Berlin Art Museums German Democratic Republic
Berlin Art Museums (German Democratic Republic)
state museums in Berlin; one of the largest museum complexes in Europe. Founded in 1830 on the basis of the collections of the electors of Brandenburg and the kings of Prussia. In the main, they are situated on Museum Island, where during the 19th and first third of the 20th century five buildings were erected (the Old Museum, 1824–28, by the architect K. F. Schinkel; the Pergamon Museum, 1909–30, by the architects A. Messel and L. Hoffmann; and other museums). During World War II the buildings and part of the collections were damaged. Beginning in 1945, restoration work was carried out; in 1958 works which had been kept in the USSR were returned. The Berlin Art Museums include the National Gallery (founded in 1876; fine arts, mainly German, from the end of the 18th century, including art of the GDR), the Museum of Southwest Asia (architecture and sculpture from Babylonia, Assyria, the Hittites, and so on), the Museum of Islam (walls from the palace in Mshattā, miniatures, carpets), the Ancient Collection (Pergamon altar, masterpieces of Greek and Roman architecture, sculptures, vase painting), the East Asian Collection (Chinese art), the Museum of German Ethnology, the Egyptian Museum (stone head of Nefertiti, reliefs, paintings), the Early Christian Byzantine Collection (icons, mosaics, reliefs), the Sculpture Collection (Gothic wood sculpture, plastic art of the Renaissance and the baroque), Painting Gallery (paintings of the old masters), the Engravings Room, and the Numismatics Room. The Industrial Art Museum is situated apart (in the Köpenick Palace).