Sunday, January 20, 2008

Visiting Nuremberg: The "Neues Museum" and the "DB Museum"

Yesterday I was in Nuremberg. The capital of the Franconian County in Bavaria is well known in Germany for it's Christmas market and the traditional Christmas sweets like "Lebkuchen". The last time I visited this town during my studies in 2003 on a step to Munich. We visited the "Neues Museum" (which hosted exhibits of the "Neue Sammlung" design collection at this time) and the Nazi buildings with the world war II documentation centre. At my trip yesterday I decided to see the "Neues Museum" (new museum) again and was disappointed. In 2003 I was surprised by the freshness of the building and the ambivalence of industrial design and contemporary art side by side. The design items are at the present time not showed, but the art collection did not benefit from the surplus of space. It is a fact that you will find some famous artists like Beuys or Avramidis, but you will miss a general system or a path. The permanent art exhibition looks like an overdimensioned flea market of expensive works without any system. Even a private collector would invest more time in a concept of uniformity or a patchwork. So it is not a wonder that this museum has a lack of visitors, even if it is in the heart of town. It is too boring for tourists and too poor in exhibits for art fans. Let's see what happens when the design collection is back!

After this shock the "DB Museum" was a real oasis! The Museum of three former state owened companies (Deutsche Bahn - the railways, Deutsche Post and Deutsche Telekom) shows the history of technology under a strict chronological order. Many objects are of course also stepstones of industrial design. The museum is also very friendly to children, many things could be touched or be put in operation. From a design aspect interesting in the railway department was the 1:1 model of the ICE 3 (incl. the interior!) designed by Alexander Neumeister and Siemens; corporate design manuals, posters and furniture of stations. The communication department showed some cars, a good phone collection (they could be tried) and also posters. Here I missed a good attribution to stamp design (but this is showed at the other museums of the Deutsche Post). A seperate hall on the other side of the street, shows some additional rolling stock without any explanation.
In general this museum shows not the great treasures of technology, but if the criteria is the education, it could be one of the best in teaching technology and its history.

With 4€ for every museum the admission price was fair.

Click on the picture to see the photo album of this excursion:


Sander said...

I have recently visited the Neues Museum and put the story and images at my weblog, see also here.

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