Tina Brüderlin to Become Head of the Ethnological Museum on 15 January 2022

13.10.2021
Ethnologisches Museum

The Ethnologisches Museum (Ethnological Museum), with two locations, the Humboldt Forum and Dahlem, will have a new head as of 15 January 2022. Tina Brüderlin, currently head of the Ethnologische Sammlung at the Museum Natur und Mensch in Freiburg, will head the Ethnologisches Museum – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. In this position she succeeds Jonathan Fine, who became head of the Weltmuseum Wien at the beginning of July 2021. The new appointment follows a decision of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz Stifungsrat (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation board) at the end of June 2021.

Academic Career

Tina Brüderlin (b. 1977 in Colorado, USA) studied ethnology, with minors in American Studies and Cultural Geography, at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and Dartmouth College in New Hampshire (USA). She focused on East Africa and North America throughout her studies, with a particular emphasis on the regions of South Omo in Ethiopia and the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada and Alaska (USA), areas that she also visited during numerous research trips.

Following her studies, Tina Brüderlin initially worked as a research assistant at the collaborative research centre “Cultural and Linguistic Contacts” at Mainz University. From 2007 to 2009, she worked as a collection and curatorial assistant at the Museum of Natural History in New York (USA) in the departments of North American Ethnology and African Ethnology.

A Collaborative Project and Experience with the Ethnologisches Museum Collection

Brüderlin subsequently held a position as research associate on the collaborative project “One History – Two Perspectives: Culturally Specific Modes of Representation of the ‘Exotic Other’ at the Pacific Northwest Coast”, drawing on that society’s “Terms of Trade” as studied in the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin collections. In this context, she was involved in provenance research on objects stemming from the Haida and Tlingit peoples in the Ethnologisches Museum’s collection, carrying out this task in close cooperation with representatives of those indigenous communities. Brüderlin has been very familiar with the Berlin museum ever since.

Brüderlin’s Time at the Museum Natur und Mensch in Freiburg

Since 2012 Tina Brüderlin has headed the ethnological collection at the Städtische Museen Freiburg’s Museum Natur und Mensch – one of the largest municipal ethnological collections in Germany. At this institution, she has been significantly responsible for critically re-examining and indexing the museum’s global collections, as well as imparting them to the public, through, among other things, digitisation projects (the Oceanic collection, the African collection that arose from colonial contexts). Brüderlin’s other tasks have included strengthening the field of collection research and designing successful ethnological and interdisciplinary exhibitions. Since 2012 she has also regularly held lectures at the University of Freiburg, among other places. From 2016 to 2017, Brüderlin was the provisional head of the interdisciplinary Museum Natur und Mensch, whose focuses include Natural History and its Ethnological Collection.

A New Post as Head of the Ethnologisches Museum as of mid-January 2022

Tina Brüderlin on her new position:

The Ethnologisches Museum Berlin is undergoing dynamic and challenging processes. Its collections are among the most significant in the world, a distinction that brings great responsibility to administering them, both in regard to critically reconsidering their holdings and in conveying them to the public. I look forward to helping set the museum on a future-oriented path and discovering the potential of interdisciplinary collaboration between the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz and its partner institutions.