AG Museum Culture
Museums keep and preserve cultural objects, yet in doing so they prove to be cultural constructs themselves. As a product of shared believes in a society, museums are subject to societal changes. The working group seeks to explore the manifold layers of museum culture by means of theoretical discussions and various events.
The group’s regular work unfolds in three ways: Firstly, during their regular meetings, the AG discusses theoretical texts on varying core themes. Secondly, the group visits different museums in Giessen and its surroundings in order to jointly examine exhibition practices, accessibility and self-understandings of the institutions. These aspects are thirdly analysed within short reviews, which are published in the context of an interactive museum map. This map is called Museumsschwätzer and serves three purposes: It enables interested parties to get an overview as well as in-depth information about Giessen’s diverse regional museum landscape. Similarly, the interactive map makes the outcomes of the group’s discussions available to a wider audience, and finally, it calls for public engagement in the form of personal accounts and experiences.
Apart from their regular work, the AG members frequently organise different events that correspond to the respective semester focus. An overview of the different events and semester topics can be found here.
All GGK/GCSC doctoral students who are curious about these or other aspects of museum culture are welcome to attend the group's meetings. Please contact one of the speakers of the AG if you are interested. In order to receive updates on public events, museum visits and excursions organised by the AG, you can simply send an email (subject: subscribe museumculture-events) to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeannette Oholi (Co-Speaker) 
Amanda Rosasco Mazzini (Speaker) [ ]
Regina Leonie Schmidt
Winter Semester 2018/2019
In the winter semester the AG worked on refocusing the Museumsschwätzer website and on a new design for the website. In addition, strategies were developed to make the site accessible to a wider audience.
Excursion to the exhibition "Krieg. Macht. Sinn" in the Ruhr-Museum, Essen and workshop with curator Prof. Dr. Wulf Kansteiner | Dec 6-7, 2018
Summer Semester 2018
In the summer semester, the working group continues its work on the topic of postcolonial debates concerning the museum. To this end, the members visit museums and hold discussions with curators and researchers in order to gain a better understanding of the framework conditions for institutional reappraisal. At the same time, the Museumsschwätzer website is being revised.
Visit of the Weltkulturenmuseum in Frankfurt and talk with curator Mona Suhrbier | May 11, 2018
Excursion to Bremen and Hamburg | June 7-9, 2018
Visit of the Überseemuseum in Bremen and talk with the curator Silke Seybold. Visit of the Völkerkundemuseum in Hamburg and talk with the research group "Hamburgs (post-)koloniales Erbe/Hamburg und die frühe Globalisierung" and the group "Hamburg postcolonial".
Workshop at the Herder-Institut in Marburg | July 2, 2018
Winter Semester 2017/2018
The winter term 2017/18 is under the topic of postcolonial debates concerning the museum. We are focussing on questions of representation of non-european cultures in museums as well as on the appropriation and looting of non-european art and material culture within (post-) colonial dependencies. In this respect the workinggroup discusses texts for example by James Clifford, traces the lasting effects of Giessen's own colonial past, and organizes a multi-day fieldtrip to Hamburg and Bremen in order discuss postcolonial theory and its practical applications in the museum.
City tour an discussion with the project "gießen postkolonial" with Sebastian Garbe and JLU students | Jan 31, 2018
Summer Semester 2017
In the Summer Semester of 2017, the group explores the notion of the depot. How has the concept of the depot changed over the decades? What characterises the relationship between depot, temporary and permanent exhibitions, and how can this relationship best be shaped today? With these questions in mind, the AG discusses texts, e.g. by York Langenstein and Bettina Habsburg-Lothringen, and the members exchange their thoughts with museum experts such as the director of the documenta archive.
Visit of the Senckenberg-Museum and Meeting with Bernrd Herkner and visit to the Deutsche Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt| May 12, 2017
Visit of the art collection of the University Göttingen guided by the curator Verena Suchy and talk with Judith Blume about the planning of the Forum Wissen | June 30, 2017
Visit of the documenta 14 in Kassel | July 21, 2017
Winter Semester 2016/17
With a view to coordinating its own exhibition project, in the Winter Semester of 2016/17, the AG concerned itself with the basics of curating. Readings, for instance of texts by Philipp Aumann and Frank Duerr, marked the beginning of the semester. Moreover, at Museum Friedland, curator Joachim Baur conducted a workshop on curating specifically for the group. The AG applied their new insights in the context of their exhibition preparations. Cooperating with RA7, the group transformed the results of the workshop "Sensorial Encounters and Visualisations of Space" into a multisensorial and interactive exhibition. It shed light on the role of the senses in the experience of the city space. Titled “Making a Home in Giessen,” the exhibition was on view at the Atrium of the Giessen city hall for six weeks and was well received by its visitors.
