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Museums

Berlin is Museum City. The tourist site visitberlin.com publishes a list of over one hundred museums within the city.  Several are world famous like those on Museum Island: the Pergamon Museum; Bode Museum; Altes Museum; Neues Museum (with the bust of Nefertiti); and the Alte Nationalgalerie, where visiting art exhibitions take place. 

 

Gemäldegalerie; Kunstgewerbemuseum; Deutsches Technikmuseum; Märkisches Museum; Museum Island (as listed above)

 

Like cities every museum has objects that are one of a kind.  So every museum is also unique.  But uniqueness is not, of itself, grounds for a visit.   I find it hard to get excited about stamps or coins, particularly when there are hundreds or thousands of them. So the Numismatic Museum in Athens that specialises in coins was low on my priority list.  Similarly I find it hard to get excited about some cities.

But I'm interested in painting and sculpture because I like to dabble myself so I'll usually find something to catch my interest in an art gallery.  The art museum that has surprised me the most is the Gemäldegalerie near Potsdamer Platz. It's not on the normal Tourist Schedule.  If you are familiar with the European art collections at the National Gallery in London or the Orsay in Paris or the Uffizi in Florence or the Prado Madrid or the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam you'll still be very impressed. 

The Alte Nationalgalerie on Museum Island is good and it's on the tourist itinerary but it's put into the shade by the Gemäldegalerie collection.  This includes a dozen or so Rembrandts, and several works each by Hals, Vermeer, Titian, Rubens, Boucher, Holbein, Brueghel, Durer, Cranach, Botticelli and even English masters like Gainsborough.  Amazing! 

 

Rubens (being copied); Holbein; Cranach; Boucher; Vermeer; Rembrandt; Tiepolo; Canaletto; Caravaggio; Velázquez;
the list goes on.

 

And there was no queue to get in.

I'm also interested in technology, history and natural history: biology and geology. So in Berlin almost every museum is interesting and it's possible to spend weeks visiting and revisiting them - and that's before you even begin to scratch the contemporary arts scene.  

Perhaps this is best illustrated by the amount of street art and graffiti.  Graffiti is everywhere. It is said that for many years there was a lack of paint in East Berlin and so buildings were drab and grey - an ideal canvas for street artists who could lay their hand on some paint.  Today there are still many disused buildings where artists gather to play music and paint and there are some very public areas where street art is actively encouraged.

 

Berlin Street Art

 

 

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Travel

Berlin

 

 

 

I'm a bit daunted writing about Berlin.  

Somehow I'm happy to put down a couple of paragraphs about many other cities and towns I've visited but there are some that seem too complicated for a quick 'off the cuff' summary.  Sydney of course, my present home town, and past home towns like New York and London.  I know just too much about them for a glib first impression.

Although I've never lived there I've visited Berlin on several occasions for periods of up to a couple of weeks.  I also have family there and have been introduced to their circle of friends.

So I decided that I can't really sum Berlin up, any more that I can sum up London or New York, so instead I should pick some aspects of uniqueness to highlight. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The Password

 

 

 

 

How I miss Rio.  Rio de Janeiro the most stunningly picturesque city on Earth with its dark green mountains and generous bays, embelezado with broad white, sandy beaches.  Rio forever in my heart.   Rio my a minha pátria, my homeland, where I spent the most wonderful days of my life with linda, linda mãe, my beautiful, beautiful mother. Clambering up Corcovado Mountain together, to our favela amongst the trees.

Thinking back, I realise that she was not much older than I was, maybe fifteen years.  Who knows?

Her greatest gift to me was English. 

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Opinions and Philosophy

Copyright - Greg Ham

 

 

I've just been reading the news (click here or on the picture below) that Greg Ham of Men at Work has died; possibly by suicide.

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