A couple together in an exhibition at the Museum Brandhorst in Munich

All eyes on culture

Art, culture and history: Our highlights old

As we are putting all eyes on culture, we are celebrating congenial relationships in Munich's history, art and culture. You can meet them in studios, at exhibitions, on stage, in clubs and pubs, in cafés, concert halls, and in royal houses. Here are our event highlights.

The Manns and the Monacensia

The Monacensia (literature archive and public library) is the literary commemoration of the city of Munich. Home to the complete written bequest of Klaus and Erika Mann, more than 800 letters and manuscripts from Thomas Mann, along with countless archives from further family members, the Monacensia is an internationally significant place of research into the Mann literary family. The focus of attention for Kulturherbst 2019 is Erika Mann (1905–1969): she was a cabaret artist, war reporter, political orator and much more besides. Now for the first time, there is an individual exhibition dedicated to Katia and Thomas Mann's eldest daughter, a consistent campaigner for freedom, democracy, and tolerance.

Exhibition: "Erika Mann. Cabaret Artist – War Report – Political Orator"
11/10/2019 – 30/06/2020
Monacensia in the Hildebrandhaus
Maria-Theresia-Strasse 23
Mon. - Wed. and Fri. 9.30 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.
Thurs. 12 p.m. - 7 p.m., exhibitions also Sat. and Sun. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Video: simply all eyes on culture

Alexej von Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin

They have entered the canon of the history of art as one of the pioneering artist duos of the avantgarde movement and fore runners of the Blauer Reiter (Blue Rider) group. Alexej von Jawlensky (1864–1941) and Marianne von Werefkin (1860–1938). For 25 years, they were an exceptional couple, in art and in love. Their work has never before been shown in a joint exhibition – and connected to their changeable love relationship. Until now!

Exhibition “Soulmates. Alexej von Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin”
Städtische Galerie (City Gallery) in the Lenbachhaus (art gallery)
Kunstbau in the Königsplatz (square) underground station
Tues. 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. / Wed. - Sun. and public holidays 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Gabriele Münter and her house in Murnau

The Blauer Reiter artist group is inextricably linked with another couple, the painters Gabriele Münter (1877–1962) and Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944) – and with the magical landscape around Murnau am Staffelsee (lake), about an hour's drive from Munich. Münter purchased a property there in 1909. During the summer months, the artistic pair designed the garden, painted all the furniture and welcomed collectors, gallery owners and fellow artists. Visit the house with its paintings, graphics and reverse glass works by Kandinsky and Münter and find yourself transported back to the atmosphere that reigned here before the First World War.

Münter-Haus Murnau am Staffelsee
Kottmüllerallee 6
Tues. - Sun. and public holidays 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.



Franz Marc and his museum

Franz Marc (1880–1916) wanted to paint animals as they feel. In the year the Blauer Reiter group was founded, he noted: "Is there any more mysterious a concept for an artist than how nature might be reflected in the eye of an animal? How does a horse see the world, or an eagle, a deer, a dog?" His world-famous colourful animal images were created in the landscape around Kochel am See. Since it was founded in 1986, the Franz Marc Museum in Kochel has been dedicated to the painter's works, showcasing them in regularly changing displays. With the opening of the new building in 2008 and expansion of the collection, special exhibitions have also shown Marc in dialogue with artists of his time, but also with abstract works from the post-1945 period and with contemporary positions.

Franz Marc Museum
Kochel am See
Franz-Marc-Park 8-10
Tues. - Sun. and public holidays, April to October 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., November to March 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Also interesting: Our author goes on a hike in search of the places where Franz Marc found his inspiration – and finds a magical place.

Basquiat and Warhol

Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat – that was the artist friendship of the early 1980s in New York. A friendship that soon culminated in collaborative work. This started with a polaroid from 1982 that depicts both artists. Within a few hours, Basquiat transformed it into an impressive painting: “Dos Cabezas” (1982) – “Two Heads”. The painting “Dos Cabezas II” (1983) in the Brandhorst collection appears to be a later reprise of this motif. With the anniversary exhibition “Forever Young”, the museum is celebrating not only its 10th anniversary, but also these two artists. Side by side with Basquiat’s painting, you can see Andy Warhol’s “Mustard Race Riot” (1963). The painting shows peacefully demonstrating black civil rights campaigners being attacked by policemen with truncheons and dogs. The African American emancipation movement occupied both artists. As Basquiat said, “the black person” was usually “the protagonist” in his pictures.

Exhibition “Forever Young - 10 Years of Museum Brandhorst”
until 26/04/2020
Museum Brandhorst
Theresienstraße 35a
Every day except Mon. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. / Thurs. 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.


Also interesting: A conversation with Patrizia Dander, chief curator at the Brandhorst Museum, who played a big part in putting the anniversary exhibition together: Warhol the tentacle


Liesl Karlstadt and Karl Valentin

She was his muse, his support, his perfect partner. Without Liesl Karlstadt (1892–1960), the great Karl Valentin (1882–1948) would have been unthinkable. Together, they were Munich's most famous comedy duo of the 20th century, a success in which Karlstadt played a considerable part. They were a couple in real life, just as they were on stage. Their relationship became so dramatic that Karlstadt threw herself into the Isar (river) in April 1935. The attempted suicide was followed by the "difficult years" during which she managed to detach herself from Valentin and become a big name as a folk actress in her own right.

