The Rosa Schapire Art Prize
is an award given by the
Freunde der Hamburger

The Rosa Schapire Art Prize.

An homage to being different.

By awarding the Rosa Schapire Art Prize, the Freunde der Kunsthalle advocates a luminous and unfettered interpretation of art. The prize shall honour an artist’s personality, whose piece of art qualifies as a valuable and vivid contribution to the collection of the traditional yet aspirational museum Hamburger Kunsthalle.


The [obstinate] idea.

No jury. One judge.

Is it possible for a single person to decide who shall be awarded with the €20,000 art prize? Yes it is. And it should be. Instead of being a majority decision, the Rosa Schapire Art Prize is intended to make a bold statement. For this purpose, the respective director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle shall annually invite a colleague or public person to serve as the judge. The presentation shall then take place in the setting of an award ceremony. Furthermore, the award-winning piece of art will be acquired by Freunde der Kunsthalle and donated to the Kunsthalle.

Friends of the Hamburger Kunsthalle.

Friends by virtue of passion – Supporters by virtue of belief.

With more than 18.000 members, „Freunde der Kunsthalle“ is one of the most prominent friends’ associations in the German-speaking world. Since 1923, following the idea of the founder, director Gustav Pauli, the organisation works towards the following goals: conveying art to the general public and aiding the Kunsthalle in the acquisition of art as well as the funding of exhibitions.

Friends of the Kunsthalle is an excellently lead organisation, carried by a wide margin of people.
And if I was born again, I would walk down the exact same path. Rosa Schapire

A [tenacious] character.

Rosa. Schapire.

Rosa Schapire (1874-1954) was recognized by the people of her time as a grand pioneer in the field of contemporary modern art. Full of enthusiasm and zest for action, this extraordinary art historian fought for the abolishment of traditional perceptions of art. She was a friend, a supporter and an advocate. In her time, her commitment without backing was extremely courageous.

One [brave] judge.

Wholly independent.

The judge of the Rosa Schapire Art Prize shall be solely committed to the dauntless and passionate spirit of the eponymous art historian. Not an easy task, yet fascinating and honourable. Whom would Rosa choose? Whom would she support, award, highlight among the huge amount of superb artists?

Any individual has an extraordinary potential -  provided that he is ready and willing to commit. Rosa Schapire


Judge 2017

Penelope Curtis studied History at Oxford, before going to the Courtauld to study Modern Art, and then undertook research in Paris for her PhD on Monumental Sculpture in France c.1870-1930. Her first job was in the new Tate Gallery Liverpool when it opened in 1988. From 1994-2010 she was based in Leeds where she was responsible for developing the Henry Moore Institute. From 2010 to 2015 she was director of Tate Britain in London. Since autumn 2015 she is director of Lisbon's Museu Calouste Gulbenkian.



Artist 2017

Ana Jotta´s oeuvre has been built in a sequence of breakthroughs that embody some sort of erasure of her own previous footsteps, of the modernist ideology and postmodern mythologies, and of the notion of authorship - either by deconstructing or rebuilding it. Jotta experiments in a broad range of media (painting, sculpture) as well as in techniques traditionally associated with the minor arts (embroidery, pottery, etc.). Jotta frequently approaches her work through appropriation. She has gathered together a paraphernalia of objects and printed matter over the years which have played an important part in her creative process. Radically polymorphic, both modest and prolific, her work shows a great sense of intelligence, sensitivity and wit, as it eludes any possible classification.

After studying at Lisbon´s Fine Arts School and Brussels École d'Arts Visuels de l'Abbeye de la Cambre, she made a career as an actress (1969-80) and as set designer for theater and cinema. From the 1980's onwards, she focused her activity on the visual arts. In 2014, Culturgest Lisbon presented an exhibition of Jotta´s work, The Conclusion of the Precedent, which focused on the work she had produced since her retrospective Rua Ana Jotta held at the Serralves Museum, in Porto, in 2005. In 2013, she received the distinguished art award Grande Prémio Fundação EDP / Arte for life time achievements.





Hamburger Kunsthalle, Photo: Bernd Westphal