On Thursday, May 19, 2016, a project that will enrich Berlin's diverse culture and the international art scene was begun. The world's first street art museum is being built. It will be called the Urban Nation Museum for Contemporary Art. The museum, which will be located at Bülowstraße 7 in Berlin-Schöneberg (adopted home of David Bowie, site of President John F Kennedy’s iconic 1963 Ich bin in Berliner speech and birthplace of Marlene Dietrich), is co-funded by the LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin foundation and is based on the motto “Connect. Create. Care.”.
This unique center for exhibitions and research will continue to be built and dedicated to one of the most important art forms of the 21st century. The international center is set to open in mid-2017.
Currently, the building which will become the museum has been used as a canvas for some of the most famous street artists like Aiko, Ron English, Swoon, and Logan Hicks, among others. The building will be transformed by the architects GRAFT. According to Juxtapoz Magazine, "each of these artists were invited to Berlin by Urban Nation, an initiative that has been supporting and exhibiting national and international street artists since 2013."
The idea and the artistic design of the museum come from Yasha Young, manager and future director of the museum. Urban Nation is part of Berliner Leben, a non-profit foundation established in 2013 by Gewobag.
A main feature of the museum and institution will be the Martha Cooper Library. Martha Cooper was one of the first people to visually document the creation of street and urban art. She continues her work today, and will donate some of her photojournalism pieces to the library in her name.
This museum is a huge step towards the acceptance of street art as art to the general public. I am excited for the opening of this musuem, and hope to find myself there in the future.