New National Gallery, Berlin
New National Gallery, Berlin ©Scholvien

The New National Gallery in Berlin: a museum that is a work of art

It seems only yesterday that the New National Gallery in Berlin opened, so timeless, transparent, light and elegant is the building, a masterpiece by the famous architect Mies van der Rohe. In fact this glass temple, which was hailed worldwide as an icon of modern architecture, opened in 1968 and even today it remains one of Germany's most eye-catching museum buildings.

The New National Gallery's extensive modern art collection makes it one of Europe's most important museums. The focus here is on European and North American painting and sculpture from 1900 to the late 20th century. Pablo Picasso, Edvard Munch, Ferdinand Hodler, George Braque, Francis Bacon, Frank Stella, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter are represented, as are Brücke members Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Otto Mueller, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel and Emil Nolde. Other core collections feature works by Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz and Oskar Kokoschka. Important Bauhaus artists such as Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Lyonel Feininger are represented, whilst the Surrealism of the late 1920s and 1930s is reflected in works by Giorgio De Chirico, Max Ernst and Salvador Dalí. Since German reunification the National Gallery's collection has included the art of the former East Germany, with works by artists such as Harald Metzkes, Walter Libuda and Werner Stötzer, and by the three grand masters of East German art Werner Tübke, Bernhard Heisig and Wolfgang Mattheuer.

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