Tag Archives: Museum

Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart (Museum of Contemporary Art)

Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart (Museum for Contemporary Art) in Berlin

The Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Berlin was the first venue I visited with my first Museum Pass in 2010 so it seemed appropriate that it should be the first stop on my Berlin Museum Marathon.

At the beginning of February I used the Museum Pass my work colleagues bought for me when I left my job in London in 2011 and was determined to see as many of Berlin’s wonderful museums and galleries as I possibly could in three days.

As well as that first visit in 2010, I also went to Hamburger Bahnhof during my second Berlin holiday in 2011 and I enjoyed both visits so much that I was determined to go back.

The Hamburger Bahnhof was originally built in the mid 19th century as the terminus of the Berlin to Hamburg railway but was too small for its purpose by 1906 when it first became a museum of traffic and technology.

Since 1996 the The Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart has housed the Contemporary Art collection of the Nationalgalerie.

As it is necessary to leave all bags and rucksacks in the cloakroom in the East Wing of the museum, it was here that I started my tour of the collections.

East Wing

The East Wing of the Hamburger Bahnhof houses the Marx Collection, which formed the backbone of the museum when it opened in 1996.  On display currently are the large-scale photographs of Thomas Struth and Andreas Gursky.  I have been a fan of Gursky’s incredibly detailed photographs since a friend introduced me to his work when I first took up photography.

Andreas Gursky – Singapore Stock Exchange and Library (Bibliothek) - at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart

Andreas Gursky – Singapore Stock Exchange (1997) and Library (Bibliothek) (1999)

Also in the East Wing of the building, the Kleihueshalle (named after Josef Paul Kleihues – the architect responsible for the transformation of the building into an art museum) is home to more of the Marx Collection including works by Anselm Kiefer and Andy Warhol.

Anselm Kiefer - Mohn und Gedächtnis - at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart

Detail from Anselm Kiefer – Mohn und Gedächtnis (1989)

Andy Warhol - Mao - at Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart

Andy Warhol – Mao (1973)

In 2010 I remember seeing Andy Warhol’s Double Elvis here but that was on display in the Neue Nationalgalerie this year.

West Wing

The West Wing includes an impressive selection of work by Joseph Beuys and my favourite artwork from this visit The Artwork Nobody Knows by Ryan Gander, which reminded me of the Street Art of Slinkachu due to its small scale.

Joseph Beuys Das Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts - at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart

Joseph Beuys – Das Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts (1982-83)

Ryan Gander - The Artwork Nobody Knows - at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart

Ryan Gander – The Artwork Nobody Knows (2011)

It was also in the West Wing, upstairs that time, that I saw my favourite artwork in 2010.  Schattenspiel (Shadow Play) by Hans-Peter Feldman was a captivating projection of shadows created by a moving array of toys.

Hans-Peter Feldman - Schattenspiel - at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart

Hans-Peter Feldman – Schattenspiel

Historic Hall

It was great to see a large group of children engaging with Martin Honert’s Kinderkreuzung (Children’s Crusade) in the Historic Hall, a large vaulted space immediately forward of the entrance.

Martin Honert - Kinderkreuzung - at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart

Martin Honert – Kinderkreuzung

On my second visit to the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart in 2011, it was here that I saw an exhibition of the works of Richard Long including his Berlin Circle and River Avon Mud Circle

Rieckhallen

During my latest visit the Rieckhallen, a former warehouse that has been connected to the museum since 2004, was closed but in 2010, it was here that I saw Clown Torture (2010), a video installation by Bruce Nauman.

Bruce Nauman – Clown Torture - at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart

Bruce Nauman – Clown Torture (2010)

I have now been to the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Berlin three times. Each time I have seen new artworks, beautifully presented and I’m already looking forward to my next visit.

Berlin Museum Marathon – Making The Most of a 3-Day Museum Pass

Berlin Museum Pass and Tickets

When I left my job in London to move to Berlin my colleagues made a collection and bought me The Berlin Pass, which includes a 3-Day Berlin Museum Pass.

