BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG | Staatsgalerie Stuttgart art museum

July 2022. As a teacher, Steve has the possibility to do a bigger trip in the school summer break. I don’t, or rarely do. After The Hague in 2020 and Utrecht in 2021, we decided to go to Germany for a now more or less traditional three-day weekend in July. Our eye fell on Stuttgart, in the state of Baden-Württemberg

As the Staatsgalerie, Baden-Württemberg’s State Gallery, was free for guests of Le Méridien Stuttgart, we visited this art museum. 

“With its rich collection of masterworks dating from the fourteenth century to the present, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart is among Germany’s most popular museums. Both its impressive museum complex and its holdings mirror the link between tradition and modernity”, the museum introduces itself. 

“The Staatsgalerie Stuttgart presents its superb collection on some 9,000 square metres of exhibition space offered by the old building of 1843, the famous post-modern Stirling Building, and the Steib Halls constructed in 2002.”

Among the prominent holdings numerous works belonging to the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Early Swabian panel painting and outstanding examples of nineteenth-century Swabian Neoclassicism. 

The chief emphasis of the museum collection is undoubtedly the Classical Modern period with art spanning the years from 1900 to 1980. 

Special highlights here are Oskar Schlemmer’s figurines for the ‘Triadic Ballet‘ of the early 1920s, Henri Matisse’s famous ‘Backs‘ (1909-‒30), numerous works by Picasso including the sculptural group ‘The Bathers‘ (1956), and the Joseph Beuys room installed by the artist himself.


Basically, the Staatsgalerie has two parts. 

Originally, the classicist building of the Alte Staatsgalerie was also the home of the Royal Art School. The building was built in 1843. After being severely damaged in World War II, it was rebuilt in 1945-1947 and reopened in 1948.

The Neue Staatsgalerie, an architectural design by James Stirling, opened on March 9, 1984 on a site right next to the old building. It houses a collection of 20th-century modern art — from Pablo Picasso to Oskar Schlemmer, Joan Miró and Joseph Beuys. 

The building layout bears resemblance to Schinkel’s Altes Museum, with a series of connected galleries around three sides of a central rotunda. However, the front of the museum is not as symmetrical as the Altes Museum and the traditional configuration is slanted with the entrance set at an angle.

A visit

I quite liked the Stirling Building. I like the terrace and green nobbed (?) floor. It reminds me of the 80s. It’s colourful. 

The collection itself is what it is. Some world famous and some lesser known artists and works of art. 

The presentation is slightly universal. Large rooms or halls with striking colours on the wall and a best-of the collection hanging or standing. 

Male nudity and queer art

There is a good portion of male nudity. Some cheerful and queer, as featured in the ‘Who am I? I am.’ photo exhibition. 

Some very serious as ‘The Fallen Man‘ (‘Der Gesturzte‘) by Wilhelm Lehmbruck (1881-1919).


The Staatsgalerie is certainly worth visiting, perhaps as a contrast to the Mercedes-Benz Museum and the Porsche Museum

For Steve and I, the star of the museum is the ‘Cleaning Lady‘ from 1972 by Duane Hanson (1925-1996). She looks so real.

‘Cleaning Lady’ from 1972 by Duane Hanson (1925-1996).

Timothy in Stuttgart 2022

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