The Art of Society
1900–1945: The Nationalgalerie Collection

22.08.2021 to 24.09.2023
Neue Nationalgalerie

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


© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Ute Klein
And that’s my Story

Projekttag | 180 Minuten | kostenfrei

Die Kunst der Gesellschaft. 1900-1945. Sammlung der NationalgalerieLotte Laserstein, Abend über Potsdam, 1930Erworben mit Unterstützung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, der Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Ber-lin, der Kulturstiftung der Länder, der Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung und anderer
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021.Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Roman März
Avantgarden im Blick

Ausstellungsgespräch | 60 Minuten | 30 Euro

Ute Klein
Bringt den Bau in Bewegung

Projekttag | 180 Minuten | kostenfrei

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Valerie Schmidt
Kolonialismus – Körper, Kunst und Kultur

Projekttag | 240 Minuten | 120 Euro

Ute Klein
Metropolis – Stadt der Zukunft

Projekttag | 180 Minuten | kostenfrei

Ute Klein
Neu und National?

Projekttag | 240 Minuten | kostenfrei

Otto Dix, The Skat Players, 1920, acquired in 1995 by the Friends of the National Gallery and the State of Berlin
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021. Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
READY TO ENTER! Projekttage für Schüler*innen

Projekttag | 180 Minuten | kostenfrei

© Ludwig Mies van der Rohe / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021 / Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Simon Menges
Neue Nationalgalerie | Fremdführung

Neue Nationalgalerie

Event at Neues Museum © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Marcus Glahn
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Marcus Glahn
Neue Nationalgalerie, 2021, Exterior view
© Ludwig Mies van der Rohe / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021 / Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Simon Menges
Neue Nationalgalerie, 2021, Exterior view
© Ludwig Mies van der Rohe / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021 / Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Simon Menges
Reopening of the Neue Nationalgalerie from August 22, 2021, Michael Eissenhauer, Joachim Jäger, Monika Grütters, Michael Müller, Hermann Parzinger (from left to right).
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Photo: David von Becker
Alexander Calder, Têtes et queue, 1965, Sheet metal, bolts, paint, 550 x 470 x 330 cm / 216 1/2 x 185x 130, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie
© 2021 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Photo: Stephanie von Becker

Potsdamer Straße 50
10785 Berlin

wheelchair accessible

U-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz
S-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz
Bus: Potsdamer Brücke, Potsdamer Platz Bhf / Voßstraße, Kulturforum, Philharmonie

Sun 10:00 - 18:00
Mon closed
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.

Museum ticket Neue Nationalgalerie + special Exhibitions
12,00 EUR Concessions 6,00
Neue Nationalgalerie + special Exhibitions
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Kulturforum all exhibitions
18,00 EUR Concessions 9,00
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Annual Ticket from 25,00 EUR

Tel 030 - 266 42 42 42 (Mon - Fri, 9 am - 4 pm)
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Related Links

"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)