The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, June 21, 2018

Dresden's Museum of Military History redesigned by Architect Daniel Libeskind
A visitor views Soviet Army exhibits at the Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany, 11 October 2011. US architect Daniel Libeskind masterminded the renovations which took seven years to complete and cost more than 62 million euros. The new exhibiton with more than 10,500 exhibits from more than 700 years of military history on 13,000 square meters opens 14 October 2011. EPA/MATTHIAS HIEKEL.

By: David Rising, Associated Press

DRESDEN (AP).- A modern wedge of glass, concrete and steel rips through a 135-year-old former armory building for the armies of Kaiser Wilhelm I, its silvery shimmer and stark lines contrasting sharply with the neoclassical building that it now bisects.

American architect Daniel Libeskind knew when he won the bid to redesign Dresden's Museum of Military History that he wanted to create a radical departure — something symbolic of Germany's rigid authoritarian past giving way to the liberal democracy of today.

"He said from the beginning that we must transform the building," said Libeskind's project leader Jochen Klein, in a preview of the building Tuesday ahead of its official reopening to the public on Saturday. "We needed to give the old building a new meaning."

The theme of contrast is central not only to the euro62.5 million ($85 million) renovation that was started in 2004, but to the exhibitions themselves, which rethink the approach toward military history.

There are vast arrays of militaria — some 10,500 artifacts from the crude weapons of the early 14th century, to the V2 rocket from World War II and a large collection of tanks, to items used by the Bundeswehr today in Afghanistan. But the perspective moves beyond the focus on heroes and battles.

Starting in the peak of Libeskind's five-story wedge, visitors see damaged paving stones from the Polish town of Wielun, where German Stuka dive bombers fired the first shots of World War II. By the stones there is a portrait of a Stuka pilot — next to one of a 13-year-old Polish boy who witnessed the destruction of his hometown. Beyond the display, through the perforated steel of the structure, is a panoramic view of Dresden — obliterated by Allied firebombing in the final weeks of the war and today almost entirely rebuilt.

The contrasts continue throughout the museum: An exhibit on war and children shows the lighter side, with toy soldiers and Star Wars paraphernalia, but also the dark, with a Nazi-era children's book portraying Jews as poisonous mushrooms and a wooden puzzle that spells "Hitler" when assembled.

Libeskind was born in Poland to Jews who survived the Holocaust.

Another exhibit on prosthetics not only shows the innovative ways devised to deal with missing limbs, but also tells the stories of the people who wore the artificial appendages on display. A somber display on death places a steel helmet with two gaping holes through it next to the skull of an unidentified WWII solder who committed suicide by placing a gun into his mouth, next to a letter from a German mother to her son in 1944, stamped: "return to sender; died for greater Germany."

While the modern addition contains more thematic exhibits with a focus on societal forces and the human impulses that lead to violence, the original building presents German military history in chronological order.

"If you ask the average German now they say they don't want an army museum," said Gorch Pieken, academic director of the museum. "I can understand that — but this is not a classic army museum."

All signs are in English and German, and admission is free through the end of the year.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Kaiser Wilhelm I | Daniel Libeskind | Dresdens Museum of Military History |

Today's News

October 12, 2011

Dresden's Museum of Military History redesigned by Architect Daniel Libeskind

Adapting the eye: An archive of the British in India, 1770-1830 at the Yale Center for British Art

Select group of vintage photographs by Eugène Atget at James Hyman Photography

Sotheby's New York to offer four monumental bronze sculptures by Henri Matisse

National Museums Scotland opens show devoted to Admiral Lord Cochrane

Sotheby's to present Abstraction-Figuration: A private collection including works by Gerhard Richter

Atelier 17 and its connection to abstract expressionism and the New York School at Swann Galleries

Bertoia's Toys on Tour auction blends the best of European and American toys from premier collections

Archives of American Art contributes photo collection to Wikimedia commons

Biennale of Sydney announces new Board Director, avid collector Paris Neilson

Lisson Gallery presents a solo exhibition of new work from Cory Arcangel

Guggenheim Museum presents Intervals by Brooklyn-based artist Nicola Lopez

Exhibition of new paintings by British artist Michael Stubbs at Laurent Delaye     

New White Cube opens in London

Sevres style porcelain urns bring $65,725 to lead Heritage Auctions' first ever Signature Estate Auction

Franz West sculptures installed on the roof of the Institute of Contemporary Arts

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art names education director

Exchange and Evolution: Worldwide Video Long Beach 1974-1999

German 14-light Candelabra pair brings $86,638, in Silver & Vertu section of Heritage Auctions event

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful