Barberini Museum: Rococo Casket for International Art Treasures

Last January, Potsdam enjoyed a kind of architectural miracle with the return of the 1771-1772 rococo Palace Barberini, destroyed during World War II. Carefully reconstructed, the elegant castle is now home to the Barberini Museum, which programmes art exhibitions, as highlighted by Ortrud Wetheider, the Museum director. We asked her to tell us a little more about the museum.

A new cultural institution is born in Potsdam with the opening of the Museum Barberini, hosted in the reconstructed Palais Barberini, built in 1771/1772 in Potsdam’s historic centre. Visitors will nd three temporary exhibitions ranging from Twentieth Century American Art to works by Rodin and Monet. The temporary exhibitions are enriched by major loans from international museums and private collections.

People visiting IFA Berlin rarely think of including a tour to Potsdam. Why should they do so?

Because even if they already know Potsdam with its castles and gardens there is now a brand new cultural attraction where world class art is expecting visitors.

What about your current exhibitions?

From Hopper to Rothko: America’s Road to Modern Art, running from June 17 to October 3, 2017, focuses on American art from the rst half of the twentieth century that is still relatively unknown in Europe. The three central themes of the exhibition – landscapes, portraits, and cityscapes – present a cross-section of American painting from Impressionism to Abstract Expressionism. The show will trace the beginnings of abstract painting, which also developed during this time. Running between the same dates is the exhibition Contemporary Positions in the USA and Mexico. Along with Harold Joe Waldrum (1934– 2003), Dan Namingha (*1950), and Ru no Tamayo (1899–1991), we are presenting three idiosyncratic modern art positions in the USA and Mexico. Also there is Rodin in Dialogue with Monet, running from May 31 to October 3, 2017. With 15 sculptures by Auguste Rodin and seven paintings by Claude Monet, this show recalls the joint exhibition of the two artists in Paris in 1889.

Why should IFA attendees come to visit your museum?

The spectacular reconstruction of the historic building in its original dimensions and by using traditional techniques for the sandstone façade is an amazing effort of Potsdam city to recreate its lost city centre. Combined with the outstanding artworks of the current exhibitions, this makes a perfect short trip to Potsdam after a busy IFA show!