Have I mentioned my ambivalence about museums? If not, here it goes…
On one hand, museums provide the opportunity to see a variety of art, science, and other items, in person, that we would probably never see – unless we went to a museum. Now here is the catch, for me. My mind generally goes numb after about the first 15 minutes. The Van Gogh Museum was an exception, because it was well thought out and presented in a way that it told a very compelling story about the artist’s life. Museums, which have collections of a lot of stuff, sometime looted (more on this later), are not compelling for me. (I’ll stop here and perhaps continue this theme on another day.) Yet today, there was one major exception. I saw the bust of Queen Nefertiti!
Let me start at the beginning…
It was very convenient that Berlin had several major museums all clustered in one area. I could purchase one ticket, of 16 Euro, and see as many museums on Museum Island as I wanted. A great deal! The museums I visited today are: Altes National Museum, Neues Museum, and Altes Nationalgalerie.
It was at the Neues Museum where I saw the bust of Queen Nefertiti. When you realize that she died in 1331 B.C. – that is a very long time ago. In this same museum, I saw many works from before and after this period and none of them compared – in my humble mind. Wow! I couldn’t take a picture of the bust, so I found one on-line that was a close example of what I saw. The bust was located in a special room, in a glass case, and I’m sure with elaborate security. Still, it was so perfect and beautiful.
I stood in line to go into the Pergamon but after an hour, a decided that I’d just better buy a ticket for a specific viewing time, and go tomorrow. The usual wait is two hours. Yikes! Also, the museum is being renovated and that might have something to do with the wait time.
Overview of Museum Island
The Altes Museum had a vast number of pieces from mainly Greek and Roman civilizations. Gallery after gallery of urns and statues. The building itself is a work of art – is being renovated to restore it to pre-war condition. I have been reminded over and over how much rebuilding and restoration was needed after WWII. Still a work in process for Berlin.
The Alte Nationalgalerie has a collection of mainly German artists, who represented many forms of art – from impressionists to neo-classical and more. I enjoyed seeing scenes from every day life, and also portraits that captured, somehow, the subject of the portraits.
Tomorrow, I return to the Pergamon, with a timed ticket in-hand. Then a few other sites as well before I leave Berlin. Friday, on to Darmstadt.