Collection Night Berlin: Your Art & Coffee Guide

Collection Night Berlin: Your Art & Coffee Guide

The greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine"

-- David Bowie, on Berlin

...Or as US law professor Hiroshi Montomura put it in 2004: "Berlin combines the culture of New York, the traffic system of Tokyo, the nature of Seattle, and the historical treasures of, well, Berlin.”
As a companion piece to the first ever Collection Night Berlin (launching 23rd August 2019), we've got a little guide to view some of Berlin's most special art galleries and collections -- of course accompanied with a tour of those close-by Coffee Corners to keep your energy zinging! 


Boros Foundation  |  Eccentric Millionaire Meets Former Nazi Bunker 

The bunker has seen it all – from horrors of the Second World War air raids, excessive fetish parties, and finally a vast collection of contemporary artworks.

Initially built as a civil protection bunker by the Nazi regime to protect the civilians from strategic bombings of the Allies, after conquering the German capitol, the Red Army used the bunker as war prison. Scarred by the bullets, the monumental nazi architecture building was hosting the sounds of techno music during some of the wildest fetish and fantasy parties in the nineties as well as providing the exhibition space for Sexperimenta, an enormous erotic trade fair. Not to mention its role as a storage for exotic fruits from Cuba, after which the ex-war bunker was humorously called Bananabunker. 

The turning point came in 2003 when the media magnate Christian Boros bought the bunker in order to display his collection of contemporary art, which by the way, creates one of the biggest private art collections in Berlin. Just four years later after Boros purchased the building, the first public presentation of installations along with the exhibited art pieces took place. 

By appointment only, the museum exhibits works by well established contemporary artists such like the Chinese exile artist Ai Wei Wei or the first non-British photographer to win the Turner prize – Wolfgang Tillmans. 

PROTIP: plan your trip in advance, as the by appointment only museum, which is opened for the wider public only during the weekends, is booked-out weeks in advance. Make sure to also book a table at nearby restaurant Lawrence (home to the refugee art collecteive FREEARTUS) or Muckrakers before or after the tour, and enjoy a cup of your favourite speciality coffee.


Haubrok Foundation  |  Northern European Contemporary Cultural Art

Photo: Ludger Paffrath, © Haubrok Foundation

The collection of the Haubrok foundation is one of the most important collections of its kind in Germany. Established in 2008 by the married couple Barbara and Alex Haubrok, the collection of the Haubrok foundation focuses on contemporary conceptual art as well as minimal art.

Counting over 1000 artworks, the collection began in the late 1980s with the purchase of an artwork by Raoul de Keyser. Prior to forming the foundation, the collection initially focused on paintings, only later expanding to include more conceptual and minimalist art pieces.

The collection now holds various media forms, including vast installations, paintings, photography and videos -- some of which have partly been on loan to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation since 2010.

Notable artists represented include the German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, and the Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson -- known for large scale art installations.

During the Collection Night Berlin itself, the Haubrok Foundation will exhibit works of Joyce Pensato, the creator of iconically and innovatively twisted punkish-style paintings of cartoon characters and US-icons. Outside of the event, the exhibition has since 2018 hosted the "big ang takeover” installation, in addition to an impressive amount of photography from various artists.

Joyce Pensato

BQ Gallery
Weydingerstraße 10, Berlin

Just in case you should get hungry: fabulous cafe Tinman is right next door to BQ, so grab a bite and take a coffee!


Sammlung Bergmeier  |  Kunstsaele Berlin

Sammlung Bergmeier © Kunstsaele Berlin

Founded in 2010 as a private initiative of a collector duo Geraldine Michalke and Stephan Oehmen along with artist Michael Müller and gallery owner Alexander Hahn a space for artistic expression and cultural education was established under the name of Kunstsaele Berlin. The aim  was to provide the long disreputable neighbourhood around Potsdamer Strasse a place where creativity can be lived out.

The Bergmeier Collection, growing steadily over the past 30 years has been expanding and increasingly gaining focus on minimalist and conceptual artworks of the 1960s and 1970s.

Also incorporating contemporary conceptual positions, the Bergmeier Collection offers a vast range of artworks. Apart from that, amateurs of poetry will find something „in” for them – the collection additionally embodies works of German Informel and Concrete Poetry.

During the Collection Night Berlin there is going to be the exhibition on display „Klappe zu, Affe tot” – which exhibits the Art & Language works by Channa Horwitz and Michael Müller among others. 

Just around the corner there is a lovely restaurant and art-house in its own right: Zimt & Zucker. It provides great atmosphere, great food, and will assuredly set the mood for a very artistic Berlin evening indeed.

So if you are visiting the exhibition at the late evening hours, it's highly recommended to include Zimt & Zucker too, and perhaps catch a second exhibition, performance or pop-up!


Museum of Photography  |  Helmut Newton Exhibition

Helmut Newton is an institution unto himself -- following an almost classic art approach to composition, using photography as his medium of choice, the walls are covered with picturesque (largely black and white) shots of nudes.

There is a huge exhibition dedicated to his legacy in the Berliner museum of photography (Museum für Fotografie) and is well worth the visit. Salomon Bagels is close-by, and the perfect light companion for an early early afternoon visit to the museum and its surrounds.