Art and culture hounds will be delighted with Germany’s new museums and art openings in the fall of 2006. Dresden’s historic Green Vault, in all of its original splendor will open to the public on September 16 and Stuttgart’s Weissenhof Settlement will do the same in the Le Corbusier house on September 21. The Guggenheim Architecture show will start in Bonn on September 26, and Berlin’s new DDR Museum near the former Palace of the Republic already has a controversial buzz going among travelers and art critics. New exhibitions include, “Caravaggio: In the Footsteps of Genius” starting September 9 at the Museum Kunst Palace with 30 pieces from Rome, Detroit and Odessa. This is part of Duesseldorf’s 2006 Quadriennale. www.museum-kunst-palast.de Then, “Picasso and the Theater” will open at the Schirn in Frankfurt starting October 20. www.schirn-kunsthalle.de

These events are an apt prelude to next year’s theme of art and culture when Kassel’s Documenta, the Muenster Sculpture Show and new car museums from BMW and Porsche will grab the lime light. Germany is nothing if not culture rich. A country the size of Texas has over 500 galleries and 6,000 museums. Now the country is building on its wealth of cultural choices with new museums and art collections.

Created by August the Strong (1670 – 1733), the historic Green Vault will open to the public in the Royal Palace on September 16, 2006 in the context of Dresden’s 800th birthday. Approximately 100 restorers and sculptors, painters and craftsmen have recreated the splendid ten rooms on the basis of historic photographs. Nearly 3,000 masterpieces crafted by jewellers and goldsmiths, precious objects made of amber and ivory, vessels made of precious stones, exquisite bronze statuettes and objects made of exotic materials like coral and shells from the South Seas will be presented. Some of the rooms which were originally known as the Secret Store were painted green, which accounts for the name ‘Grünes Gewölbe’ (Green Vault). www.dresden.de or www.skd-dresden.de

On the 21st of September, just outside of Stuttgart, the Weissenhof Siedlung (the Weissenhof Settlement) will open its museum in the Le Corbusier House. When it was founded in 1927, the Weissenhof Settlement was considered the most progressive architectural initiative of its time and was part of the Neues Bauen Movement in Germany. In 33 houses with 63 apartments, a total of 17 architects from Germany, France, Holland, Belgium and Austria implemented their ideas of “functionalism.” Among the architects, all of whom were under 45 years of age, were Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier and Hans Scharoun. Next month, visitors will be able to see the internal design of the house as it was in 1927 and a documentation of the history and design and ideas of the settlement and all of the architects will be presented. www.weissenhof.de

In Bonn, the exhibit: “The Guggenheim Architecture” will open on September 26th and run through the 12th of November in the city’s Kunst- und Austellungshalle (Art and Exhibition Hall). Architectural models and plans of projections and competitions illustrate the radical development of international museum architecture and design by the Guggenheim and other museums. Works include those from Shigeru Ban, Coop Himmelb(l)lau, Frank Gehry, Charles Gwathmey, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel, and Frank Lloyd Wright. This exhibition accompanies the recently opened exhibit, “The Guggenheim Collection,” with 200 works of modern and contemporary masterpieces from the Guggenheim collections in New York, Venice, Bilbao, Berlin and Las Vegas. Another, yet third exhibit, “The Guggenheim: Contemporary Art” will present a selection of works from 1990 to the present in the Kunstmuseum Bonn. www.kah-bonn.de

Berlin’s new DDR Museum opened recently near the former Palace of the Republic, the rust colored glass building at the end of Unter den Linden, the main street stretching from the Brandenburg Gate to the former Palace. Almost all of the approximately 10,000 artifacts amassed by the museum have been donated by locals from cleaned out garages and spare rooms. Critics say that the museum is a superficial product of “ostalgie” for which the movie ‘Goodbye Lenin’ became famous. www.ddr-museum.de Other exhibitions and openings soon include a joint exhibition opening on August 28th at the Cultural History Museum in Magdeburg and the German Historical Museum in Berlin, “The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation: 962 – 1806.”

The Kunstsammlung Boettcherstrasse in Bremen will be presenting an exhibition, “Die Bruecke,” which includes an evocative selection of graphic art from the collection of the Bruecke Museum in Berlin ranging from its founding days to World War I. The Bruecke was the modern art movement that preceded or was the start of Expressionism in Germany. The exhibition will run from October 1, 2006 to January 1, 2007. www.bremen-tourism.de