Thursday, July 12, 2018

A new type of museum for an age of migration

By Jason Farago
A European porcelain figure of an “oriental woman” from around 1860, right, is among the objects on display in the exhibition “Mobile Worlds” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany. Credit Geneviève Frisson/Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe
HAMBURG, Germany — When Europeans of the 18th and 19th centuries established their grandest museums, each building meant to unite the world’s cultural heritage under a single roof, they had no doubt as to who should explain it all: themselves. But the museums’ old assumptions, their methods of classification and display, remain largely untroubled. How might you reorganize a universal museum for the 21st century, an age of migration and of perpetual exchange? One of the boldest answers yet is to be found in “Mobile Worlds,” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, an applied arts museum in the northern German city of Hamburg that has a similar standing to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London or the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Mobile Worlds Through Oct. 14 at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; [More]