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50 Years Neue Nationalgalerie | Public construction site tours on 15.09. + 16.09.2018

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This year, the Neue Nationalgalerie is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The architectural icon by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe opened on September 15th, 1968 for the art of classical modernism from the collection of the National Gallery – National Museums in Berlin. For the anniversary site tours take place as well as a film screening and a public poster exhibition on the fence of the currently renovated building. In addition, a publication on the exhibition’s history will be published.

Image above: Neue Nationalgalerie, Ansicht Potsdamer Straße, 1968, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Reinhard Friedrich

The Neue Nationalgalerie was the last independent work of the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969). With the glass upper hall of the museum he completed his long-term occupation with the flowing, open space. Shortly after the inauguration of the building, the architect died. The New National Gallery, with its steel roof and reduced formal language, is not only considered an icon of modernity, but also a legacy of a visionary master builder of the 20th century.

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Neue Nationalgalerie, Anhebung des Daches, 5. April 1967, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie

The museum on Potsdamer Straße was built as a location for the collection of the National Gallery in the former West Berlin and is now the main place of their holdings of the classical modern and international post-war modernism. On September 15th, 1968, the building was ceremoniously opened with a legendary Piet Mondrian exhibition and a large collection presentation in the basement.

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Neue Nationalgalerie, Eröffnungsfeier am 15.09.1968, Erster Rundgang durch den Skulpturengarten, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Klaus Lehnartz

Since 2015, the New National Gallery is closed because of the basic repairs. At the same time as the jubilee, the shell construction works will be completed and the last phase of rehabilitation will begin. The reopening is planned for 2020.

On Saturday, 15th and Sunday, 16th September 2018, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) have been inviting to public construction site tours to the Neue Nationalgalerie on the occasion of the jubilee. (Saturday 2 pm – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am – 6 pm, every 15 minutes; Meeting point: Gateway Potsdamer Straße. Prior registration is required at: www.smb.museum/veranstaltungen/)

The current construction fence of the Neue Nationalgalerie will be used as an open-air exhibition with special exhibition posters from the past 50 years.

With its own event, the St. Matthew Foundation is participating in the anniversary. On Sunday, September 16th, 2018, there was a hORA service for Mies van der Rohe at 6 pm. In a pulpit dialogue, Pastor Dr. Johann Hinrich Claussen, Cultural Commissioner of the EKD, and the architect and Mies expert Fritz Neumeyer talked about the “island of order in the urban landscape” (Neumeyer). From 8 pm, the film “Die Neue Nationalgalerie” by Ina Weisse (2017) has been shown in St. Matthew’s Church. On all days, the Neue Nationalgalerie could have been viewed from above as part of the construction site tours of the tower of St. Matthew’s Church (admission free).

On the occasion of the anniversary, a 350-page publication on the exhibition history of the Neue Nationalgalerie with around 500 largely unknown photographs will be published. Projects are presented by u.a. Yves Klein, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer and Gerhard Richter, as well as large theme exhibitions such as “Art in the GDR” or “The MoMA in Berlin” tell the story of the house. Personal memories of Udo Kittelmann, Katharina Grosse, Rem Koolhaas and others complete the review of the exhibition history. The publication of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin is made possible by the Friends of the Nationalgalerie. Publication date: September 15, 2018, 336 pages, price: 40 €.

Pre-order until September 1st 2018 for the special price of 34 euros are possible under: www.freunde-der-nationalgalerie.de.

On Thursday, September 13th, 2018, the Nationalgalerie, in collaboration with the Ernst Wilhelm Nay Foundation, has been organizing a symposium on the work of Ernst Wilhelm Nay, one of the most important painters of classical modernism. Seven lectures introduced new research on Nay’s work. More information about the program at: www.smb.museum/hbf.

The “Neue Galerie” in the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum for Contemporary Art – Berlin acts as a dependance for the Neue Nationalgalerie during its renovation. In changing presentations, excerpts from the art of the early 20th century from the collection of the National Gallery are presented. The “Neue Galerie” deliberately and in the light of plans for a new building at the Kulturforum serves to test novel perspectives on the “classic” modernity. On October 12th, 2018, the special exhibition “Painter, Mentor, Magician, Otto Mueller and his Network in Wroclaw “about the bridge artist and expressionist.


Saturday, September 15th 2018, 2 pm – 6 pm + Sunday, September 16th 2018, 10 am – 6 pm
Every 15 minutes


Neue Nationalgalerie
Potsdamer Straße 50
10785 Berlin-Tiergarten

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