The Berlinische Galerie houses one of Berlin's most important modern art collections, sitting by the former Berlin Wall between chic Mitte and cool Kreuzberg.
At the boundary between Mitte and Kreuzberg, you'll find one of Berlin's most important modern art collections. The Berlinische Galerie tells the story of modern art from 1840 onwards and puts on hot-ticket temporary exhibitions by Berlin's fiendishly productive artists. Works encompass all media from photography to painting, installation to architecture, and digital artworks. Dada and the Eastern European avant-garde are the main focus of the museum. You can also learn about the history of art in the once divided and now re-united German capital.
History and atmosphere of the museum
The Berlinische Galerie's collection is founded in the Berlin district of Charlottenburg in 1975, but the collection migrates many times during its history. From 1978 onwards it forms part of the New National Gallery, before becoming the 'Gallery of the 20th Century' at Bahnhof Zoo. In 1986, it moves to nearby Martin-Gropius-Bau. Its final resting place is commissioned following its re-designation as a public collection in 1994, and is completed in 2004. The current museum is located on Alte Jakobstraße at the end of a trail of open-air artworks that comprise the ongoing exhibition Kunst - Stadt - Raum. Directly outside the museum entrance are several rows of letters in yellow boxes. Try to discover the names of the famous artists! Experience 4,100 square metres of art stretching from Classical Modernism through to the most contemporary installations, encompassing the Expressionist, Dada and New Objectivity movements. Architecturally speaking, the museum is easy on the eye. Its central space is a former industrial hall and is now radiant in luminous white. Two striking sets of free-standing steps traverse the space, connecting the permanent exhibition upstairs with the temporary exhibitions on the ground floor. The gallery offers new perspectives on contemporary art, re-contextualizing artworks such as Georg Baselitz's 2007 A Modern Painter (Remix). Above you floats a painter, amid a proliferation of brushstrokes, with a tangle of roots beneath. Or is it supposed to be an inverted tree? As a major gallery partner, the artist uses his works to turn perceptions of contemporary art on their head.
Reasons to visit the Berlinische Galerie
- Exhibition Kunst - Stadt - Raum - 11 exterior sculptures near Alte Jakobstraße
- Concerts, lectures and artist talks
- Graphic collection, library and artist archive
- Children's design in the Bunter Jakob studio
- Changing special exhibitions of contemporary art
Art, culture and creativity around the corner
Just around the corner from the Berlinische Galerie is the Jewish Museum. The largest museum of its kind in Europe, here, you can learn everything about the German-Jewish history of the past 2,000 years. The famous historic landmark Checkpoint Charlie is also a short walk away. At the time of the Berlin Wall, the Allies' famous border crossing connects the American and Soviet sectors (today's Kreuzberg and Mitte). Nor is the Berlinische Galerie the only contemporary art gallery in the area. Head to Scotty Enterprises, Kreuzberg's smallest house. You'll find a project space for contemporary art and experimental media. In the neighbourhood of Alte Jakobstraße, there's St. Agnes, a former Catholic church turned art gallery. The massive brutalist concrete structure is worth a visit for its architecture alone. On Oranienstraße, the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (nGbk) Berlin is one of the largest art associations in Germany. Discover up-and-coming artists in its exhibition room which hosts temporary performances and art projects. Moritzplatz Gallery Kai Dikhas exhibits works by Central European 'Sinti and Roma' artists.
Visiting the Berlinische Galerie
On Mondays most museums are closed - but not the Berlinische Galerie. And if you arrive on the first Monday of the month, you will also receive a discount. The Berlin Welcome Card also entitles you to discounts. Got a Berlin Museum Pass? You can get into the Berlinische Galerie for free! It is also free for children and visitors under the age of 18 to visit the museum. They are also invited to get creative in the museum's Bunter Jakob project space. School classes experience modern art through a variety of lenses and get up close to contemporary art in the project centre. The best underground stations from which to access the museum are Hallesches Tor (U1), Kochstraße (U6) and Moritzplatz (U8), which are each only a kilometre from the museum. Closer still are the M29 (Waldeckpark) and 248 (Jewish Museum) bus stops. Drivers will find visitors' parking lots behind the museum. There is also barrier-free disabled parking on-site.
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