With one of the largest collections of 20th and 21st century art, print graphics, architecture and design anywhere in the world, it seems pretty unfair that the Pinakothek der Moderne is sometimes dismissively referred to as the "third Pinakothek". One of the leading establishments in Munich's famous Kunstareal (art quarter) - which itself has 18 different museums and 40 galleries - it's far more than just a little sister to its namesakes and neighbours, the Alte Pinakothek and the Neue Pinakothek. In fact, we would argue that it's quite possibly the cream of the crop.
This incredible institution is actually a series of four museums under one roof, with hundreds of thousands of works, split into disciplines: 20th and 21st century artworks, design from 1900 to the present, graphics-on-paper and architecture. Set in a spacious and modern building, with each of the sections connected by a central glass rotunda, the Pinakothek der Moderne is a visual who's-who of modern creativity, with a few golden oldies thrown in for good measure.
The Modern Art Collection is a shrine to anyone who's anyone in the world of art - and anyone who has been since 1900 - with some of the most esteemed artists in expressionism, fauvism, cubism, Bauhaus, surrealism, abstract, expressionism, pop art and minimalism all featured. Want to see an Andy Warhol self-portrait in real life or stand mere centimetres from a Picasso? Here's your chance. Dream of getting lost in a Dalí? Knock yourself out. Excited to see the works of the 2000s that will be revered in 50 years time? Well, we can't promise this one, but there's a good chance you'll find one or two here.
The Design Collection is the busiest area of the Pinakothek der Moderne, and features the most monumental, absurd and cutting-edge applied arts creations of the last 50 years. It is in this section that you'll discover quirky cars, prototype computers including the earliest Apple products, retro furniture, innovative packaging and odd jewellery. Half of these things you'll want in your house; the rest you'll probably question their very existence.
The Architecture Museum is among the largest of any specialist collection on architecture in the country, containing everything from 16th century models to futuristic competition designs, although it predominantly focuses on German construction movements in the 19th and 20th centuries. With more than 500,000 drafts by over 1000 architects, over 200,000 photographs and 1300 models, as well documents and archives, you could easily lose hours in here.
The Graphic Design Museum boasts a constantly growing collection of drawings and prints, with a current roll-call of 400,000 items. Among the highlights are examples by well-known German and international figures from the 19th - 21st centuries, including Paul Cezanne and David Hockney, as well as old German and Dutch masters Dürer and Rembrandt, plus Italian icons such as the legendary Leonardo Da Vinci.
The most famous of the three Pinakothek museums run by the Bavarian State Painting Collections, partly thanks to it being one of the longest-established galleries in the world, the Alte Pinakothek focuses on works of art produced between the 14th - 18th centuries by some of the most renowned masters.
Having completed a four year reservation project in July 2018, the museum is now fully open once more.
Officially opened in 1981, although the start of the collection dates back to the mid-1800s, the Neue Pinakothek is dedicated to 19th-century artworks, and includes paintings from artists considered early pioneers of modern art: Max Liebermann, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh.
In order to prepare for extensive renovations, the Neue Pinakothek will be closed to the public from the 31st December 2018, for an as yet unspecified period of time. From Summer 2019, a selection of its most important exhibits will be available to view in the East Wing of the Alte Pinakothek.
Throughout the Year
Entry to the Pinakothek der Moderne
Pinakothek der Moderne - Sunday entry
Pinakothek der Moderne
Barer Str. 40
Germany 80333 München