In 1998, the Gemäldegalerie opened at the Kulturforum in the gallery building designed by Hilmer & Sattler. The divided collection of paintings was reunited there for the first time. To celebrate its anniversary, the Gemäldegalerie is organising a festive evening.
During the Second World War, the painting collection was torn apart and exhibited in Dahlem (West Berlin) and the Bode Museum (East Berlin) during the division of Germany. In 1998, it became the first collection of the National Museums in Berlin to be reunited in the new building at the Kulturforum. The event was a sensation at the time and reflects a piece of German history.
The anniversary celebration on Saturday, 18 November 2023 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. will feature an extensive accompanying programme as well as innovations to the gallery. These include, above all, the improved lighting system. After two years of refurbishment with partial closures, it was completed in time for the anniversary:
All areas of the Picture Gallery are now fully open to visitors again.
Light is therefore also the overarching theme of the anniversary celebrations. In the permanent exhibition, the director, curators and conservators of the Gemäldegalerie will present the new lighting and its effects. Guided tours of the paintings by the great painters of light - Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Vermeer - will also be offered. In the Wandelhalle, the special exhibition "Zoom on van Eyck. Masterpieces in Detail" with interactive light projection. In the exhibition rooms, adventure stations with search games await visitors of all ages.
The public festive evening begins at 7 pm with a welcoming address by Joe Chialo, Senator for Culture and Social Cohesion of the State of Berlin. This will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by rbb editor Maria Ossowski on the eventful history and future plans of the Gemäldegalerie.
The panellists are:
- Hermann Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation,
- Dagmar Hirschfelder, Director of the Gemäldegalerie,
- Brigit Blass-Simmen, Chairwoman of the Board of the Kaiser Friedrich Museumsverein,
- and Nathan Eddy, filmmaker and journalist.
After the talk, directors Nathan Eddy and Paul Wiederhold will present the ARTE/rbb film "Old Masters, New Light - The Berlin Picture Gallery", which will celebrate its premiere that evening. It is dedicated to the light in the masterpieces in the collection as well as the new lighting in the gallery. For night owls, there will be a second film screening at 9.30 pm.
Afterwards, all visitors are cordially invited to celebrate with DJ Dickey Doo (house/disco) and drinks and snacks.