The Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation was established in 1933 by Maja Hoffmann-Stehlin, the later Maja Sacher (1898-1989), to continue the commitment to contemporary art which she and her husband, who passed away young, had begun. From the start, Maja Sacher consistently pursued the three main objectives of her foundation: collecting, conservation and mediation of forward-looking art. In 1941 she entrusted the collection to the Kunstmuseum Basel as a permanent loan and 1980 Maja Sacher initiated and made possible the construction of the world’s first museum of contemporary art, the Museum für Gegenwartskunst.
The foundation’s capital still today enables the Foundation Board to continuously develop the collection which has now become so extensive that only a small part of it can be on view in the Kunstmuseum or Museum für Gegenwartskunst. Since 2003, the Schaulager is the home for the collection’s works not currently on exhibition.