Art enjoyment guaranteed: these Berlin museums routinely inspire the queer community
Fancy some art? In Berlin's many large and small museums you can always discover interesting exhibitions. They often tackle issues relevant to lesbians, gays, and the whole queer community. Annabelle Georgen is the culture editor of Berlin's big queer city magazine, SIEGESSÄULE. Here she tells you for which museums you might consider buying a season ticket, because they so often have a queer focus.
The Schwules Museum in the Tiergarten district is the world's largest and oldest institution for Queer history and culture. Founded in 1985, it has developed over time from a purely gay project into an exhibition centre dedicated to the entire queer community and its culture, art, history and, above all, its activism. This is one of the reasons why a visit to the Schwules Museum is an absolute must during your visit to Berlin!
Lützowstraße 73, 10785 Berlin-Tiergarten
Website of Schwules Museum
'C/O Berlin' is dedicated to photography and visual media and for me it's one of the most exciting exhibition spaces in Berlin. It is located just a few steps away from Bahnhof Zoo, in the so-called 'Amerika-Haus', a refined, splendid piece of modern architecture. As part of its lavish exhibition programme, the 'C/O' showcases the works of important German and international artists*, including famous queer photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Nan Goldin, and Robert Mapplethorpe. The private views at 'C/O' are legendary, as they are real electro-club nights. There's one upcoming exhibition you can put in your calendar now, namely 'Queerness in Photography'. From 17 September 2022 to 21 January 2023, 'C/O Berlin' will be presenting three exhibitions simultaneously, all dealing with the representation of queer identities and sexual orientation.
Hardenbergstraße 22-24, 10623 Berlin-Charlottenburg
U Zoologischer Garten
Website of C/O Berlin
The 'Berlinische Galerie', the State Museum for modern art, photography, and architecture, collects art created in Berlin from 1870 to the present day. Well-known queer artists are exhibited here, including the queer US photographer, Nan Goldin, who also lived in Berlin for a while, and the lesbian Berlin draughtswoman and painter, Jeanne Mammen. The museum owns a magnificent collection of art infamously labelled 'degenerate' by the Nazis. These include paintings by Felix Nussbaum, Otto Dix, and Wassily Kandinsky. Other themes to which the 'Berlinische Galerie' is devoted are Dada Berlin, New Objectivity, and the Eastern European avant-garde. The 'Berlinische Galerie' also has an exciting permanent online exhibition, 'Out and About', of the queer artworks in its collection. Incidentally, the current exhibition "Modebilder - Kunstkleider" (Fashion Pictures – Clothing as Art), on view until 30 May 2022, also features photographs by the queer drag artist and photographer, Rolf von Bergmann.
Alte Jakobstraße 124-128 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg
U Moritzplatz oder U Kochstraße
Website of Berlinische Galerie
Founded in 1830, the ‘Gemäldegalerie’ (Painting Gallery) has an incredibly rich collection of European paintings. An almost 2-kilometre-long tour guides visitors through works from six centuries. The collection focuses on German and Italian painting from the 13th to 16th centuries and Dutch painting from the 15th to 17th centuries. Masterpieces by Bruegel, Dürer, Botticelli, Titian, Rubens, Cranach, Vermeer, and Rembrandt are exhibited here. One of the treasures of the museum is the world-famous early Baroque painting 'Cupid as Victor' by the gay master painter, Caravaggio.
Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin-Tiergarten
U Potsdamer Platz
Website of Gemälde Galerie
The Gropius-Bau is simultaneously dedicated to cultural history, contemporary art, and photography. Its very architecture and location reflect the fractured nature of Berlin's history: the imposing, Renaissance-style building stands right next to remnants of the Berlin Wall. Its enormous dimensions allow the museum to host large and immersive exhibitions. Renowned international artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Yayoi Kusama and Anish Kapoor have staged spectacular exhibitions there. One of the last queer gems in the exhibition programme was the retrospective of Zanele Muholi from South Africa.
Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin-Kreuzberg
U Potsdamer Platz
Website of Gropius Bau
And this is how you get there: The Queer City Pass gives you a ticket for public transport - and on top of that a great discount with lots of partner companies!
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You can find a complete overview of all events for every single da on the event pages of SIEGESSÄULE, Berlin's famous queer city magazine.
Words: Annabelle Georgen