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Fri 27 October 2006 - Sun 6 May 2007
The collection of 20th century masterpieces in the Neue Nationalgalerie has its origins in a collection of contemporary art. As such, it followed a tradition established in the previous century: from its foundation in 1876, the original gallery on Berlin's Museum Island - today's Alte Nationalgalerie - was conceived as a museum for contemporary art of the 19th century.
The history of the 20th century collection begins with the so-called "Gallery of the Living", opened in 1919 in the Kronprinzenpalais as an annex of the Alte Nationalgalerie. Important acquisitions of Expressionist masterpieces gave a new profile to the collection. This forum of modernism came to an end by the Nazi campaign "Entartete Kunst" (Degenerate Art). Many masterpieces, including Franz Marc's "The Tower of Blue Horses", were lost forever. After World War II, the tradition of the Kronprinzenpalais was continued in the "Gallery of the 20th Century" at Jebensstraße. With the opening of the Neue Nationalgalerie in 1968, a new leaf was turned.
Sensational acquisitions, made possible by the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin and the Friends of the Nationalgalerie, supplemented the collection with chief works of German Expressionism, Dadaism and contemporary movements such as Zero and Nouveau Réalisme. The acquisition of masterpieces of the American avant-garde - above all Barnett Newman's "Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue IV" (purchased in 1980) - finally established the Neue Nationalgalerie as a first-rate international art collection. The re-unification of the collections East and West and finally the opening of the Hamburger Bahnhof (1996) as the museum for art of the 21st century turned the Nationalgalerie itself into a classic institution. Mies van der Rohe's building is internationally thought of as belonging to the most significant examples of modern museum architecture. On another level, the collection of 20th century art also tells a tale of the museum as a collaborative product of private and public forces. Important collector-patrons such as Otto van de Loo, Heinz Berggruen, Egidio Marzona and Erich Marx have added decisively to the richness and splendour of today's collection.
8 Euros, cocession 4 Euros
Ticket including O. M. Ungers 10 Euros, cocession 5 Euros