Day 32: Jewels and Other Gems

The Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection across from the Charlottenburg Palace is dedicated to Surrealism, fantasy, or disturbing ideas of the mind. Many famous painters, such as Picasso, Modigliani, Magritte, Max Ernst, and Klee are displayed in this beautiful gallery.

Photos above:

  1. Upper left: Chapel Quaking, Paul Klee, 1924: This painting shows ominous, other-worldly elements in the sky about to attack the chapel and loosen its foundations
  2. Upper Middle:  the dome of the gallery
  3. Our guide, Dr. Barbara Hofmann, animated in her passionate interpretation of the surrealist art. I couldn’t help but wonder if she knew she was mirroring her subject (Olympia, by Jean Dubuffet, 1950). The body is a rendition of Manet’s Olympia. The artist challenged the regimented standards of the Academy of Arts. Artists at the time rebelled against the Academy, who determined what was or wasn’t considered art.
  4. Carceri, by Piranesi, 1760
  5. A description of Surreal Spaces

In the afternoon, Rainer Jaeshke (from the Potsdam weekend tour) led us to Kreuzberg, one of the popular, East side districts of Berlin. Because it was taken over in the Sixties by squatters, the bourgeois buildings from the turn of the century went into demise. As the housing deteriorated, it became a cheap area where immigrants and the rapidly expanding population could afford to live. The area has become a battleground between developers hoping to make return on investments and neighborhood activists who want to keep the housing affordable and community intact.

Photos above,  from left to right:

  1. Oberbaum Bridge, 1895
  2. Modern day high density housing built over a road
  3. Jewish brass tiles found on a neighborhood street, indicating Jewish presence from the past
  4. An overview of the dividing line between East and West Berlin and canal that is now a park


A photo from “Jewels” by Choreographer George Balanchine, who created a ballet in the neoclassical style with music from Tchaichowsky and Stravinsky.

The Concert House presented a lovely program of music by Darius Milhaud, “The Creation of the World”; Prokofiev’s “Symphony No. 7 in C Major”; and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures from and Exhibition”. Under guest conductor Dmitri Kitajenko’s direction, every piece was stirring, uplifting and good enough to want to hear again.

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