Aufbrüche. Abbrüche. Umbrüche.

Art in East Berlin 1985–1995


With works by more than 50 artists across three venues, this exhibition looks back at the diverse and dynamic art scene in East Berlin in the period immediately before and after German reunification.

Museum Nikolaikirche
Museum Ephraim-Palais
Stiftung Kunstforum Berliner Volksbank

6,00 / 4,00 € (reduced) | free until 18 years

On exhibition are a broad cross section of artistic styles and movements from figuration to abstraction and action. Descriptive, allegorical and downright provocative, these works run the gamut in their response to the political and social conditions from 1985 onwards. Many works bear witness to an era of upheaval and transition, while others stand for continuity of artistic work in times of change.


In interviews conducted especially for the project, artists recount how they experienced this period of rapidly changing economic and political conditions. The interviews can be viewed at the exhibitions and online.


The artists

Tina Bara, Bertold W. Bartsch, Annemirl Bauer, Rolf Biebl, Kurt Buchwald, Manfred Butzmann, Frits Esenwein, Ellen Fuhr, Christina Glanz, Dieter Goltzsche, Kerstin Grimm, Sabina Grzimek, Clemens Gröszer, Thomas Günther, Sylvia Hagen, Angela Hampel, Rolf Händler, Sabine Herrmann, Karl Hillert, Martin Hoffmann, Uta Hünninger, Ingeborg Hunzinger, Sabine Jahn, Klaus Killisch, Konrad Knebel, Wolfgang Leber, Walter Libuda, Werner Liebmann, Rolf Lindemann, Harald Metzkes, Olaf Nehmzow, Roland Nicolaus, Helga Paris, Sabine Peuckert, Wolfgang Peuker, Ilona Ripke, Horst Sagert, Hans Scheib, Cornelia Schleime, Baldur Schönfelder, Anna Franziska Schwarzbach, Frank Seidel, Maria Sewcz, Volker Stelzmann, Strawalde (Jürgen Böttcher), Ursula Strozynski, Henry Stöcker, Heinrich Tessmer, Hans Ticha, Harald Toppel, Joachim Völkner, Veronika Wagner, Ulla Walter, Trak Wendisch, Berndt Wilde, Karla Woisnitza, Ulrich Wüst

One theme, two collections, three exhibition venues

The exhibition can be viewed at three locations in Berlin. The Stiftung Kunstforum Berliner Volksbank is showing figurative works by around 25 artists in its exhibition rooms in Berlin-Charlottenburg, while the Stadtmuseum Berlin is presenting more than 100 individual works and series of works by around 35 artists in a double exhibition at Museum Nikolaikirche and Museum Ephraim-Palais.

The Stadtmuseum Berlin exhibition is made possible with funds from the Capital Cultural Fund (HKF).

With friendly support

Info & Service

Opening Hours

daily | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (also on public holidays)
closed from 14.10. to 14.11. due to exhibition set-up


10178 Berlin


+49 30 24 002-162
Mo – Fri | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Write E-Mail



15 euros
Valid for our three museums in the Nikolaiviertel (Museum Nikolaikirche, Museum Ephraim-Palais, Museum Knoblauchhaus) on two consecutive days (please note opening hours)

Single Ticket
7 euros
Day ticket for the Museum Nikolaikirche

Free admission
With proof of reduction

For children & young people under 18, students, trainees, FSJ/FÖJ/BFD volunteers, Berlin-Ticket-S holders, severely disabled persons (with mark B) & accompanying person, refugees (with valid work or residence permit /eAT and Ukrainian passport or valid residence permit from Ukraine), recipients of residence permit /eAT and Ukrainian passport or valid residence permit from Ukraine), recipients of transfer benefits (citizen’s allowance, ALG I), holders of the Berlin-Brandenburg volunteer card, holders of the Super Holiday Pass / Berlin Family Pass, ICOM members, members of the German Museums Association, members of the Verein der Freunde und Förderer des Stadtmuseums Berlin e. V., KulturPass holders, media representatives with a valid press card
Museum Sunday
Free admission for everyone on the first Sunday of every month!