Things that (Would) Make Me Come (into the Museum)

Over the decades and centuries objects have entered the collection of the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (MEK) and its predecessor institutions. Social conventions and power relationships, curators’ individual preferences and talents, and also sheer chance have determined the collection profile.

The MEK is currently developing a new collection strategy focused on updating and, above all, diversifying its collection. In this discussion the module “A Focus on the Visitor and the Work of Collecting” is assigned the role of an experimental, trendsetting kick-off project.

Representatives of diverse groups of non-museum-going people are asked “Which things would you come to a museum to see?” as part of a survey to find out which meaningful objects from their daily lives they would like to see displayed in our museum. Ultimately the entire sample will be analysed for its systematisation potential regarding objects “missing” in the MEK collection. These findings will be incorporated into the new collection concept as well as the reconfiguration of the permanent exhibition.

Project funding: Deutscher Museumsbund, Hauptsache Publikum!? (German Museums’ Association, It’s All about the Public!?). The Visitor-Oriented Museum, the Module: A Focus on the Visitor and the Work of Collecting
Project duration: 2018 to early 2019