Last of Germany

We are on the train for Poland, a perfect time to catch up. Unless I spend too much time looking out the window. And we’re off, dead on time.

As promised here is a picture of “The right to be Lazy” a very agreeable concept.

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 On Thursday we went to the Altes Museum again to finish the upper floor of Etruscan and Roman antiquities.

A lot of Roman copies of Greek statutory, without Rome we would probably know next to nothing about Greece.

Next is the Pergamon, which has mainly Ancient Middle East and Islamic art. It is being renovated currently, in a huge programme which will go until 2019. The most renowned piece, the Ishtar gate is mostly visible, one side is being restored.

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Ishtar gate, Pergamon

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Assyrian prototype of Ezekiel’s vision

Another stunning exhibit is the reconstructed Roman era market gates from Miletus, currently in Turkey, but then Ionian Greece. I can’t even get it all in the photo.

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Market gate, Miletus

Our last Museum Pass museum is the Berlin City Museum in the Ephriam palace. Their exhibitions change often and currently they are showing Berlin life between the wars. Called “Tanz auf dem Vulkan”, roughly Dancing on the Volcano, it depicts the Jazz age, sexual liberation, and libertinism, and the clashing political and social currents from 1919 to 1939. No photos allowed but here is the exterior of the stunning building.

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We’re taking a break from our Turkish cafe, which we enjoy, for another Turkish cafe – but slightly different menu. Eva dolmades and me Lamb shank.

Friday is our last full day, though we don’t leave until 3:50 on Saturday. We are going to one more museum, the Walter Gropius, which is showing art from the Wurth collection. It is only starting today,so we are lucky to catch it. The title is “Hockey to Holbein”, which seems a bit back to front, but reflects the collecting interests of Reinholt Wurth.

There are only a few of the 16th century artists beside Holbein there are some portraits by Cranach, however there is a good representation of early modern impressionist and expressionists, especially Max Liebermann and Max Beckmann. For me, the real highlights of the exhibition are works by Gerhard Richter, Anselm Keifer and, naturally, David Hockney.

The Keifer works especially are very powerful. One is called “From the larch wood the eagle flew into the blue”, a very large installation in three panels. The black trunks of the trees give the impression of a prison or fortress, while in front are tangled bunches of dried thorn bushes, making the woods even more inaccessible. High up on the middle panel is a small model aeroplane, which I suppose is the eagle, heading for the sky. But the eagle is a bird of prey, so the effect is not of freedom but added threat.

On Saturday, Thomas, our AirBNB host, is going to stay with his mother, and so is taking us to the railway station. Our train leaves from Ostbanhof (East station), and just across the road is the Eastside gallery, which is a long section of the wall which has been given over to artists to paint whatever they like. It is a fantastic riot of colour and graffiti and we have plenty of time to take it in as our train doesn’t leave until 3:50. Along the way is a panel by Gabriel Heimler, who now lives in Wellington.

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PS.  It’s been a long time between posts, but only because I we have been staying wit Servas hosts and talking a lot.  Posting this on the train to Prague. More fro Poland next time.

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