Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Anything is Possible

That was the look on the little boy’s face as his kite finally took flight. Like a jack-rabbit, he darted between the sun worshipers on the lawn of the Alte Pinakothek as temperatures reached into the 90s Fahrenheit. The same could be said for the building behind the boy. The museum was commissioned by architect Leo von Klenze and opened in 1835. Klenze was the court architect for Bavarian King Ludwig I and is also responsible for the Residenz, Glyptothek museum, and much of Ludwigstrasse. The museum was heavily damaged during WWII, and when rebuilt in 1957, the missing parts were replaced with bare brickwork, in order for the damage to be visible as lasting “wounds.” To see the building now is amazing, as you recognize just how little of the building was standing after the war. Today, it houses more than 800 paintings, many of them European masterpieces of the 14th to 18th century. For anything newer, you have to go across the street to the New Pinakothek, but please give the kite runners enough room to maneuver as you pass by.

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