Ethnological Collections and Asian Art

Showcasing the world’s civilisations spanning epochs and continents

On the two upper floors, approximately 20,000 exhibits from the world-renowned collections of the Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin showcase the world’s civilizations – spanning epochs and continents and opening up new perspectives on the past and present cultures of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and Oceania.

Ranging from richly carved houses from Palau to audio recordings from all over the world in the Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv: the permanent exhibition focuses on our material and immaterial heritage.

Participating in a Japanese tea ceremony or meditating in front of a statue of Buddha: the Humboldt Forum allows visitors to do all these things thanks to the collections of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst.

20,000 objects on 17,000 square meters

Visitors come away wanting to know more about the collection’s history and about religious questions, contemporary art and the importance of craftsmanship. The exhibition features rituals, performances and perspectives of indigenous communities in order to engage critically with the colonial heritage and the role of Europe.

Contemporary art

Contemporary works of art and interventions can be found in all exhibition spaces of the Ethnologisches Museum and Museum für Asiatische Kunst. In addition to Antonio Olé’s township wall and the expansive work of art by Marianna Castillo Deball, installations that deal with the effects of the colonial era in the African present, are particularly impressive.


The Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst belong to the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (SMB)

From our Magazine

Discover the exhibitions