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The Neue Pinakothek offers an overview of European art from classicism to art nouveau. Its founder was King Ludwig I of Bavaria, who opened the museum in 1853 and had it built to house his privately financed collection of works by contemporary artists. Following the destruction of the museum during the Second World War and temporary exhibition of the collection in the Haus der Kunst, a new building, designed by architect Alexander von Branca, was opened in 1981. Thanks to expansion of the collection through endowments and purchases, the Neue Pinakothek is now the most important museum of art of the nineteenth century in the world.