Berlin's Museum Landscape Expands with New Museums and Re-Openings

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Berlin's unparalleled cultural landscape of about 180 museums and collections keeps growing, as new special interest museums are opening and renovations are completed at larger establishments. Here's an update:

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Tshoban Foundation -- Museum for Architectural Drawings

Open since 2013 at the former Pfefferberg Brewery complex, the private Museum for Architectural Drawings houses the renowned Tchoban Foundation's collection as well as temporary exhibits from leading international cultural institutions. Conceived by Berlin and Moscow-based architect Sergei Tchoban, the museum presents three changing exhibitions annually. The architecturally striking building extends from a fire-wall, seemingly latching onto a row of typical Berlin houses. Evoking a set of oversized piled blocks, the four story building's silhouette is defined by a regression and progression of a colored concrete and glass facade. Open daily, admission 5 Euro/ 3 Euro.

Magicum -- Berlin Magic Museum

Witchcraft and magical powers, mythical knowledge, secrets, the supernatural, and ancient wisdom can be explored in the cellars of a historic former blacksmith building close to Berlin's Hackesche Markt. Open since summer 2014, Berlin's Magic Museum features some 450 exhibits on 6500 square feet. Included are ritualistic objects, and magic devices ranging from a Dutch witches scale and torture instruments to African totem masks, crystal balls, and a historic Samurai sword. Curated to be more entertaining than strictly academic, the spellbinding exhibition encourages intuitive exploration. Open daily, admission from Euro 7.50 / Euro 5.

Kunsthaus Dahlem to Open Summer 2015

Following extensive renovations, the Kunsthaus Dahlem will open in the summer of 2015 as an exhibition venue for Postwar German Modernism from East and West Germany (1945-61). The opening exhibition will focus primarily on sculptural works, complemented by paintings, graphics, and photography. The historic building was constructed between 1939 and 1942 as a studio for infamous sculptor Arno Breker, who, alongside Josef Thorak, was one of the popular sculptors of the Third Reich, producing ornamental sculptures for Albert Speer's monumental constructions. In addition to a cafe and a museum shop, there will also be a permanent exhibition on the building's eventful past, free admission.

Berlin Spy Museum

Espionage has been the subject of many movies and books set in Berlin. Now the city is finally getting a museum that focuses on the mysteries of agents, double agents, betrayals, heroes and their stories, as well as the tools they used. The Berlin Spy Museum features approximately 21,500 square feet of exhibition space. One of the more well-known pieces on display will be the famous German coding machine "Enigma" from World War II, which was used for enciphering and deciphering secret messages. The exhibition will unveil the mysteries of intelligence services and espionage in the East and the West with a focus on Berlin during WWII and the Cold War. The interactive exhibits cater to all age groups, including children.

Museum of Decorative Arts Open Again at Kulturforum

After three years of renovations, Germany's oldest museum of decorative arts, the Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin , reopened in November 2014 with a new gallery dedicated to the history of fashion. Located at Berlin's Kulturforum museum complex, the new permanent exhibition of dresses, hats, bags, gloves and accessories from the 18th to the 21st century is based on an international collection acquired in 2009 by the museum. Since its re-opening, the Kunstgewerbemuseum has been providing an overview of the key achievements in European design, from the Middle Ages to the present day. In addition to the Fashion Gallery, the museum features new departments of Design, and Jugendstil / Art Deco.

Berlinische Gallery Reopens

After a year-long modernization, the Berlinische Gallery has reopened. The Gallery's permanent exhibition focusses exclusively on Art in Berlin from 1880 to 1980, ranging from late 19th century paintings, to Expressionism and the East European avant-garde, to post-war modern architecture and the "wild" works of the Seventies. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the collection, the show will illustrate a diversity of artistic styles and credos, but also tensions, polarization and fresh departures, which remain hallmarks of Berlin as an artistic hub.

Two further temporary exhibitions are opening on May 25, 2015: Radically Modern, which focusses on building styles in the 1960, and on contemporary German painter Bernhard Martin. A retrospective on Max Beckmann and Berlin will open November 20, 2015 and is poised to be a major highlight of Berlin's cultural winter 2015/16.

More information on travel at VisitBerlin
Berlin photo: Neala McCarten

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June 8th, 2015 August 2, 2016

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