Special exhibition: "Liesl Karlstadt: Difficult Years 1935–1945"
24/10/2019 until spring 2020
Im Tal 50 (Tower of the Isartor)
Mon., Tues. and Thurs. 11.01 a.m. - 5.29 p.m. / Fri. and Sat. 11:01 a.m. - 5:59 p.m., Sun. 10.01 a.m. - 5.59 p.m., closed on Wednesday


Also interesting: In conversation with a relationship counsellor about the special relationship between Karlstadt and Valentin: No wonder they both had problems

The Asam brothers

They were the stars of the German late Baroque: the painter Cosmas Damian Asam and his younger brother, the sculptor and architect Egid Quirin Asam. In 1733, the brilliant brothers had a private chapel built next to Egid Quirin's house. From his bedroom window, the younger Asam brother looked directly onto the main altar. They dedicated the church, a highlight of Baroque art, to Saint Nepomuk. Although it was designed as a private chapel, the people of Munich protested until such time as the church was opened to the public – as it still is today. If you can't get enough of marvelling at the Asam masterpieces, carry on to the Dreifaltigkeitskirche (church). On the interior, Cosmas Damian Asam designed the dome fresco in 1714/15 depicting the adoration of the Holy Trinity by the angels, virtues, apostles and saints.

Asamkirche | Sendlinger Strasse 32
Dreifaltigkeitskirche | Pacellistraße 6
Visits are not permitted during services



Rupprecht Geiger and the Colour Red

"Red is life, energy, potency, power, love, warmth, strength. Red gets you high," Rupprecht Geiger (1908–2009) was convinced. Red dominated his creative output more than any other colour. The Munich painter was one of the most important abstract artists of the post-war period. His becoming the "wizard of red" began during his war service on the Eastern Front in the early 1940s, where the intensive sunrises and sunsets over the Russian steppe made a deep and lasting impression on him. Back in Munich, Geiger elevated the colour that most moved him to his key element. He was one of the first painters in the world to also create pictures in an irregular format. The Archiv Geiger (archive) preserves the artist's work in his former studio in Munich-Solln. The Lenbachhaus München also has a room dedicated to this exceptional artist.

Archiv Geiger
MORGEN ROT: Mon. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
ABEND ROT: Tues. 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Other times by arrangement

Seating furniture and star designers

200 years of Thonet, 100 years of Bauhaus: In the anniversary year in 2019, Die Neue Sammlung (The New Collection) looks back on design icons. The ingenious development of curved wood and steel made Thonet furniture legendary. The current presentation contrasts pioneering designs by modern designers such as Ed Harlis, Verner Panton, Norman Foster, Stefan Diez, Konstantin Grcic and Sebastian Herkner with the tubular steel and bentwood furniture from the Bauhaus era. The exhibition was designed by the Munich-born industrial designer Steffen Kehrle, who also designs seating furniture for Die Neue Sammlung in this context.

Exhibition “Thonet & Design”
until 02/02/2020
Pinakothek der Moderne (art gallery)
Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum
Türkenstrasse 15
Every day except Monday
Mon. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. / Thurs. 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.



Modish Masters

"Never go too far, but always go far enough!" Right from the start of their joint career, Johnny Talbot and Adrian Runhof stuck to their words, and crossed boundaries. The American Talbot trained as an electrical engineer and worked as a programmer for the US government before becoming a fashion designer. Runhof comes from a family of fashion producers, but initially studied business administration. They met in Munich in 1991. Today, they are one of the few German labels to show their creations at the Paris Fashion Week – and on the Theatinerstrasse in the heart of Munich. Stars like Julia Roberts, Helen Hunt and the Munich-based actress Veronica Ferres wear Talbot Runhof. As well as breathtaking dresses, the boutique also sells fashion tops, trousers, accessories, shoes, and bags.

Talbot Runhof Flagship Boutique
Theatinerstrasse 27
Mon. - Sat.  10 a.m. - 7 p.m.


Also interesting: An interview with Lena Sämann, Vogue.de's fashion director, about Munich's fashion style.

King and Composer

In 1861, Bavaria's fairy tale king Ludwig II saw his first performance of Richard Wagner's opera "Lohengrin" – and was smitten! Wagner wrote this opera, in which for the first time the sounds of the orchestra becomes a mystery and driver of the whole drama, during a period of great revolutionary change in the mid-19th century. When the heavily indebted composer was forced to flee Vienna for Munich three years later, a friendship developed between the two extraordinary characters. Ludwig provided Wagner with everything he needed to continue his artistic work. On the 21st, 24th and 30th November, the Bayerische Staatsoper programme features the work that marked the beginning of the perfect partnership between the young king and the brilliant composer: "Lohengrin", staged by the British director Richard Jones.

Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera)
Max-Joseph-Platz 2
21/11/2019, 6 p.m. / 24/11/2019, 4 p.m. / 30/11/2019, 4 p.m.



