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Picasso may have been from Spain and spent most of his life in France, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some of his best works in Germany. With the recently renovated and expanded Museum Berggruen reopening, there are a number of great modernist museums in the Charlottenburg neighborhood of Berlin.
Thanks to these collections, there is no shortage of modern art (by both Picasso and others) to be found in the German capital.
After two years of renovations, Berlin’s Museum Berggruen has finally reopened to the public. The collection—with over 120 Picassos from every period of the artist’s career, as well around 70 pieces from German artist Paul Klee—was symbolically purchased by Berlin in 2000 after a decade-long loan by native Berliner and Paris gallery owner Heinz Berggruen.
Following both his death in 2007 and the museum’s recent renovation, Berggruen’s heirs have expanded the exhibition through the lending of further works. With works by Picasso (Spain), Klee (Germany), Matisse (France), and Giacometti (Italy), the collection gives a comprehensive overview of modernism across the European continent, and as such is considered one of the most important private collections of modern art in the world.
The renovations have expanded the exhibition space to over 13,000 square feet, allowing staff to reorganize the collection and display new lendings. Despite the expansion, the museum’s small rooms maintain the intimate character befitting such a collection of many smaller works, a character of which Berggruen himself was fond. A new small courtyard garden is accessible to the public at no charge.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week except Monday. Admission is €10 (€5 discounted).
Given the manageable size of the museum and its location, a visit to the Berggruen can easily be combined with a visit to Schloss Charlottenburg, a Hohenzollern palace.
Same-day admission to the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection of surrealist art, located directly across the street, is included in your entry fee to the Berggruen. That museum features over 250 works by artists such as Max Ernst and Salvador Dali, displayed over three floors. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.
If that’s not enough art for one day, the SMB Charlottenburg area ticket (just €2 more) includes same-day entry to the Helmut Newton Museum of Photography, located across from Zoo station. It is also open the same hours as the other two museums, with the exception of extended hours (till 8 p.m.) on Thursdays.
Finally, next door is the Bröhan Museum, a private collection of Art Deco and Art Nouveau housewares and furnishings, including a stunning array of glassworks and porcelain. A visit here rounds out the modernist Charlottenburg museums (and makes for quite a day of art-admiration). It is also open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is €6 (€4 discounted).
Need a place to stay?
Charlottenburg offers plenty of great, Cheapo places to stay. Check out our favorite picks for the neighborhood. If you feel like staying somewhere else in town, take a look at our complete Berlin hotel listings.
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