Werner Abegg (1903–1984) was the scion of a family of industrialists from Zurich. He began collecting works of applied art even as a young man, focusing mainly on textiles. His wife Margaret, née Harrington Daniels (1901–1999), had already made a name for herself as an art historian by the time they met in New York during the war. Together they expanded their collections, eventually merging them in a new foundation, the Abegg-Stiftung, launched in the 1960s.
The board currently has nine members and is made up of representatives of the arts, politics and higher education. Chairman of the Board is Dominik Keller.
To collect The creation of a wide-ranging collection of woven textiles based on the founders’ private collection.
To exhibit The presentation in a museum of works of fine art and applied art from Antiquity to the Baroque era and the organization of an annual exhibition drawing on the rich holdings of the textile collection.
To conserve and restore The conservation and restoration of textiles and training of conservators specialized in this field at tertiary level.
To study The furtherance of academic exchange in textile art through the organization of conferences, the publication of books and papers and the provision of an academic library with a focus on applied art, textile art and conservation.