Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz
The unique collections of the Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin constitute a special fascination in the Humboldt Forum. Together with its sister collections on the Museum Island, they will grow into a large universal museum starting in 2019. Spread over more than 23,000 square meters, the museums will present objects from their archaeological, ethnological and art historical collections together with a large collection of photographs, films and sound recordings on the second and third floors of the Humboldt Forum.
Modular exhibition units allow a high degree of flexibility when incorporating new research findings and taking a position on current social issues. Exhibition modules, temporary exhibition space, showcases, junior spaces and action spaces make the areas into a dynamic place for those curious about the world and art as well as for culture enthusiasts.
Moritz Wullen will act as a representative of the founding directors at the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz.
The Ethnologisches Museum in the Humboldt Forum offers visitors the chance to embark on an inspirational voyage around the globe, one that promises to open up new perspectives on the past and present cultures of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Polynesia.
The Ethnologisches Museum will be given a space of around 10,000 square metres to showcase the array of historical artefacts from its collection together with its large holdings of photographs, film and audio recordings. The exhibition will consist in several modular units giving curators a great degree of flexibility, allowing them, for example, to integrate swiftly new research findings into the presentation or seize upon current social questions relating to exhibition content. The Ethnologisches Museum aims to use its display to scrutinize and critically assess the legacy and consequences of colonial rule and Europe’s part in it. It also aims to show how globalization, the interconnectedness of continents, is far from a modern-day phenomenon but dates back centuries, if not millennia. In multiethnic capitals such as Berlin, people from all continents live together. As a result, such concepts as ‘cerntre’ and ‘periphery’ have to be revised and redefined. The museum’s mission is to arouse ongoing interest in interaction and intercultural encounters and to promote a deeper understanding among the peoples of the world.
Museum für Asiatische Kunst
In the Humboldt Forum, the Museum für Asiatische Kunst will present selected works from its collection while simultaneously outlining the social context in which they emerged and will juxtapose them with contemporary art from around the world. The museum’s rich collection of Asian art and craft objects dating from the 5th millennium BCE up to the present day includes East-Asian paintings, prints, lacquer objects and ceramics, the art of the Silk Road, Tibetan and Southeast-Asian art, ancient Indian sculptures, and Indian paintings.
The museum will present large and frequently changing selections of its over 30,000 treasures in its new exhibition space of over 5,000 square meters in the Humboldt Forum. In addition to innovative display techniques, the museum will also feature study collections accessible to users on-site. The displays highlight the artistic quality of individual works and stylistic relationships between them, placing the artists in their wider context and archaeological and craft objects in their original cultural setting. The curators also aim to emphasize larger regional trends and interrelationships, such as how South-Asian and East-Asian art mutually influenced each other via the conduit of Central Asia, or the significance of Asian art, especially contemporary Asian art, seen from an international perspective. Far from acting as a mere window on a far-away, foreign world, the museum will become a place where visitors can actively engage and interact with Asian art – with its past and present, with its familiar and unfamiliar aspects, and its ever growing importance in today’s and tomorrow’s world.
Humboldt Lab Dahlem
The Humboldt Lab Dahlem (2012–2015) provided impulses for the exhibition planning of the Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, for the future Humboldt Forum. This program, by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes and the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, which was realized with the support of numerous participants, comprised around 30 projects, in which visitors could participate in seven rehearsal stages at the Dahlem Museums. Documentation on the exhibitions, interventions, symposia and workshops are accessible online and available as a comprehensive document. In addition, the publication “The Laboratory Concept”, which is available at bookstores, provides a detailed insight into the work of the Humboldt Lab.