Rethinking Museums Politically
Thursday, May 11 2017 All Day

The conference will discuss how museums might translate their museological legacy into the 21st century and retain socio-political relevance in an enforced dialogue with architectural symbols of political as well as corporate power in today's urban spaces.

Since its opening in 1830, Karl Friedrich Schinkel's Altes Museum has been located in Berlin's highly symbolic centre, defined by the royal City Palace, Cathedral and Armory. While the museum's performative architecture responds to its location, the current curatorial concept and display no longer reflect the original museological significance of the building.

Taking Berlin's Altes Museum as a case study, the conference seeks to reconsider the museum's transhistorical political role and ask how the museum might critically respond to contemporary political controversies about the reconstruction of a former royal/imperial City Palace considered to house the non-European Ethnological Museum and Asian Art Museum.


Thursday 11 May 2017

  • 18:00 Welcome Bénédicte Savoy, TU Berlin
  • 18:15 Museums, Power, Knowledge
    Tony Bennett, Western Sydney University
  • 19:00 Reception

Friday 12 May 2017

  • 10:00 Welcome and Introduction
    Annette Loeseke and Andrea Meyer
  • 10:15 From Schloss to 'Schloss': Whose museums?
    Nikolaus Bernau, Architecture and museum historian, journalist, Berlin
  • 10:45 Personal Development as Political Principle for the Berlin Museums: Museum for All?
    Elsa van Wezel, Institut für Museumsforschung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • 11:15 Museum Architecture and Location: The Legacy of Berlin's Altes Museum
    Annette Loeseke, New York University Berlin
  • 12:00 Lunch break
  • 13:30 Museum Architecture as "Truth Spot"? Materials and Memories
    Paul Jones, University of Liverpool
  • 14:00 Design for Creative Lives
    Suzanne MacLeod, University of Leicester, School of Museum Studies
  • 14:30 Coffee break
  • 15:00 Exhibiting the Museum. Presenting the History of Berlin's Museum Island
    Tom Duncan, Duncan McCauley, Berlin
  • 15:30 Panel-Discussion: Rethinking Museums Politically
    Nikolaus Bernau, Tom Duncan, Paul Jones, Suzanne MacLeod, Elsa van Wezel
  • Moderated by Annette Loeseke and Andrea Meyer

Conference language is English.
Participation is free.
No registration required.

Institute for Art History, Architecture building &
University main building, TU Berlin
Straße des 17. Juni 135
Berlin Germany 10623

Contact Information:
Dr. Annette Loeseke

Fee: free