MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, PHOTOGRAPHY AND ARCHITECTURE
The Berlinische Galerie is one of the newest museums in the German capital and collects art from Berlin dating from 1870 to the present day – with both a local and international focus. Founded in 1975, the State Museum reopened in its own building close to the Jewish Museum in 2004, moving into a spacious industrial hall that has been rebuilt to provide 4,600 square metres of exhibition space. Fine art – painting, graphics, sculpture, multimedia – photography, architecture and artists’ archives provide a rich source, whose interdisciplinary relationships create exciting dialogues. Its outstanding collections include Dada Berlin, the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) and the Eastern European avant-garde. The art of he divided and reunified city of Berlin provides another focus.
The highly acclaimed collection of fine art contains around 5,000 items including painting and sculptures, media works and installations. Numerous works by prominent artists and artist groups ranging from the Berlin Secession and Berlin Dada to the Eastern European avant-garde, the ‘Neue Wilde’ (Young Wild Ones) and the young art scene after the Fall of the Wall provide comprehensive insights into the multi-facetted art of an internationally prominent, modern metropolis. A lively panorama of Berlin evolves, dating from the turn of the 20th century to the present day.
The photographic collection reflects Berlin’s contribution to the development of photography from the middle of the 19th century to the present day. Areas focussed on include portrait and urban photography, different trends in photographic modernism, new approaches in documentary photography since the 1970s, one of the best collections on the photographic history of the GDR and, of course, outstanding works from the contemporary photographic scene.
The architectural collection concentrates on Berlin`s architecture and urban design history from around 1900 to the present day. In addition to bequests and individual works by important architects, the collection also comprises the former photography archive of the East Berlin Municipal Building Department, the archives of the Puhl & Wagner and Gottfried Heinersdorff mosaic and stained glass company, as well as official competition archives. The collection contains around 300,000 plans and drawings, approximately 2,500 architectural models, around 80,000 photographs and about 800 metres of file material.
The graphic art collection comprises around 15,000 works on paper, whereby, in addition to prints, the focus is on drawings. They convey the diversity of artistic standpoints and graphic art practised in Berlin from the late 19th century to the present day. The main focus of the collection is on Dada Berlin, the Eastern European avant-garde and the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity). The collection also includes important holdings on second generation German Expressionism, new artistic beginnings after 1943, the ‘New Figuration’ of the 1960s, East Berlin art from the 1960s onwards and contemporary drawings.
The artists’ archives are the museum’s written legacy. In these arsenals of memories, documents from the estates of artists, artist groups, gallery owners and art historians who have been active in Berlin are collected, preserved and researched. Beginning around 1900 with art nouveau, the documentary collections range from Herwarth Walden’s ‘Der Sturm’, the ‘November Group’ and the Ferdinand Möller Gallery to the recent past. The archive holdings on the Berlin Dada movement provide a wealth of material that is worldwide unique.
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