Princely Painters

28 September 2018 to 27 January 2019

In the Renaissance and the Baroque period, painters like Raphael, Titian, Rubens and van Dyck attained a special status that came with social recognition and courtly privilege. In their conduct and self-portraits, these artists presented themselves as Malerfürsten, as ‘painter princes’. The Malerfürst phenomenon, which transcends national borders and spans several centuries, forms the starting point of the exhibition. Focusing on the heyday of the Malerfürst in the nineteenth century, it showcases artists such as Frederic Lord Leighton, Hans Makart, Franz von Lenbach, Mihály Munkácsy, Jan Matejko, Friedrich August von Kaulbach and Franz von Stuck. It investigates their carefully crafted public personas, the veneration they inspired and their ability to draw on a network of powerful contacts to advance their social status. New reproductive print media, extravagantly staged exhibitions, studio visits and interviews in newspapers promoted the artists and their work, created a highly profitable international market and successfully established the social construct of the Malerfürst.

In cooperation with Muzeum Narodowe w Krakowie (National Museum in Cracow)

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Imaginary Travels

16 November 2018 to 3 March 2019

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, co-founder of the Brücke group, is one of the best-known German Expressionists. One of the leitmotifs of his life and work is the quest for the exotic and the primal, for far-off lands and cultures. It led him to create strikingly colourful images that conjure imaginary, far-away worlds, without ever leaving the everyday reality of his life.
Tracing the artist’s progress through Dresden, Berlin, Fehmarn and Davos, the exhibition sheds light on Kirchner’s career. With a selection of more than 180 paintings, the retrospective explores how the artist responded to social and artistic influences, engaging with them in ever new ways, always prepared to break new ground, both personally and pictorially.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner‘s Imaginary Travels is being curated by Katharina Beisiegel (Art Centre Basel) in collaboration with the Kirchner Museum Davos and with Thorsten Sadowsky and organised by Art Centre Basel in collaboration with the Bundeskunsthalle.

Gurlitt: Status Report
An Art Dealer in Nazi Germany

14 September 2018 to 7 January 2019
Gropius Bau, Berlin

News of the discovery of the so-called ‘Gurlitt cache’ caused an international sensation in November 2013. The 1500 works of art, which the reclusive Cornelius Gurlitt (1932–2014), son of the art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt (1895–1956), had inherited from his father raised suspicions: had they been looted by the Nazis before and during the Second World War? To investigate these suspicions, the German government provided the funding necessary to conduct further research, while Cornelius Gurlitt agreed to restitute any work identified as looted. Thus far, four such works have been returned to the heirs of their rightful owners. Cornelius Gurlitt, who died in May 2014, bequeathed his collection to the Kunstmuseum Bern.
Couched in a wider historical context, the exhibition Gurlitt: Status Report is based on the current state of research into the ‘Gurlitt cache’. The exhibition presents a selection of some 250 works, covering a broad spectrum of the history of art, that have been hidden from public view for decades and thematises the provenance of each of the works. Thus, the exhibition sheds light on the complex history of the individual objects and on the fate of the collectors, art dealers and artists – most of them Jewish – who fell victim to the systematic persecution of the Nazi regime.

An exhibition of Bundeskunsthalle and Kunstmuseum Bern

Modernist Cinema
Film in the Weimar Republic

14 December 2018 to 24 March 2019

In the Weimar Republic, in the years between 1918 and 1933, film emerged as a new form of art. Dubbed the ‘seventh art’, it was experienced collectively and in public in the cinema. The rise of the modern mass medium was swift. Cinema in the 1920s provided scope for experimentation and formed the nucleus for today’s international film aesthetic. German film production and, with it, directors like Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and Fritz Lang and actors like Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings achieved worldwide recognition, and for a while the German film industry was seen as a serious competitor to Hollywood. The exhibition sheds light on what was new and original about the new medium and on its relationship and interplay with literature, the fine arts, architecture, psychology and socio-political developments. The mise-en-scène of the exhibition and a series of media installations foreground the ground-breaking innovations. Another focus is on the cinema-going public of the period whose perception of the world was substantially shaped by the novel cinematic language.

A joint exhibition of Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, and Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin

Michael Jackson
On the Wall

22 March to 14 July 2019

Michael Jackson is one of the most influential cultural figures to come out of the 20th century and his legacy continues into the 21st century. His significance is widely acknowledged when it comes to music, music videos, dance, choreography and fashion, but his considerable influence on contemporary art is an untold story. Since Andy Warhol first used his image in 1982, Jackson has become the most depicted cultural figure in visual art by an extraordinary array of leading contemporary artists.
This landmark exhibition explores the influence of Michael Jackson on some of the leading names in contemporary art, spanning several generations of artists across all media. For the first time, Michael Jackson: On the Wall will bring together the works of over forty of these artists, drawn from public and private collections around the world, including new works made especially for the exhibition.

An exhibition developed by the National Portrait Gallery, London, and organised with the Bundeskunsthalle, with thanks to the Michael Jackson Estate.

Goethe's Gardens
Green worlds on the roof of the Bundeskunsthalle

14 April to 15 September 2019

The Bundeskunsthalle is planting a temporary Goethe Garden on its roof terrace. Like Goethe’s Weimar gardens, it combines aesthetic, scientific and economic considerations.
In 1776, when Goethe moved into his first Weimar home not far from the river Ilm, he was particularly interested in the extensive garden and immediately set about its redesign. He planted a kitchen garden and created a small landscape garden in the English style with winding paths and shady spots to rest and read. He kept numerous flowerbeds for his botanical experiments that led him to develop his own theory on the metamorphosis of plants. When Goethe moved into the grand house on the Weimar Frauenplan, he once again devoted a great deal of attention to the garden. In a pavilion on the southern edge of the garden he even kept his collection of minerals, rocks and fossils from all over the world.
As the exhibition runs from May to September, the appearance of the garden will change over the course of the summer, beckoning visitors to come more often, to enjoy a leisurely stroll, to linger, to delight in its beauty and to explore its underpinnings in the natural sciences.

