Hamburger Bahnhof: Museum for Contemporary Art

Hamburger Bahnhof: Museum for Contemporary Art

Hamburger Bahnhof Image1Apart from its unparallelled acquisitions of classical, early modern, and 19th century art, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation has acquired a spectacular repository of contemporary art. The biggest names from the second half of the 20th century Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and Anselm Kiefer are on display in Hamburger Bahnhof (literally Hamburg Railway Station). The building was erected in the mid-19th century as one of the first terminal stations of the rail system, and is one of the last neoclassical stations left standing in Germany.

Hamburger Bahnhof Image2After a lengthy reconstruction by architect Josef Paul Kleihues, the Hamburger Bahnhof reopened in 1996 as the Museum for Contemporary Art. Nowadays 100,000 square metres are devoted to works from the collection of Berlin State Museums, alongside pieces from the renowned collectors, Erich Marx and Friedrich Christian Flick. Besides large format works by the conteomporary pioneers mentioned above  Warhol, Twombly, Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Kiefer, the collection includes elaborate installations as well as filmic spaces by artists including Paul McCarthy, Jason Rhoades, Rodney Graham, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, and Stan Douglas. The ground floor of the western side of the building is entirely given over to the eccentric genius, Joseph Beuys, showing rare works, such as his Medienarchiv (media archive) and related ephemera. For the first half of our 3 hour walk we will look in detail at the works of these avant-gardists, who exploded the boundaries of traditional art.

Hamburger Bahnhof Image3 The second half of walk moves to the contemporary painting collection, where we focus groundbreaking works by Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Georg Baselitz, as well as Neo Rauch and Daniel Richter. Strong visual contrasts and a simultaneous emphasis on the continuity of artistic developments will form the trademark of this double tour. By looking at art analytically, we aim to offer an comprehensive view of the famous individual art works, while building “bridges” between art movements and individual artists of different decades. For an intermission in our 3 hour experience, we can pause between collections for a well-deserved coffee break in the Sarah Wiener Café.

f4Fabiola Bierhoff is an art historian and PhD Candidate in the History and Cultural Studies program at the Free University of Berlin. She received her Bachelor in Art History at Radboud University Nijmegen in 2006 and holds a Masters in Museum Curatorship summa cum laude from the Free University of Amsterdam. Her Master Thesis on the alternative East German art scene was awarded the Annual Master Thesis Award 2010. Since 2009 she has been an art writer for the bimonthly magazine De Witte Raaf. Fabiola is currently conducting research for her dissertation, which is provisionally entitled “The Role of Autonomous Art Criticism for Performance Art in the Last Decade of the German Democratic Republic”. Her research is funded by a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and a research grant from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.
twins 1 Maria and Natalia Petschatnikov are identical twins. As visual artists they work collaboratively in the border region between painting and installation. Originally from St. Petersburg, they received their art education in the United States (BFA – Rhode Island College, MFA – Hunter College of The City University of New York) and in France (École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris). They moved to Germany in 1999 and have travelled half of Europe thanks to numerous fellowships and residency programs. The Petschatnikovs have exhibited widely throughout Europe as well and are represented by Wagner+Partner Gallery in Berlin. In addition, the sisters both teach studio art and art history at a number of schools and institutes in Berlin and Hamburg. Since 2000 they have been invited to give regular workshops and tours at the Kunsthalle Museum in Hamburg. One of the major strategies of their art production as well as their teaching lies in juxtaposing classical and contemporary art.
f1Madelief ter Braak is architectural historian and freelance writer/journalist. In 2011 she graduated cum laude with a Research Master Art History & Archaeology from the University of Groningen (the Netherlands). Fascinated by urban public space, she focuses on the use and representation of this everchanging aspect of the city in the past, present and future. In her research and writing she’s guided by unconventional sources in art, photography, literature, poetry, films and music. Cross-cultural interests and curiosity have led to several publications in very diverse (online) magazines. For Blauwe Kamer  magazine on landscape development and urbanism, she writes the column ‘Standplaats Berlijn’. On her research she’s given lectures at the School of Architecture Groningen, the TU Delft and the Art historian Institute from the University of Groningen. Her masterthesis Flanieren in Berlin is written as a journey across east and west, in times of dictatorship and democracy.


Additional Costs:
Hamburger Bahnhof Tickets
Individual: €14, students & seniors €7
Online shop: €13, students & seniors €6,50

We send you a separate e-mail invoice for your group’s tickets so that our guide can prepay for them, sparing you from long entrance lines. Let us know if you will be holding Berlin passes that already cover your admission to Hamburger Bahnhof.


Groups of over 10 should contact us at [email protected] in order to get a special rate for their party.

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