Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof Museum Announces New Director

Gabriele Knapstein will take up the new position on September 1.

Gabriele Knapstein. Courtesy ©Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
Gabriele Knapstein. Courtesy ©Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin

The Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for Contemporary Art in Berlin, which belongs to the state-run Nationalgalerie museums, has announced the appointment of Gabriele Knapstein as its new director. The art historian, who has been with the institute since 1999, will take up the new position starting September 1.

Knapstein has served as director of exhibitions at Hamburger Bahnhof since 2012, and curated major exhibitions at the museum, including “Black Mountain,” together with Eugen Blume, and has headed the concert series “Musikwerke Bildender Künstler” since 1999, which features musical works by visual artists including Rodney Graham, Carsten Nicolai, Janet Cardiff & Georges B. Miller, and Susan Philipsz. In 2006, she was responsible for organizing the exhibition “Berlin-Tokyo/Tokyo-Berlin. The art of two cities” shown at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

Knapstein will take over from Eugen Blume, who has been at the museum since its inception in 1996, and is now retiring.

Udo Kittelmann, director of the Nationalgalerie, which includes the Hamburger Bahnof museum as well as several other state-run museums in Berlin, said in a statement: “With Gabriele Knapstein, the Hamburger Bahnhof has appointed an outstanding scholar and curator for its management, one who has been associated with the development of the Nationalgalerie for many years, and who brings an excellent prospect for the coming years.”

In an email to artnet New, Knapstein said, “It is my concern that we at the Hamburger Bahnhof convey the experience of the city of Berlin, and that the questions raised by contemporary art are reflected in a relevant manner for the individual and for society. Contemporaneity always means to also re-activate historical positions, which every generations surveys anew.”


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