Please note: The special exhibition Caspar David Friedrich: Infinite Landscapes is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, 9 am – 6 pm, with extended opening hours until 8 pm Tuesday thru Saturday.


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


Exterior view "Jazz in the Garden“, c. 1968
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek / Photo: Ludwig Windstosser / Design: Studio Edgar Kandratian
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
Die Kunst der Gesellschaft 1900-1945. Sammlung der Nationalgalerie, Ausstellungsansicht, Neue Nationalgalerie, 2021
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Ludwig Mies van der Rohe / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021 / David von Becker

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Sun 10:00 - 18:00
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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

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Museum ticket Neue Nationalgalerie + special Exhibitions
14,00 EUR Concessions 7,00
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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)