The Landscaped Gardens of Prince Pückler

14 May to 18 September 2016

Hermann, Prince Pückler-Muskau (1785-1871), was one of the most fascinating people of his time. He is now being rediscovered as an outstandingly original garden designer working in the English style. His landscaped parks at Bad Muskau/Łęknica (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage), Babelsberg (also UNESCO World Cultural Heritage as part of the Potsdam Cultural Landscape) and Branitz are among the finest examples of nineteenth-century garden design in Europe. It is to these three important parks and the innovative ideas that shaped them that this exhibition at the Bundeskunsthalle is devoted.

«If you really want to know me you have to know my garden, for my garden is my heart.»Hermann, Prince Pückler-Muskau

Pückler conceived of gardens in the grand style as ‘picture galleries’ in which idealised nature, transformed into art, kept surprising the viewer with new aspects every few steps. True to this conviction, he landscaped vast swathes of land, installing sophisticated systems of paths and waterways, visual axes and lookout points.

He redirected rivers, moved mature trees with specially designed machines, raised hills and used real people as garden ornaments. He had the full conceptual and practical support of his wife Lucie who shared her husband’s horticultural passion, which pushed them to the very brink of financial ruin. Extended journeys – for example to Britain, Africa and the Orient – served as inspiration for the way he staged his life and public persona and made him a mediator between different cultures. The enthusiastic garden designer brought back plants and new ideas, and the published accounts of his travels helped shape the German image of the Orient. The exhibition brings together some 250 objects from more than 30 public and private lenders, among them the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg, the Prince Pückler-Park Bad Muskau Foundation, the Prince Pückler-Museum Park and Branitz Palace Foundation and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The exhibition traces Pückler’s horticultural work through his original designs, historical photographs and views as well as objects pertaining to his eventful life. Also on show is a first edition of Pückler’s seminal book Andeutungen über Landschaftsgärtnerei (Hints on Landscape Gardening). The book bears eloquent witness to the creativity and inventiveness of the pioneering landscape architect. His approach to landscaping is illustrated by simple drawings, in which he laid out an ideal lake, a perfect river course or a model path, juxtaposing them with counter examples of how not to do it.

An exhibition of the Bundeskunsthalle in cooperation with the Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg, the Stiftung Fürst-Pückler-Museum Park und Schloss Branitz, the Stiftung ‚Fürst-Pückler-Park Bad Muskau‘ and the National Heritage Board of Poland 

The exhibition enjoys the patronage of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Prof. Monika Grütters MdB, and the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, Prof. Dr. Piotr Gliński.

Parkomanie. Der Garten. Behind the art11 Minuten
Parkomanie. Die Ausstellung. Behind the art5:49 Minuten
Parkomanie. Das Pückler-Eis. Behind the art1:08

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    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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