Valentin-Karlstadt Museum


The door-sign says "99 year-olds with their parents get in free". And it doesn’t get any less wacky from there on.

PECULIAR: Inside the museum/tower.

Inside the Isartor’s towers is a temple to Munich’s answer to Charlie Chaplin, the bombastic Karl Valentin (1882-1948) and his partner-in-crime Liesl Karlstadt (1892-1960).

The full-as-your-grandma's-salon spaces are packed with props, posters and curiosities from the days the couple was the toast of the town.
Exhibitions range from the profound to the downright silly – There’s satirical quotes on the walls, masks, a crazy mirror, photos galore and a mini-cinema screening Valentin films.

Across the way

SUBVERSIVE: a Gulbransson cartoon at the Valentin-Karlstadt Museum.

The tower on the opposite side is connected via a walkway with a photo essay of Munich through the ages.
This tower holds temporary exhibitions, most recently a political cartoon collection of Norwegian artist Olaf Gulbransson.

Gulbransson drew for the Munich magazine Simlicissimus, a subversive magazine that stirred up the establishment throughout the early
20th century. Below this room is a space devoted to Munich's folk singers who took the first steps towards Munich's current "pop culture".

A sweet and cheap café called the Turmstüberl, a great place for a couple of morning Weisswurst, is at the top of the first tower. This museum dishes up a fascinating slice of history, but the displays and everything else are in German only. That said I can’t recommend this one unless your deutsch is up to scratch.

"The truest of the all"
OUT THERE: Valentin pulls a wacky face in a portrait at the Isartor museum. The quote reads "Art is beautiful, but it's a lot of work.

Valentin was Munich’s "man of the century" – the guy that defined the city as Mozart defined Salzburg and James Joyce defined Dublin.

Exiled author Oskar Maria Graf even called him "the truest Munich native of the all". It was his sheer versatility as a musician, comedian, filmmaker and satirist that still fascinates people today.

Valentin first became known on Munich’s folk-music scene and mastered more than one instrument in the bars around the suburbs of Haidhausen and Au.

He started making films as early as 1913, becoming one of the first onto Germany’s silver screen.

He then teamed up with Liesl Karlstadt and the pair had a 25-year reign as the darlings of the arts scene, not only in Munich but in Berlin and Vienna. Valentin was considered a "living sculpture" both on stage and in real life.

Reference: Typisch München, Thomas Weidner, 2008

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