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New light for Old Masters. Reduced admission price attracts to visit Gemäldegalerie despite partial closures.

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Image: Frans Hals, Catharina Hooft with her nurse, 1619-20 © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie (Photo: Christoph Schmidt)

The Berlin Gemäldegalerie is implementing an innovative lighting concept over the next two years. The museum will remain open to the public to a limited extent during this time. A reduction in the entrance fee is intended to make it attractive to visit the halls and cabinets, which will remain open. When and for how long you will not be able to visit which areas of the Gemäldegalerie is listed below.

The changes to the lighting concept will represent a significant improvement in terms of conservation and aesthetics as well as ecology. Reduced overhead lighting, harmonious ambient lighting and precisely placed light accents on individual works can optimise the presentation of the collection.

In order to be able to maintain visitor services undiminished, it was decided not to close the building completely. The lighting concept will therefore be implemented over the next two years in a total of four construction phases, each of which will be closed for half a year.

Lighting concept

The new lighting concept is essentially based on three components: Reduction of natural skylight, controllability of indirect lighting and the use of additional spotlights. With the conversion of the interior lighting to LED, the Gemäldegalerie relies on an energy-efficient and sustainable technology and at the same time enables an improved illumination of the objects.

Once the work has been completed, the light brought into the exhibition rooms indirectly via coving can be dimmed down to 20 LUX. In the future, this will make it possible to present not only paintings but also very light-sensitive objects, such as works on paper. This will allow the cross-collection presentation of different media and genres to be much more flexible than was previously the case.

The use of additional spots will also make it possible to stage images better, to emphasise their special nature or even to harmoniously combine entire groups of works.

Construction phases

As the first construction phase, the area of 16th century Dutch painting, Flemish and partly 17th century Dutch painting (Room VI- IX, Cabinet 6-15) will be closed. This will not be accessible from 25 October 2021 until probably 2 April 2022.

A selection of the main works from the closed areas will be on view in each of the adjoining rooms. The highlights from the closed rooms of the first construction phase will be presented in Hall IV, XI and Cabinet 16.

Financial grant

The modernisation of the lighting system is made possible thanks to a generous financial grant from Adolf Würth GmbH & Co.KG.

Admission fee

Aufgrund der Einschränkungen wird der reguläre Eintrittspreis der Gemäldegalerie ab dem 25. Oktober 2021 auf 8 EUR (ermäßigt 4 EUR) reduziert.

Planned construction phases and times

Construction phase 1

Dutch Painting 16th Century, Flemish and Dutch Painting 17th Century,

Room VI- IX, Cabinet 6-15

25.10.2021 to 2.4.2022

Construction phase 2

Rembrandt to European painting of the 18th century, Room X-XIV,

Cabinet 16-26

19.4.2022 to 1.10.2022

Construction phase 3

Deutsche und niederländische Malerei des 13. Bis 16. Jahrhunderts,

Room I-V, Cabinet 1-5

4.10.2022 to 11.3.2023

Construction phase 4

Italian painting of the 13th and 16th centuries,

Room XV- XVIII, Cabinet 29-41

13.3.2023 to 16.9.2023

WHERE?

Kulturforum, Gemäldegalerie

Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin-Tiergarten

WHEN?

Tue – Fri 10 am – 6 pm, Sat + Sun 11 am – 6 pm

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