Here’s to Good Neighbors!
News from 19.06.2017
On the way to the Humboldt Forum with new neighbors: even during the relocation process, highlights from the Museum für Asiatische Kunst and the Ethnologisches Museum of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin are on display, making a guest appearance on the Museumsinsel as heralds of the Humboldt Forum.©SPK/Stefan Müchler
The eyes of the statues of the Classical gods are all on Vishnu, who has found a new temporary home at the center of the rotunda of the Altes Museum. Twenty-five objects from the Ethnologisches Museum (Ethnological Museum) and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Asian Art Museum) are making a guest appearance as “New Neighbors” on the Museumsinsel (Museum Island) until September 24, 2017. The presentations, conceived as interventions in the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Bode Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie, contrast objects from various eras, regions, subject areas, and narratives in a variety of ways. They encourage the visitors to imagine how things will be from 2019 onwards, when the unique interplay between the Museumsinsel and the Humboldt Forum will make the center of Berlin into a multi-perspectival lens onto world cultures.
The Altes Museum is hosting objects from the Museum für Asiatische Kunst and the Ethnologisches Museum in eleven different places, where masterpieces of very different origins enter into dialogue, illuminating parallels and contrasts between traditions that are far apart in geographical terms. Three Buddhist objects from the second to third centuries reveal unexpected connections between Europe and Asia in ancient times.
Objects from the early history of Mexico join the company of the archaeological collections presented in the Neues Museum. Zapotecan and Aztec artifacts from the Ethnologisches Museum testify not only to the richness of the cultures of Central America in pre-colonial times, but also to the universal appeal of archaeological research and collecting.
The topic of landscape painting can be explored in a wholly new way through the art of Japanese umbrella-painting in the Alte Nationalgalerie. As part of the “New Neighbors” project, these large landscapes from the eighteenth century are being placed alongside works by Caspar David Friedrich. Meanwhile, on the first exhibition floor of the Alte Nationalgalerie, Thomas Theodor Heine's Devil is facing off against the figure of Wuzhiqi, the guardian spirit of the Huai and Guo rivers.
The Bode Museum is hosting encounters between elaborate sculptures from Africa and from Europe – a foretaste of the exhibition Beyond Compare, which is due to open in the autumn. The presentation will not only examine what art forms have in common and what differentiates them, but also how the significance of comparing works of art has changed over the course of history. A sculpture from the Kingdom of Benin (now part of Nigeria) is already making a guest appearance this summer, as the prelude to this high-profile exhibition spanning many different eras and cultures.