The centerpiece of the Kunsthalle is a collection of paintings, statues, and graphic works renowned in Europe. It owes its reputation to courageous art historians and private patrons. In 1909, Fritz Wichert, the first director of the Kunsthalle, acquired the collection’s then most famous painting: Édouard Manet’s “The Execution of Emperor Maximilian.” In 1925, Wichert’s successor, Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub, invented The New Objectivity and bought the avant-gardes works of his time—for example, works by Otto Dix and Max Beckmann. After the Second World War, the Kunsthalle became the leading sculpture museum with magnificent works by Auguste Rodin, Alberto Giacometti, Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore, and others. Today it ranks among the most significant buildings of classical modernism and continues to be committed to contemporary art. Anselm Kiefer and William Kentridge meet Paul Cézanne and Francis Bacon in changing artist rooms.