The days are getting shorter with rapid velocity and the weather is – potentially – at its ‘Berlin worst’ – now what?

November is actually the Goldilocks month to hit the vast and colourful landscape of Berlin’s galleries and museums. Here are some favourite “haunts” and maybe also a few hitherto overlooked details:

The ‘Bröhan-Museum’ is one of those smallish yet immensely satisfying collections just across the street from Schloss Charlottenburg. Among other collections such as the neighbouring ‘Sammlung Berggruen’ (currently under construction), the Bröhan holds its own with a vast interior design collection spanning from turn-of-the-century design through to modernism. This November, it will also explore the Czech Avant-Garde movement which dazzled the international art and design scene between 1918 and World War II.

Across, the ‘Scharf-Gerstenberg’ collection beckons with a show on women artists in surrealism. It is by the way also housing an excerpt of the currently closed Berggruen collection, with pieces by Cezanne and Matisse, Klee and Picasso through to Giacometti’s ‘Cat’.

Moving on to contemporary art, and to an entirely different part of the capital, the ‘Gropius-Bau’ is currently earning merits under its new director Jenny Schlenzka, with a group exhibition around AI-inspired installations as well as a retrospective on the Toronto-based, former art collective ‘General Idea’, curated together with the Berlin based founder member AA Bronson. The Gropius-Bau by the way also probably holds the most beautiful parking space in Berlin, lined by rows of plane trees. Only two years ago, some of these were decorated by no one else but renowned New York artist Yayoi Kusama. Do not miss out on the museum restaurant with Jewish cuisine.

Once in the area, why not walk through the architectural conglomerate which is nowadays’ Potsdamer Platz. Once having ploughed through, please consider a nod to the left and right as to honor the State Library and Philharmonic buildings by democratic architect Hans Scharoun (much valued by both Berliners and seasoned visitors). A few more minutes and you will reach the recently reopened Neue Nationalgalerie. The iconic Mies van der Rohe building is always worth a visit, not only for its modern art collection but also for the solo exhibitions – the much-regarded Gerhard Richter retrospective is entering its 9th month in November. Avoid the construction site for the extension, but don’t miss out on the lovely St. Matthäus church, which houses contemporary artists with special exhibitions (free admission). The nearby Gemäldegalerie with manifold treasures from the 13th through to the 18th century is such an obvious spot to visit that it needs no specific mentioning in a column, BUT: An exquisitely curated Edvard Munch exhibition will still be showing in November at the Berlinische Galerie, Alte Jakobstraße – an inspiring, carefully curated look at his immensely creative Berlin years, which practically made his career.

Now you have at least a week’s worth of exploration ahead of you, and with all this colourful input, you may soon find yourself to be dancing in the rain!

Berlin Notes: Town of coffee

Photo: Coline Mattée

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