Tonight was the Lange Nicht der Museen, The Long Night of the Museums, in Munich. All 80 of the city's prestigious international museums were open to the public until 2 am! We spent the evening walking from one museum to another in our quest to enjoy all the evening had to offer. Great museums of international stature were awash in splendid outdoor lighting identifying themselves as open for business. It was a true artistic and cultural event. There were exhibitions, performances, tours, and live music.
My favorite museum was the Neue Pinakothek, one of Munich's newest and most reknowned museums. European art throughout the centuries are displayed in a total of 22 galeries. Munch, Klimt, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne, Manet, Van Gogh and Gauguin were some of the artists' work that was exhibited. Some of these paintings, I have only seen in art books --never in person! Having a degree in Art, I was reeling with pleasure at finally being able to see paintings such as "Sunflowers", by Van Gogh and "A Woman Ironing," by Degas.
Aside from the Impressionists, I saw Albrecht Durer's famous "Self Portait" of 1500 and many other famous paintings in this superb and extensive collection which includes paintings from the Middle Ages through the end of the Rococo era and well into the 20th century and contemporary times.
At the Haus der Kunst we experienced a completely different art exhibition by an artist named Ai Weiwei, from China. His art focuses on political debate in China and internationally. He believes that there is a new polictical culture "whereby failure is excused following an apology, which he sees as an avoidance of responsibility by politicians." (The Art Newspaper). He has made his views public and has disseminated his views on a blog that reaches 10,000 people a day and is regularly closed down. His largest installation is in the front facade of the building. He used 9,000 colored backpacks representing the thousands of children who dies in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. This exhibition was much different than the Neue Pinakothek in every way imaginable, but equally rewarding.