In times of shrinking acquisition and exhibition budgets, dependable friends guarantee the survival of museums. Without the Museumsinitiative, without the Förderstiftung, without all the private individuals who have loaned works, some of whose links to the museum go back to its creation, Neues Museum would not be where it is today, twenty years on. Between friends, this can and should be stated in no uncertain terms. And as part of the twenty-year anniversary, we also mean to celebrate it: during 2020, a series of presentations on the upper floor of the permanent exhibition will focus on the museum’s cooperation with various partners. Of course, we cannot include all of those involved, but we are not forgetting anyone – from the Museumsinitiative, without which the museum would not exist, to the large and small collectors who share their treasures with the public.
The series begins on 5 February with a double presentation. Firstly, the Society of Friends, who still call themselves “Museumsinitiative” because they started as a citizen’s initiative, has enabled the acquisition of a large-scale installation by shooting star Raphaela Vogel. And secondly, the Berlin collector Georg Böckmann recently extended and intensified his cooperation with Neues Museum by granting access to the rest of his collection beyond the work of Richter, Penck and Graubner; we now present an ensemble of works by the painter Norbert Schwontkowski.