10 Must-Visit Museums & Galleries In Hamburg, Germany

Photo of Ieva Matiejunaite
9 January 2017

Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany and the eighth largest city in the EU, has long been established as a cultural center. Over the last two centuries, the city has seen an impressive number of exhibition spaces open their doors to display a wide range of historic and contemporary works of art. These are ten must-visit exhibition spaces in Hamburg.

An installation at Deichtorhallen | © BineHerzog/Flickr


Market, Museum
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The Deichtorhallen are two striking former market halls built in 1911 and 1914. Today, the halls are used to display international contemporary art and photography. With an area of 5,600 square meters of exhibition space, the halls are among the largest art-devoted spaces in Europe. The northern Deichtorhalle exhibits artworks by contemporary painters, sculptors and designers. In the southern Haus der Photographie, a permanent collection by a famous fashion photographer, F.C Gundlach, can be found. The hall also contains the photo archive of magazine Der Spiegel on display. It is the largest accessible archive of journalistic research in Germany. The collections are complemented by various temporary photographic exhibitions.


Building, Museum
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The Kunsthalle is the largest art museum in Germany. It is situated in a 19th century Italian Renaissance-style building with a few modern additions built later on. The highlights of the museum’s permanent collection are the medieval altars by Master Bertram and Master Francke, the Dutch artworks of the 17th century, alongside paintings by Rembrandt, P.O Runge, and C.D. Friedrich. The museum also houses Impressionist and Modernist works from the Pop Art movement to contemporary works of conceptual art, Minimalism, video installations, and photography.

Bucerius Kunst Forum

Art Gallery, Museum
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The Bucerius Kunst Forum is a private art gallery located in the heart of Hamburg. The gallery displays international artworks in four rotating exhibitions every year. Every exhibition is supplemented with accompanying events, from concerts to lectures, readings, and discussions. The gallery is important in a European context and often displays works by prominent painters such as Monet, Picasso, and Poussin.

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe

Museum, Building
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The Museum of Arts and Crafts is housed in a 19th century Neo-Renaissance building. The collection of artworks and photographs displayed features pieces which range from antiquity to the present day and encompass European, Islamic and Far-Eastern art. This interdisciplinary museum also features comprehensive collections of graphic design, poster art, fashion and textiles. The Period Rooms are a special attraction; presenting media and furniture, these rooms illustrate the lifestyles of different epochs.

Galerie Brockstedt

Art Gallery, Building
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Galerie Brockstedt is a family-owned enterprise established in 1957 devoted to modernist and contemporary painting and sculpture. The gallery owners are especially interested in modern figurative art. They have special interest in movements from the 1920s and 1930s in Germany, such as new objectivity (Christian Schad, Rudolf Schlichter), verism (George Grosz, Otto Dix), dadaism (Kurt Schwitters), the Cologne progressives (Franz Wilhelm Seiwert), surrealism (Richard Oelze), and outsider art (Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern, Wölfli). The gallery also provides various services, including consulting and assistance in buying and selling artworks, building collections, gathering expertise and managing estates.

The Altonaer Museum

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"Eyes" by Dieter Weismuller at Altonaer Museum
"Eyes" by Dieter Weismuller at Altonaer Museum | © Cory Doctorow/Flickr
The Altonaer Museum is focused on the art and cultural history of Northern Germany. It presents the cultural and historical development of the Elbe region around Altona, Schleswig-Holstein and the areas next to the North and Baltic seas through a variety of artworks on display. The permanent exhibition presents the most important regional exhibits in sections covering paintings and graphics, arts and crafts, photography and cultural history. The museum also offers a varied program of special exhibitions with film screenings and lecture events. From the time an interactive children’s section was opened in 2006, the Altonaer Museum has also become a much-loved destination for family trips.

Galerie Dorothea Schlueter

This gallery, situated in the center of the city, specializes in modern and contemporary art. It hosts temporary exhibitions by various contemporary German and foreign artists. For example, the gallery has recently displayed the modernist paintings of David Fletcher, photographs by the Berlin-based artist Gabi Steinhauser, and abstract paintings by Alexander Hoepfner.

Große Bäckerstraße 4, Hamburg, Germany, +49 40 31973763

Ernst Barlach House

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Ernst Barlach House
Ernst Barlach House | © Brendan Skinner/Flickr
The Ernst Barlach House is a museum devoted to the artworks of Ernst Barlach. It is located in Jenischpark, one of the most beautiful landscape gardens in Hamburg. The modern, light-flooded museum houses a unique collection of the most important works of the expressionist sculptor and graphic artist Ernst Barlach. The place is home to nearly a third of his delicate wood sculptures. In addition to various temporary exhibitions of classical modern and contemporary art, the gallery also offers a program of guided tours, talks, lectures and the concert series Klang & FORM.

Flo Peters Gallery

Flo Peters Gallery is an internationally active gallery dedicated to artistic photography, focusing on 20th-century black and white works as well as contemporary works. In addition to conserving and presenting great masterworks of modern photography, the gallery is particularly committed to discovering and presenting high-quality artworks by talented young artists of today. The gallery is also home to the annual international Art Karlsruhe art fair that takes place every March.

Pumpen 8, Hamburg, Germany, +49 40 30374686

LEVY Galerie

Art Gallery, Building
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LEVY Galerie displays modern and contemporary art with a special attention to surrealism, nouveau réalisme and pop art. The gallery has earned international recognition and is the exclusive representative of artists such as Eduardo Arroyo, Friedrich Einhoff, Johannes Hüppi, Allen Jones, Richard Lindner, Marc Lüders, C.O. Paeffgen, Mel Ramos and Daniel Spoerri. The gallery building, located on the outskirts of Eppendorf in a loft-like atmosphere with an adjoining sculpture garden, is a beautiful place to visit on its own.

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