Whether Indian processional bull, an almost 2,500-year-old stone statue from Central America or the 3D print of a primordial fossil – from October 2018 to May 2019 the Humboldt Forum Highlights presented an exhibition and a series of talks to give an impression of the sheer thematic diversity which will be on show at the Humboldt Forum in future.
What connects the humped bull Nandi, quauhcoatl the eagle-serpent, a featherwork Madonna, the marble statue of Frederick III, an old safe door and the wet specimen of a gorilla’s hand? The answer is that they are all forerunners of the internationally outstanding collections belonging to the Ethnologisches Museum, the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Stadtmuseum Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss. In future, 20,000 works of art, spiritual objects and everyday items from Asia, Africa, America and Oceania will be exhibited at the Humboldt Forum.
The first fifteen Humboldt Forum Highlights were being presented in two formats from October 2018 to May 2019 – in two exhibitions on Museumsinsel and at the Kulturforum as well as in eight talks at various venues in Berlin. These material witnesses provided a first impression of the plethora of exciting histories and contemporary issues with which they are associated. And it remains to be seen whether any further – and possibly entirely unexpected – connections can be discovered.
The presentation of the first fifteen Humboldt Forum Highlights were supplemented by some new perspectives on the objects, with the newspaper Der Tagesspiegel and the television programme rbb Kultur.
The Humboldt Forum Highlights all provided a sense of orientation and took on a special status within their respective exhibitions. They moved us, fascinated us and raised questions. What stories are they connected with? What meanings did – and do – they have for people? How did they get here? What can we learn from them? What fears and apprehensions do they speak of? What hopes, expectations, longings and wishes? The Humboldt Forum Highlights encouraged visitors to engage at a deeper level with the things that move people in very different cultural contexts and epochs, and to take a look at that which divides and that which connects.
The Humboldt Forum Highlights presented selected examples of the thematic diversity which will be on show in the collections when history, science, art and culture are reconfigured in the heart of Berlin, juxtaposing assorted perspectives from the worlds of yesterday and today, and from near and far.