From Velázquez’ Portrait of a Lady in the Gemäldegalerie to the tile fields of Iznik ceramics in the Pergamon Museum: in six houses of the National Museums in Berlin at the Kulturforum, in Dahlem, in Köpenick and on the Museum Island Berlin, 30 museum guards present their favourite works from the Gemäldegalerie, the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Egyptian Museum, the Museum of Islamic Art, the Museum of the Ancient Near East, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Museum of European Cultures.
Image above: Gerard Janssen in front of the portrait of a lady by Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez in the Gemäldegalerie © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie / Valerie Schmidt
Hardly anyone spends as much time with the objects in museums as the security staff. Day in and day out, museum guards watch over the works, greet visitors and develop their very own relationship with entire collections and individual exhibits. From a wide variety of backgrounds and with a wide range of interests and experiences, the participants have a very personal, everyday view of the works and thus open up diverse perspectives that are to be made visible in the context of the special presentation.
“Every Day at the Museum. Museum guards present their favourite works” is a cross-collection exhibition intervention in which a total of 34 works from the permanent exhibitions of the Gemäldegalerie, the Museum of Islamic Art and the Museum of the Ancient Near East in the Pergamonmuseum, the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection in the Neues Museum, the Collection of Classical Antiquities in the Altes Museum, the Museum of European Cultures and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Köpenick Palace were selected by the supervisors guarding them in each case and are now highlighted on site with accompanying text and quotations.
For example, Daniela Böttcher, supervisor at the Altes Museum, emphasises with regard to the antique statue of a boy: “I always have the feeling that you have to take the little one by the hand and protect him”. “Oil and canvas. It’s all just material. But then the artist creates a soul with these materials,” remarks Gerard Janssen, a staff member at the information desk in the Picture Gallery, looking at a portrait by Velázquez. “It reminds me of my home, the former Yugoslavia, because these objects are still used there today” reports Amela Jusufovic when looking at a Sicilian cart in the Museum of European Cultures. In this way, various insights and emotional connections to works become clear that many visitors would have missed.
With contributions by Daniela Böttcher, Michael Buchholz, Thomas Burghardt, Azzad Ismail Dhif, Klaus Fritzsche, Volkmar Gauger, Wladimir Gluchow, Jochen H., Gerard Janssen, Amela Jusufovic, Simone K., Johanna Lange, Christiane Lehmert, Mathias Menzel, Alina-Diana Mindrila, Harmut Peters, Sylvia Pflüger, Christian Pischel, Thomas R., Ollha Savielieva, Volker Schmidt, Thomas S., Uwe Teßmann, Jeannette Wolf a.o.
The special presentation was conceived by Lisa Botti and Catalina Heroven in collaboration with Jill Praus.
“Every Day at the Museum. Aufsichten präsentieren ihre Lieblingswerke” was developed as part of the event series “Weitwinkel. Global Collection Perspectives” with the support of the project “Diversity as Narrative, Diversity as Reality” at the Museum of Islamic Art. The project is funded in the programme 360° – Fund for Cultures of the New Urban Society of the Federal Cultural Foundation.
Gemäldegalerie, Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin-Tiergarten
Antikensammlung, on the Museum Island (at Altes Museum, Neues Museum and Pergamonmuseum), 10178 Berlin-Mitte
Ägyptisches Museum (at Neues Museum), Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin-Mitte
Museum für Islamische Kunst (at Pergamonmuseum), Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin-Mitte
Vorderasiatisches Museum (at Pergamonmuseum), Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin-Mitte
Kunstgewerbemuseum, Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin-Tiergarten
Museum Europäischer Kulturen, Arnimallee 25, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem