The collection of the HAMBURGER BAHNHOF MUSEUM: an overview

Today we look at a specific collection as a whole: the collection of the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum in Berlin.

In the museum there are works very different from each other, but all made after 1960. This is because, after the closing of the museum by the Nazis, the message the museum wanted to spread at its re-opening was the importance of the present moment, the time after the Third Reich, looking ahead to the future.

The museum website says that “the museum reveals these artistic trends in all their diversity: the audacious redefinitions of painting, the continuation of traditional sculpture in object art, the special role of photography and multimedia concepts in video and film. A historically-defined exhibition style was consciously avoided in favour of an open presentation concept embracing all the media used by the various artists.

Unfortunately though, not all the works belonging to the collection can be seen at once: it is enormous. The curators of the museum organize a cyclic rotation of all the works.

It incudes works by Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and many others. These are all very different artists, as our further explanation in the next weeks will demonstrate.

How to take these things into consideration while visiting a museum?

You have to think that every little thing you see in a museum is the result of a precise choice. Many times artworks are displayed in a certain order because they are meant to be read in that way, or they suggest a different interpretation from the obvious one. In this case, as we said, the suggested path between the works is putting all the attention on the installation in the center of the hall, and then you can choose if you want to go to the right (to the more “classical” contemporary art) or to the left (to the more actual art).

We leave you a slideshow of works to see down below!

– M.C.

Bibliography and further readings:

Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (Museum Guides), Prestel, 1997

BRUHL Christine, The Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, Homilius Kai, 1998



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