Directly or indirectly, the late Klaus Holderbaum helped shape art history in Uganda. By recognizing the value of what artists bring to their communities, he was able to ignite artist interest, allowing them to evolve and create more value. Holderbaum served in the German diplomatic service for 33 years, with a 22 years’ experience in Sub-Saharan Africa. Uganda was his last post as Ambassador when he retired in 2003 and made it his retirement home until his death in May 2023. In cooperation with the Xenson Art Space and the German Embassy we organised a one-week exhibition of the Klaus Holderbaum Collection.
During his work and stay in Uganda Holderbaum has contributed immensely to the growth of the
arts and culture industry by supporting Ugandan artists and different arts programs. He
was a representation of a historical friendship between Germany and Uganda. His collection reflects the preservation of African Art history and the evolution of art, given that most of the artists in his collection, are now grown and evolved in their practice over the years.
The exhibition was curated by Xenson Art Space. Its purpose was to understand the historical artworks collected by Holderbaum and their impact on society as well as to place them in a wider social, cultural and political context. The exhibition provided evidence and insight into the significance of the collection and stimulated dialogue between artists, art historians and the public.
At the opening reception on 17th June we welcomed several Ugandan artists and musicians such as Sarah Sanyu as well as the Contemporary Art Society of Uganda (CASU). Additional speeches were given by the German Ambassador, Xenson Art Space and GZK.