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© Museum Barberini Photo: Lukas Spörl
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Museum Barberini › About the Museum

A Home for Art

With the Museum Barberini a new cultural attraction came to Potsdam. Exhibitions range from the Old Masters to contemporary art with a focus on impressionism. Based on works from the collection of Hasso Plattner, the museum’s founder and patron, the Museum Barberini presents three temporary exhibitions each year with major loans from international private collections and museums.

The exhibitions are prepared at academic conferences with international curators and researchers. In addition, Art Stories as rotating presentations place prominent works in a new context and increase awareness of original artworks.

Barberini Digital also ties into this. This virtual experience provides additional context and new aspects of the artworks and engages virtually with the original artwork.

The Museum Barberini in the reconstructed palace is located in the historic center of Potsdam on the square Alte Markt near the Stadtschloss (City Palace) where the Brandenburg Parliament meets. The building’s courtyard opens onto Alte Fahrt with access to the Havelterrassen and a view of the Freundschaftsinsel on the opposite bank. Both the ambitious reconstruction project and the operation of the museum are funded by the Hasso Plattner Foundation.

Exhibitions

View of the historic center of Potsdam with the Museum Barberini, 2016, photo: Helge Mundt, © Museum Barberini

View of the historic center of Potsdam with the Museum Barberini, 2016, photo: Helge Mundt, © Museum Barberini

With the Museum Barberini a new cultural attraction came to Potsdam. Exhibitions range from the Old Masters to contemporary art with a focus on impressionism. Based on works from the collection of Hasso Plattner, the museum’s founder and patron, the Museum Barberini presents three temporary exhibitions each year with major loans from international private collections and museums.

The exhibitions are prepared at academic conferences with international curators and researchers. In addition, Art Stories as rotating presentations place prominent works in a new context and increase awareness of original artworks.

Barberini Digital also ties into this. This virtual experience provides additional context and new aspects of the artworks and engages virtually with the original artwork.

The Museum Barberini in the reconstructed palace is located in the historic center of Potsdam on the square Alte Markt near the Stadtschloss (City Palace) where the Brandenburg Parliament meets. The building’s courtyard opens onto Alte Fahrt with access to the Havelterrassen and a view of the Freundschaftsinsel on the opposite bank. Both the ambitious reconstruction project and the operation of the museum are funded by the Hasso Plattner Foundation.

View of the historic center of Potsdam with the Museum Barberini, 2016, photo: Helge Mundt, © Museum Barberini

View of the historic center of Potsdam with the Museum Barberini, 2016, photo: Helge Mundt, © Museum Barberini

Exhibitions

Museum Barberini › The Palace
The Barberini Palace: A Royal Idea

In 1771/72 Frederick the Great had the Barberini Palace built as a stately mansion on the bank of the Havel River next to the Stadtschloss (City Palace). Along with the Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church) and the Alter Rathaus (Old Town Hall), this ensemble formed the center of the city for many years. The architect Carl von Gontard modeled the palace on the baroque Palazzo Barberini in Rome. In the mid-nineteenth century, Frederick William IV added two wings to the palace by royal decree. The task was given to the architects Ludwig Persius, Friedrich August Stüler, and Ludwig Ferdinand Hesse.

Ernst Eichgrün: Palazzo Barberini, 1907, Potsdam Museum - Forum für Kunst und Geschichte

Ernst Eichgrün: Palazzo Barberini, 1907, Potsdam Museum - Forum für Kunst und Geschichte

In 1771/72 Frederick the Great had the Barberini Palace built as a stately mansion on the bank of the Havel River next to the Stadtschloss (City Palace). Along with the Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church) and the Alter Rathaus (Old Town Hall), this ensemble formed the center of the city for many years. The architect Carl von Gontard modeled the palace on the baroque Palazzo Barberini in Rome. In the mid-nineteenth century, Frederick William IV added two wings to the palace by royal decree. The task was given to the architects Ludwig Persius, Friedrich August Stüler, and Ludwig Ferdinand Hesse.

Ernst Eichgrün: Palazzo Barberini, 1907, Potsdam Museum - Forum für Kunst und Geschichte

Ernst Eichgrün: Palazzo Barberini, 1907, Potsdam Museum - Forum für Kunst und Geschichte

A History of Many Uses

Located on the bank of the Havel in Potsdam, the Barberini Palace was not only a prestigious residence but was also open to the public and was used as a venue to stage art exhibits and cultural events as early as the mid-nineteenth century. Concerts and lectures were held here and later a cinema was added. A public library, a youth hostel and the civil registry office were still located in the palace at the time of World War II.

The building was largely destroyed during an air raid in April 1945. In 1948 the ruins were demolished and removed. A “sculpture grove” was at first planned for the empty space, and later other cultural facilities. These ideas were never realized and the free space was used as a recreation area and a parking lot. From 1994 to 2006 the Hans Otto Theater operated an interim theater here.

