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Munich Museums: Alte Pinakotek, Deutsches

Munich Museums: Alte Pinakotek, Deutsches

Old Apr 19th, 2001, 12:58 PM
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Munich Museums: Alte Pinakotek, Deutsches

I would appreciate any comments about these two museums in Munich.

For those who have gone, would you go again? and why?

Old Apr 19th, 2001, 03:35 PM
wes fowler
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Doug (we've got to stop meeting like this!)
The Deutsches Museum is the largest technological museum in the world. Spent a day - a full day - there and didn't begin to touch the surface. It's a bit like lumping two or three of the Smithsonian museums together under one roof.
The Alte Pinahothek is, in my opinion, one of Europe's lesser art museums. Other than one daVinci and a Raphael, some Titians and a Tintoretto or three, Italian painters are under-represented. The emphasis is on old German Masters, particularly Durer, Flemish painters, a bunch of Rubens, the Bruegels, Hals and Rembrandt and some second tier French - Lorrain and Poussin. Your best bet might be to pick up a gallery chart and home in on those artists of particular interest. I'll probably raise some hackles by saying if I'd missed the Pinakothek, my knowledge of European art would not have been seriously damaged.
Old Apr 19th, 2001, 03:46 PM
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Wes is certainly on the money (as usual). The Alte Pinacotek is a first rate art museum with a few top notch pieces, but certainly not one of the top museums, and not many true masterworks.

The Deutsches Museum, on the other hand, is truly world-class. In US terms it would generally be termed a "Science and Industry Museum" (a la the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago), though it really goes beyond that level.

I admit to only having spent a half day there. Julie will put up with just so much "Science and Industry". But I will say that my mind was bursting trying to prioritize what we would fit into the time available ... there's just so much.

On the other hand, if art is your thing and not science, technology and industry, the Pinacotek could well be a better investment of your time.

Old Apr 19th, 2001, 07:26 PM
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I agree fully with the previous postings. The sord alte" says it all. I found the glare from the windows most distracting -- far too much reflection to be able to get a good feel for the paintings. The Deutches, on the other hand, was fascinating! Don't miss the electric trains!
Old Apr 19th, 2001, 07:58 PM
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Maybe I just like to play devil's advocate, though I think this is the answer I would have given even if I weren't playing the contrarian.

I won't claim that the Alte Pinakothek is superior to the Deutsches Museum, nor that it (AP) is on the same par with the bigger more spectacular museums like d'Orsay (what is?)

But you can enjoy an excellent 60-90 minute visit to the Alte Pinakothek, and feel like you HAVE seen some spectacular and unique works - - and moreover that you HAVE seen the entire BEST of the collection. And on a first day in Munich, I think it works very well to give you something do-able, but not overwhelming.

We had a docent, and I felt like it was money well spent. (150 DM, which I rounded up to 200 - - but we were a group of 16).

Deutshces, on the other hand - - well, yes it's quite apt to compare it to one or more of the najor buildings in the smithsonian Institution. And it really requires a "plan of attack" - - partly because it is so big, and some subjects are treated SO exhaustively. The musical instruments alone, for example would make a great museum in their own right.

Traveling with family members, tolerance will vary a great deal and the Deutsches is the kind of place where inevitably, somone will have had an overdose, when someone else will want double or triple the time allowed.

And a lot is in German without English translation.

I would go again to the Deutshces.

I would take people again to the Alte Pinakothek.

Does that distinction make sense, Doug?

Best wishes,

Old Apr 19th, 2001, 09:05 PM
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Must you make a choice of one or the other? I have to agree with Rex, for each can be worth your time if your interest is in that direction, or neither, or both. However, the art can be covered fairly quickly, and you don't feel you've shortchanged the visit. Naturally, since you're in Germany, the emphasis is on German painters - and what you see here is exquisite. But as Rex said, you can make this a short visit.
The Deutsches Museum, on the other hand, could take days to see. If you don't have time to visit a real mine, the mining exhibit is very good. There are many exhibits throughout that are hands on. I always recommend this museum to people who have not seen it. I myself would probably not return to it, but my partner would happily go for a week!
Old Apr 20th, 2001, 04:47 AM
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Ah..wonderful feedback again. I wish I had found this forum sooner in my trip planning!

I consistently hear reference to the quality of the Deutsches Museum, but somehow "science & technology" doesn't ring my bell on a trip to Europe. The reference to the musical instruments sounds intriguing, however.

We are not very knowledgeable at all about Art, and that is part of the attraction to me (although my sons have expressed some misgivings).

So again, our trip comes back to "so much to do, so little time", and hard decisions.

Thanks again, and any further comments are welcome.
Old Apr 20th, 2001, 05:23 AM
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As an art lover, I really enjoyed the Alte Pinakothek although we were short on time because we arrived only an hour before closing. The reason for our late arrival was that we had stopped at a much smaller museum on the way. Someone at the train info office recommended we go to the Lenbach Haus a few blocks from the Alte Pinakothek. We took the advice and LOVED the museum. It is in a beautiful former residence and thus is small and intimate but absolutely loaded with 19th and 20th cent German paintings. Includes several Kandinsky and other "Blue Rider" Painters. My favorite German art museum so far!
Old Apr 20th, 2001, 05:45 AM
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While Alte Pinakothek probably does have the world's definitive collection of Durer, I don't think that "emphasis on German" is correct. 30-40%, in my estimation. And it's those GIANT Rubens works (several that I seem to recall were8-12 feet wide, 20-25 feet tall) that are incredible. Lots of other Flemish, Dutch, Italian.

Rick steves very generously posted this overview on his website


when he took it out of the earlier version of his books, "Mona Winks".

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