This months post offers a little information about some of the museums that I had hoped to be visiting this year. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, I’m going to have to wait a little longer. Whilst I wait, I thought it would be nice to give a miniscule introduction to my top five cultural spaces and discuss why they are important to me.
- The Franz Marc Museum – Bavaria, Germany
Set up in 1986, the Franz Marc Museum is dedicated to the life and work of one of Bavaria’s most influential 20th century artists. Supported by the Friends of Franz Marc Museum Association, the museum owns over 2000 artworks by Franz Marc and members of the expressionist group The Blue Rider. The museum also holds personal writing from the artist. The exhibitions have been designed to explore Franz Marc’s life and work, as well as his influence on contemporary artists.
This museum is on my wish list because, as shown in some of my earlier blog posts, I have a lot of love for German Expressionism. However, Franz Marc’s use of colour symbolism and exploration of the natural world really make his work stand out for me.
2. Schirn Kunsthalle- Frankfurt, Germany
Since it’s opening in 1986, the exhibition space has hosted renowned displays of artwork from the likes of Wassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, and Edvard Munch. It’s collaborations with museums from all over the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and the Tate Gallery (UK), helped to put it on the map. Since it’s opening, the space had seen more than 200 exhibitions.
I actually discovered this exhibition hall through Instagram. Forced to close due to Covid-19 the contents of one of their exhibitions was translated into an accessible online format. Fantastic Women explored the contribution of 34 women from around the globe to the Surrealist movement. Through this online exhibition I discovered artists such as Alice Rahon, and Leonor Fini. I’m excited to see what the exhibition hall has planned for the future!
3. Hansa Tonstudio – Berlin, Germany
Located in the historic Meistersaal concert hall in Berlin, the Hansa studios were created by brothers Peter and Thomas Meisel in the 1970’s. Whilst not technically a museum, the recording studio was important in the cultivation of post-punk and synth-pop genres. It attracted many iconic musicians such as David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Depeche Mode. The studio was also located 150 meters from the Berlin wall giving it the name ‘Hansa by the wall’.
The studio is still in use but is open to the public at certain times of the year. Taking a tour of the place would be a dream come true!
4. Peggy Guggenheim Museum- Venice, Italy
The story of how this museum came to be is fascinating. Peggy Guggenheim, an American socialite and niece of businessman and art collector Solomon R. Guggenheim, accumulated vast amounts of modern art during her lifetime. She became involved with the avant-garde artists living in Montparnasse, allowing Man-Rey to photograph her, and later marrying Max Ernst a prominent Surrealist. She supported her friends talent by purchasing artworks in the years leading up to the Second World War. After 1945 she focused heavily on Surrealist art, purchasing as many paintings as she could. In 1951 she started exhibiting her collection on a seasonal basis in her home. This was later become the site for the museum. She continuously added to her expansive collection until her death in 1979. After this, the museum passed to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation which opened the doors of the museum permanently in 1980. The current collection boasts work from Italian Futurists, Cubists, Expressionists, and more!
I discovered this museum through reading various books about Surrealism. Peggy Guggenheim’s name crept up quite a few times and her dedication to supporting her friends piqued my interest. The collection she created is very impressive, featuring a number of artists that I’ve researched over the years. For me, this is a must see.
5. Salvador Dalí Theatre and Museum- Figueres, Catalonia
The creation of the museum, dedicated to the towns most famous painter, was designed by Dalí himself with construction beginning in 1968. Built on the site of the previous Municipal Theatre, which was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, it holds the largest single collection of artworks by the painter. Alongside them is the Dalí jewel exhibition which holds thirty-seven precious gems designed by him. Additionally, the museum itself is an exhibition and is considered to be the last great work of Dalí, one of the most notable things being the anthropomorphic Mae West room which replicates the starlets face when you view it from a certain position. The theatre also became the final resting place of Dalí who is buried in a crypt below the stage.
Like many people, my love for Surrealism started with Salvador Dalí and broadened from there. Whilst my interests are now more inclined towards exploring women in Surrealism, Dalí’s work was essential in gaining an understanding some of the principles of the art movement.
Like the majority of people, plans have been put on hold due to Covid-19. I wrote this to cheer myself up and inspire myself to persevere with my life goals. I hope that this post gives a little bit of happiness to those who read it and that the subject interests you enough to explore more!