The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Greetings from Berlin 1

I am a new PhD student and I enjoy to explore the universe of the School of Museum Studies. As a distance learner the virtual world is extremely important for me so I want to contribute my share and send you from time to time "Greetings from Berlin".
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One of my favourite museums in Berlin is “A museum of things” (Museum der Dinge) in Kreuzberg because of its sophisticated exhibitions which are always presented highly aesthetically. That should not be a surprise: the museum is at the same time the archive of the “Deutscher Werkbund”, an organization founded in 1907 to promote the quality and aesthetic demanding design of industrial products. A huge part of the permanent exhibition is thusly dedicated to explore through dense arrangements of everyday objects the concept of the “Werkbund”. The other part is used to show objects combined under certain headings like “body shapes”. In this way aspects like material, function or form are highlighted. Both parts are presented as an “Open Storage” and indeed the exhibition possesses the intimacy and magic of a hidden place which you are invited to explore on your own. The exhibits communicate strongly with each other: even though every object has of course its fixed place, they seem to jump from one cupboard to the other. The black-and-yellow vase is displayed together with other black-and-yellow things but seems to crave for standing among other “kitschy” vases and why shouldn’t it be presented in the cupboard labeled “body shapes”? In challenging the ideas of the institution “museum” – especially with its temporary exhibitions –“A museum of things” is rather unique in the Berlin museum landscape. But there is definitely no other museum in the German capital which trains the view of the visitors so well for what I would call the “thinginess” of things.

http://www.museumderdinge.de/

2 comments:

Stephanie said...

Hi Ariane, and welcome to the School. I am also a new PhD student, on the full-time campus-based course. Thanks for sharing such an interesting museum with us; I'm studying cabinets of curiosity and am likewise fascinated by things, particularly when displayed in an unconventional manner! Best of luck with the course, Stephanie.

Jenny said...

Hi Ariane - welcome too! We are fans of 'thingy' things here :) Looking forward to more posts from Berlin!