From the Director

Renée Price

Dear Friends, 

The Neue Galerie, which first opened in November 2001, has become a beloved place, earning praise from visitors, critics, and colleagues in equal measure. This summer, we carried out enhancements to our historic building to promote sustainability and improve the visitor experience on every level. We are very pleased to reopen our doors this fall and welcome you back. I love to learn of the impact of our wonderful jewel-box institution—how people fondly remember their time spent visiting our superb collection of Austrian and German art and design; our well-appointed Book Store and Design Shop, full of finely made and carefully selected objects; and of course, our beloved Café Sabarsky, with its authentic Viennese coffee and our Apfelstrudel served mit Schlag.

This season, we present a new special exhibition, “Max Beckmann: The Formative Years, 1915-1925,” which opens on October 5. Max Beckmann is one of the outstanding painters of the twentieth century, and the Neue Galerie’s collection includes central works by the artist, such as the major portfolio of prints Hell (1919) and the early political allegory Galleria Umberto (1925). These works represent the point of departure for this presentation. The central premise of the exhibition, conceived and organized by Prof. Dr. Olaf Peters, is that Beckmann, after the profoundly disturbing experience of World War I, managed to advance to a new pictorial conception. The painter both assimilated his experiences and connected to concurrent developments in art. Here we offer an in-depth look and invite a close reading of key works of these formative years.

We are most grateful to the host of institutional and private lenders from across Europe and the United States who made our exhibition possible. The exhibition gathers together some of the masterpieces of Beckmann’s art including the outstanding paintings Carnival (1920), The Dream (1921), and The Bark (1926). Our show offers the unique opportunity to experience these works together and to reflect on the genesis of Beckmann’s mature style of painting.

I also express our deepest gratitude to Ronald S. Lauder, the co-founder of our museum, whose enthusiasm, vision, and generosity for the arts is boundless. He has been a collector of work by Max Beckmann for several decades. The Neue Galerie is his gift to the world, and bringing this museum to life is our great privilege.



Renée Price
Director, Neue Galerie New York