Bought separately, the Museum Pass costs €19 and with it you get free entry to 55 of Berlin’s best museums and galleries.

Last week, I finally felt that I had the time and the energy needed to make the most out of it and, having drawn up an itinerary the night before, I set out on Tuesday to visit as many of the qualifying museums and galleries as possible.

Day 1

Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Berlin

Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart (Museum of Contemporary Art)*

Berliner Medizinhistorisches Museum der Charité
 (Berlin Museum of Medical History at the Charité)

Gemäldegalerie (Old Masters Paintings)

Musikinstrumenten-Museum (Musical Instrument Museum)

Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery)*

Had they been open I would also have visited the Kupferstischkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings) and revisited the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) whilst I was at the Kulturforum.

Day 2

Jewish Museum Berlin - Memory Void

Jüdisches Museum Berlin (Jewish Museum Berlin)*

Deutsches Technikmuseum (German Museum of Technology)

Altes Museum (Museum of the Ancient World)

I had much more planned for Day 2 but hadn’t grasped just how big the Deutsches Technikmuseum is.

Day 3

Allied Museum Berlin - Spy Tunnel

Alliierten Museum (Allied Museum)

Brücke Museum

Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg (Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection)

Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery)

I would also have revisited the Neues Museum (New Museum) whilst I was on Museumsinsel but there was a €4 entry fee, as there was a temporary exhibition.

A 3-Day Museum Pass costs €19 and in 3 days the combined total of the standard entrance prices to all the museums and galleries I visited was €87.  That said, I wouldn’t recommend that everyone tries to see 12 different venues with their pass.

When I decided to use my pass in this way I knew that I wouldn’t be able to spend as much time as I would like in the museums that appealed to me but I wanted to sample as many as possible and then return to my favourites at a late date.

Also, I was revisiting some (marked with *) for the sake of taking more photographs and checking for any changes since I had last been.

Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin

It’s also worth pointing out that at the end of each day my feet felt the way they used to during my holidays in Berlin when I would sit on the edge of the bath with an icy cold beer in my hand and my feet in cool water until the throbbing stopped.

In the coming weeks I will post about my favourite venues that I visited during my Berlin Museum Pass Marathon.

The 3-Day Berlin Museum Pass is available from the participating museums and galleries and Berlin’s Visitor Information Centres or can be ordered online from visitBerlin.  There is also a list of the 55 museums and galleries the Museum Pass gives you access to on the visitBerlin website.

Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum)

A close up of a skeleton in the World of Dinosaurs exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in BerlinYesterday afternoon, with Berlin’s weather teetering on the edge of the depressive part of its bi-polar summer weather cycle, I went to the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum).

I have been conscious for a while now of neglecting Berlin’s museums. I’ve posted about the Deutches Historisches Museum and The Stasi Museum, both of which I loved, and the Museum für Kommunikation, which I was not impressed with, but featuring just 3 of the 180 museums the city has to offer (so I read recently) in 8 months isn’t representative of the cultural options available here.

When I woke up to grey skies and threatening clouds it seemed fated that I should go to the Museum für Naturkunde, as it had been recommended to me the previous evening.

Walking into the museum you are immediately greeted by The World of Dinosaurs exhibition and the impressive skeleton of a Brachiosaurus, looming over you at a height of more than 13 metres.

A Brachiosaurus skeleton in the World of Dinosaurs exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

Just the right kind of thing to fire up a visitor’s enthusiasm and inspire awe in children and adults alike.

For me though, the highlight of the museum was walking around The Wet Collections.  According to the Museum für Naturkunde website there are:

around one million zoological objects – from spiders, fish and crustaceans to amphibians and mammals – in 276,000 vials, preserved in 81,880 litres of ethanol.

The collections have only been on display to the public since September 2010 when they were moved to a state of the art storage and display area in the newly renovated East Wing of the museum.

Samples in The Wet Collections at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin A sample in The Wet Collections at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin A sample in The Wet Collections at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

 

If you’d like to see more photos of The Wet Collections check out this post on überlin.

