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Berlin

Timing

7 days | September 9–15, 2022

Summary

ARTnews invites you to delve into the art of Berlin with Emily Watlington—critic, curator, and Associate Editor at Art in America—touring pivotal architectural works and enjoying special access to renowned museums. Eclectic art and architecture thrive against the backdrop of a tumultuous history in Berlin. Here, baroque state museums and imperial monuments coexist with the vivid graffiti of Kreuzenberg and mind-bending contemporary art installations. The ends of World War II and the Cold War occasioned bursts of creativity that transformed the city, turning it into one of the most exciting art destinations in the world. Explore a broad spectrum of art forms, including porcelain, decorative arts, and light sculpture, as well as antiquities and Islamic art. On walking tours and private visits to galleries and museums, examine the synergy of artistic styles and history, from pre-war Art Nouveau opulence to the punk-fueled alternative art that blossomed after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Highlights

  • Meet with contemporary artists in their galleries and take an artist-led private studio tour.
  • Experience a wide range of architectural styles on guided tours, from the Art Nouveau courtyards of Hackesche Höfe to Le Corbusier’s Brutalist housing complex to the edgy street art scene of Kreuzberg.
  • View two of Berlin’s most iconic museums, the Pergamon Museum and the Neues Museum, through the lens of their incomparable Islamic and Egyptian art collections.
  • Immerse yourself in the history and craft of porcelain on a full-day excursion to Meissen, and take a behind-the-scenes tour of the centuries-old Meissen Factory.
  • Admire panoramic city views during lunch on top of the Reichstag building, and get a close-up view of its famous glass dome designed by Norman Foster.

Itinerary

Friday, September 9 Architecture and Urban Design of Charlottenburg

Fly into Berlin, and transfer to your centrally-located hotel. In the afternoon, join a guide for a walking tour of the Charlottenburg district, and discover the innovative architecture and design projects that have breathed life back into the area. At night, gather for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner with your fellow travelers and art expert Emily Watlington.
Included Meals: Reception, Dinner

Saturday, September 10 Iconic Sites and Museum Island

Delve into many aspects of this vibrant city today, starting out with a tour of its main sites, including Brandenburg Gate, Gendarmenmarkt, and Tiergarten. Then head to the Reichstag, Germany’s Parliament building, for lunch on the rooftop terrace. Here, take in 360-degree views of the city and get an up-close perspective of the building’s fabulous glass dome, designed by English architect Norman Foster. On Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site in its own right, view antiquities and an impressive collection of Islamic art on a guided tour of the Pergamon Museum. Peruse the Neues Museum’s extensive Egyptian collection, which includes the celebrated bust of Nefertiti. Dinner is at your leisure.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Sunday, September 11 Meissen Porcelain

Embark on a day trip to Meissen, where Europe’s oldest porcelain manufactory has produced fine tableware since 1710. Learn how the artisans of Meissen influenced European dinnerware trends across the ages, from Baroque to Biedermeier to the modern day. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum and its special exhibitions, and enjoy lunch served on Meissen porcelain. Enjoy some time to explore nearby Dresden before returning to Berlin for the evening.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Monday, September 12 Street Art of Kreuzberg and Galleries of Auguststraße

Encounter another side of Berlin’s art scene today on a guided tour of Kreuzberg. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, a gritty, alternative street art movement cropped up, and Kreuzberg was its epicenter. Spend time at the East Side Gallery, a stretch of the original Berlin Wall that was transformed by artists from around the world into a 1.3-kilometer open-air gallery of art. Learn the stories behind the neighborhood’s murals and graffiti, and discover the importance of the späti, or corner store, in Berlin’s culture. Continue to Markthalle Neun, a produce market since the late 19th century and now a thriving street food destination. Browse the enticing stalls and pick out your lunch from a wide variety of international cuisines. This afternoon, head for the Auguststraße, the center of Berlin’s Biennale for Contemporary Art. Visit the acclaimed KW Institute for Contemporary Art, an art laboratory housed in a former margarine factory. Then take a private tour of an artist’s studio or set off on your own to browse the street’s many galleries. The evening is yours at leisure.
Included Meals: Breakfast

Tuesday, September 13 Architecture of West Berlin

To rebuild the city and provide much-needed city housing after World War II, architects from around the world participated in the International Builders Exhibition in 1957. This morning, visit the contribution of Swiss architect Le Corbusier: a brutalist apartment complex known as Corbusierhaus that remains one of the largest housing complexes in Europe. Tour this impressive building, including its showroom apartments, and learn how it intended to bring city living into the modern era. Then see the nearby Olympiastadion, built by the Nazis for the 1936 Olympics. After lunch, enjoy a private tour of the Bröhan Museum, which showcases the collection of Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Functionalist artwork of German entrepreneur Karl Bröhan. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
Included Meals: Breakfast

Wednesday, September 14 Focus on the Artists

Spend today immersed in the life and works of internationally renowned artists. Begin your day with a tour of a private studio. Visit the collection of the Haubrok Foundation, dedicated to promoting contemporary art. Continue with a visit to the renowned Boros Collection, a private collection of contemporary art on display in a converted bunker. This evening, celebrate your journey into the art and architecture of Berlin at an elegant dinner near the hotel.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Thursday, September 15 Auf wiedersehen

Transfer to the airport after breakfast for your individual flights home.
Included Meals: Breakfast

Price

$5,495–$6,165 pp

Expert

Berlin

Emily Watlington is a critic, curator, and Associate Editor at Art in America. She writes on topics including art, architecture, disability justice, and feminism. A Fulbright scholar who holds a master’s degree in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art from MIT, she has held curatorial positions at the MIT List Visual Arts Center and at the MassArt Art Museum. In 2018, she received the Vera List Writing Prize in the Visual Arts, and in 2020, the Theorist Award from C/O Berlin. Recently, she contributed to the exhibition catalogues Before Projection: Video Sculpture 1974-1995, All I Want: Portuguese Women Artists from 1900 to 2020, and An Inventory of Shimmers: Objects of Intimacy in Contemporary Art, among others. She has given talks at a number of institutions including New York University; Rhode Island School of Design; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Harvard University; and Museo Reina Sofia. Her writing has appeared in publications including Artforum, The Baffler, Mousse, Frieze, The Believer, and Another Gaze; assigned on syllabi at universities including Oberlin, New York University, The New School, and Harvard; and translated into German, French, Portuguese, and Croatian.

Accommodations

Centrally located just a 5-minute walk from Museum Island and 1,000 feet from Berlin’s famous Unter den Linden Boulevard, the Arcotel John F, Berlin offers elegant rooms with flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi. The Foreign Affairs restaurant serves gourmet international cuisine. John F lies just 1,650 feet from Gendarmenmarkt Square and the Deutsches Historisches Museum, and is a 20-minute walk from the Brandenburg Gate. The spa and gym on the 6th floor of the ARCOTEL John F overlooks the peaceful green courtyard. It features a Finnish sauna, steam room and relaxation area.

To Learn more

877.813.0690
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