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Alte Nationalgalerie: A look behind the scenes of the National Gallery. Photographs by Andres Kilger | 02.09.-27.11.2022

Editors’ Choice

As a photographer working for the Alte Nationalgalerie since 1998, Andres Kilger has repeatedly turned his gaze to the holdings of the National Museums in Berlin. The 38 photographs now on display in the museum’s cabinet were taken as personal impressions of his forays through the houses and depots between 2003 and 2008 and reflect Kilger’s many years of work. Like any photograph, they reflect a subjective visual experience and at the same time open up a new perspective on the works in the collections for the viewer.

Image Above: Detailansicht zweier Hände, Gips Silbergelatineprint photo Andres Kilger

In his black-and-white photographs, Andres Kilger makes the hidden visible. As a rule, museum visitors are denied a view into the museum depots beyond the exhibition rooms. Kilger’s photographs tell of the storage of artefacts and of the museum work behind the scenes. From decoupled architectural parts such as the columns of the colonnades to fragments of well-known major works such as the marble version of the wreath-throwing Victoria (1843/44) by Christian Daniel Rauch, which is in the process of restoration, the photographs make possible an observation that cannot arise in the exhibition situation.

DEEDS NEWS - Rudolf Schweinitz - Der gefährdete Armor - photo Andres Kilger
View into the depot with Rudolf Schweinitz, The Endangered Armor, 1881 (executed 1885), marble, detail; and Karl Begas, The Siblings, 1877-78, marble, detail, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Alte Nationalgalerie Silver gelatin print – photo Andres Kilger

The pictures also reveal the fragility of the objects and their transience. The finely carved features of the sculptural works are witnesses to the craftsmanship of earlier epochs. They show traces of time.

DEEDS NEWS - Eduard Müller - Promotheus - photo Andres Kilger
Eduard Müller, Prometheus, lamented by the Okeanids, detail, 1868 (executed 1872-79), plaster, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Alte Nationalgalerie silver gelatin print – photo Andres Kilger

The moulded and cast bodies appear in different views, as faces, hands, torsos or simply as a silhouette and become living protagonists in Kilger’s photographs in the interplay of light and focus.

curated by Sophia Nava


Exhibition dates: Freitag, 2. September bis Sonntag, 27. November 2022
Opening hours: Di – So 10 – 18 Uhr


Museumsinsel Berlin, Alte Nationalgalerie
Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin-Mitte

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