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International Museum Day 2018: Free admission and programme at Berlin’s Kulturforum


13 May 2018 is International Museum Day. The President of the German Bundesrat and mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, has assumed patronage of the event. In this capacity, he will welcome guests to the main opening ceremony and podium talk of this nationwide series of events on 13 May 2018 at 1 p.m. in the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. International Museum Day is being celebrated at the Kulturforum this year with free admission and a diverse exhibition and events programme for children and families.


Kulturforum, Gemäldegalerie, 13:00

Opening speech: Christina Haak, Deputy Director-General, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Welcoming speech: Michael Müller, President of the German Bundesrat and patron of this year’s International Museum Day

Podium discussion (in German) ‘Netzwerk Museum: Neue Wege, neue Besucher’:

  • Christina Haak member of the board of the Deutscher Museumsbund
  • Thomas Köhler president of Landesverband der Museen zu Berlin
  • Klaus Staubermann chairperson of ICOM Germany
  • Michael Grisko Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Hessen-Thüringen
  • David Vuillaume chairperson of Deutscher Museumsbund (moderator)


Kulturforum, Gemäldegalerie

  • In a New Light, Brief tour through the Gemäldegalerie – in German, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30 + 16:30, Duration: approx. 30 minutes, meeting point: rotunda at Gemäldegalerie entrance
  • Botticelli, Dürer, Rembrandt, Brief tour through the Gemäldegalerie – in German, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00 + 17:00, Duration: approx. 30 minutes, meeting point: rotunda at Gemäldegalerie entrance
  • Discoveries in the Gemäldegalerie, Gallery talks for children and families – in German, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, Duration: approx. 30 minutes, meeting point: rotunda at Gemäldegalerie entrance
  • Stars and Blots, Open workshop for families – in German, Masterpieces from the collection of the Gemäldegalerie come head to head with a modern graphic technique: Andy Warhol’s blotted line, 12:00 – 17:00, Open to participants at any time during the workshop, meeting point: foyer.

Kulturforum, Musical Instrument Museum

At 11 a.m. Carolina Eyck will give a live demonstration of a special musical instrument that is played without physical contact: the theremin. It was the cult instrument of the 1920s and 1930s and has recently seen something of a revival. Carolina Eyck is one of the new great virtuosos of this instrument. As the closing event of this year’s Theremin Academy Berlin, Eyck will give a performance in the museum’s Folkloresaal and show visitors what the theremin is capable of. Her performance is followed at 3 p.m. by the Electronic Sound Garden: on the KosmiX interactive dancefloor, music is created by movement. Meanwhile, the composing AI XenaX will transform images into sounds.

In addition, all visitors, young and old, can take part in the MIM treasure hunt. There are ten treasure chests hidden in the museum, each containing interesting things related to the museum’s instruments. A special app for use on handhelds guides you through the museum and poses questions for you to solve. And of course there’s also a chance to listen to music along the way!


Kulturforum, Gemäldegalerie

In a New Light: Works in the Central Hall

Kulturforum, Gemäldegalerie

Tour and special display on graphic works once owned by the collector Barthold Suermondt

Kulturforum, Gemäldegalerie

Special display of near-complete Passion Altarpiece of Hans Schäufelein

Kulturforum, Kunstgewerbemuseum

Vis à vis. Asia Meets Europe

Kulturforum, Kunstgewerbemuseum

Under One Roof – Furniture, Decor, Possibilities. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the Kunstgewerbemuseum

Kulturforum, Kunstgewerbemuseum

Design Views – Contemporary Designers

Kulturforum, Kunstbibliothek

Unboxing Photographs: Work in the Photo Archive


International Museum Day, held annually in May by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), draws attention to the importance and diversity of museums worldwide. In Germany, International Museum Day receives major support from the various foundations and institutions of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, with events organized by the Deutscher Museumsbund and ICOM Germany, in association with the many museum organisations and advisory centres at federal and state level.

With so many events announced and much anticipation among the public, it’s already clear that this year’s International Museum Day is again going to be a great success. With special tours, workshops, activities, lectures, a look behind the scenes and museum celebrations, Germany’s museums are about provide an insight into their work and offer visitors a richly diverse programme of events. In the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, the motto of International Museum Day is: ‘Network Museum: New Paths, New Visitors’.

In keeping with this year’s motto, the Deutscher Museumsbund has launched a social-media campaign with the hashtag #MuseumsTandem, inviting regular museum-goers to grab a friend, or their kids, a close colleague or even a neighbour and spend some time with them at a museum and show them their favourite objects on display, in the hope that by doing so, they might open up a ‘new world’ to someone perhaps not yet familiar with the museum.