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The Neues Museum (New Museum) in Berlin is a museum focused on art from Prehistory to the Middle Ages, located in the heart of the German capital.
History and building
The museum was opened in 1855 in a large neoclassical building, designed by German architect Friedrich August Stüler.
During World War Two, the museum building was severely damaged; it was only reopened in 2009, after the completion of an ambitious restoration and renovation project designed by British architect David Chipperfield.
The Neues Museum, together with the Altes Museum and Pergamonmuseum nearby, is part of a triad of major exhibition venues dedicated to antique art and architecture, located in the Museuminsel, the historical museum district of Berlin.
Neues Museum, atrium; photo SMB/Ute Zscharnt for David Chipperfield Architects
Longitudinal section, and first-floor plan; images courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects
Photo: Frank van Leersum
Collections and permanent exhibitions
The 220,000 square-foot / 20,500 square-meter building of the museum houses two distinct galleries, the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, presenting the art of Antique Egypt, and the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, which displays a selection of European and Asian archaeological pieces dating from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages.
The Egyptian collection, one of the most important in the world, comprises a large number of works – mostly sculptures, sarcophagi, and manuscripts – dating from the 4,000 B.C. to the Roman age. Pieces on view include renowned masterpieces such as the world-famous Nefertiti bust and the Head of Amarna Princess (both c. 1351–1334 B.C), the Tell el-Amarna relief portrait of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, and the Berlin Green Head (500 B.C).
The Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte (Museum of prehistory and early history) presents about 6,000 objects, dating from the Palaeolithic Age to the High Middle Ages, from its 340,000-piece collection. Among the most notable exhibits on view are rare Neanderthal artifacts, pieces from the so-called Treasure of Priam (Heinrich Schliemann’s collection of Trojan antiquities), the exceptional Berlin Gold Hat (c. 1,000-800 B.C.) dating back to the Late Bronze Age, and several late-Roman and early-medieval pieces, including outstanding jewels and decorated swords.
The museum organizes temporary exhibitions and learning programs for adults, children, and schools. The Neues Museum, which is fully accessible to physically impaired people, also includes a cafe and a gift shop.
Bust of Nefertiti; photo: Paul Mannix
Head of Amarna Princess; photo: Thomas Cloer
Egyptian collection, installation views; photos © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Bernd Weingart
View of the Egyptian collection exhibition, with a Roman statue of the sun-god Helios in the background; photo: René Spitz
Museum of prehistory and early history, the Berlin Gold Hat; photo: JUMBOROIS
Cover image © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
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copyright Inexhibit 2019 - ISSN: 2283-5474