The presentation of the collection with works from 1900 to 1945 is titled The Art of Society to point out the museum holdings’ close association with contemporaneous events. Berlin has always been at the centre of Germany’s political and historical affairs, which explains the collection’s strong focus on social processes. Going beyond a mere history of aesthetics, the collection impressively illustrate the connection between art and society. The paintings and sculptures mirror the German Empire, colonial history, the First World War, the Weimar Republic’s Golden Twenties, and the ostracism of the avantgarde under National Socialism, as well as the effects of the Second World War and the Holocaust.
The exhibition does not trace a linear chronology of art movements in the first half of the 20th century. Instead, it seeks to emphasize the simulaneity between various avantgarde tendencies. The open floor plan of Mies van der Rohe’s architecture does not prescribe a fixed course through the exhibition, offering visitors a variety of perspectives on the erratic transition of art styles, including Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, Dada and New Objectivity. The exhibition sections focus on social themes, such as the big city, the German Lebensreform (life and reform) movement, politics and propaganda, exile, and war.
The exhibition presents some 250 works of Classical Modernism by artists including Otto Dix, Hannah Höch, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Lotte Laserstein and Renée Sintenis. Works by internationally active women artists have been included via loans, such as Hilma af Klint or Irma Stern. Two films by artists Julian Rosefeldt and Javier Téllez provide a contemporary critique of modernism.
The exhibition is curated by Dieter Scholz, Irina Hiebert Grun and Joachim Jäger.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication edited by Dieter Schol, Joachim Jäger and Irina Hiebert Grun: The Art of Society, 1900 – 1945, an exhibition catalogue of the Neue Nationalgalerie, DCV Verlag, Berlin, 2021. Price: 29 euros.
From September 2022 to July 2023, a monthly event series will be held to accompany the exhibition (programme, PDF, 285 KB).
A collection presentation by the Nationalgalerie, Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin
Offers and events
Address / Getting there
Potsdamer Straße 50
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
Admission is free every Thursday from 4 to 8 pm.
Prices / Tickets
Museum ticket Neue Nationalgalerie + special Exhibitions
12,00 EUR Concessions 6,00
Neue Nationalgalerie + special Exhibitions
Kulturforum all exhibitions
18,00 EUR Concessions 9,00
Annual Ticket from 25,00 EUR
Information / Booking / Feedback
"Die Kunst der Gesellschaft 1900-1945" in the Webshop of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Event Series for the Exhibition
Programm-Flyer der Veranstaltungsreihe zur Ausstellung (PDF, 640 KB)