{Germany} Golden Frames

October 22, 2012


What’s this? Empty frames on the wall in Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie. Has there been a heist?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that something was amiss here, but it’s actually an exhibition. A small one at that, but nonetheless interesting. Remember Mr Schinkel, whom I introduced you to last week? Well, all round genius that he was, he didn’t just design buildings, stage sets and furniture, he also had a stab at picture frames. One of the buildings he was commissioned with as an architect was the Altes Museum (formerly Royal Museum) in Berlin Mitte, which also marked the birth of Berlin’s famous  Museum Island. Not only did he design the museum building itself, he was also responsible for the interior furnishings, including the picture frames. Half of the almost 1,200 paintings to go on display were unframed, so Schinkel took care of the rest. Framing 600 paintings takes time, so he developed a cost and time effective way to produce them on mass, as well as designing a few individual ones.

So, that’s the mystery behind the empty frames. You can find out more about Schinkel and his frames in the small exhibition “Goldene Leisten. Schinkel rahmt Bilder” which is showing in the Gemäldegalerie at the Kulturforum alongside the special exhibition all about Schinkel’s Life.


Disclosure: Please note that although I work for the National Museums in Berlin, of which the Gemäldegalerie is part of, all views and opinions here on the blog are my own. I had no involvement whatsoever with this exhibition.


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2 Responses to “{Germany} Golden Frames”

  1. janie Says:

    hi jenni,

    great post again. i have been at the gemäldegalerie once, a couple of years ago, right after being at the alte nationalgalerie which i loved. there i found such a perfect synchronicity between the 19th century building and the 19th century art, and the way the art was displayed was perfect, a fine balance between paintings and sculptures and never too much of it. then coming to the gemäldegalerie, you get a complete overkill of paintings and i couldn’t fully enjoy it. i even missed seeing the rembrandt because the walls were so crowded. then i see your post here and it made me smile because it’s a bit ironical that i remember crowded walls and here there are only empty frames. i will definitely adopt a museum in november. i am really happy to have discovered your blog through the BYW course. keep up the good work. janie


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