Klasse, Ordnung, Art – 200 Jahre Museum für Naturkunde

200jahre Exkursion

1. Survey

Klasse, Ordnung, Art – 200 Jahre Museum für Naturkunde.

Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. Invalidenstrasse 43, 10115 Berlin.

14. September 2010 – 27. February 2011

Nature science and the way people used to collect, preserve and educate about organisms evolution the last 200 years.

To show an important part of our history through the eyes of the collectors.

Many dead organisms, handwritten books with informations about the spieces and collectors cabinets.

Target group
Biologists, historians, tourists and people interested in history.

Curators / Writers
Dr. Ferdinand Damaschun, Dr. Sabine Hackethal,Dr. Hannelore Landsberg, Dr. Marko Spieler; Research Assistance: Carsten Eckert.

Exhibition Design
Nils Hoff

Graphic Illustration
Posters by Nils Hoff and animation by Stepan Ueding / Filmproduktion Friedrichshain. Exhibition graphic by Nils Hoff and Thomas Schmid Dankward.

Lighting Designer
Benedikt Esch

Exhibition Builder
Tomas Kleinert, MfN; Mathias Gruschinske, MfN; Glaserei Günther & Sohn, Berlin

2. Analysis

2.1 Classification

City Museum.

Nature science exhibition.

Interior, stationary.

Temporary Exhibition. 14. September 2010 – 27. February 2011.

Medium budget.

2.2 Presentation

Memorial / Items / Equipment / Inventory unchanged in it’s original condition.

Available originals of a collection.

References to contemporary thinking. They show the evolution and give us not only an idea about how the collectors persuaded origins in the past but also a glimp of how it is done now.

They exhibition can be very stimulating for discussions and brings up many questions. Animations and digital books are also educative.

There are a few kinds of media in this exhibition. An audioguide, infographic, animations, digital books and text. Short story’s about collectors and objects gives the spectator more insight to the topic and their lives which is a good quality in my opinion.

The exhibition is in two parts in different ends of the building. The two rooms gives a really different feeling for the collections. One makes you feel like you are really close to the story of the collectors and the other one is colder and gives a good idea of how big a collection can really be.

2.3 Creative Resources

Property Presentation
In drawers, glass jars, glass cabinets, collectors cabinets and hung up.

It seems to me like everything was in their original stage.

Space Structure
Two square rooms. The space is used in a really good way so everything has it’s own space that compliments the objects in different ways. In the showsroom with the jars they go up really high so it is impossible to have a close look but that is ok because it is more about showing the quantity of the collection.

Thematic Structure
The exhibition has really two contrasting themes.

Visitor Management
There is an audioguide in one of the rooms and you are let a surtan way around the room with peaces in the middle so you can really just go one way.

The main enterance of the museum is not convinient for handicaped or people in wheel chair.

Placement Concept
The exhibition is placed inside the museum since it is their anniversary exhibition for their 200 years of existance. There were always some texts in english but everything in german, audioguide available in english and german. Digital books and animations.

Color Scheme
The rooms are different. One has earthcolors such as green, brown and grey but also a little bit read. The other room was mainly yellow with bright lights and red walls.

Lighting Concept
Soft lights in the collectors room but hard and bright in the glass jars room.
2.4 Technical Qualities
Carpenters, Glaziers, Locksmiths, Electricians, Painters
Very good technical qualities.

Exhibits / Display Cases
Easy to see and read and understand what is shown. Many different ways of displaying objects, such as glass jars, glass boxes, videos, pictures and drawers in cabinets.

All the origins are real.

Print Production
Print production was good and some of it was really big.

Media Production
Four animations were interesting and educating. Interview in german – good quality.

Conservation Issues
Climate system in one room and formalin in jars. Books in glass boxes to keep from bad humid.


3. Conservation Issues

3.1 Quality – Evaluation criteria

The exhibition is temporary but the origins and objects shown could last for a long time in sutable place.

Appearance, aesthetics, beauty
The mix of new and old are in good harmony and fits well together in this context.

Originality, attractiveness
To show a origin collection is maybe not really original but to me it is really attractive to see the madness of collecting and to think about how much time they spent on collecting.

Logic Assignments
It was in logical timeline and easy to understand.

3.2 Questionary

What’s the occasion of the exhibition?
The Berlin Museum of Natural History is celebrating 200 years of scientific innovation and the anniversary of the museum.

The three most important objects in the exhibition?
I think the glass jar room would be considered one object because it is a one collection. I think in the other room there are no objects more important than others except from one book that is in a glass cabin but has a digital version next to it.

These are presented appropriately?
They are presented in a very appropriate way. But it seems to me that the collections are equally displayed and nothing has more or less value as another object. The exhibition is showing every step in the process of collecting; class, order, species.

As the interaction of the parts is the whole?
They do not really have to go together but the whole exhibition works really good together.

What is the role of objects?
To show the quantity and diversity of origins. To show how they were collected and how they were used to educate.

How are meanings communicated?
With text, animations and an interview.

What atmospheric mood created?
I think the mood is somehow like you are in the living room of a collector but in the room where the glass jars are, it really looks more like a museum or a science labrorary rather than a livingroom.

How is the drama of the exhibition tour?
It really depends on which room you see first. There is a drama even before you go inside the glass jars room because of the climate system. You can not enter whenever you want because there are people opening doors for you. In my opinion that was the most dramatic thing of the exhibition.

As themes and content are implemented?
They show a whole collection together in groups.

What are the key messages, what insights can be gained?
This is an important part of history of nature science. The messages are to show evolution and how much work it was for those few people that were interested in the subject.

Is it worth a second visit?
Yes I think so.

The exhibition was nice in my opinion. It would have been more convinient to have the two rooms closer to each other since the first time I was there I did not see the glass jar room. I found it really fashinating to get to look at a collectors life work with all details of the process and storys about how they had to travel and so on. I think if the exhibition would have been more seperated from the Nature museum it could have had more impact on me, but maybe it was actually the best and only right place to have it in. I think it also brings up ideas about how much we really know about nature and if there are still things to be discovered.