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Visiting the Pinakothek der Moderne Art Museum in Munich, Germany

The museum displays works by modern and contemporary artists and has much for people interested in architecture and design.

If you enjoy viewing art chronologically then the Pinakothek der Moderne will be the third of the 'Pinakothek' art museums for you to visit in Munich's Maxvorstadt district, the area that has become known as the Bavarian capital's Kunstareal or 'art district.'

The museum displays works by modern and contemporary artists and has much for people interested in architecture and design.

The grey concrete facade of the Pinakothek der Moderne stands out among the older, mainly classically influenced buildings of Maxvorstadt. This museum opened in 2002 and quickly became a key constituent of Munich's art scene. It stands within a stone's throw of the Brandhorst Museum, the Tuerkentor plus the Alte Pinakothek and Neue Pinakothek. Nearby you'll find classical sculptures in the Glyptothek, the State Museum for Egyptian Art and the Lenbachhaus, which is widely known for its works by the influential Blue Rider school of artists.

If you enjoy art and have the time and stamina to visit several or all of the galleries in which the Bavarian state's collections are exhibited, consider buying a combination ticket; it will result in you saving a few Euros on the price of individual entry tickets to each of the museums.

The Pinakothek der Moderne's interior, characterised by white walls and clean lines, is minimalistic. The light, spacious rooms are well-designed for viewing paintings, sculptures and installations.

When you enter the museum, look up at the design of the rotunda above the reception area. The shape, form and the interplay of light and shadow looks impressive and provides many a photographer with hours of entertainment.

Stephan Braunfels is the architect who designed the Pinakothek der Moderne. It is often described as museum for modern and contemporary art but also houses impressive collections of graphic design, applied design and architecture.

Selected works from the Die Neue Sammlung (meaning 'The New Collection'), part of the International Design Museum Munich, are displayed in the Pinakothek der Moderne. The collection encompasses 80,000 artefacts relating to industrial design and applied art. The origins of the collection and museum date back to 1907, meaning the Neue Sammlung has two significant claims to fame. It is the world's oldest and biggest design museum.

Consequently, you'll see artefacts such as chairs designed by Donald Judd and a number of motor vehicles, including a classic Porsche 911, from 1963, and a stylish, silver Tatra 87.

The gallery also houses the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung Muenchen or 'State Graphic Collection Munich' which has 400,000 drafts, drawings and prints, covering a period from the 15th century to the current era and is regarded as one of the world's most significant collections. Selected works are displayed on a temporary basis. Due to concerns over conservation it is not possible to show this kind of work on a permanent basis.

The Pinakothek der Moderne also displays items from the Architekturmuseum der Technischen Universität Muenchen (Architectural Museum of the Technical University of Munich). The result is some fascinating specialist exhibitions which are likely to appeal to people interested in design and photography as well as in architecture.

Of course, many of the visitors who head to the Pinakothek der Moderne do so because the museum displays works from some of the 20th century's most influential art movements - from Cubism through to Pop Art - and a number of artists who are household names. Max Beckmann and Pablo Picasso are both well represented. A number of pieces by Joseph Beuys are shown. Salvador Dali's painting The Mystery of Desire draws many viewers to examine the details.

The German Expressionists are well represented, with works by Franz Marc, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Eric Heckel and Emil Nolde on show.

Some might say this is a museum best visited on Sundays, when the entry price is reduced. But if you enjoy this type of gallery then it may well be best to plan a quiet midweek trip, arrive early and spend the day here.

Further Information

Find exhibition information, opening times and entry prices on the Pinakothek der Moderne's website

Learn more about tourist attractions in Munich at the website.

See the Bavaria and Germany travel websites for information about nearby attractions.

See more of Stuart Forster's travel features on his travel blog,