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The Berggruen Museum possesses a great collection of Modern art assembled by collector and art dealer Heinz Berggruen. The collection is a good complement to the collection of modern art held at the Neue Nationalgalerie.
The collection was given in 1996 when Berggruen's return to his native city after six decades in exile. He had assembled his collection over 30 years, and at that time lend it to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation before selling it in 2000 to a price below its actual value.
The collection is exhibited under the title "Berggruen Collection – Picasso and His Time" and is famous for its artists on display. The centrepiece of the collection is the work of Pablo Picasso, with over 100 exhibits, together with over 60 pictures by Paul Klee. Henri Matisse is represented by over 20 works, including more than half a dozen of his famous cutouts. Sculpture ensembles by Alberto Giacometti and examples of African sculpture round out the core of the collection.
Berggruen continued to purchase works after the museum's opening in 1996, including Picasso's important 1909 painting Houses on the Hill (Horta de Ebro) from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2005 another masterpiece of the Master was bought by the Berggruen family. Nu Jaune (1907) was bought for $13.7 million at Sotheby's in New York. This gouache is one of the first studies for Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, a milestone in 20th-century art.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the museum, and his permanent retirement from public life at the age of 92, Berggruen donated a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, Standing Woman III, to the collection in December 2006, a sculpture that was already on loan at the museum. Several weeks later, on 23 February 2007, he died in Paris. The same year the heirs continue their father's tradition and gave 50 new works to the museum and more have been add to the collection since then.
With the family’s backing thus secured, Kuehn Malvezzi architects were commissioned to expand the museum, and a newly landscaped sculpture garden to the rear of both properties. The newly expanded museum opened in 2013.
Through the year, the museum hosts numerous special exhibitions on themes of classic modern art.
Georges Braque was a major 20th-century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art style known as ... read more
Henri Matisse was a French artist commonly regarded as one of the artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the ... read more
Pablo Picasso was a Spanish artist who spent most of his life in France. Picasso is commonly regarded as one of the artists who most ... read more
Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century ... read more
Paul Klee was a Swiss painter. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and ... read more