Berggruen Museum

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Museum Berggruen in the Stüler building

The Berggruen Museum (also known as Sammlung Berggruen ) in Berlin district of Charlottenburg is one of the most important collections of art of classical modernism , which the collector and art dealer Heinz Berggruen in a "gesture of reconciliation" of his native Berlin at a price far below value sold. Above all, works by Pablo Picasso , Alberto Giacometti , Georges Braque , Paul Klee and Henri Matisse are united here under one roof. The Berggruen Collection is part of the Berlin National Gallery .

In 2019 the house had around 74,000 visitors.


The collection came to Berlin in 1996 when the founder returned to his hometown after six decades of exile. It was initially only on loan from the art collector Heinz Berggruen , who had built it up over 30 years. The collection, estimated at 1.5 billion marks at the time (inflation-adjusted in today's currency: around 1,009,362,000 euros), was transferred to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in December 2000 for a "symbolic" price of 253 million marks . Today it is exhibited under the title Berggruen Collection - Picasso and His Time as part of the National Gallery on Schloßstraße in the western Stüler building opposite the Charlottenburg Palace .

Rotunda of stairs in the Stüler building

At the center of the collection is the work of Picasso with more than 100 exhibits and over 60 pictures by Paul Klee. Henri Matisse is represented with more than 20 works, including more than half a dozen of the famous paper cuttings. Plastic ensembles by Alberto Giacometti as well as examples of African sculpture round off the core of the collection.

Since the house opened in 1996, Berggruen has continuously purchased additional works, including the important Picasso painting Houses on a Hill (Horta de Ebro) from 1909, acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A total of 165 works were in December 2000 by Heinz Berggruen transferred to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.

In November 2005, Heinz Berggruen bought Picasso's Nu Jaune (1907) at Sotheby’s in New York for 13.7 million US dollars . The gouache is one of the first studies for Les Demoiselles d'Avignon , a milestone in 20th century art.

On the occasion of the museum's tenth anniversary and his final announced retirement into private life at the age of 92, the patron Heinz Berggruen gave the museum a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, Die Große Stehende Frau III from 1960, in December 2006. This had already been on loan had its place in the rotunda in the Stüler building . In order to preserve the two meter high bronze statue of Berggruen's life's work, he bought it without further ado and donated it to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. A few weeks later, Berggruen died on February 23, 2007 in Paris.

Within a decade, from 1996 to 2006, the museum was visited by 1.5 million art lovers. In addition to the permanent presentation of Picasso and his time , numerous themed and special exhibitions on classic modern art history were also offered.

On November 20, 2013, as part of the commemorative year “Destroyed Diversity”, the information board “The neighbors of the castle” on the history of the Stüler buildings was set up in front of the museum - with particular emphasis on its use as a driving school for the security police during the Nazi dictatorship .


On July 16, 2007, the heirs of the art collector announced that they would be making another 50 works of classical modernism available to the Berggruen Museum, thus continuing the tradition of reconciliation between the father and Germany. After his transfer, at Christmas 2000, Berggruen bought other paintings, including works by Picasso, Matisse, Klee and Cézanne . In order to create the prerequisites for an expansion, the state of Berlin donated the commandant's house to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which is adjacent to the western Stüler building, for its 50th anniversary.

At the same time, the “Förderkreis Museum Berggruen e. V. “, members are the widow Bettina, the children Nicolas , Olivier and, from their first marriage, Helen Berggruen and John Berggruen . Further members are W. Michael Blumenthal , Peter Raue , Michael Naumann , Simon de Pury, Klaus-Dieter Lehmann and Peter-Klaus Schuster . The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation immediately agreed to assume the running costs.

After an architectural competition in 2008, the museum was expanded to include an extension and reopened on March 16, 2013. The two listed buildings are now connected by a modern pergola made of steel and glass, which was designed by the Berlin architects Kuehn / Malvezzi. The costs of the external and internal construction measures are given as 4.2 million euros. Around 60 works of art from the family collection have been loaned into the extension. Among them are several pictures by Picasso, as well as works on paper by Matisse and Klee. The federal government took over the construction costs, the state of Berlin provided the building and the property. In May 2008 the collection was enlarged by a further 70 paintings by the Berggruen family.

The Prince Albrecht monument by the sculptors Eugen Boermel and Conrad Freyberg has stood opposite the museum on the central promenade on Schloßstraße since 1901 .

Major exhibitions

  • George Condo. Confrontation (2016/2017)
  • Brassaï Brassaï - In the studio and on the street (2011)
  • Giacometti (2008)
  • Picasso - The Draftsman (2006/2007)
  • Matisse: Drawing with Scissors (2003)
  • Cézanne in Berlin (2000/2001)
  • Klee from New York (1998)


  • Renovation finished. Berggruen Museum in Berlin reopened. TV report, Germany, 2013, 1:20 min., Script and direction: Griet von Petersdorff, production: RBB , editing: Tagesschau , first broadcast: March 15, 2013 on ARD .


Web links

Commons : Museum Berggruen  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Berlin State Museums counted more than 4 million visitors in 2019. January 31, 2020, accessed July 19, 2020 .
  2. Birthday address of the Governing Mayor of Berlin January 5, 2004
  3. a b c A Giacometti farewell. In: dpa / the daily newspaper , December 16, 2006
  4. ^ Lexicon: Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf from A to Z: Stüler buildings
  5. ^ Nicola Kuhn: Berggruen art collection. Family ties. In: Der Tagesspiegel , July 16, 2007.
  6. ^ Nicola Kuhn: Museum expansion. Building bridges to Berggruen. In: Der Tagesspiegel , July 17, 2007.
  7. ^ Marcus Woeller: The Berggruen Museum opens again in the Stüler building . In: Berliner Morgenpost , March 16, 2013.
  8. ^ Bernhard Schulz: Architecture. The love of brickwork. In: Der Tagesspiegel , March 12, 2013.
  9. ^ Nicola Kuhn: Berggruen Museum. Treasure house of modernity. In: Der Tagesspiegel , March 15, 2013.
  10. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung , July 6, 2011, page 12.
  11. ^ Bernhard Schulz: Museum Berggruen. A great legacy. In: Der Tagesspiegel , May 31, 2008.
  12. ^ National Museums in Berlin: George Condo. Confrontation. Retrieved February 22, 2019 .

Coordinates: 52 ° 31 '9 "  N , 13 ° 17' 43"  E