Picasso, Klee & Giacometti in Charlottenburg: Museum Berggruen Reopens
Far from the madding museum crowd on Berlin’s Museum Island, the Museum Berggruen opposite Charlottenburg Palace is one of Germany’s most important locations for modern art. Following lengthy extension works, the museum is now once again open to the public. The intimate, tranquil atmosphere combined with an impressive collection of artworks by the likes of Picasso, Klee, Matisse, Braque and Giacometti in the stunning former Prussian officers’ barracks make for a great day out.
The original museum space in the west wing of the Stülerbau, which was designed by famous Prussian architect Friedrich August Stüler, has been expanded to include the neighbouring former Kommandantenhaus by a stylish glass connecting passage (pictured below). Luckily, the remodeled sculpture garden in the inner courtyard, featuring larger than life human forms, can also be viewed from the passage – a wise move considering Berlin’s harsh winters.
Named after Berlin-born Heinz Berggruen, the Museum Berggruen is testament to the famous art collector’s work spanning over half a century. Since the museum was first opened in 1996, this collection has been added to by works from the New National Gallery, who acquired Heinz Berggruen’s collection before his death, as well as more recent loans from the Berggruen family. The intimate, personal atmosphere of a private collection is retained – perhaps also thanks to its non-central location – and marks it out as a treasure amongst Berlin’s museums.
The core exhibition entitled ‘Picasso and his Times’ dedicates three floors to his painting, sculpture and drawings with more than 100 works: from early student sketches, to the Blue and Rose period with his ‘Seated Harlequin’, from the dramatic Cubist years right up to the year before his death in 1973. The blue and pink period are represented as well as cubism and classicism. Since the 1920s Picasso practised different variations in style at the same time. In addition, 60of Paul Klee’s works from 1917 onwards cover a creative lifespan of over twenty years, plus more than 20 works by Henri Matisse, including more than half a dozen of his famous paper-cuts. Sculptures by Alberto Giacometti as well as examples of some of the African art which inspired 20th century modernists round off the collection.
The museum is not far from the Hotel Concorde Berlin and can be easily reached by public transport or on foot, weather permitting. Whilst you are there, why not pay a visit to the stunning Charlottenburg Palace and the Collection Scharf-Gerstenberg which can be found in the east wing of the Stüler building and specialises in artwork by the surrealists and their forerunners.
Schloßstraße 1, Charlottenburg
Open Tues-Sun, 10:00-18:00