Thanks to a range of digital offers, our 15 collections can be accessed around the clock – and many of the museums can also be explored on a virtual tour outside their opening hours. A wide variety of objects and their histories are waiting to be discovered on the website www.smb.museum, through the online database SMB-digital, and via “Museum and the City”, the blog of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Online offers are continuously being developed and enhanced with fascinating new subject matter.
In addition to the bilingual website of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin with nearly 40 landing pages for all the museums, collections and institutions, the “Museum and the City” blog (in German) is a main resource offering a wide variety of background histories, interviews and photo galleries related to all of the museums and collections. Interesting portraits of museum staff and topical series on, for example, the ongoing major renovations at the Neue Nationalgalerie or clips of museum professionals talking about their favourite works of art take viewers on exciting, behind-the-scenes excursions. In the coming weeks of the shutdown, our curators, whose collection areas are closed to visitors, are going to have a lot more to say on the blog.
The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin has been an active part of the Google Arts & Culture presentation since 2011. In recent years the cooperation has been continuously expanded, so that its online platform now represents 10 institutions, more than 5,000 objects, 50 exhibitions, 37 short narratives, 5 virtual reality tours, 6 expeditions, 8 works of art shown in a gigapixel format, and street views of all of the museums with permanent exhibitions. The Museum Island portal to Google Arts & Culture pages about its museums offers the most direct access to a variety of these offers.
The digital representation of special exhibitions now closed due to the coronavirus crisis has greatly increased ‒ via the blog and the museum’s social media channels. The exhibition Trade:Mark – The Stankowski + Duschek Graphics Studio at the Kunstbibliothek is accessible as a 360° virtual tour.
The German-language exhibition catalogue Raffael in Berlin is available as a free download. In addition to Raphael’s well-known madonnas at the Gemäldegalerie, it includes drawings by the Italian Renaissance master and other artists in his circle ‒ among the most valued works in the Kupferstichkabinett collection.
The exhibition Body Performance is available as a 360° virtual reality tour, featuring an audio commentary by curator Matthias Harder.
Currently, the exhibition On Myths and Monuments: The Colombian Expeditions of Konrad Theodor Preuss (1913–1919), curated by the Ethnologisches Museum, as well as three exhibitions by the Kunstbibliothek from the series Cabinet in the Gallery are being presented online on the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, namely: Dürer: 500 Years of His ‘Master Engravings’, Albrecht Altdorfer and Luther Pictures: Pictures and Drawings from the Kupferstichkabinett.
A virtual tour makes it possible for interested viewers to explore the Bode-Museum online. With the help of 62 interlinked 360° panoramic views, nearly the entire ground floor and the vast majority of exhibits on the upper level have been captured. The tour offers information about all 850 digitised sculptures and paintings, and includes more than 300 additional links to SMB-digital, the online database of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
The Münzkabinett (Numismatic Collection), also housed in the Bode-Museum, provides viewers with an interactive catalogue. The presentation The Second Glance – All Forms of Love, part of a series looking at the permanent exhibition at the Bode-Museum, is available for download as a catalogue. Also available for download is the app for the exhibition Beyond Compare: Art from Africa in the Bode-Museum, which ran from 2017 to 2019.
In cooperation with the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, a four-part video series was created in which works of art from the Bode-Museum are juxtaposed with musical pieces.
As part of the Masterplan Museumsinsel, the Pergamonmuseum has been undergoing renovations section by section since 2013. Its hall housing the renowned Pergamon Altar ‒ the museum’s centrepiece ‒ has been closed on this account since fall 2014. Fortunately, in September 2014 the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities) and the Fraunhofer IGD (Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research) made an elaborate 3D scan of this over 2,000-year-old masterpiece of Hellenistic art. A complete and richly-detailed 3D model of the Pergamon Altar based on this scan is publicly accessible online (with accompanying texts in German).
SMB-digital, the online database of all the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin collections currently includes some 250,000 objects. In addition to this gigantic virtual archive with details and background information about our objects, individual works and collections are also accessible via the websites for specific projects, for example the Galerie des 20. Jahrhundertsin West-Berlin (20th Century Gallery in West Berlin, provenance research project / catalogue of the Nationalgalerie; in German); Piktorialismus-Portal (Pictorialism Portal, research project / catalogue of the Kunstbibliothek (Art Library); in German and English); Das Erbe Schinkels (Schinkel’s Heritage, research project / catalogue of the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings); in German and English); Berlin Papyrus Database (BerlPap) (Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung (Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection); in German and English); Das verschwundene Museum (The Lost Museum, Skulpturensammlung (Sculpture Collection); in German and English).
In addition to exhibition trailers and image films, the YouTube channel of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin also shows interesting video series highlighting the backgrounds of our objects and work in the museums, such as Lieblingsstücke (Favourite Pieces, museum staff at the Gemäldegalerie (Old Master Paintings) and the Bode-Museum discuss their personal favourite works of art, in German with English subtitles), as well as Hingeschaut and Alone in the Museum – all extra offers for #SMBforHome.
There are also interesting insights to be found in the talk series Netzwerk Museumsinsel and Schinkel: A View of Prussia’s Golden Age, Backstories (animated narratives about individual objects), Behind the Scenes (behind-the-scenes views of museum work), 360° tour through the Altes Museum. The three-part series of public restorations In Preparation sheds light on the preparations being made for the new building of the Nationalgalerie at the Kulturforum. Several venues of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin are also represented in the current series “Der rbb macht Museum”.
Volkswagen ART4ALL, a free programme at Hamburger Bahnhof, is currently offered as an online edition. It broadcasts a new podcast on the first Thursday of every month. The first podcasts in this online edition of the interdisciplinary and publicly accessible programme of lectures, screenings, conversations with artists, performances and more feature Walter Dahn, Nevin Aladağ, Wolfgang Tillmans und Katharina Grosse.
The blog of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (only in German) has discovered historical programmes and photographs in the archives and brings this ebullient period to life with a specially curated Spotify playlist revisiting Jazz in the Garden and the Meta Music Festival.
Six bands were invited to the "Mschatta Lounge" in 2019, each of which interpreted an object from the exhibition in their own musical language.
On its Facebook page, which is updated daily, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin reports on new developments at the museums and presents objects from its collections. In addition to this general page, each of the museums and insitutions of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin have their own Facebook pages.
Objects and their histories from all museums are also presented on the Instagram channel for the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Moreover there is a special Instagram channel for the Museum Berggruen, which is dedicated exclusively to the museum collection and to classical Modernism.
Twitter presents the latest news about the work of the Institut für Museumsforschung (Institute for Museum Research) and the Provenienzforschungteam Dahlem (Dahlem Provenance Research Team) gives accounts of its current research projects and activities.
The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin use the hashtags #SMBforHome and #ClosedButOpen for its most up-to-date-communications on social media.
Last, but not least we recommend taking a look at our webshop, featuring catalogues and other Staatliche Museen zu Berlin products.