A place for knowledge to multiply
Berlin’s historical centre is about to become a site for the cultures of the world: the Humboldt-Forum will open its doors in 2019 in the partially reconstructed Berlin City palace. The Humboldt-Forum is the most important cultural project under way in Germany at the present moment. With its completion, Berlin will, in a few years, possess a cultural centre whose reach will be felt on a national and international scale.
With the Museum of Ethnology and the Museum of Asian Art the National Museums in Berlin – Prussian Cultural Heritage preside over vast collections of non-European art and culture. These two collections, currently housed in Dahlem in the south-west of the city, will find a new home and display format for future exhibitions in the Humboldt-Forum. The two other partners and principle users of the Humboldt-Forum are the Humboldt University and the Central and Regional Library Berlin. The Humboldt University will use the Humboldt-Forum to display its scientific collections, the Central and Regional Library Berlin will move some of its holdings to the new site.
The unique feature of the Humboldt-Forum is the degree of collaboration between the institutions involved. No longer seen as separate entities, the museums, university and library will interact with each other through a series of closely-related collaborative projects. This integrative concept stems from the history of the site itself: the roots of the Humboldt-Forum lie in a Wunderkammer, or cabinet of marvels, called the Königliche Kunstkammer (royal cabinet of art), which was originally housed at the palace that once stood here. True to the panoptic, near encyclopaedic principle behind the historical Wunderkammer, in the future Humboldt-Forum knowledge will also be conveyed to the public in an interconnected, multi-disciplinary way. This means that joint exhibitions and events, as well as national and international joint projects will be permanent features of the Humboldt-Forum. The resulting dialogue between scholarly research and the public, between science and art will open up new perspectives, form bridges between the cultures and transcend the boundaries between the various fields of study. The Humboldt-Forum will thus become a place of reflection in a world increasingly shaped by global interconnection, in short, a place for knowledge to multiply.
The Forum is indebted, both for its concept and name, to the intellectual legacy of the von Humboldt brothers. Wilhelm’s occupation with language and literature paved the way for the style of research conducted in the humanities today, while Alexander’s expeditions to the Americas and Asia continue to provide the basis for the discovery of and interaction with foreign peoples, as well as the importance of contact between cultures from various continents. Like Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt in the past, the future visitors of the Humboldt-Forum will encounter the unexpected. They will get the chance to both reflect on their own viewpoint and redefine their position in the globalized world of the 21st century.
The recently opened Humboldt-Box
right next to the building site of the Berlin Schloss provides an insight into the conceptional ideas that will shape the future Humboldt-Forum and into various possible collaborations between its principal users.
Weitere Informationen zum Humboldt-Forum
| || ||May 2011 saw the publication of a brochure on the Humboldt-Forum, released in German: Hermann Parzinger: Das Humboldt-Forum. „Soviel Welt mit sich verbinden als möglich”. Aufgabe und Bedeutung des wichtigsten Kulturprojekts in Deutschland zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts. The brochure was published by the Stiftung Berliner Schloss – Humboldtforum and has 52 pages. (The print version is available for the token price of €1.)|
|Thomas Flierl and Hermann Parzinger (ed.): Humboldt-Forum Berlin. Das
Projekt / The Project. Published in 2009 by Theater der Zeit. |
The museum issue of this publication is available at all book stands at
the National Museums in Berlin for the reduced price of €9.50 (normal
retail price: €28).