History of the Institution

“I noticed that there was a scarcely known treasure in the years around 1900 that was only waiting to be unearthed.”

Bröhan-Museum is a museum with an international orientation concentrating on art nouveau, art deco, and functionalism. The museum is named after the Berlin art collector and entrepreneur Karl H. Bröhan, who donated his private collection to the city of Berlin to mark his 60th birthday. Bröhan, who came to Berlin in 1965, was a self-taught collector and connoisseur of the largely forgotten objects of art nouveau. He later expanded his collection to include art from the 1920s. Besides paintings, especially by artists from the Berlin Secession, Bröhan collected porcelain of major manufacturers and art nouveau, art deco, and functionalist glass and metalwork.

Already in 1973, Bröhan made his growing collection open to the public at a Dahlem residence. On 14 October 1983, the collection moved to the current location, with spaces in the late-classical former barracks for the guards of Charlottenburg Castle. Since 1994, Bröhan-Museum has been a museum under the auspices of the Berlin state museums. Until his death in 2000, Karl H. Bröhan served as director of the museum and enlarged its holdings with many new acquisitions.

In his research work, caretaking, and presentation of his collection in extensive catalogues, Karl H. Bröhan contributed decisively to discovering the art of the period from 1889 to 1939. For his achievements as a patron of the arts, he was awarded several high honours, for example he was named honorary professor by the Berlin government.