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The Collection Scharf-Gerstenberg presents the holdings of the "Stiftung Sammlung Dieter Scharf zur Erinnerung an Otto Gerstenberg", the foundation of the Dieter Scharf collection in remembrance of Otto Gerstenberg. The starting point lies in the collection gathered together by Otto Gerstenberg (1848-1935) in Berlin around 1910. He compiled one of the largest collections of painting and graphic art of his time, covering a broad range of periods from the Old Masters to Impressionism.
Otto Gerstenberg's passion for collecting art was continued by his grandsons Walter Scharf (1923-1996) and Dieter Scharf (1926-2001). The latter took over the graphic cycles by Piranesi, Goya and Klinger as a founding stock for his own collection which focuses on the fantastic and the surreal. With great determination and consistency, he assembled an outstanding collection which, shortly before his death, he converted into a foundation which was to present its holdings on a permanent basis in Berlin.
In 2000, the collection was exhibited with great success under the title "Surreale Welten (Surreal Worlds) in the New National Gallery. A ten-year loan contract thereafter secured the collection for the National Museums in Berlin. With its thematic focus, the collection represents an ideal supplement to "Picasso and his time", the exhibition on show in the Museum Berggruen located opposite. With this additional highlight, the museums in Charlottenburg become a centre for the art of the early 20th century.
The Scharf-Gerstenberg collection will be housed in the building erected in the 1850s by the architect Friedrich August Stüler and located opposite Charlottenburg Palace. As a new addition to the building, the architectural office of Sunder-Plassmann have designed a generously glazed entrance area with a café. In this way, the courtyard wedged between the Collection Scharf-Gerstenberg, the Museum of Local History (Heimatmuseum Charlottenburg), the Plaster Cast Collection (Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik), and the Natural Science Collections can be experienced as a new kind of urban architectural ensemble.