Serene Tseng spends a day in­doors, en­joy­ing the ex­hi­bi­tions on Mu­seum Is­land.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

No trip to Ber­lin would be com­plete with­out visit­ing the famed Mu­seum Is­land.

No trip to Ber­lin would be com­plete with­out a visit to Mu­seum Is­land and its famed in­sti­tu­tions’ ex­hi­bi­tions. One of the defin­ing land­marks of the Ger­man cap­i­tal, the is­land is a UNESCO World Her­itage Site and is also the spot where Ber­lin was founded about 800 years ago. The old­est mu­seum on the is­land is the

Altes Mu­seum (p. 43), si­t­u­ated right next to the Ber­liner Dom. Known for its col­lec­tion from clas­si­cal an­tiq­uity, the mu­seum houses Greek and Ro­man sculp­tures, which adorn the main floor, and nu­mer­ous works of Etr­uscan art on the up­per floors. In the cur­rent spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion, Dan­ger­ous Per­fec­tion – An­cient Funer­ary Vases from Apu­lia, run­ning un­til 18 June, il­lus­tra­tions and paint­ings on the two-mil­len­nia-old vases il­lu­mi­nate the funer­ary prac­tices of the south­ern Ital­ian in­dige­nous pop­u­la­tion.

Fans of Caspar David Friedrich’s melan­choly ro­man­ti­cism and of the his19th-cen­tury con­tem­po­raries will en­joy spend­ing a few hours at the Alte Na­tion­al­ga­lerie (p. 43). The gallery’s three floors are home to nearly 2000 Ro­man­tic, Im­pres­sion­ist, and Re­al­ist paint­ings and sculp­tures. Up un­til 30 July, the ex­hi­bi­tion Small

Mas­ter­pieces will be show­ing minia­ture mas­ter­pieces from 19th-cen­tury artists such as Anselm Feuer­bach and Hans Thoma, with many pieces that have never been ex­hib­ited be­fore.

Next door from the Alte Na­tion­al­ga­lerie is the Perg­a­mon Mu­seum (p. 45). Although it is par­tially closed for restora­tion, vis­i­tors can still ad­mire the com­pre­hen­sive col­lec­tion of Is­lamic, Mid­dle Eastern, and An­cient Art. Fur­ther down at the head of the is­land, ris­ing ma­jes­ti­cally from the Spree River, is the Bode Mu­seum (p. 43). The mu­seum is home to the cap­i­tal’s Byzan­tine art col­lec­tion, with works dat­ing back to the Eastern Ro­man Em­pire, as well as a sub­stan­tial nu­mis­matic col­lec­tion, with coins and mon­e­tary to­kens from the be­gin­nings of hu­man­ity to the present day. In a rel­e­vant fu­sion of themes, Art Coins Money, run­ning un­til 27 May, ques­tions the ex­is­tence of art, un­cor­rupted and in­de­pen­dent of money and power. The three-part spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plores artis­tic au­ton­omy in a cap­i­tal­ist art mar­ket, the re-imag­i­na­tion of medal­lions, and art about money.

Clock­wise from this photo: The Perg­a­mon Mu­seum; The Alte Na­tion­al­ga­lerie; The Bode Mu­seum; the Altes Mu­seum. Inset, be­low: back view of the Perg­a­mon Mu­seum.

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