The Art Of Museums – Arte TV
The Art of Museums: Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin is in the focus of the innovative art tv series on the Frenche/German cultural channel Arte. The very modern documentary series presents eight important museums from eight different countries and the art works of their collections. The fascinating museums and the collected artworks are discovered and explained by artists, art professionals and art lovers such as Vivienne Westwood, Sasha Waltz, Wolfgang Joop and Karl Ove Knausgård.
The sixth part of the documentary series accompanies Katharina Grosse, one of the most important artists of our time, on a tour of the Berlin Museum. She herself produces oversized works of art in public space: whole houses, trees and stones disappear under sprayed layers of paint as monumental images. Katharina Grosse describes her impressions when examining paintings such as Caspar David Friedrich’s “Monk at the Sea” and “In the Winter Garden” by Edouard Manet.
At its opening in 1876, the Alte Nationalgalerie was celebrated as an antique temple building for German art. The house on Berlin’s so-called Museum Island houses great masterpieces such as the paintings by Caspar David Friedrich – symbols of German Romantic. The Alte Nationalgalerie, centrally located on the Museum Island, was intended to bring the Germans closer to the idea of a cultural nation. However, the building also opened up very early to different art such as French Impressionism. The highs and lows of the history of a disunited nation and its people are reflected in the history of the museum, which is told pictorially in the documentary. During the Nazi era, more than 500 of the museum’s works were degraded as “degenerate art”; during the war, the building was severely damaged. While Germany had been divided in two parts, the house was located in the eastern part of the city, which led to the founding of the New National Gallery in West Berlin.
Today, other museums in Berlin belong to the Nationalgalerie, including the Neue Nationalgalerie, designed by Mies van der Rohe and built in the western part of the city, and the Hamburger Bahnhof as Museum for contemporary art. The Alte Nationalgalerie displays masterpieces ranging from classicism to the beginning of modernism.
The Art of Museums tells the fascinating story of eight important museums and some artistic works exhibited in these places. The viewer is guided through the episodes in an entertaining and intellectually sophisticated way by different protagonists. Different readings, perception of art – influenced by the individual experiences of the people, each part of the documentary series describes art and architecture in a quite inspiring way. The fantastic Vivienne Westwood talks about Bruegel and Velázquez in Vienna, but first she lets her T-shirt speak. The fashion designer has long been committed to climate protection and she is still “punk”.
Representatives of the museums explain the exhibition concepts and give insights into their professional work. With the painting “The Monk by the Sea” by Caspar David Friedrich, one of the most important works of Romantic painting can be seen in the Berlin part of the documentation. The film shows how the restoration of the painting produced new insights into the painting process and changed the interpretation of this work.
The Art of Museums
Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin
Titelbild: (c) Yousef Iskander