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Exterior view of the Museum Barberini von the Havel River, photo: Helge Mundt
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Exhibitions

In cooperation with The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C., which has loaned 70 works, the second major exhibition in 2017 is dedicated to American modern art with From Hopper to Rothko: America's Road to Modern Art (June 17 to October 3, 2017). Behind the Mask: Artists in the GDR (October 29, 2017 to February 4, 2018), an exhibition of East German art, will conclude the opening year at the Museum Barberini.

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Wolfgang Mattheuer: The Gray Window, 1969, Museum Barberini, © VG BILD-KUNST Bonn, 2016

Wolfgang Mattheuer: The Gray Window, 1969, Museum Barberini, © VG BILD-KUNST Bonn, 2016

In cooperation with The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C., which has loaned 70 works, the second major exhibition in 2017 is dedicated to American modern art with From Hopper to Rothko: America's Road to Modern Art (June 17 to October 3, 2017). Behind the Mask: Artists in the GDR (October 29, 2017 to February 4, 2018), an exhibition of East German art, will conclude the opening year at the Museum Barberini.

Wolfgang Mattheuer: The Gray Window, 1969, Museum Barberini, © VG BILD-KUNST Bonn, 2016

Wolfgang Mattheuer: The Gray Window, 1969, Museum Barberini, © VG BILD-KUNST Bonn, 2016

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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 Stiftung 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 Stiftung 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 Stiftung 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.

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 Stiftung 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.

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

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 Stiftung 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.

Reconstruction of the Barberini Palace