For the weekend, the National Museums in Berlin are offering new digital content and exciting stories from their diverse collections: The Museum of European Cultures launches its appeal #CollectingCorona and asks for personal impressions of pandemic-influenced everyday life. The New National Gallery remembers legendary music concerts in its sculpture garden. And the directors* of the Sculpture Collection and the Museum of the Ancient Near East lead to objects of protection and hope* in the YouTube series “Alone in the Museum”.
#CollectingCorona at Museum Europäischer Kulturen
The corona pandemic is currently changing the daily lives of all people in Europe. The Museum of European Cultures (MEK) collects, researches, preserves, presents and communicates everyday culture in Europe from the 18th century to the present. For this reason, the MEK calls on people all over Europe to submit personal impressions, thoughts and testimonies under the hashtag #CollectingCorona, in order to document for future generations how Europeans* feel about dealing with the pandemic: What is on our minds right now? How has our everyday life changed? What worries do we have? All anonymous or by name at the email address email@example.com submitted texts, photos or videos will become part of the MEK’s collection after a declaration of consent by the submitters. Further information on the call and first impressions can be found in the blog of the National Museums in Berlin:
Jazz in the garden of the Neue Nationalgalerie
What few people know: The New National Gallery has long been the venue for legendary concerts. Already at its opening on 15 September 1968, a jazz band played between the sculptures of Auguste Renoir and Gerhard Marcks in the garden of the Mies van der Rohe building. Until 1978 the then still unusual combination “Music in the Museum” became popular through the concert series “Jazz in the Garden” and “Metamusik Festival”. World stars of jazz, the avant-garde and world music honoured themselves – among them Keith Jarrett, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve Reich, Brian Eno or Tangerine Dream, but also drummer groups from Senegal and Tibetan monks with prayer bells. The blog of the National Museums in Berlin has found historical programmes and photographs in the archives and brings this exhilarating time to life with a specially curated Spotify playlist:
Horst Janssen and Paul Klee in Charlottenburg
In the Charlottenburg houses of the National Gallery, the Museum Berggruen and the Collection Scharf-Gerstenberg, the special exhibitions “Klee in North Africa” and “Lebenskleckse – Todeszeichen. Horst Janssen zum Neunzigsten” are currently closed. Highlights of both shows can now be seen in a series of videos on the social media channels of both museums and on the YouTube channel of the National Museums in Berlin: In the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection, Collection Director Kyllikki Zacharias gives an insight into the diverse oeuvre of Horst Janssen, talks about the artist’s techniques and what connects him to the Surrealists. At the Museum Berggruen, collection curator Gabriel Montua will provide information on the great influence Paul Klee’s travels to Tunisia and Egypt had on his pictorial compositions. The Bettina Berggruen Garden with sculptures by Thomas Schütte will continue to be open on site.
Alone at Bode-Museum and at Vorderasiatisches Museum
In the YouTube series “Alone in the Museum”, directors* present highlights and personal favourites from their collections in exclusive guided tours, each lasting around half an hour. The series will now be continued with two new guided tours: Julien Chapuis, Deputy Director of the Sculpture Collection and Museum of Byzantine Art, leads us to the Bode-Museum to see medieval icons and personal favourites, all of which depict the theme of “hope” – including Tilman Riemenschneider’s “Saint George fighting the dragon” (ca. 1490), Michel Erhart’s “Mary with the protective cloak” (ca. 1480) or Nikolaus Gerhaert von Leyden’s “Dangolsheim Mother of God” (ca. 1460/65). The director of the Museum of the Ancient Near East, Barbara Helwing, presents in the Pergamonmuseum not only highlights such as the Ishtar Gate or the Processional Way of Babylon but also lesser-known objects of protection and objects for defence against disease from the 8th-7th centuries BC – including a bell for magical purposes, the statuette of a man in a fisherman’s robe or an amulet against the demon Lamaschtu. Already available on the National Museums in Berlin’s YouTube channel are guided tours with Stefan Weber, Director of the Museum of Islamic Art, and Bernhard Weisser, Director of the Numismatic Collection. The series will be continued with contributions by Martin Maischberger, Deputy Director of the Collection of Classical Antiquities and Matthias Wemhoff, Director of the Museum of Pre- and Early History.
The Online-Offers of the National Museums in Berlin
An overview of the entire online offering of the National Museums in Berlin, with links to databases, blog, social media channels and the cooperation with Google Arts & Culture can be found at: www.smb.museum/online-angebote.
The National Museums in Berlin currently communicate in the social media with the hashtags #SMBforHome and #ClosedButOpen.
Image caption: Museum Europäischer Kulturen, Photo: Ute Franz-Scarciglia