Many museums are like hairdressers: closed on Mondays. At the beginning of the week, the small museum hub on Charlottenburger Schloßstraße is as if in a deep slumber. The Bröhan Museum, the castle, the cast collection and the Scharf-Gerstenberg collection are closed on Mondays. The Berggruen Museum with its famous Picasso collection has been closed since autumn 2022 anyway.
It’s not just on the Museum Island that everything is being rebuilt, it’s necessary here too. The so-called Stülerbau West, the head building of the Berggruen Museum, has to be renovated from the ground up. You can’t see it from the outside yet. Samples are still being taken, the major intervention is being prepared. The facade, roof and technical systems will be renewed, for which the building will be dismantled down to the shell. There has already been a botched construction here, in 2013 when the extension was built, the new part had to close again for three years after a short time. You definitely don’t want to experience anything like that again.
A quarter million visitors in Tokyo
Because of the renovation, the collection of the Museum Berggruen is on a major tour in the Picasso anniversary year of all times – April 8 marks the 50th anniversary of the painter icon’s death. Around 100 works from the collection are currently on display at the National Museum of Art in Osaka. They were previously in Tokyo and attracted around a quarter of a million visitors.
They immersed themselves reverently and quietly in the works. Loudly exchanging impressions in front of a Picasso in the museum – unthinkable in Japan. This is how Berggruen director Gabriel Montua and curator Veronika Rudorfer tell me this Monday about how they accompanied the works of Picasso, Matisse, Klee and Giacometti to Asia. From the summer, the collection will travel on to China.
If one day tourism from these countries picks up again, the tour groups in Berlin might not be the first to flock to the Pergamon Museum, but to Charlottenburg on Schloßstrasse. Can happen. The Berggruen Collection made a name for itself through the tour. In Japan, cloth bags were printed for the exhibition, with a map showing not only the Berggruen Museum but also the surrounding museums in Charlottenburg. There are interesting stories told by Gabriel Montua and Veronika Rudorfer from Japan. More of that soon.
Rieger’s round provides inspiration from the Berlin art world every Wednesday.
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I have been working in the news industry for over 10 years now and I have worked for some of the biggest news websites in the world. My focus has always been on entertainment news, but I also cover a range of other topics. I am currently an author at Global happenings and I love writing about all things pop-culture related.