Curation Workshop with Joachim Bauer and trip to the Museum Friedland | Nov 15, 2016
Meeting with Kristina Leipold from the Google Cultural Institute | Nov 28, 2016
Visit of the Mathematikum and meeting with Elisabeth Maaß | Dec 6, 2016
Visit of the printing museum Setzkasten guided by the owner Peter Georg Kaluza | Feb 10, 2017
Summer Semester 2016
In the Summer Semester of 2016, the working group continued to concern itself with media and museums by shifting to a range of topics that currently condition various aspects of museum work. Digital media become increasingly relevant for museums and many procedures, practices, and scenarios are moved into the digital realm. Digital solutions help in organising collections, in museum education before, during and after the visit, and they are equally used in order to present entirely virtual exhibitions. In light of these developments, the working group addressed phenomena and practices of digitalisation in museums. In its meetings, the group compared different online options for visitors of digital and analogue museums. Moreover, talking with practising professionals, the group tried to fathom the current relevance and future development of using digital media and practices in museums.
Viewing of Exhibition on Screen: Painting the Modern Garden – Monet to Matisse (Trailer)| May 25, 2016
Meeting with Isabelle Bastian in the archive of the Filmmuseum Frankfurt | June 10, 2016
Winter Semester 2015/16
In the Winter Semester of 2015/16, the AG looked at questions surrounding the social and cultural function of museums. By means of a film series on the topic of “Movie Meets Museum, the group investigated the staging of museums in film and discussed these depictions in view of their impacts, narrative forms, and representations. For this purpose, the AG took into account reflections on the interplay between both genres in Steven Jacob’s “Strange Exhibitions: Museums and Art Galleries in Film” (2009) as well as in Hans Christian Eberl’s and Herbert Posch’s “Museum und Film” (2003). What kind of images of museums are constructed in these films? Which insights do they give and which aspects of the institution that often remain unseen are made visible through the films? The film series was organised in cooperation with the AG Moving Images and the Oberhessisches Museum Gießen and was set in the premises of the Altes Schloss in Giessen.
Screening Event "Het Nieuwe Rijksmuseum" (Trailer), Altes Schloss Gießen | Nov 11, 2015
Visit of the Kunsthalle Gießen | Dec 3, 2015
Screening Event "Museum Hours" (Trailer), Altes Schloss Gießen | Dec 09, 2015
Screening Event "La Ville Louvre" (Trailer), Altes Schloss Gießen | Jan 20, 2016
Visit of the Liebig-Museum with guided tour | Jan 21, 2016
Screening Event "Art's Home is my Kassel – 100 Tage documenta-Stadt" (Trailer) | Feb 03, 2016
Day trip to Kassel | Feb 05, 2016
Visit of Grimmwelt and meeting with its director Susanne Völker; meeting with Harald Kimpel in the exhibition UTOPIE documenta in the Stadtmuseum.
Summer Semester 2015
In the Summer Semester of 2015, the AG was mainly concerned with questions surrounding the spirit and purpose of participation and interactivity in museums. On the basis of Nina Simon’s book “The Participatory Museum” (2010), the group discussed definitions, chances, and challenges of the concept. The results of this discussion were then applied to and expanded in the course of an excursion to Berlin, during which the members of the AG and experts from cultural institutions discussed their intentions and experiences in relation to participatory models.
Meeting with Markus Lepper, chairman of the Kunstverein | May 12, 2015
Visit of the Oberhessisches Museum, Gießen (Wallenfels’sches Haus) | May 28, 2015
Meeting with Sabine Philipp, director of the Oberhessisches Museum, Gießen | June 29, 2015
Excursion to Berlin | July 18 - 22, 2015
Winter Semester 2014/15
In the Winter Semester 2014/15 the AG was newly assembled. In its orientation phase the members started to follow recent discussions about museums and began to explore the local museum landscape.
