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Rethinking Museums Politically: Berlin's Altes Museum, Museum Island and the (reconstructed) City Palace

Professor Tony Bennett (Western Sydney University) talked about "Museums, Power, Knowledge"

International Conference "Rethinking Museums Politically"

  • Date: 11 & 12 May 2017
  • Venue: TU Berlin


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. 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.



Dr. Annette Loeseke, NYU Berlin

Dr. Andrea Meyer, TU Berlin


Thursday May 11, 2017 – A 151

Welcome Bénédicte Savoy, TU Berlin
Museums, Power, Knowledge, Tony Bennett, Western Sydney University

 Friday May 12, 2017 – H 3005

Welcome and Introduction, Annette Loeseke and Andrea Meyer
From Schloss to 'Schloss': Whose museums?, Nikolaus Bernau, Architecture ans museum historian, journalist, Berlin
Personal Development as Political Principle for the Berlin Museums: Museum for All?, Elsa van Wezel, Institut für Museumsforschung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Coffee Break
Museum Architecture and Location: The Legacy of Berlin`s Altes Museum, Annette Loeseke, New York University Berlin
Exhibiting the Museum. Presenting the History of Berlin's Museum Island, Tom Duncan, Duncan McCauley, Berlin
Panel-Discussion: Rethinking Museums Politically, Nikolaus Bernau, Tom Duncan, Elsa van Wezel
Moderated by Annette Loeseke and Andrea Meyer

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