Always, special people have changed the world. However, so many things happen in the world every day. Thereby, it may occur sometimes, that special people will be forgotten. But now and then, thankful people create something to keep those special people in mind. Without any doubt, one of these special persons was James Simon. And, now, Berlin created a unique monument for him.
A TRUE INFLUENCER AND A PATRON OF THE ARTS
James Simon wasn’t only a successful businessman and personally known to the German Kaiser. Moreover, he was a philanthropist and a patron of the arts as well as of children, who suffered from poverty and misery.
James Simon belonged to the upper-class. But he used his influential role in a completely other way as Influencers do it today mainly. It means, he didn’t use his status for himself, but for the general public.
JAMES SIMON AND THE ART
So, during years, and consulted by curator Wilhelm von Bode, James Simon collected an amazing collection of art and archeological artefacts. However, instead to place them in his villa, he dedicated many parts as permanent loans for public display to the museums on the Museums Island.
NO BUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN TOWN
Certainly, the most popular artefact, known with young and old alike, is the wonderful sculpted busts of Nefertiti.
James Simon was financier of the excavation in Egypt in 1912. Thus, he became owner of many unique artefacts. However, his wish was that everybody can see those breathtaking testimonials of one of the first high cultures of our world.
Therefore, James Simon commissioned copies of the artefacts. While he kept the copies to present them in his home, he gave the originals to the Egyptian Museum Berlin. Until today, the beautiful head of Nefertiti impresses thousands of visitors on the Museums Island. Meanwhile you can find it in the Neues Museum.
JAMES SIMON GALLERY
The Neues Museum played another important role this weekend. Yesterday, July 13, 2019 the time came to honor one of the most important patrons of the Museums Island Berlin.
Furthermore, the James Simon Gallery unites the Neues Museum with the Pergamon Museum. On the way from one house to the other, one can learn a lot about the historical place. But most of all, you will learn more about life and work of James Simon.
The patron of the arts died in 1932. Thus, luckily, he didn’t see the dark years of Berlin. In those years, the Nazis tried to eliminate also his name from the public.
But now Simon’s name is a brightly shining part of the beautiful Museums Island Berlin. Thus, his work and generosity, will never be forgotten. A visit is worth it.
Read more about Simon’s work and life as well as the new portal of the Museums Island in our next special issue VALEUR no. 31.
Pictures & Text: Marco Kokkot