Sure, I’m a museum junkie. Not in London, of course. In common with most people, I beeline to galleries & exhibitions when abroad, but somehow fail miserably to get off my gnocchi-filled ass to do the same in my own city.
Of all the places I’ve lived & travelled to in the past ten years or so, Munich’s Pinakothek der Moderne remains the favourite of all the cultural institutions I’ve visited. It’s the perfect combination: a stunning, properly stunning building designed by the German architect Stephan Braunfels, a glorious permanent collection of art, design & architecture, an excellent bookshop, and a great programme of temporary exhibitions.
When I was there last week to speak at DLD, afterwards I only had a scant two hours, so I majored on the Neue Sammlung (the ‘New Collection’ of the National Museum for Design and Applied Arts), as opposed to the 20thC art upstairs. (Amongst which are lots of wonderful post-Impressionists.)
Founded in 1925, there are now around 70 000 objects of industrial design, graphic design and arts and crafts, some of which are exhibited in the basement of the museum. In the main, there are computers, chairs, cars & motorcycles, and a chronological series of furniture. From Ty Nant water bottles to Walkmans, Commodore 64s to sneakers, there is something for most tastes, and I suspect teenage boys might love it.
Don’t miss the installations in the gardens either. There is also a good little cafe selling inexpensive wraps and cakes. (With vegetarian choices too, a rarity in Germany, I find.)