Georg Kolbe Museum
The Georg Kolbe Museum's collection is located in the artist's former studio in an idyllic pine tree setting in the Berlin-Westend suburb. Georg Kolbe (1877-1947) was Germany's best known sculptor in the mid-20th century. As part of the Secessionist movement in the arts, Berlin became known in the 20s and 30s for a type of sculpture influenced by Expressionism. Kolbe became the central figure of the sculptural form known as the "autonomous nude". Before abstract and conceptual sculpture became the norm Kolbe's work was important in his attempt to use the human body as an expression of the human spirit – challenging the role sculpture had played in representing mythological or heroic symbolism. His grief-stricken male figures exhibited in the museum belong to the time of his profound mourning over the death of his wife, who was buried nearby.
The museum is equally dedicated to Kolbe's legacy and to the promotion of German and international sculpture. The studio erected in 1928 by Ernst Rentsch, a friend of the artist, remains the only example of former artist's studio in Berlin turned into a museum and was opened to the public in 1950. The permanent exhibition centres on Kolbe's own work including sculpture and painting, and that of a number of his closest contemporaries is also displayed. The collection has almost doubled since the 1980s through donation, new acquisitions and long term loans. In over sixty special exhibitions to date the museum’s central focus has been 20th century sculpture while integrating additional elements such as dance and photography. Another aspect of the museum's activities is its Georg Kolbe Prize to promote key positions in contemporary art.