The Ludwig Museum introducing the art of the past three decades opened officially in June, 1991 in the 'A' building of the Budavár Palace. The material is based on the donations of Peter and Irene Ludwig. The couple gave more than a hundred valuable objects to Hungary. These can be seen at the permanent exhibition of the museum complemented with artworks of Hungarian contemporary artists.
The Ludwigs were among the best-known collectors of the world. The Ludwig collection has over 800 Picassos, which makes the collection of this sort the largest in the world. Of these, three of the most significant paintings were brought to Hungary. Similarly, their Russian classic and avant-garde collection, and the Pop Art collection from the USA is extremely valuable. Among the pop art works, one of Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns are displayed in Hungary. The German, Italian, and French trans avant-garde paintings of the 80's are also represented by eminent works. Peter Ludwig was the first collector who brought artworks from the Socialist countries.
It is undoubtedly true that one of the most significant collectors of the world presented the collection to the audience from the very beginning of its existence. The first Ludwig Museum in Eastern Europe opened in Budapest. Peter Ludwig died in the summer of 1996. His wife, Irene Ludwig and the foundation of Aachen, tends the collection.
The history of the contemporary collection began at the time of the foundation of the Ludwig Museum of Budapest. It was also the time of the change of regime in Hungary, 1989. The collection inaugurated on 14, December 1996 was organized of the works of Hungarian artists. The changes in politics also helped the artists formerly ignored gain their worthy position. At the same time, a young generation grew up which uses the international language of art.
The Museum of Contemporary Art aims at collecting and showing the most important results of the contemporary art for a large audience.