The collection of BerlinischeGalerie differs in a fundamental way from those of other museums in the capital. This is not a collection with royal roots, but one founded by citizens of the city in 1975 and that since then has grown with great enthusiasm. In addition, the collection is unusual due to its specialization on art created in Berlin since 1870. This makes BerlinischeGalerie unique as a museum, something exceptional. The specialization on the art of a single region should not be understood as a limitation, but should be considered a way of proving the collection with a unique focus.
From a current point of view, the decision to base the collection on this guiding principle now seems almost prophetic, for it was impossible at the time of the museum’s founding to imagine that Berlin would develop from an isolated, highly subsidized city fragment into an international center of art.
While the focus was first placed on acquisitions from the realm of painting, sculpture, prints, and drawings, with the photography collection, the architecture collection, and the artist archives additional areas of the collection have been added that exemplify the dynamic principle of reflecting on aesthetic practices.
The special development of the history of art in Berlin is closely tied to recent political history. The various parts of the collection enable an exciting conversation among the disciplines, and various media interact with one another in the collection’s presentation. Organized thematically, the museum tells the history of art in Berlin with varying emphases.