The Keller-Wedekind-Foundation was established as a bequest by dentist and art enthusiast Dr. Walter Keller-Wedekind in 1994. The president and curator of the foundation is art historian Detta Kälin.

The Foundation is an institution dedicated to promoting art; it exclusively promotes Swiss art.

According to the Foundation’s regulations, its objective is “to promote figurative art in Switzerland.”

The Board of Trustees decides upon the form that the promotion will take, respecting the donor’s will.

The will of the donor is implemented by awarding the KWS Art Prize and by purchasing figurative fine arts from Swiss artists for the KWS Collection. A selection of the collection is presented, alternating with the art prize, in the Museum Franz Gertsch. The selection of the winner of the KWS Art Prize and the purchase of works for the KWS Collection are the responsibility of the Board of Trustees.

The Keller-Wedekind-Foundation is under the supervision of the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA).

(2.6.1901 – 10.1.1994)

Born and raised in Hornussen (Fricktal), ‘Wak’, as he was called by his friends, first completed his doctorate as Dipl. Masch. Ing. at the ETH Zürich and soon after at the Universities of Zürich and Bern as Dr. med. dent.. Parallel to his work as a dentist in Zürich-Wiedikon, where he ran a dental practice from 1934 to 1963, ‘Wak’ was a passionate painter. He married Maria Wedekind in 1934. The young couple shared common interests: art appreciation and travelling all over the world. After the death of Maria Wedekind in 1967, ‘Wak’ began a period during which he further deepened his interest in painting and undertook several major journeys.

Walter Keller expressed his love of art by establishing the «Keller-Wedekind-Foundation» as stipulated in his will.


The KWS purchases figurative art by Swiss artists for its collection. Purchases are normally made through galleries, which the Foundation considers to be a core component of the art development and consequently supports through its purchase policy.


Every two years, KWS presents a selection of works from the KWS collection at the Museum Franz Gertsch. The exhibition is curated by the Museum Franz Gertsch.


The objective of the KWS Art Prize is to promote Swiss artists who have distinguished themselves in the field of figurative art through exceptional artistic talent.

The KWS Art Prize includes:

  • CHF 10‘000.-
  • Purchase of art work for the KWS Collection
  • Catalogue “KWS Art Prize”
  • Exhibition lasting several weeks

 The KWS Art Prize is awarded every two years.

The award ceremony and exhibition take place at the Fabian & Claude Walter Galerie in Zürich. In total, the KWS Art Prize is endowed with CHF 70.000, making it one of the highest privately financed art prizes in Switzerland.


KWS promotes Swiss art by purchasing works and awarding the KWS Art Prize. As a matter of principle, KWS does not support all forms of projects and contributions by third parties. In addition, the following are not supported: cost contributions to education, stays abroad, infrastructure and operating costs, printing costs, bridging finance and deficit guarantees, loans, scholarships, congresses and seminars, PR and advertising projects, films and other media, exhibitions, publications.

No requests or applications will be accepted.

The KWS shall not enter into any correspondence with respect to decisions to award prizes and purchases. No appeals or reconsideration procedures are possible.

The KWS does not provide sponsorships.


KWS President, Curator

Lic. phil. Detta Kälin, Art historian

Vice president

Dr. Stephan Zurfluh, Historian

Members of the council

Linus Meienberg, MSc

Marc Zurfluh, MA

Portrait Walter Keller-Wedekind by Otto Bachmann 1947