer, had for the contemporary art (painting, sculpting and architecture) of South Tyrol and beyond. In the 1950s, they started to build a veritable collection.

Josef Kreuzer describes such patronage in an interview with Carl Kraus: ”My father-in-law, Friedrich Eccel, was a very special patron of the arts. He didn’t just buy art from the artists, he also invited some to stay in his big villa in Via San Quirino for months, years“.

The family’s relationships with the artists were built on deep friendship and mutual respect. It is such multi-layered ground that gave rise to a wide, important collection of modern Tyrolean art, with a focus on painting.

The couple’s daughter, Eva, shared in her parents’ interests and studied art history in Innsbruck and Vienna. The author of many books on Tyrolean art in the 1980s and 1990s, she is now an art critic in South Tyrol. With her husband, Josef Kreuzer, a judge, Eva Eccel extended the art collection that had been started by her parents.

After the separation of the Kreuzer Eccels in the late 1990s, the House in the Portici and a large part of the current collection were taken over by Josef Kreuzer, who remarkably extended the collection until his death, in January 2017, with the motto, “From Ala to Kufstein“. The result is a 360-degree overview of modern art in the Tyrol, South Tyrol and Trentino regions.