Humboldt Forum
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum / Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss, digitale Reproduktion: Jester Blank GbR

November 26, 2018 - February 23, 2019

Humboldt Forum Highlights at the Kulturforum

A number of the Humboldt Forum Highlights can already be encountered at prominent sites on Museum Island . At two locations in the host institutions – Neues Museum and Pergamonmuseum – the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin present their forerunners for the Humboldt Forum from the Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst.

What significance did these artefacts have for the people who accompanied and shaped them? What do they mean to us today? Thanks to their multilayered biographies, some of the objects provide us with insights into complex historical and cultural relations, while others prove more enigmatic. The narratives spanning the histories of culture, nature and the collections will not answer every question. Nevertheless, they invite us to develop new outlooks and find our own answers.



Alexander von Humboldt probably brought back this mo-saic from Pátzcuaro in Mexico after his American expedition of 1803/04. As a work of art that fuses the pre-Columbian feather tradition with a Christian motif it bears witness to the interweaving of Spanish and Mexican history. The sublime-looking Madonna and her magnificent background are composed of countless feathers from at least thirteen different species of bird. Viewed from a specific angle, the cloak’s hummingbird feathers shimmer in the light. The faithful would keep the featherwork picture of their Madonna from Pátzcuaro in their private homes.

Featherwork Madonna
Late 18th century

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Now on view at the Gemäldegalerie at the Kulturforum, in the future in the museums on the 2nd floor in the Humboldt Forum.

Further information on the exhibitions are also available at the website of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Address, admission and opening hours


10785 Berlin
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Opening hours

Monday closed
Tuesday–Wednesday and Friday–Sunday: 10am–6pm
Thursday 10am–8pm


Old Masters paintings
10 EUR, concessions 5 EUR
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Kulturforum alle Ausstellungen
16 EUR, concessions 8 EUR
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Annual membership Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
from 25 EUR
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3-days Museum Pass Berlin
29 EUR, concessions 14,50 EUR
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Humboldt Forum Highlights

The first 15 of these Humboldt Forum Highlights were being presented between October 2018 and May 2019 in two formats: in an exhibition as well as during conversations that will be held at various locations in Berlin. The exhibition on Museum Island has been extended until the end of September 2019.

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