The Käthe Kollwitz Museum Berlin will open in September 2022 at its new location in Charlottenburg with a new permanent exhibition. After 36 successful years, the Käthe Kollwitz Museum Berlin will thus leave its founding location in Charlottenburg’s Fasanenstraße.
Image above: Käthe Kollwitz, Storm, sheet 5 from the Weavers cycle, 1893-1897, etching Photo: Kienzle | Oberhammer
After 36 successful years, the Käthe Kollwitz Museum Berlin is leaving its founding location on Fasanenstraße in Charlottenburg. The protection of historical monuments prevented the museum building from being expanded and converted to meet today’s standards in terms of air-conditioning and accessibility. For many years, a lack of space also forced improvisations, for example in the educational programmes. A change of location was therefore imperative. In February 2020, a long-term lease agreement was signed for new premises in the long unused theatre building at Charlottenburg Palace.
In September 2022, after a short renovation phase, the museum will open at its new location with expanded spatial possibilities, including in the area of education, and finally barrier-free. From now on, the museum and its collection will be presented on the ground floor of the building in a new presentation under the Kollwitz quote “Aber Kunst ist es doch” (“But it is art”).
The artist (1867 – 1945), who was already known throughout the world during her lifetime, once gave herself the motto: “I want to have an effect in this time”. Many of her works are still anchored in people’s visual memory today as indictments of social ills and warnings against war and violence. Despite the declared aim of achieving a broad impact with her prints, Käthe Kollwitz always saw herself first and foremost as an artist.
As an accomplished draughtswoman, with a joy for experimentation and a high talent for finding images, her main concern was to create an artistically sophisticated work. Slow working, numerous attempts to find motifs and the constant change of printing techniques characterise Kollwitz’s path to the completed work. She self-critically scrutinised her work and compared it with contemporary works by colleagues, only to conclude in her diary in December 1922: “But art [it is] after all”.
With this in mind, the new permanent exhibition of the Berlin Kollwitz Museum examines, first with its own holdings and later alternating with loans from friendly collections and private lenders, the artistic quality of the works of a graphic artist and sculptor who has far too often been reduced to her political and social impact.
With almost 100 works by Käthe Kollwitz on display, the museum presents a third more works in the theatre building than in Fasanenstraße. An exhibition area of 235 sqm at the old location is now joined by 300 sqm for the museum’s holdings.
The museum’s permanent exhibition will become even more extensive from 2024, when the exhibition activities will move to the entire first floor of the building and the exhibition space will double. The currently limited possibilities for special shows will then reach a standard that will meet the prevailing museum requirements, not only spatially but also climatically.
End of September 2022, press invited to the new premises for the first time on 22.09.2022
Admission-free opening weekend: 24 & 25 September 2022
Opening hours: daily from 11 am to 6 pm
Käthe Kollwitz Museum Berlin
Theatre building at Charlottenburg Palace
Spandauer Damm 10