About the Museum
The Neue Galerie is the most specialized museum along Museum Mile, focusing on the creative output of German and Austrian artists and designers in the early twentieth-century art. The early twentieth-century was a complicated time for German culture and the art produced in the years surrounding the World Wars is key to understanding the period. Where other collections of Modern art have a token Klee or minor Kandinsky, these artists and their contemporaries are at the center of the Neue.
What You Will See
The Neue is a serious place displaying serious for serious visitors. The permanent collection is an impressive variety of paintings from Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee, Otto Dix and other German/Austrian/Swiss artists. Supplementing the paintings, and giving the impressive mansion a sense of home is a large collection of furniture and flatware reflecting by German designers of the same period. Temporary exhibits rotate into the galleries periodically and either highlight the work of a single artist, reshuffle the permanent collection or explore other media like graphic design or decorative arts. But most everyone comes here for the Klimt--at the time of its acquisition, it was the most-expensive painting every sold.
Why You Should Go
Modern German art does not share the general popularity of French impressionists, Spanish surrealists or even American modernist. Beyond seeing the Klimt, a visit to the Neue allows you to contrast works originating in early twentieth-century Germany with the rest of the world. Reflect on how these artistic movements would have developed without the interruptions of war and conflict. See the cultural counter-arguments to the rise of National Socialism. It is a niche worthy of exploration. Supplement the art with a meal at the ever-popular Cafe Sabarsky and a tour of the immaculate mansion for a day immersed in pre-war German culture.