Space

Although relevant to the nature of its subject, art history has yet to play a leading role in the debate concerning the “spatial turn”. The research group “Space” has therefore adopted scientifically substantiated approaches to archiving, storage and display and applies them to the historical (collection) rooms in Marbach, Weimar and Wolfenbüttel. In so doing, it makes them visible as an archive of the politics of memory. The MWW institutions represent a broad museum-historical spectrum: their collection practices range from bourgeois poet residences to the “national museums” established during the years of the German empire, each of which possessing its own architectural idioms, presentation strategies, order and classification systems.

The research group “Space” plans to organise workshops at all three locations to discuss their respective collection rooms in their original state. In addition to cultural-historical topics, the group will address museological issues as well: How do the institutions reflect the layers of history in their building? What role do superimposed layers of time play in museum-related praxis? Under what conditions does it make sense to (realistically or virtually) reconstruct lost collection presentations, and how can these be integrated into permanent exhibitions and online services? The goal of the collaboration is to produce a publication highlighting the partly iconic, partly unknown spatial ensembles of the partner institutions.

The participants of the research group “Space” are comprised of MWW staff, museum curators and external experts in the field of spatial research and museum history. Its important cooperation partners include the Department of Literary Museums, Archives and Memorial Sites in Baden-Württemberg, and the working group 3-D Reconstruction of the DHd organisation. A thematic connection exists with the case study    Art and Memoria which addresses, among other things, the now publicly inaccessible first floor of the Nietzsche-Archiv in Weimar.

What is the goal of the project?

The goal of the project is to engage in in-depth study of the historical collection rooms of the partner institutions in terms of both knowledge history and museological practice. The format of the research group serves to promote internal and external networking.

How will the findings be communicated?

The project is producing a richly illustrated publication similar to an inventory of historical collection rooms – in front of and behind the scenes. This could be potentially supplemented by digital reconstructions of lost collection spaces and staged interventions in the partner institutions.

How much time does participation require?

We plan to hold two workshops per year beginning in autumn 2020. The members of the research group can participate in the publication and will have a chance to conduct basic research on location.