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Rothko

I’m terribly excited that this weekend is the annual iteration of what has been my favorite event in the year I’ve been in Frankfurt — Museumsuferfest, a 3 day festival in which for a 4 euro button you can visit all of the city’s museums, not to mention a huge street festival with food, drinks, and music all along the river banks.

Last year during the festival I visited just about everything, to get an overview of what Frankfurt’s cultural institutions had to offer. And throughout the year I’ve been back to several, and have developed a few favorites: the Städel Museum for old European masterpieces, to extensive 19th and 20th century galleries, and a large (as yet for me unexplored) modern/contemporary wing; Liebigshaus Sculpture Gallery mainly for the incredible old building it’s housed in, and the details and views as you wind your way up spiral stairs to the “studio” gallery rooms; The Deutsches Film Museum for really clever and fun exhibits about movie-making — including a room with lighting effects, a green screen, and other cinematic tricks you can try yourself — as well as for their great film series and screenings: if you’re looking for something in original version, Spanish, Italian, French, or a classic, it’s your best bet in Frankfurt, often with talks and events as well. Each of these museums also have lovely cafes, which are perfect for soaking in a little bit of the museum ambiance when you just have a spare hour or so to get a cappuccino and catch up with a friend (they are all near my work, which helps!).

The charming courtyard cafe at Liebigshaus

This time around, I hope to finally see the Senckenberg Museum and its dinosaurs (what used to be a weekly occurrence growing up near the Natural History Museum in NY, and which hasn’t happened in far too long), and explore those newly-refurbished contemporary galleries in the Städel, hoping to find any of my favorite artists, Rothko or Mondrian or Brancusi perhaps. I’ll also check out the temporary exhibits at the Film Museum, Architecture Museum right next door, and the Museum für Kommunikation which has had interesting DIY, fashion, and technology exhibits over the past year.

I’m especially excited however to finally see the two-part Jeff Koons exhibit, with sculptures in Liebigshaus and paintings in the Schirn Kunsthalle by the Römer. After seeing the posters, and little kids carrying Jeff Koons monkey balloons, for months now I’m glad I’ll finally get to learn more about the artist, since I have mainly seen his works in outdoor settings (Flower Puppy just recently in Bilbao, and his famous balloon dog sculptures of course) where there is explanation or real context to understand the pieces.

Storyboards for the famous shower scene in “Psycho,” at the Film Museum

If you’re planning on checking the festival out, you can get your 4 euro button at any of the museums or at information booths in the street festival, and be sure to get a program from your favorite museums listing all their tours, activities, and musical performances throughout the weekend — you will truly be spoiled for choice!

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