Upon its opening in 1968, the Neue Nationalgalerie must have been located in a kind of no man’s land. At a stone’s throw from the wall, close to what was once the busy Potsdamer Platz. An ideal place for a Kulturforum, the West Berliners thought: tey also built a museum and two venues for classical music.
The Neue Nationalgalerie has a permanent collection that mainly consists of early-20th century art. But the most interesting are the temporary exhibitions: my first visit was because of an exhibition on the works of architect Rem Koolhaas, in the famous glass entrance area. Only during later visits I discovered the main exhibition rooms, when you descend the stairs. Designed to catch as little sunlight as possible, to protect the works of art.
According to many people, the museum itself is the biggest attraction. That’s a step too far for me: the design of Mies van der Rohe is beautiful but mainly serves the art, not the other way around. And that’s the way it ought to be.