The Whole World on One Island

Altes Museum

For the first time outside of the Villa von der Heydt: At their 2017 yearly press conference at the Altes Museum, the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz demonstrated that all sights are set on the Humboldt Forum and highlighted the theme of digitalization.

Long before the actual opening of the Humboldt Forum, its universal vision will inform activities at the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in 2017. The Museumsinsel and the Kulturforum will serve as places for demonstrating what it means to look at the world in its entirety. Under the title of ‘New Neighbours’, a number of special exhibitions will be spread across all the institutions on the ‘island’. Along with surprising juxtapositions of objects from different cultures and eras, the Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst will showcase the potential of their respective collections and open up a window onto the historic centre of Berlin, providing a glimpse of future exhibitions in the newly constructed palace. Africa meanwhile will move into the Bode-Museum, and China into the Kulturforum.

SPK president Hermann Parzinger sees in these developments an opportunity to make each visitor understand ‘what we mean by multiperspectivity’. Parzinger has also announced that, later this year, he will present a ‘scholarly and cultural concept’ for the future use of the project’s Dahlem location.

Generally, the president gave a positive assessment of the past year: he reported that the budgetary situation has improved thanks to the federal government and that the Interim Building for the Pergamonmuseum, the Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, and the James-Simon-Galerie are all on track. In addition, Heiner Bastian and his family’s endowment of the Haus Bastian has allowed the SPK to take major steps forward in terms of museum education. This goal has also been supported through the Kulturstiftung des Bundes’ 5.6 million award to the Lab Bode in the Bode-Museum, which will become a national laboratory for museum-education work. 

The SPK also expects to make headlines across Germany with its ‘museum4punkt0’ project, through which it will work together with five museums to develop digital strategies for the museum of the future.