With the James-Simon-Galerie, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin pay tribute to the great philanthropist, patron and Jewish citizen of the world James Simon (1851-1932) on the Museum Island Berlin. Now, historian Olaf Matthes and filmmakers Felix von Boehm and Gerda Leopold recall the life and work of the great Berliner in four films and a virtual reality application. Admission to the special presentation in the upper special exhibition hall of the Kulturforum is free.
In the film installation, actress Katharina Thalbach recalls important stages in James Simon’s biography. Animated photos and historical film material bring to life the history that affected the patron. The Virtual Reality (VR) application, realised by director Gerda Leopold in 2021, invites viewers on a virtual visit of James Simon’s villa at Tiergartenstraße 14a.
James Simon’s study and other rooms in the building destroyed during the Second World War were reconstructed for the application. In a similar residential building that architect Alfred Breslauer built in Berlin-Grunewald, set designer Claus-Jürgen Pfeiffer painstakingly replicated areas of Simon’s villa true to the original in order to convey an authentic impression of James Simon’s private interiors and art collection . Playing the host, actor Michael Wittenborn slips into the role of James Simon and shares information with users about favourite objects in his collection.
The VR application can be accessed on site using a QR code. VR goggles will also be available to visitors in the exhibition as soon as they are permitted under COVID-19 regulations.
The special presentation curated by Olaf Matthes and Felix von Boehm is supported by the James Simon-Stiftung;, the VR application is produced by art/beats and funded by medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.
Address / Getting there
U-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz
S-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz
Bus: Potsdamer Brücke, Potsdamer Platz Bhf / Voßstraße, Kulturforum, Philharmonie
Sun 10:00 - 18:00
Tue 10:00 - 18:00
Wed 10:00 - 18:00
Thu 10:00 - 20:00
Fri 10:00 - 18:00
Sat 10:00 - 18:00
Opening times on public holidays Opening hours
The Studiengalerie is currently closed.
Prices / Tickets
Exhibition James Simon. The Art of Giving Well
James Simon. The Art of Giving Well
Annual Ticket from 25,00 EUR
free time slot ticket required
Admission / Public health measures
James Simon – the Great Patron of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Patrons of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin