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Art in Germany: 10 critically acclaimed galleries you can’t miss

Summer may be nearly over, but that doesn't mean you have to hide away at home. Take a look at our top picks of the many great galleries Germany has to offer.

Art in Germany: 10 critically acclaimed galleries you can't miss
The Berlinische Galerie. Photo: DPA

1. The Caricatura Galerie für Komische Kunst (Kassel)

A previous Caricatura exhibition. Photo: DPA.

Instead of trawling the internet for memes, why not head to the Caricatura to get your comedy fix. Since 1987 the galley has been turning the city of Kassel into a hotspot for comedy and satire in Germany by displaying caricatures, cartoons and comic strips which poke fun at current events and culture.

Through collections which change every five years, Caricatura has been supporting young comedic artists and presenting their talent to the world in their showcase of the best comic art Germany has to offer. 

2. The Bucerius Kunst Forum (Hamburg)

The Bucerius Kunst Forum. Photo: DPA.

The Bucerius Kunst Forum in Hamburg is an international exhibition centre, characterised by its focused exhibition concepts ranging vastly in time and style. Having already featured artists such as Frida Kahlo and Picasso, their upcoming exhibit concentrates on the birth of the art market in the Golden Age of the Netherlands.

Following the careers of artists such as Rembrandt, Ruisdael and Van Goyen, the pieces have been carefully chosen to depict the influence commercialisation had on painting style due to the waning popularity of commissioned paintings. 

3. The Neues Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design (Nuremberg)
 
The Neues Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design. Photo: DPA.
 
Contrary to what this mouthful of a name suggests, the Neues Museum in Nuremberg is a demonstration of architectural simplicity. The unique curved glasses exterior houses, within its walls, works of art and design from the 1950s to the present day. Its impressive 3,000 square metres of exhibition space and ever-changing installations make it a worthwhile stop on any art tour of Germany.
 
4. The Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Dresden)
 
The Geldmäldegalerie Alte Meister. Photo:DPA.
 
Famous for its collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden displays numerous famous masterpieces including Raphael's “Sistine Madonna”, Giorgione's “Sleeping Venus” and Vermeer's “Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window”. Its sheer number of recognisable artworks draws in more than 550,000 visitors a year, making it one of the most popular museums in Dresden.
 
5. Wallraf-Richartz Museum (Cologne)
 
The Wallraf-Richartz Museum. Photo: DPA
 
The Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne is one of the three major museums in Cologne. Its gallery has a collection of fine art ranging from medieval to early twentieth century and as the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger says, the museum “accommodates not only the world's largest collection of medieval painting but also the most extensive collection of Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist art in Germany”. 
 
The museum was the centre of a scandal in 2008 when one of their six Monet paintings turned out to be a fake. The other five, however, are still part of the museum's collection and open to viewing. 
 
6. MUCA (Munich)
 
 
The Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art in Munich is Germany's first urban art museum. Collector Christian Utz founded the museum in 2016 in an effort to expand Munich's street art scene. The collection includes work by Banksy, Shepard Fairy and OSGEMEOS and the building's front side (shown above) was designed by Stohead.
 
7. Alte Pinakothek (Munich)
 
The Alte Pinakothek. Photo: DPA
 
The Alte Pinakothek in Munich is one of three Pinakotheks and is one of the oldest galleries in Germany. It houses a large collection of works by 14th-18th Century Masters including works by Leonardo Da Vinci, Rafael and Rembrandt. It even houses the world-famous Dürer Self-Portrait. The building itself is also noteworthy as it was commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria and its neoclassical style has been imitated by many galleries throughout Europe. 
 
8. The Camera Work Photo Gallery (Berlin)
 
 

A post shared by CAMERA WORK (@cameraworkgallery) on May 31, 2017 at 12:27pm PDT

 
Showcasing every possible style and genre, the Berlin Camera Work Gallery is your one-stop-shop for photographic art. Founded in 2001, the gallery hosts regular specialised exhibitions including the upcoming David Bowie Day exhibition focusing on portraits by numerous photographers of the Space-Oddity-Star. 
 
9. The Max Ernst Museum (Brühl)
 
The Miró Exhibition in the Max Ernst Museum. Photo: DPA.
 
