A number of the Humboldt Forum Highlights could already be encountered at prominent sites on Museum Island and in the Kulturforum. At a total of eight locations in the host ins-titutions – Gemäldegalerie, Neues Museum, Altes Museum and Pergamonmuseum – the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin presented 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.
Late 18th century
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.
Tuesday–Wednesday and Friday–Sunday: 10am–6pm
Old Masters paintings
10 EUR, concessions 5 EUR
Kulturforum alle Ausstellungen
16 EUR, concessions 8 EUR
Annual membership Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
from 25 EUR
3-days Museum Pass Berlin
29 EUR, concessions 14,50 EUR
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.