Locations MMoCA Collects



The city of Berlin, founded in the Middle Ages, dominated the Germanic territory of Prussia. Following the birth of the German state in 1871, Berlin became the capital of modern and contemporary art in Germany. In the early years of the twentieth century, the city became the center of expressionist art, with important exhibitions by the Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter groups. Artists associated with German Expressionism, such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Käthe Kollwitz, and Wassily Kandinsky, attained international status. Berlin continued during the Weimar Republic to be a focal point for a new generation of expressionist artists, especially those social realists linked to the New Objectivity. With the rise of Adolph Hitler in the early 1930s, modern art was banned from Germany as "degenerate." It was confiscated from museums and artists' studios and destroyed or sold on the open market to collectors and institutions outside Germany. Only after World War II did the history of modern art resume significance in Germany, especially with the appearance of neo-expressionist styles in the 1980s. During this period, Berlin resumed its previous status as an international hub for modern and contemporary art.