The prince and the cake

It is a real chocolate dream: a sponge cake with a chocolate cream filling and a chocolate glaze, originally consisting of eight layers, which stood for the eight districts that Bavaria had at the time of its creation. The prinzregententorte (prince regent cake) was named after Luitpold Karl Joseph Wilhelm of Bavaria (1821–1912). Depending on the source, the sweet temptation was invented by one of the court confectioners, Rottenhöfer, Seidl or Erbshäuser – only the Konditorei Erbshäuser (pâtisserie) still exists in Munich to this day. The Manager is the great-granddaughter of Heinrich Erbshäuser. Prince Luitpold took power in 1886, after his nephew, King Ludwig II, was deposed. Formally, Ludwig’s brother Otto was named King of Bavaria. As he was mentally ill, Luitpold took over the official duties. Under his rule, Munich became a paradise for artists and scientists, and has remained so to this day.

Konditorei Erbshäuser
Mon. - Fri. 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sat., Sun. and public holidays 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Freddie and Piggy

He was one of the biggest rock stars of all times: Freddie Mercury. Between 1979 and 1985, the Queen singer was a regular visitor to Munich, where he recorded albums and enjoyed wild parties. For his 39th birthday, he hosted a raucous three-day extravaganza at the "Old Mrs. Henderson" club – immortalised in the legendary music video to the song "Living On My Own". The British TV broadcaster, the BBC, refused to play the video for many years. At the party was Peter Ambacher, also known as the drag queen "Miss Piggy". Piggy's Queen Tour – in search of Freddie Mercury's beloved wild Munich with one of his companions from the time.

Führung „Piggys Queen Tour”
13./ 20. /27.10./03.11.2019, 11.30 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.
Price: 14 € per Person
Meetingpoint: Fischbrunnen (fountain) at the Marienplatz
Registration required at Peter Ambacher: Mobile +49 (0)171 2877 417 m-piggy@t-online.de


Also interesting: Peter Ambacher guided us through Munich on his Freddie-Mercury-Tour.



The Alter Simpl and Bohemian Schwabing

Munich's legendary artists' bar, the Alter Simpl enjoyed its heyday from 1903 to 1912. The owner, Kathi Kobus, christened her bar Simpl after the satirical newspaper "Simplicissimus". Thomas Theodor Heine drew her a pub sign with the red Simplicissimus dog; but this one isn't breaking the chains of censure, but rather uncorking a bottle of champagne with its teeth. Bohemians were in full throng at the Alter Simpl: Franziska von Reventlow, Ludwig Thoma, Oskar Maria Graf, Franz Marc, Frank Wedekind, Olaf Gulbransson and plenty of other artists spent many a wild night at the Simpl. Today, the lamps are lit just as dimly as they were at the beginning of the 20th century, and even the walls described by Joachim Ringelnatz are still visible.

Alter Simpl
Türkenstrasse 57


Also interesting: Drinking in the past – these Munich cafés, bars, and inns serve as reminders of the old days.

Get-together and improvisation

“Come, play and party” – everyone is invited to the musicians’ get-together. The date is fixed – they always squeeze into the Bräustüberl in the Hofbräuhaus (beer hall) on the first Monday of the month. Thanks to word of mouth and social media, the get-together has become a popular jam session. Professionals regularly mix with amateurs, hobby guitarists with wind players from the Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian folk musicians with colleagues from Africa, Brazil or Ireland. They then play music until the instruments give off smoke. The programme is impromptu. It is uncertain what will emerge, but it is always fantastic. Listeners are always welcome.

Musicians’ get-together in the Hofbräuhaus
Platzl 9 – Bräustüberl (1st floor)
8 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Entry: free, without reservations



Jesper Munk and TRIBEZ.

From busker to celebrated upcoming star: the 27-year-old Munich blues, soul and rock musician has had an extraordinary career so far. His voice, raves the broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk, is immediately reminiscent of icons like Tom Waits, Jack White, and Jim Morrison. Critics describe him as a "blues prodigy" and a "young artist with an old soul". He's returning to his home city for the Kulturherbst – to give a unique concert. Jesper Munk will be the star guest at the "Loop Session" by TRIBEZ., one of the best hip-hop bands in Europe. The group, most of whose musicians are also from Munich, was recently celebrated together with greats like Samy Deluxe on their Germany-wide sell-out tour. The joint concert with Jesper Munk is sure to be one of the biggest musical challenges in the Loop Sessions that TRIBEZ. has been playing for many years at the Ampere in Munich.

TRIBEZ. "Loop Session" with Jepser Munk
on 11/10/2019 at 8 p.m.
in the Ampere Munich / Muffatwerk



Text: München Tourismus; Photos: Frank Stolle, Tourist Information Kochel a. See/Thomas Kujat, Christian Kasper
Portrait of curator Dr. Annegret Hoberg at Lenbachhaus Munich.

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Landscape near Kochel am See

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Mines exhibition at the Deutsches Museum in Munich

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A woman and a young woman are standing behind a balcony in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.

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