The Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin houses the Nationalgalerie’s holdings of twentieth- and twenty-first-century art. The expansion of the building by adding the leased Rieckhallen was connected to the presentation of important private collections.
A Building for Contemporary Art
The Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin (Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum for Contemporary Art – Berlin) is located in a striking former train station built on Invalidenstrasse in the nineteenth century. The museum is part of the Nationalgalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museum in Berlin). It displays the holdings of contemporary art beginning around 1960, including numerous works from private collections.
The idea of using the building, which belongs to the State of Berlin, as a museum for contemporary art had already been proposed to the Foundation in the late 1980s. The building was later converted, with financing from the state, and opened in 1996. Crucial impetus came from the wish to find an appropriate location for the private collection of the entrepreneur Erich Marx. In addition, the new building would be able to present twentieth-century holdings from the collections of the Staatliche Museen that had not been exhibited previously. The reconstruction work and the construction of two new wings were entrusted to the architect Josef Paul Kleihues.
Building the Collection: Expanding the Building with the Rieckhallen
After the building opened in 1996, the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin offered the space necessary for other private donations and permanent loans. The works from the private collection of Erich Marx, for which he had created a foundation, are on view in the museum as a permanent loan. The collections of Egidio Marzona, part of the Beuys media archive, and the collection of video art donated to the Nationalgalerie by Mike Steiner are also shown here.
The presentation in the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin was substantially expanded in 2004. The collector Friedrich Christian Flick made his extensive private collection available on loan. In 2008 he donated 166 works of contemporary art to the Foundation. The museum was expanded in order to exhibit them. At the collector’s expense, the architectural team of Kuehn Malvezzi converted the leased Rieckhallen next door for use as exhibition space.