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Transnational History of Museums 1750-1940

International Conference of the research project Transnational history of museums, Chair for Modern Art History, TU Berlin

Venue: TU Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin
Hauptgebäude, Raum H 1035


Dr. Andrea Meyer
Prof. Dr. Bénédicte Savoy

Supported by DFG



The Museum Is Open. Towards a Transnational History of Museums 1750-1940 

Ed.: Bénédicte Savoy und Andrea Meyer

De Gruyter

2014, Ca. 272 p.

Table of contents

About the Conference

Temple of muses, site of memory, space for the mediation of taste and knowledge: The functions of the museum are manifold and are given different emphases, depending on the type of museum and the disciplinary outlook. Yet, the argument that the institution is a major venue for the construction of national identity has recurred again and again. Only recently it has been called into question by scholarly research.
The conference offers an invitation to reflect from a transnational perspective upon the tasks of museums, museum practices, and the perception of museum culture inside and outside of Europe. Which models from abroad were imported by museum representatives in order to give their own collections a certain profile? To what extent were “foreign” principles of order and hanging appropriated? Can the international networks on which museum experts relied be reconstructed? How can we describe the activities of commissions that were assigned to explore the organisation of museums beyond their geographic borders? Did an internationally inspired taste have any influence on the planning, the architectural settings or the compositions of collections? Central to the conference is the discussion of the museum as a product of cross-border processes of exchange and transfer between 1750 and 1940.


Bénédicte Savoy (Berlin) und Andrea Meyer (Berlin): Einführung: Transnationale Museumsgeschichte

Sektion 1: Collecting Points for Displaced Objects. Museums and the Transnational Circuits of Artefacts
Moderation: Elsa von Wezel (Berlin)

Waltraud Bayer (Graz): The Imperial Hermitage under Revolutionary Rule

Charlotte Schreiter (Berlin): Konkurrenz, Austausch, Vergleich. Abguss-Museen im 19. Jahrhundert in transnationaler Perspektive

Mirjam Brusius (Berlin): Der Nahe Osten im Depot. Assyrische Museumsobjekte als kulturelle Herausforderung im Viktorianischen England

Sektion 2: Constructing des Museum. Cross-Border Transfers of Architectural and Display Principles
Moderation: Sven Kuhrau (Berlin)

Stefanie Heraeus (Frankfurt am Main): Oberlicht aus Paris: der Baustop der Kasseler Gemäldegalerie im Jahr 1750

Miklós Székely (Budapest): Architecture – Collection – Representation. Paradigm Shift in Museum Architecture 1830-1930 or the Shape of the Ideal Museum

Alessandra Galizzi Kroegel (Trient): Guglielmo Pacchioni, his International Network and the Dawn of the “Modern Museum” in Italy circa 1930

Sektion 3: Inspiring Spying? Close Inspections of the ‘Other’: Commissions and Experts on Tour
Moderation: Sabine Beneke (Berlin)

Thomas Adam (Arlington): Cultural Excursions. The Transnational Transfer of Museums in the Transatlantic World 1840-1910

Arnaud Bertinet (Paris): Du musée-modèle à la peur du Uhlan: relations muséales entre l’Allemagne et la France sous le Second Empire

Lieske Tibbe (Nimwegen): Admiration and Fear: The Reports of Marius Vachon (1850-1928) on Museums of Industrial Arts in Europe

Sektion 4: Reforming the Museum: A Supranational Project
Moderation: Dorothee Wimmer (Berlin)

Alan Crookham (London) und Susanna Avery-Quash (London): Art Beyond the Nation: Eastlake’s European Vision for the National Gallery

Xavier-Paul Tilliette (Paris): Entre Museumsinsel et Manhattan: Wilhelm R. Valentiner, ambassadeur et agent de Wilhelm von Bode au Metropolitan Museum 1908-1914

Christina Kott (Paris): Die deutschen Museumskuratoren und das Internationale Museumsamt des Völkerbunds, zwischen Zurückhaltung, Ablehnung und Engagement

Sektion 5: The Museum as a Transnational Site for National Identities
Moderation: Susan Kamel (Berlin)

Emília Ferreira (Lissabon): Building up from the London 1881 Pretext: The Birth of the Portuguese National Fine Arts Museum

Ayşe H. Köksal (Istanbul): Public Art Museum as a Transnational Space for National Identities. A Case Study on Turkish Experience

Nikolaus Bernau (Berlin): Was ist Indien? Die Konstruktion einer Nation im Museum

Bärbel Küster (Karlsruhe): Koloniale (Kunst-)Museumsgründungen zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts in Afrika

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