Icon made of freshwater pearls, Israel, 19th century. Gertrud Weinhold Collection © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum Europäischer Kulturen / Ute Franz-Scarciglia; CC NC-BY-SA
Paper theatre, Germany, 1890–1900 © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum Europäischer Kulturen / Ute Franz-Scarciglia; CC NC-BY-SA
Traditional dress, Olympos, island of Karpathos, Greece, 1980s © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum Europäischer Kulturen / Ute Franz-Scarciglia; CC NC-BY-SA
Venetian pearl necklace from the Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine, then Austria-Hungary, 19th century © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum Europäischer Kulturen / Ute Franz-Scarciglia; CC NC-BY-SA
The focus of our research is cultural contexts and relations, and changes in the lived realities of people in Europe from the 18th century to the present day. Our work is based in cultural history and very much centred around the object itself, although questions related to immaterial culture are becoming increasingly important. Areas of particular interest are the study of textiles, visual culture, photography, religion and the social sciences. All of the museum’s work—from exhibiting to conservation and education—requires research.
Through our research, we hope to continually expand our collection and our knowledge about its contents, e.g., by taking a new, cross-disciplinary approach to how we look at historical objects and by collecting objects from the present day. We also research the objects’ biographies, work together with contemporary witnesses and undertake regular field and archival research.
Our research work is grounded in the concept of exchanging, expanding and communicating knowledge. To this end, we take part in interdisciplinary, international research projects and are engaged in teaching at university level.
The museum’s objects and documents, as well as recordings of immaterial culture and our extensive specialised library offer a good basis for a variety of research activities. Internal research findings as well as those from third parties have been published in numerous articles, and inventory and exhibition catalogues.