Please note the changed opening hours from 16 April 2024. More

Museum Global

The Nationalgalerie is currently reassessing its holdings with the aim of seeing them from a global perspective. The research and exhibition project has been funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, as a part of the initiative ‘Global Museum’.

Characterized by historical and political ruptures, the collection is currently Western-oriented, expanded mainly by a marked focus on North America, and the merging of East and West German post-war art collections. What might the collection include today, had a global understanding characterized its concept of art and consequently also its genesis? What challenges would such a change in perspective – as motivated by the heightened interconnectedness of our increasingly globalized world – bring to a museum, today and in the future?

Global Museum: Where do we go from here?

A conference by Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in cooperation with the German Federal Cultural Foundation; with kind support by Freunde der Nationalgalerie e.V.
September 30 to October 1, 2019, Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart, Historische Halle

As part of the “Global Museum” programme of the Federal Cultural Foundation, several German art museums have conducted a critical examination of their collections, and by extension, also the Western canon of modern art. As the MMK in Frankfurt, the Nationalgalerie in Berlin and the Kunstsammlung NRW in Düsseldorf conclude their projects, this conference takes stock of the progress achieved thus far: What consequences has “Global Museum” had for the institutions? How and to what extent are the projects the subject of public debate? Are the museums planning to shift their orientation in the long term and what challenges would arise from such a decision? How can museums build a lasting international network and what can they learn from artists?

Embodied Histories – Temporal Communities. Southeast Asian and Western Approaches to Narratives and Performance Art

Conference June 13 to 14, 2019

The conference and performance program Embodied Histories - Temporal Communities. Southeast Asian and Western Approaches to Narratives and Performance Art at Hamburger Bahnhof aims to open up new perspectives on narrativizations of history, narratives and their embodiment in performative arts and practices in Southeast Asia. The combination of lecture and performance programme reflects the conference's concern to explore the possibilities of how curatorial, institutional and academic practices can learn from artistic practices. With its focus on embodied histories and entangled communities, the conference is part of a polyphonic curatorial collaboration. In 2017, this collaboration was initiated by the Goethe-Institut during the research for the exhibition Hello World. Revising a Collection (Hamburger Bahnhof, 2018), and is an ongoing research and exhibition project between the Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart, the Jim Thompson Art Center in Bangkok, the MAIIAM in Chiang Mai, the Galerie Nasional in Jakarta and the Singapore Art Museum. In 2021 and 2021 a series of exhibitions will be held in Thailand, Indonesia and Germany under the same title.

Hello World. Revising a Collection from April 28 to August 26, 2018 

The exhibition project "Hello World. Revising a Collection" asks these questions and more. It will be on display from April 28 until August 26, 2018 at the Hamburger Bahnhof, covering the majority of the exhibition space. Works and groups of works from the collection function as starting points for thematic explorations of the complex web of international and trans-cultural ties, from 1900 to the present. A curatorial team is in the process of creating a draft for a museum that displays the historical, cultural, and political complexity of its holdings.

Exhibition catalogue: Hello World. Revising a Collection

Museum and Curating Practices in Southeast Asia

Wednesday, 25. April 2018, 4 to 9 p.m.

At the invitation of Goethe Institute Jakarta curators, museum directors and artists from Southeast Asia and Germany are invited to Berlin to share their experience, views and different perspectives concerning exhibition practices in transition in Southeast Asia within three panels and a following panel discussion. Between 4 and 6 pm the programme is accompanied by the performance “Sweet Dreams Sweet“ by the Indonesian artist Melati Suryodarmo.

The conference is a cooperation between the Goethe Institut and the Nationalgalerie — Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and takes place on the occasion of the exhibition "Hello World. Revising a collection“ at Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart.

Free admission.

Fishing for Islands from October 27 to 29, 2017

The weekend of oceanic performances, installations and panels, presented by the TBA21–Academy in association with the Nationalgalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin is prologue of the the research and exhibition project of the Nationalgalerie, which is part of the ‘Museum Global’ initiative. 

The title is based on a Polynesian creation myth, according to which the archipelagos’ islands were fished out of the sea. Within 36 hours, i.e. three tide cycles, the project comprises a diverse programme of oceanic activities in the historic hall of the Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart.

Conference: The Idea of the Global Museum on December 2-3, 2016

The conference ‘The Idea of the Global Museum’ was held at the Hamburger Bahnhof on 2 and 3 December 2016. Over two days, conference participants offered specific knowledges and points of view: What are the effects of a “global” approach on museum work past, present, and future? What are its necessities, possibilities, and challenges? Is there a common denominator for “global” museum practice?

Offering alternative narratives to a limited yet mainstream canon of art has become one of the primary tasks of museum practice. The conference takes this status quo as a starting point for discussing museum programs, particularly those of museums of modern and contemporary art, which are thinking research, collection, exhibition, and public from a global perspective. In current discourse, such endeavors take notions of inclusivity and diversity as well as universalism and imperialism as animating principles. They all enter into “The Idea of the Global Museum,” a title that serves as shorthand for a debate on the different approaches that museums are taking today, and that could be taken in the future.

The Idea of the Global Museum

Conference at Hamburger Bahnhof | Day one | Keynote by Luis Camnitzer