Thursday, January 31, 2008

Exile in Amsterdam

Max Beckmann was one of the most distinguished German artists of his time. That was until Hitler’s Nazi party labeled modern arts as socially and morally corrupt, and rounded up more than 600 of his paintings from museums and destroyed them. As a result, Beckmann fled Germany for Amsterdam, where he worked largely alone but created more than a third of his lifetime works. The Munich Pinakothek museum just completed a study of this period in his life – called Exile in Amsterdam - and the amazing works of art that resulted from it. He remained isolated in Amsterdam until the end of the war when he migrated to the US and tought for the last three years of his life.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Looking Through the Old to Get to the New

This photo was taken from the base of the Old town hall, looking at the intracate facade of the new town hall. Built in the Flemish Gothic Sytle and designed by 24-year old Georg Hauberrisser, the Neues Rathaus is at the heart of Munich's Marienplatz. Known worldwide for its famous Glockenspiel in the base of the 259 foot tower, nearly lifesize characters dazzle the crowds. Most of all, I jut like how the sun highlights every last detail. I felt I caught a glimpse of the building while no one else was looking.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Liquid Gold

Welcome to the unofficial Beer Capital of the World! Germany is the world’s largest producer (and consumer) of beer with almost 1300 breweries. In Munich, beer is more than a beverage; it’s a way of life. In fact, the name Munchen is a derivation of “home of the monks,” which is where most of the beer producing found its roots as long as 1000 years ago. In 1516, Munich created the Beer Purity Law that sticks to this day, forbidding the use of any ingredients beyond hops, barley and water (The wheat beers like the Weiss beer in this photo are an exception). Today, the “Big Six” breweries produce 123 million gallons annually, locals flock to more than 180 beer gardens, and more than 6 million people visit Octoberfest. For an American now living in Munich, the amount of people drinking beer at 9 am, is equally as astounding as how few people you see out of control from drinking. At 5% alcohol, Bavarian beer is as strong as most European beer. It’s a good thing public transit is so good.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Shop Til You Drop!

Who says Munich has little shopping? Munich likes to present itself in line with Paris, Milan, and many of the other top shopping spots around the world. The space from Odeonsplatz along Theatiner and Residenzstrasse is known as the Golden Triangle. In fact, people get downright philosophical about shopping. As they tell it, a new era of shopping dawned in Munich called “Living Culture” - pure shopping for a sophisticated lifestyle experience! Luxury brand shops, art spaces, converted inner courtyards with the occasional daring installation – all in a setting called “Architecture of the senses.” Either they are bringing shopping to a new level, or it’s just darn clever marketing. Based upon this photo, I would say the latter.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

City of Contrasts

Munich is somehow very modern, yet well rooted in its history. It is filled with elegant turn-of-the century buildings, yet also with 1960s square boxes. Munich is vibrant, filled with college kids and cafes, yet ordinary people wear traditional Lederhosen and dirndls for Octoberfest. It’s a city that is formal in business, yet casual in social settings. In this picture you see that contrast in the Munich RE Group’s corporate headquarters. The modern glass façade is the “South 1” building, labeled as an office landscape of the future: ecological, transparent and modern. In the reflection is the historic main headquarters, constructed in 1913 to accommodate 350 employees, which were spread out over six locations. Ironically, the Munich RE Group, one of the world’s largest reinsurers, is now spread out to 6 buildings again. One of their buildings is on Leopoldstrasse and houses the famous “Walking Man” statue constructed by the American artist Jonathan Borofsky, who also designed “Hammering Man” in front of the Seattle Art Museum.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


What better way to kick off Munich Daily Photo than with The Frauenkirche or The Church of our Lady. It is the most prominant symbol of Munich and the most visible landmark of this amazing Bavarian city. The Frauenkirche sits just outside Marienplatz, Munich's main square; yet is approachable mostly by small alley ways and pedistrain corridors - which makes for some amazing views. The church was built in 1488, although a chapel has stood in it's place since the 13th century. The church's distinctive copper onion-domed towers were added in 1525, and stand 358 feet high. Although partially destroyed during WWII, the Frauenkirche was rebuilt along gothic lines, thanks at least partially to the detailed color photos taken by the nazi party once defeat was imminent. I was attracted to this image because of the statues looking over the famous church, as time and technology (the stream from the airplane) marches on.