New Chapter Begins as Ralph Gleis Continues as Director of the Alte Nationalgalerie

Alte Nationalgalerie

The reorganisation of the Nationalgalerie museums is now complete. Ralph Gleis will head the Alte Nationalgalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin as director in future. This was decided on Monday by the Stiftungsrat der Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Board of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation), chaired by Claudia Roth, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

The 48-year-old art historian has been running the museum since May 2017 with great success. Progressive exhibitions such as Wanderlust, Fighting for Visibility: Women Artists in the Nationalgalerie before 1919 and the large show on Belgian Symbolism were not only popular among the public; they also connected to the present and took up social debates. This is especially evident in the current exhibition Paul Gauguin – Why Are You Angry?, which, drawing on Gauguin’s famous Tahiti paintings as an example, also deals with Western, colonial notions of exoticism and eroticism as reflected in current discourse. Gleis’s strong commitment was also essential for the Alte Nationalgalerie’s institutional development, which led to the reopening of the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche in October 2020 as a branch for the museum’s sculpture collection.

Restructuring of the Nationalgalerie Venues Completed

With the appointment of Ralph Gleis, the reorganisation of the Nationalgalerie venues has been completed. Going forward there will no longer be a single director for the entire associated group of venues, but three independent directorates working closely together under the leadership of Klaus Biesenbach (Neue Nationalgalerie), Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath (Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin) and Ralph Gleis (Alte Nationalgalerie).

Ralph Gleis

Ralph Gleis holds a doctorate in art history, which he studied along with a focus on history and sociology in his home city of Münster, then in Cologne and Bologna. His career led Gleis from a traineeship at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the Haus der Geschichte in Bonn and ultimately to Vienna, where he worked for eight years in various capacities at the Wien Museum. Gleis has been director of the Alte Nationalgalerie since 2017.