A Vision

In 2005, the city resolved to reconstruct what was formerly one of Europe's most beautiful squares surrounding the City Palace, with the goal of revitalizing it. The Barberini Palace was considered to be one of the most impressive of Potsdam's magnificent municipal buildings. The historic facades of several of the surrounding buildings were reconstructed. The Barberini Palace, rebuilt along its original lines, sets the tone for the ensemble.

Reconstruction as the Museum Barberini

The architects Hilmer & Sattler und Albrecht are responsible for the design and execution of the project as well as its artistic supervision. The Hasso Plattner Foundation supports this ambitious building project financially.

A number of competent, reliable partners contributed to the success of the reconstruction project. Major participants included Lelbach Projektentwicklungs-GmbH & CoKG for the first stage of the project. GuD Geotechnik und Dynamik Consult GmbH was responsible for surveying the property and supervising the excavation pit. DGI Bauwerk Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH was in charge of bidding, contracting, and site supervision (building construction). Umwelttechnik & Ingenieure GmbH was responsible for supervising building services. Ingenieurgesellschaft SCHEEL mbH planned the building services.

Project management was carried out by Convis Bau & Umwelt Ingenieurdienstleistungen GmbH. Georg von Gayl Landschaftsarchitekten designed the grounds; Licht Kunst Licht AG developed the lighting design. The Hasso Plattner Foundation commissioned Dipl. Ing. Heike Welkisch and Dipl. Ing. Architekt Ralf Hauser as project managers. Quality management was carried out by Dipl. Ing. Architektin Birgit Knicker. Builder representative was museologist Willy Athenstädt.

Construction of an exhibition gallery at the Museum Barberini 2015, photo: Stefan Müller

Construction of an exhibition gallery at the Museum Barberini 2015, photo: Stefan Müller

Facade of the Barberini Palace, 2015, photo: Stefan Müller

Facade of the Barberini Palace, 2015, photo: Stefan Müller

Wire frame coffering in the future foyer of the Museum Barberini, photo: Stefan Müller

Wire frame coffering in the future foyer of the Museum Barberini, photo: Stefan Müller

Construction site of the Museum Barberini with the Nikolaikirche in the background, photo: Stefan Müller

Construction site of the Museum Barberini with the Nikolaikirche in the background, photo: Stefan Müller

The architects Hilmer & Sattler und Albrecht are responsible for the design and execution of the project as well as its artistic supervision. The Hasso Plattner Foundation supports this ambitious building project financially.

A number of competent, reliable partners contributed to the success of the reconstruction project. Major participants included Lelbach Projektentwicklungs-GmbH & CoKG for the first stage of the project. GuD Geotechnik und Dynamik Consult GmbH was responsible for surveying the property and supervising the excavation pit. DGI Bauwerk Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH was in charge of bidding, contracting, and site supervision (building construction). Umwelttechnik & Ingenieure GmbH was responsible for supervising building services. Ingenieurgesellschaft SCHEEL mbH planned the building services.

Project management was carried out by Convis Bau & Umwelt Ingenieurdienstleistungen GmbH. Georg von Gayl Landschaftsarchitekten designed the grounds; Licht Kunst Licht AG developed the lighting design. The Hasso Plattner Foundation commissioned Dipl. Ing. Heike Welkisch and Dipl. Ing. Architekt Ralf Hauser as project managers. Quality management was carried out by Dipl. Ing. Architektin Birgit Knicker. Builder representative was museologist Willy Athenstädt.

Construction of an exhibition gallery at the Museum Barberini 2015, photo: Stefan Müller

Construction of an exhibition gallery at the Museum Barberini 2015, photo: Stefan Müller

Facade of the Barberini Palace, 2015, photo: Stefan Müller

Facade of the Barberini Palace, 2015, photo: Stefan Müller

Wire frame coffering in the future foyer of the Museum Barberini, photo: Stefan Müller

Wire frame coffering in the future foyer of the Museum Barberini, photo: Stefan Müller

Construction site of the Museum Barberini with the Nikolaikirche in the background, photo: Stefan Müller

Construction site of the Museum Barberini with the Nikolaikirche in the background, photo: Stefan Müller

Key Figures
2018 2019

Exhibitions

9

7
Loans 447 421
Visitors 316,000 392,000
Participants of Public Programs 49,906 54,494
– including Children and Teens 6,142 10,810

Website User

420,000

570,000
App Downloads 26,000 33,000

Total Costs

12,1M EUR

13,5M EUR
Funded by
– Admission 3,8M EUR 4,0M EUR
– Other revenue: Merchandise, Leasing etc. 630,000 EUR 620,000 EUR
– Contributions by Hasso Plattner Foundation 7,7M EUR 8,9M EUR

Costs per visitor

38.30 EUR

34.44 EUR
– Share of Admission Fee 12.03 EUR 10.20 EUR
– Contributions by Hasso Plattner Foundation 26.27 EUR 24.24 EUR