Invitation to the press conference to mark the reopening of the Semper Building at the Zwinger with the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and the Skulpturensammlung up to 180019 February 2020
[Translate to English:] mit der Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister und der Skulpturensammlung bis 1800
The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD) are about to reopen the Semper Building at the Zwinger as the home of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and the Skulpturensammlung up to 1800 following seven years of the building’s partial closure for extensive renovation and refurbishment. Around Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna” visitors can expect a unique tour through European art history. The design concept behind the new permanent exhibition follows the principle of hanging paintings according to geographical origin and school, with masterpieces such as Giorgione’s »Sleeping Venus«, Rembrandt’s »Ganymede« and the views of Dresden by Bernardo Bellotto being presented in an impressively eye-catching way. The comprehensively upgraded lighting system, featuring carefully targeted accent-lighting and coloured wall coverings, enhances the brilliance of the works of art.
A ground-breaking feature of the completely redesigned permanent exhibition is the integration of the Skulpturensammlung: the important Dresden collection of classical antiquities is now accommodated in the large hall on the ground floor of the east wing. Statues and sculptures from the Renaissance and Baroque periods have been installed in the Skulpturengang on the first floor. Small bronzes, busts and marble works are exhibited in direct dialogue with selected paintings, while on the ground floor of the German Pavilion a selection of works from Mengs’ cast collection is on display. On the floor above, enjoyment of art can be combined with culinary pleasure in the new Café Algarotti, an inviting place for visitors to relax.
In preparation for the reopening, a great deal of restoration work has been undertaken since 2013. A major priority was the conservation of paintings on wooden panel. A number of generous donations have also enabled extensive restoration and research projects to be conducted, such as the restoration of the Cuccina Cycle by Paolo Veronese. Another important task was to restore the Baroque gallery frames, many of which have been renovated or reproduced.
Flexible spaces for special exhibitions now enable changing presentations of art treasures from the museums’ own holdings as well as objects on loan from national and international institutions. The Winckelmann-Forum, covering the entire ground floor in the west wing, provides a large area for temporary exhibitions. The Semper-Kabinett on the first floor will be used in future for small-scale, highly focused presentations. Multimedia educational formats complement the experience of visiting the museums. Barrier-free multimedia guides are available free of charge in which the exhibits are presented in an interactive way, for example in sign language or by means of audio description.
To mark the occasion of the reopening of the Semper Building, the artist Peter Baldinger is placing Raphael's cherubs on top of the renovated building in his installation entitled "Then is now". This illuminated work of art symbolises the interconnection between painting and sculpture and emphasises the Gallery's significance as the home of world-famous works like the “Sistine Madonna”. The installation will be on display in Dresden until the end of July 2020 and will then go on show at the Columbus Museum of Art (USA).
On the evening of 28 February 2020, the opening ceremony for invited guests will be followed by two concerts by the band Woods of Birnam in the Schauspielhaus. On their new album “How To Hear A Painting” they have taken paintings by the Old Masters as inspiration for new musical compositions. “So geht sächsisch.” – the official campaign to promote the Free State of Saxony – will be relaying the first of the concerts, both of which are already sold out, live to the Zwinger free of charge. From 10 pm until 2 am the Semper Building will be opening its doors to the public.
FRIDAY, 28 February 2020
8.30 pm NIGHT OF THE OLD MASTERS. “So geht sächsisch.” relays the concert by Woods of Birnam live to the Zwinger free of charge.
10 pm - 2 am Night-time opening of the Semper Building at the Zwinger, admission free.
SATURDAY, 29 February and SUNDAY, 1 March 2020
10 am – 6 pm Free admission to the Semper Building at the Zwinger. Admission only with a limited number of timed tickets. Tickets will be available at the SKD’s museum ticket sales desks; any remaining tickets will be on sale at the ticket sales desk on the day.
The weekend will be rounded off with a varied programme of accompanying events and activities for people of all ages, including live speakers in the exhibition, open workshops with artists, family guided tours, discussions with experts and musical performances.
The special programme for the Opening Weekend will be followed by a programme for the Week of Celebrations. For further information, including new publications see: www.skd.museum/semperbau2020
You are cordially invited to attend the press conference. Please register your intention to participate at email@example.com.
The SKD communicate on social media via #gemäldegaleriealtemeister, #semperbau2020 and #skdmuseum and #woodsofbirnam.