Berlin’s Berggruen Museum reopened its doors after being closed for two years. The building underwent a significant renovation of its facilities to better showcase an important collection of modern and contemporary art, which includes more than 120 works by Pablo Picasso, as well as a copious selection of pieces by Henri Matisse, Paul Klee and Alberto Giacometti, among others.
The renovations have expanded the exhibition space to over 13,000 square feet, allowing staff to reorganize the collection and display new works. The total cost of updating the structure was 9.8 million dollars.
Located opposite Charlottenburg Palace, the Museum holds Heinz Berggruen’s precious collection of modern classics. Heins Berggruen (1914-2007) was born in Berlin. With Adolph Hitler’s rise to power, he went into exile in the US in 1936, like many other German Jews of his generation. He returned to Europe in 1994, and three years later opened a gallery in Paris, where he started his collection. Before his death in 2007, he bequeathed all the works (with the consent of his heirs) to his native Berlin.
The reopening of the Museum in the spring of 2013 included the participation of Berlin’s political and cultural authorities, who recognized the family’s generosity and their commitment to supporting and promoting art and culture in the German capital.
The Berggruen Museum chose the exhibition Picasso and his Time to kick off the new season. It contains more than 100 pieces by the Spanish master, which are the heart and soul of the collection. They range form early drawings dating back to 1897 (when Picasso was just a teenager) to works painted in 1972 (a year before his death). It is a journey through the artist’s development: blue period, rose period, cubism and classicism.
In addition, the museum’s permanent collection presents more than 60 pieces by Paul Klee, his poetic world from 1917 until 1940; more than 20 works by Matisse, including about a dozen of his paper cut-outs; sculptures by Alberto Giacometti, and a fine selection of African art. ■