You will probably have heard of Salvador Dali, but perhaps less so his German counterpart Max Ernst, whose surrealist works are much revered for their imagination and power. His unbridled creativity led to his experimentation with numerous mediums including collage, sculpture, poetry and, of course, painting. The museum, which is based in Brühl, 20 kilomtres south of Cologne, is also currently displaying the work of Joan Miró in the exhibit “World of Monsters”.
 
10. The Berlinische Galerie (Berlin)
 
The 'Letter Carpet” designed by Kühn Malvezzi in front of the Berlinische Galerie. Photo: DPA.
 
The former industrial hall became the new Berlinische Galerie in 2004 and its 4,500 metres of exhibition space contain collections of Dada Berlin, New Objectivity and eastern european Avant-Garde art and displays art of countless styles and periods within the modern era. The Berlinische Galerie is consistently considered one of the best german galleries and no tour of the german art scene would be complete without it.
 
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LIVING IN GERMANY

Living in Germany: Battles over Bürgergeld, rolling the ‘die’ and carnival lingo

From the push to reform long-term unemployment benefits to the lingo you need to know as Carnival season kicks off, we look at the highlights of life in Germany.

Living in Germany: Battles over Bürgergeld, rolling the 'die' and carnival lingo

Deadlock looms as debates over Bürgergeld heat up 

Following a vote in the Bundestag on Thursday, the government’s planned reforms to long-term unemployment benefits are one step closer to becoming reality. Replacing the controversial Hartz IV system, Bürgergeld (or Citizens’ Allowance) is intended to be a fair bit easier on claimants.

Not only will the monthly payment be raised from €449 to €502, but jobseekers will also be given a grace period of two years before checks are carried out on the size of their apartment or savings of up to €60,000. The system will also move away from sanctions with a so-called “trust period” of six months, during which benefits won’t be docked at all – except in very extreme circumstances. 

Speaking in parliament, Labour Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) said the spirit of the new system was “solidarity, trust and encouragement” and praised the fact that Bürgergeld would help people get back into the job market with funding for training and education. But not everyone is happy about the changes. In particular, politicians from the opposition CDU/CSU parties have responded with outrage at the move away from sanctions.

CDU leader Friedrich Merz has even branded the system a step towards “unconditional Basic Income” and argued that nobody will be incentivised to return to work. 

The CDU and CSU are now threatening to block the Bürgergeld legislation when it’s put to a vote in the Bundesrat on Monday. With the conservatives controlling most of the federal states – and thus most of the seats in the upper house – things could get interesting. Be sure to keep an eye out for our coverage in the coming weeks to see how the saga unfolds. 

Tweet of the week

When you first start learning German, picking the right article to use can truly be a roll of the “die” – so we’re entirely on board with this slightly unconventional way to decide whether you’re in a “der”, “die”, or “das” situation. (Warning: this may not improve your German.) 

Where is this?

Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

Residents of Frankfurt am Main and the surrounding area will no doubt recognise this as the charming town of Kronberg, which is nestled at the foot of the Taunus mountains.

This atmospheric scene was snapped on Friday morning, when a drop in temperatures saw Kronberg and surrounding forests shrouded in autumnal fog.

After a decidedly warm start to November, the mercury is expected to drop into single digits over the weekend. 

Did you know?

November 11th marked the start of carnival season in Germany. But did you know that there’s a whole set of lingo to go along with the tradition? And it all depends on where you are. First of all, the celebration isn’t called the same thing everywhere. In the Rhineland, it’s usually called Karneval, while people in Bavaria or Saxony tend to call it Fasching. Those in Hesse and Saarland usually call it Fastnacht. 

And depending on where you are, there are different things to shout. The ‘fools call’ you’ll hear in Cologne is “Alaaf!” If you move away from Cologne, you’ll hear “Helau!” This is the traditional cry in the carnival strongholds of Düsseldorf and Mainz, as well as in some other German cities.

In the Swabian-Alemannic language region in the southwest of the country, people yell “Narri-Narro”, which means “I’m a fool, you’re a fool”. In Saarland at the French border, they shout “Alleh hopp!”, which is said to originate from the French language. 

Lastly, if someone offers you a Fastnachtskrapfe, say yes because it’s a jelly-filled carnival donut. And if you’re offered a Bützchen? It’s your call, but know that it’s a little kiss given to strangers!

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