Art Opening Par Excellence in Saxony, the State of the Arts!
The State Art Collections of Dresden Reopen the Old Masters Picture Gallery and the Sculpture Collection in the Semper Gallery of the Zwinger Museum
The State Art Collections of Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, are celebrating the reopening of their Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery) and Skulpturensammlung (Sculpture Collection) up to 1800 in the Semper Gallery of the Zwinger Museum. In a burst of ceremony, music, performances and talks, the old masters and sculpture collections will be presented together so famous works of art, such as Raphael’s famous Sistine Madonna, will hang among the beautiful sculptures.
After having been partially closed for seven years for extensive refurbishment, the Semper Gallery in the Zwinger Museum will be opening its doors to the public again on Saturday, February 29 and people of all ages are invited to come and participate in a varied and eventful weekend of festivities. This great ‘feast for all the senses’ will get off to a musical start as the actor and singer Christian Friedel and his band Woods of Birnam perform new musical compositions, which they have put together on their new album: “How To Hear A Painting.”
In this new iteration, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD) will be presenting works from the world-famous Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery) with the Skulpturensammlung bis 1800 (Sculpture Collection up to 1800). The new organization features the principle of hanging paintings by geographical origin and era, picking out certain main topics from each period and showcasing key masterpieces such as Giorgione’s “Sleeping Venus”, Rembrandt’s “Ganymede” or Bellotto’s view of Dresden.
After ten years in the Albertinum’s viewable storage facility, the famous Dresden antiquities collection will now be put on striking display next to the paintings. Its new home will be the large Antiquities Hall on the ground floor of the east wing. Renaissance and Baroque sculptures have been relocated to the first-floor sculpture gallery which is flooded with natural light. Small bronzes, busts and marble pieces interact directly with selected paintings, and new triple-glazed windows enable natural light to enter the rooms. The fully revised lighting concept highlights the richly coloured wall coverings and gives prominence to the works of art.
Also, in preparation for the reopening, 45 paintings have been thoroughly restored, and another 162 paintings were cleaned on a smaller scale, with a particular focus on conserving paintings on wood. Research was carried out into panels from the workshop of Cima da Conegliano, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Giulio Romano, and they were intensively restored, with significant professional support provided through cooperation with the Getty Institute in Los Angeles.
Another especially important task was restoring the baroque gallery frames: roughly 310 frames were reconditioned and 33 professional replicas of gallery frames were made, while another 140 frames were reconstructed, strengthened and reglazed. For the new presentation of the Antiquities Collection, every individual item was cleaned, and many were restored and set on new plinths.
New special exhibition areas are now available for temporary presentations of art treasures from the holdings, as well as national and international loans. And, new multimedia teaching formats will round off the museum experience along with WiFi to present the exhibits interactively using for example sign language or featuring auditory descriptions. To mark the reopening, new publications offering deeper insights into the works of art at the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and the Skulpturensammlung to 1800 will be published in German, English and Russian.
Also to celebrate the opening, the artist Peter Baldinger’s installation “Then is now” will feature Raphael’s angel as a neon sculpture on the roof of the renovated Semperbau. The work of art will shine out as a symbol of the link between the paintings and sculptures, and of the museum’s importance as the home of world-famous works of art such as the Sistine Madonna. The installation will be on show in Dresden until the end of July 2020, before moving to the Columbus Museum of Art (USA).
The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD), the State Art Collections of Dresden comprise a museum complex with an international profile, comprising altogether fifteen museums. The museums show their treasures at their different locations, some housed in world-renowned, painstakingly reconstructed historical buildings: They are the Green Vault, the Cabinet of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, the Coin Cabinet and the Armoury in Dresden’s Royal Palace; the Porcelain Collection, the Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments and the Old Masters Picture Gallery in the Semper Building at the Zwinger; the Sculpture Collection with exhibitions in the Semper Building at the Zwinger and at the Albertinum, as a part of the presentation of Romantic to contemporary art; the Saxon Folk Art Museum with Puppet Theatre Collection in the Jägerhof; the Museum of Decorative Arts in Pillnitz and last but not least the GRASSI Ethnographical Museum in Leipzig, the Ethnographical Museum Dresden and the Ethnographical Museum in Herrnhut. In 2016, art collector Egidio Marzona donated the Archiv der Avantgarden, an archive of 20th-century avant-garde art, to the SKD. Dresden’s Art Library, the Art Fund, the Gerhard Richter Archive and the Saxon State Office for Museum Affairs form further parts of the museum network.
Dresden State Art Collections
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