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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.
 

LIVING IN GERMANY

REVEALED: The most commonly asked questions about Germans and Germany

Ever wondered what the world is asking about Germany and the Germans? We looked at Google’s most searched results to find out – and help clear some of these queries up.

Oktoberfest
Hasan Salihamidzic, the sports director of FC Bayern, arrives with his wife at Oktoberfest in full traditional dress. Photo: picture alliance/dpa |

According to popular searches, Germany is the go-to place for good coffee and bread (although only if you like the hard kind) and the place to avoid if what you’re looking for is good food, good internet connection and low taxes. Of course, this is subjective; some people will travel long stretches to get a fresh, hot pretzel or a juicy Bratwurst, while others will take a hard pass.

When it comes to the question on the bad Internet – there is some truth to this. German is known for being behind other rich nations when it comes to connectivity. And from personal experience, the internet connection can seem a little medieval. The incoming German coalition government has, however, vowed to improve internet connectivity as part of their plans to modernise the country.

There are also frequent questions on learning the German language, and people pointing out that it is hard and complicated. This is probably due to the long compound words and its extensive grammar rules, however, as both English and German are Germanic languages with similar words in common, it’s not impossible to learn as an English-speaker.

Here’s a look at some of those questions…

Why is German called Deutsch? Whereas ‘German’ comes from the Latin, ‘Deutsch’ instead derives itself from the Indo-European root “þeudō”, meaning “people”. This slowly became “Deutsch” as we know it today. It can be a bit confusing to English-speakers, who are right to think it sounds a little more like “Dutch”, however the two languages do have the same roots which may explain it.

And why is Germany so boring? Again, probably a generalisation, especially given that Germany has a landmass of over 350,000 km² with areas ranging from high rise, industrial cities to traditional old town villages and even mountain ranges, so you’re sure to find a place that doesn’t bore you to tears.

Perhaps it is a question that comes from the stereotype that Germans are obsessed with strict about rules, organised and analytical. Or that they have no sense of humour – all of these things being not the most exciting traits. 

Either way, from my experience I can confirm that, even though there is truth to German society enjoying order and rules, the vast majority of people are not boring, and I’m sure if you come to Germany you’ll meet many interesting, funny and exciting people. 

READ ALSO: 12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Germany

When it comes to the German weather, most people assume a cold and cloudy climate, however this isn’t entirely true. While the autumn and winter, especially in the north, comes with grey skies and sub-zero temperatures, Germany can have some beautiful summers, with temperatures frequently rising above 30C in some places.

Unsurprisingly, the power and wealth of the German nation is mentioned – Germany is the largest economy in Europe after all, with a GDP of 3.8 trillion dollars. This could be due to strong industry sectors in the country, including vehicle constructions (I was a little surprised to find no questions posed on German cars), chemical and electrical industry and engineering. There are also many strong economic cities in Germany, most notably Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg.

READ ALSO: Eight unique words and phrases that tell us something about Germany

Smart and tall?

Why are Germans so tall? They are indeed taller than many other nations, with the average German measuring a good 172.87cm (or 5 feet 8.06 inches), however this may be a question better posed to the Dutch, who make up the tallest people in the world.

Why are Germans so smart? While this is again a generalisation – as individuals have different levels of intelligence in all countries – this question may stem from Germany’s free higher education system or their seemingly efficient work ethic. Plus there does seem to be some scientific research behind this question, with a study done in 2006 finding that Germans had the highest IQ in Europe.

So, while many of the questions posed about Germany and Germans on Google stem from stereotypes, we can confirm that some aren’t entirely made up. If you’re looking to debunk some frequently asked questions about France and the French, check out this article by our sister site HERE.

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