The Hamburger Kunsthalle, one of Germany's major art museums, will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2019 with a large-scale, multifaceted exhibition. The original museum building, located between the main railway station and the Alster, was opened on the 30th of August 1869. The imposing building formed a new and worthy setting for the »Städtische Gemälde-Galerie« (Municipal Paintings Gallery), which had been open to the public since 1850 thanks to the commitment of Hamburg citizens.

The exhibition takes a fresh look at the museum and its collection, telling stories that have never been heard before. The main tasks of the museum, then as now, will be spotlighted: exhibiting, collecting, communication and education, conservation and research. How is a collection amassed? Why are certain works exhibited while others remain hidden in storage? How public is the museum? What do we know about the origin, meaning and condition of the works of art there?

Looking back over 150 years of the Hamburger Kunsthalle, various historical perspectives on these museum tasks will be examined. Paintings, drawings and works of graphic art as well as newly researched archival material, photographs, and film and newspaper reports will be used to illustrate high points for the museum but also some more difficult phases in the history of this tradition-steeped institution. Visitors can look forward to a wide range of impressions from the colourful history of a museum that has been going strong for 150 years.