Exhibition

From the Canal Grande to the Spree The Streitsche Stiftung for the Graues Kloster

28 Jun 2024 – 29 Sep 2024

Regular hours

Friday
09:00 – 16:00
Monday
09:00 – 16:00
Tuesday
09:00 – 16:00
Wednesday
09:00 – 16:00
Thursday
09:00 – 16:00

Save Event: From the Canal Grande to the Spree The Streitsche Stiftung for the Graues Kloster

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About

As part of the celebrations surrounding the 450th anniversary of the Berlinisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster, the Gemäldegalerie and the Streitsche Stiftung have collectively organised a special presentation of works from the painting collection of Sigismund Streit (1687–1775), a Berlin-born businessman who spent most of his working life in Venice. Alongside significant works of 18th-century Venetian painting by artists such as Canaletto, Giuseppe Nogari and Jacopo Amigoni, the exhibition also presents historical documents and objects from the foundation’s collection that provide insights into Streit’s life and work, and into the connection between the Streitsche Stiftung and Berlin’s oldest gymnasium (high school).

Following the destruction of the school’s buildings during the Second World War, the Streitsche Stiftung entrusted its paintings – which had been hanging in the Berlinisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster (founded in 1574) since the 18th century – to the Gemäldegalerie. The foundation can be traced back to former Graues Kloster pupil Sigismund Streit, who moved to Venice after completing his commercial apprenticeship in 1709, where he established himself as a successful businessman.

Streit created the first foundation to support his Berlin high school in 1752: from 1757, he began sending books to Berlin, with paintings also following from 1758. Later, in his adopted home of Venice, he began specifically commissioning paintings with the aim of enriching his Berlin foundation’s collection, including four significant Venetian vedutas by Canaletto, a series of paintings that depicted Venetian festivals, and a series on the theme of education and schooling. He wanted to create a gallery within the school. Later, his collected paintings would decorate the Berlinisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster’s auditorium. Streit also provided the school with substantial financial support over several decades, which was used to pay teachers’ wages, offer student scholarships, expand the library and fund the construction of school buildings.

450 Years of the Graues Kloster

The 450th anniversary of the founding of the Graues Kloster provides a welcome opportunity to present some of the paintings collected by Streit as they were historically displayed in the school’s auditorium. The special exhibition also contains objects from the Streitsche Stiftung’s collection and the collections of the Berlinisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster, as well as loans from the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz and external collectors. In this way, through a variety of objects and documents, the exhibition is able to provide an illuminating overview of the life and impact of Sigismund Streit as well as his foundation’s role in the school’s history.

Curatorial Team

This special exhibition was curated by guest curator Susanne Knackmuß (Streitsche Stiftung) in cooperation with Dr Sarah Salomon, curator for 18th-century European painting and 17th-century German painting (Gemäldegalerie). Curatorial assistance was provided by Anina Gröger, curatorial assistant in training (Gemäldegalerie).

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