Sibylle Hoiman to Become the New Director of the Kunstgewerbemuseum of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin


The Foundation Board of the SPK has reached its decision: Dr Sibylle Hoiman is to be named the new Director of the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin as of 1 April 2023. The art historian and current director of the Architectural Archives of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin will take over from Prof. Dr Sabine Thümmler, who retired at the end of May 2022. Sibylle Hoiman will be tasked with organising the reorientation of the museum at the Kulturforum.

Dr Sibylle Hoiman studied art history, American studies and philosophy in Braunschweig, Bonn and Vienna. She then completed postgraduate studies in cultural heritage preservation in Bamberg. After obtaining her PhD at the Technische Universität Berlin, she was a visiting scholar at the German Center for Art History in Paris, before working at ETH Zürich. For many years, she worked as a curator at the Bauhaus-Archiv/Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin, where she put together numerous exhibitions and was responsible for the redesign of the permanent exhibition, as well as being a key figure in the planning of the new museum building. After stints with the Stiftung Preussischer Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg and as the director of the Botanical Museum Berlin, in 2020, she took the reins at the Architectural Archive of the Akademie der Künste.

Sibylle Hoiman has been interested in the Kunstgewerbemuseum for many years, and even wrote about the history and significance of the institution in her master’s thesis. Since this time, design and its various manifestations have accompanied her through her entire life. Looking at the task ahead of her, she noted:

In light of global processes of change, the various crises we are facing and debates around shared values, a reorientation of the Kunstgewerbemuseum is more pressing than ever. The Kunstgewerbemuseum – which I view as an institution which is dedicated to the full breadth of our designed environment – is part of these discussions, and needs to wrestle with these shifting social relations, and pose the burning questions of our age. Due to its outstanding and diverse collections, it is particularly well positioned to assume this role of observing and facilitating discussion about these societal themes.  

The potential for a ‘design hub’ at the Kulturforum is obvious enough. It is my hope that in the redesign of this site, the Kunstgewerbemuseum is able to make its voice heard, to raise its profile both in Berlin and beyond. I look forward to working together with the team at the Kunstgewerbemuseum and my new colleagues at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.