Transformation of the World

17 May to 15 September 2019

Johann Wolfgang Goethe is the world’s best-known poet of the German tongue. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, he lived to see his fame spread all over Europe. His works were translated into countless languages. Figures like Werther or Faust found their way into every creative discipline and all sectors of popular culture. More than any other artist of his time, Goethe reflected the dramatic changes that sent shockwaves through the political, economical and cultural foundations of Europe around 1800. Goethe was not only a critical observer of the dawn of the modern world, but also a versatile artist who continues to inspire writers, painters, sculptors, composers, photographers and film directors.
The Bundeskunsthalle and the Klassik Stiftung Weimar are devoting a major exhibition to the artist Goethe. Around three hundred objects in the exhibition shed light on his biography, his age at the dawn of our modern era and the uniquely powerful impact of his work.

An exhibition of the Bundeskunsthalle and the Klassik Stiftung Weimar in cooperation with the Freies Deutsches Hochstift, Frankfurt, the Goethe-Museum Düsseldorf and the Museo Casa di Goethe, Rom under the patronage of the Federal President of Germany.


17 December 2019 to 26 April 2020

In celebration of the 250th birthday of the great composer and visionary Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), the Bundeskunsthalle, in collaboration with the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, is hosting a major exhibition in the anniversary year of 2020. The exhibition traces the most important stages in the life of Beethoven against a historical backdrop, interwoven with his musical oeuvre.
The exhibition is divided into several themes, including 'Beethoven’s view of himself', 'friendships' and 'business strategies', which also incorporate related musical works. The display includes unique original artefacts as well as iconic portraits, which depict the figure of the composer and question his popular public image. Original instruments and integrated audio exhibits enable visitors to immerse themselves in historical worlds of sound. The composer’s working methods will be illustrated as well as the cultural and historical context of Beethoven’s life and influence.

An exhibition of the Bundeskunsthalle in cooperation with the Beethoven-Haus Bonn.

Carsten Höller
Bonner Rutschbahn / Bonn Slide

During the outdoor season / The roof of the Bundeskunsthalle is closed until spring

Carsten Höller has developed a site-specific slide connecting the roof and the museum square for the entrance façade of the Bundeskunsthalle. Höller’s sculpture and Gustav Peichl’s architecture enter into a respectful symbiotic relationship that allows the visitor to see both in a new light that brings together the hitherto separate qualities of aesthetics and functionalism. The slide will be inaugurated as part of the exhibition The Playground Project – Outdoor, but will remain in place for several years to be enjoyed during the outdoor season.
Carsten Höller conceives of the museum as a space that is not just devoted to the preservation of the old, but also to experimentation, innovation and to trying out unexpected ideas and concepts. He expands the medium of sculpture, turning it into a platform for playful activities that transform the physical and emotional experience of the viewer/visitor into an integral and central part of his art.

Show bibliography
  1. Carsten Höller, Bonn Slide, 2018 Simulation, Tubular spiral slide (stainless steel with polycarbonate cover), height ca. 13,60 meter, length ca. 35 meter Carsten Höller, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017Carsten Höller, Bonn Slide, 2018 Simulation, Tubular spiral slide (stainless steel with polycarbonate cover), height ca. 13,60 meter, length ca. 35 meter © Carsten Höller, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
  2. David LaChapelle, An illuminating Path (Ausschnitt), 1988, Courtesy of the artist © David LaChapelle
  3. Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), Crouching Woman, ca. 1882, marble, 33.5 x x 27,5 x 18 cm, www.lostart.de/EN/Fund/521802,Kunstmuseum Bern, Bequest of Cornelius Gurlitt 2014, Provenance undergoingbclarification / Currently no indications of beinglooted art ProvenanceAuguste Rodin (1840–1917), Crouching Woman, ca. 1882, marble, 33.5 x x 27,5 x 18 cm , www.lostart.de/EN/Fund/521802, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bequest of Cornelius Gurlitt 2014, Provenance undergoingbclarification / Currently no indications of beinglooted art Provenance
  4. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Seated Girl (Fränzi Fehrmann), 1910 (altered 1920),Minneapolis Institute of ArtErnst Ludwig Kirchner, Seated Girl (Fränzi Fehrmann), 1910 (altered 1920), Minneapolis Institute of Art
  5. James Jacques Joseph Tissot, Mr. Frederic Leighton, Vanity Fair Karikatur, 29. Juni 1872, Chromolithografie, 40 x 27.2 cm, Victoria and Albert Museum, LondonJames Jacques Joseph Tissot, Mr. Frederic Leighton, Vanity Fair Karikatur, 29. Juni 1872, Chromolithografie, 40 x 27.2 cm, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  6. Der Tanz der Maschinen-Maria (The dance of Robot Maria, Brigitte Helm) Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927), Source: Deutsche Kinemathek – Fotoarchiv, Photo: Horst von Harbou © Deutsche Kinemathek – Horst von HarbouDer Tanz der Maschinen-Maria (The dance of Robot Maria, Brigitte Helm), Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927), Source: Deutsche Kinemathek – Fotoarchiv, Photo: Horst von Harbou © Deutsche Kinemathek – Horst von Harbou

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Museumsmeile Bonn
Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4
53113 Bonn
T +49 228 9171–200

Opening hours

Mondays closed
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
(including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)

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