Alexander von Vegesack (DE)
Founder of Vitra Design Museum
and Domaine de Boisbuchet design camp
Key Note: Wednesday 26 September

As a freelance curator and collector of industrial furniture design, Alexander von Vegesack set up the Thonet Museum in Boppard am Rhein and advised international museums in shaping and adding to their design collections. He organized exhibitions in Paris for the Centre Georges Pompidou as well as the Musée d’Orsay. He was also commissioned by the American Federation of Arts to conceive the first major exhibition about the history of industrial furniture design that was shown in ten leading American museums. He realized similar projects in Eastern Europe for the German Foreign Ministry.

In 1989 Alexander von Vegesack established the Vitra Design Museum in cooperation with the furniture producer Vitra and headed the museum as the founding director until 2010. During this time, he conceived this independent foundation that was able to finance itself almost exclusively. In this role, he created a continually changing program of internationally touring exhibitions on design and architecture, including the publication of numerous associated catalogues. In addition, he initiated the annual international museum conference MUSCON that provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and programs. In the 1990’s, Alexander von Vegesack in cooperation with the Vitra Design Museumstarted to organize the international workshop program Domaine de Boisbuchet located in France. This program not only invites designers and architects to participate, but also artists, craftsmen and artisans from various disciplines. The Centre Georges Pompidou joined this cooperation in 1996. Von Vegesack’s private collection was first shown in 1993 in the exhibition “Miroir d’un Collection” at Centre Georges Pompidou. In March 2008 the Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli displayed the exhibition “Scoprire il Design – La Collezione von Vegesack” in Turin, which is now being shown in France in Nancy and Royan.

In December 2010, after more than twenty-one years, founding director Alexander von Vegesack handed over the operational management of the Vitra Design Museum and currently assumes the role of Chairman of the Board of the Vitra Design Stiftung. Von Vegesack also continues to support the Vitra Design Museum in an advisory capacity.Since January 2011 he has committed to his own institution, the Domaine de Boisbuchet, which has gained an international reputation as an educational center. The French State awarded this non-profit organization in 2011 with the accolade “Pôle d’excellence rurale” and continues to financially support Domaine de Boisbuchet in further expansions.

Alexander von Vegesack served as a member of the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, is Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and holds the German order of merit.