A special exhibition, Elefantenreich – Eine Fossilwelt in Europa (Land of the Elephants – A Fossil World in Europe) was another high point for me, though I mistakenly assumed that I was fascinated by a Mammoth.

A Straight-Tusked Elephant in the Elefantenreich – Eine Fossilwelt in Europa (Land of the Elephants – A Fossil World in Europe) exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin The head & shoulders of a Straight-Tusked Elephant in the Elefantenreich – Eine Fossilwelt in Europa (Land of the Elephants – A Fossil World in Europe) exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin A headshot of a Straight-Tusked Elephant in the Elefantenreich – Eine Fossilwelt in Europa (Land of the Elephants – A Fossil World in Europe) exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

 

 

 

Amongst the other exhibits that impressed me were the multimedia installation about the origins of the universe, viewed from below by visitors lying on a round sofa, in The Cosmos and Solar System.

Visitors on a round sofa viewing the multimedia installation in the Cosmos and Solar System exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

 

An impressive collection of Minerals and Fossils.

Just a few of the samples on display in the Minerals exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin Fossils on display in the Minerals exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

 

 

A number of skeletal remains.

An ape skeleton in the Evolution in Action exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin A skull on display in the Hoofed Animals exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin A foot skeleton at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

 

And Keller’s Models, a collection of insect models created by Alfred Keller for the museum between 1930 and 1955.

A model of a fly in the Keller's Models exhibition at the Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum) in Berlin

 

My only criticisms are that on the day I was there the temperature inside the museum (except for the controlled environment of The Wet Collections) was way too high and I feel that the layout could be made to flow better.  There were some collections currently off limits and others under construction so these may remedy that problem.

Apart from those minor gripes, I really enjoyed my time in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin’s Natural History Museum and would recommend a visit, especially to those looking for a rainy day activity with children.

Museum für Kommunikation: Fashion Talks

Dressed In White - Fashion Talks at Museum für Kommunikation Berlin

I was checking out the What’s On listings on Anglo Info last week and read about ‘Fashion Talks’ at the Museum für Kommunikation (Museum for Communication) in Berlin.

Berlin is blessed with a wealth of great museums and I’ve been to quite a few during my three trips but as I hadn’t been to this particular one so the opportunity to go and check it out appealed.

This temporary show ends on 26 February 2012 so I went to see it today while I could.

On the way up to ‘Fashion Talks’ on the top floor I checked out the permanent collection, which did nothing for me.  Some interactive displays and rows of telephone and post boxes doesn’t make for an interesting day out in my opinion but may be just your idea of heaven.  The building itself had some interesting architectural details though.

Statue at Museum für Kommunikation Berlin

The assertion on the website set up to promote the exhibition:

every day when we wonder ‘What shall I wear today?’, we are actually asking ourselves ‘Who do I want to be?’

spoke to me.  I’ve always subscribed to the view that ‘clothes maketh the man’ so I was keen to check out an exhibition that explores what our clothes say about us.

The curators had a few good ideas and some of them were presented reasonably well but you could probably learn as much about fashion principles if you walk around the shops near Hackescher Markt, spend an hour in the KaDeWe, or stroll along the Ku’damm.

If you do end up at the museum watch out for the guided tours.  If you happen to be looking at an exhibit that a guide would like to present to their group, you’ll be told to move on.

Fashion Tribes Exhibit at Fashion Talks at Museum für Kommunikation Berlin

Mods - Fashion Tribes Exhibit at Fashion Talks at Museum für Kommunikation Berlin

This happened to me as I was checking out what I thought was an interesting presentation of the items that define fashion tribes in library drawers.  As one of the principles being explored in ‘Fashion Talks’ is the first impressions made by our clothes this struck me as ironic – my first impression of this guide was far from good.

If you’re thinking of going to the Museum für Kommunikation, my advice is, don’t.  Take your €3 to one of Berlin’s many bars and have a beer, it will leave a better taste in your mouth.