Have an art buff headed to Berlin? The city has just released a roundup of the latest museum openings.
Tshoban Foundation – Museum for Architectural Drawings
Open since 2013 at the former Pfefferberg Brewery complex, the private Museum for Architectural Drawings houses the Tchoban Foundation’s collection as well as temporary exhibits from leading international cultural institutions. Conceived by Berlin and Moscow-based architect Sergei Tchoban, the museum presents three changing exhibitions annually.
The architecturally striking building extends from a fire-wall, seemingly latching onto a row of typical Berlin houses. Evoking a set of oversized piled blocks, the four story building’s silhouette is defined by a regression and progression of a colored concrete and glass façade.
Open daily, admission 5 Euro/ 3 Euro.
Magicum – Berlin Magic Museum
Open since summer 2014 in the cellars of an historic former blacksmith building close to Berlin’s Hackesche Markt, Berlin’s Magic Museum has approximately 450 exhibits on witchcraft and magical powers, mythical knowledge, secrets, the supernatural and ancient wisdom. Included are ritualistic objects and magic devices ranging from a Dutch witches' scale and torture instruments to African totem masks, crystal balls, and a historic Samurai sword. Curated to be more entertaining than strictly academic, the exhibition encourages exploration.
Open daily, admission from Euro 7.50 / Euro 5.
New Museums Opening in 2015
Kunsthaus Dahlem (to open summer 2015)
Following extensive renovations, the Kunsthaus Dahlem will open in the summer of 2015 as an exhibition venue for Postwar German Modernism from East and West Germany (1945-61).
The opening exhibition will focus primarily on sculptural works, complemented by paintings, graphics, and photography.
The historic building was constructed between 1939 and 1942 as a studio for infamous sculptor Arno Breker, who, alongside Josef Thorak, was one of the popular sculptors of the Third Reich, producing ornamental sculptures for Albert Speer’s monumental constructions. In addition to a cafe and a museum shop, there will also be a permanent exhibition on the building’s past.
Berlin Spy Museum (opening TBA)
Espionage has been the subject of many movies and books set in Berlin. Now the city is getting a museum that focuses on agents, double agents, betrayals, heroes and their stories, as well as the tools they used. The Berlin Spy Museum will feature approximately 21,500 square feet of exhibition space. One of the more well-known pieces on display will be the famous German coding machine “Enigma” from World War II, which was used for enciphering and deciphering secret messages. The exhibition will unveil the mysteries of intelligence services and espionage in the East and the West with a focus on Berlin during WWII and the Cold War. The interactive exhibits cater to all age groups, including children.
Housing three of the National Museums’ major collections - the Antiquities Collections, the Museum of the Ancient Near East, and the Museum for Islamic Art - it’s the Pergamon Museum’s reconstructions of massive archaeological structures that have made it the most visited museum in Berlin. Every year, some 1.4 million visit the Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way from Babylon.
Due to renovations, the Pergamon Altar will be closed until 2019; however, the Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way from Babylon will remain open during this time.
Museum of Decorative Arts at Kulturforum
After three years of renovations, Germany’s oldest museum of decorative arts, the Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, reopened in November 2014 with a new gallery dedicated to the history of fashion. Located at Berlin’s Kulturforum museum complex, the new permanent exhibition of dresses, hats, bags, gloves and accessories from the 18th to the 21st century is based on an international collection acquired in 2009 by the museum.
Since its re-opening, the Kunstgewerbemuseum has been providing an overview of the key achievements in European design, from the Middle Ages to the present day. In addition to the Fashion Gallery, the museum features new departments of Design, and Jugendstil / Art Deco.
Berlinische Gallery (re-opens May 2015)
After a year-long modernization, the Berlinische Gallery is scheduled to reopen on May 28. The Gallery’s permanent exhibition focusses exclusively on art in Berlin from 1880 – 1980, ranging from late 19th century paintings, to Expressionism and the East European avant-garde, to post-war modern architecture and the “wild” works of the seventies. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the collection, the show will illustrate a diversity of artistic styles and credos, but also tensions, polarization and fresh departures, which remain hallmarks of Berlin as an artistic hub.
Two further temporary exhibitions are opening on May 25: Radically Modern, which focuses on building styles in the 1960s, and on contemporary German painter Bernhard Martin. A retrospective on Max Beckmann and Berlin will open November 20.