Art collector Rudolf Leopold dies suddenly

The death of Prof. Rudolf Leopold has caused profound dismay for his family, in particular his wife Elisabeth. Ministry of Cultural Affairs Section Head Helmut Moser, chairman of the board of the Leopold Museum Private Foundation, and the entire board are deeply affected by the art collector's sudden passing.

Rudolf Leopold, born March 1, 1925 in Vienna, died yesterday at the age of 85 following a brief illness. Leopold was a unique proponent of the recognition of Austrian expressionist art, in particular that of the genius Egon Schiele (1890-1918). Over a few short decades, ophthalmologist Leopold and his wife Elisabeth assembled a collection of more than 5000 works of art, which were brought together in the Leopold Museum Private Foundation in 1994.

Austria's federal government and the Austrian National Bank facilitated the Leopold Foundation's establishment. It provided a third of the value, approximately 160 million Euros, in 1994.

"What doesn't excite me doesn't interest me," Rudolf Leopold once said. Excitement, madness, genius and passion; these words best describe the figure of Rudolf Leopold.

Leopold Museum Managing Director Peter Weinhäupl, who has difficulty speaking about this loss, remarked, "We will miss Rudolf Leopold, but the Leopold Museum is a unique memorial to his actions, a gift to all the art lovers of the world." The chairman of the foundation board, Helmut Moser, declared: "The future of the foundation and museum is clearly defined by the deed of foundation; we will continue the work of Rudolf Leopold. At the moment, however, our thoughts are with Rudolf Leopold and his family."

For all enquiries:

Mag. Klaus Pokorny - Press / Public Relations
Leopold Museum Private Foundation
Tel.: 0043 1 525 70 - 1507