Research

In an increasingly globalised world, the Museum Europäischer Kulturen aims to provide points of reference for an investigation into the concept of identity. While one aspect of the museum’s work is society in Germany and how it has been shaped by contact and conflict with different cultures, it also focuses on other social groups in Europe – especially those that live in Berlin and have not yet been actively incorporated into the museum landscape as a platform for open communication.

To this end, the museum is committed to observing historical and contemporary cultural processes within a plural society through research based on its own collections that explores cultural links and changes in everyday life in Europe. Presented in a series of rplacable modules, the exhibition "Cultural Contact – Living in Europe" is the result of various studies, including international research projects, on topics such as 'mobility', 'cultural hybridity', 'identity' and 'cultural localisations'. The research approach is to explore new lines of inquiry related to the existing collection, collecting contemporary objects, the research of object biographies and the worlds from which they originated as well as work with contemporary witnesses, as well as field and archival research.

Further research on cultural history undertaken by the museum looks at objects from different sections of the collection within the disciplines of textile history, visual culture, photography, religion and the social sciences. Closely related is the collection and research of contemporary objects as well as the ongoing focus on objects from past cultures to complement different areas of the collection. The Museum Europäischer Kulturen believes one of its most important tasks is to continually expand the collection as a means to reflect past and present lifeworlds in Europe. Research is fundamental to all aspects of the museum’s work and the concept of the collection.

Other essential tasks of the museum, such as exhibiting, conserving and communication, are thus similarly linked to research projects, including work on the history of the museum institution and the study of European folklore and ethnology. The results of our research have already been published in numerous articles and catalogues of the collection and exhibitions, none of which would have been possible without the cultural heritage preserved in the museum, the documentation of the collection and our extensive library.

Research projects at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen

Project name: Cultural Exchange in a Time of Global Conflict: Colonials, Neutrals and Belligerents during the First World War
Contact person: Prof. Elisabeth Tietmeyer Funding: HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area), also with funds from EU Duration: 2013–2016
Partners: The MEK is an associated partner in this European-wide collaboration thanks to its extensive collection of photographs taken by Otto Stiehl of the Zossen and Wünsdorf POW camps in WWI.

Project name: Sustaining, Experiencing and Accessing Religious Cultural Heritage (SEARCH)
Contact persons: Dr. Léontine Meijer-van Mensch, Prof. Elisabeth Tietmeyer
Funding: EU, Horizon 2020, Challenge 6, Reflective Societies 2: Emergence and Transmission of European Cultural Heritage and Europeanisation
Duration/current status: 2016–2019, in planning stages
Partners: University of Bergen, Norway (coordinator); KU Leuven, Belgium; Muzeul National al Unirii, Alba Iulia, Romania; Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome/Vatican; University of Rijeka, Croatia; Museum Cathrijneconvent, Utrecht, The Netherlands; University of Oxford, UK; King’s College London, UK; University of Nürnberg-Erlangen, Germany; POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Poland. The MEK is a partner in this project due to its extensive collection on religiosity, parts of which will undergo fresh examination.

Visitor entrance

Lansstraße 8 / Arnimallee 25
14195 Berlin


Getting there

Tel 030 - 266 42 42 42 (Mon - Fri, 9 am - 4 pm)
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Postal address:
Im Winkel 8
14195 Berlin
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 266426801/-02
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 266426804
mek[at]smb.spk-berlin.de 

Director: Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Tietmeyer
Deputy Director: Drs. Léontine Meijer-van Mensch

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