Museum visit and Movie Session, Frankfurt am Main | Nov 23, 2014
Day Trip to the Museum für Kommunikation and the movie “Das Große Museum” (Trailer)
Movie Session, Frankfurt am Main | Jan 23, 2015
Visit to the "National Gallery“ via movie screening (Trailer)
Visit of the Oberhessisches Museum, Gießen (Altes Schloss) | Jan 25, 2015
Day Trip to the Kunstweg, Gießen | Feb 6, 2015
Summer Semester 2014
Excursion to Berlin | July 4 – 6, 2014
This visit to Berlin was organised by three working groups: Museum Culture, Culture Management and Game Studies. We chose a broad variety of museums and looked for different levels of implementation of new media. The group was interested in the degree to which new media are used at different institutions as well as in the challenges that have to be met when a physical or a digital object becomes the focus of an exhibition. A report on the excursion and a more detailed programme are available here.
Exhibit, Giessen | June 12 - July 07, 2013
The exhibit "Tout le monde kaput" – the First World War in comics – was realized in cooperation with the Historical Institute for Modernity (Dr. Bettina Severin-Barboutie) and the GGK's Section 11 on Holocaust rememberance and was displayed in the exhibit space of JLU Giessen's library. Project coordinator for the AG Museum Culture: Fabian Stein.
AG Museum Culture Blog
Blog on events and activities until 2013: http://museumskultur.wordpress.com
Day trip to the Deutsches Filmmuseum and institute, Frankfurt-Main | Feb 09, 2012
An excursion for our AG and the AG Film and Film Theory that included a conversation with the curator about the Filmmuseum's new permanent exhibit.
Trip to the Städel Museum, Frankfurt-Main | June 16, 2012
'Art and its presentation' was the theme of our trip to the Städel. The focus was on the recent architectural expansion of the museum – designed to house the contemporary art collection – that includes a new subterranean structure under the garden and a new, polychromatic design for the wall of the existing building. Press officer Axel Braun was on site to detail the concept for the new construction and its genesis. Subsequently, the AG surveyed the museum's permanent collection.
Excursion to Dresden | Nov 17-19, 2012
The AG Museum Culture and the recently established AG Power and Violence immersed themselves in Dresden's museum landscape, a diverse scene that offered numerous points of connection with the main hypotheses of both AGs. A report on the excursion and a more detailed programme are available here.
Day trip to Stuttgart | Dec 07, 2012
The AG Museum Culture's excursion to Stuttgart arose as a follow-up to the workshop on the excavation and exhibition of artefacts lead by Dr. Caroline von Nicolai. For the second part of the day we visited the workshop, since it was best to consider the planning and execution of the exhibit concept on-site. We met with curator Peggy Goede Montalván for an expert tour of the Linden Museum and a sneak-peek at the coming exhibit on Incan civilization. A report on the excursion and a more detailed programme are available here.
Excursion to the Städel Museum | Feb 17, 2011
On 17 February 2011 the AG Museum Culture undertook a trip to the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, where we visited an exhibit on the chronology of images and enjoyed a conversation with one of its curators.
Workshop with Harold Vits: Exhibit catalogues – Design and production | July 05, 2011
In early July the AG arranged a workshop with Harold Vits (office of design, Mannheim) on the stages of exhibit catalogue production, from design concept to final print. The workshop took place from 10 am – 2 pm at Justus Liebig University.
Day trip to Wolfenbüttel | Jan 19, 2010
This mid-winter day-trip to the Herzog-August library in Wolfenbüttel and the graphic-arts exhibit on the marriage of image and book included its virtual gallery of prints. Visiting in person enabled us to see to advantage the image databank, and to evaluate the potential of a digital image in comparison with the original.
Visit to the storehouse of the Museum of Applied Art, Frankfurt-Main | Feb 22, 2010
Usually only about 10% of a museum's collection is exhibited at any one time. But where and how is the remaining 90% housed? The AG will investigate this and other questions over the course of a tour of the Museum of Applied Art's storage areas.
Excursion to Stuttgart's museums | Sep 29- Nov 01, 2010
A report on the excursion and a more detailed programme are available here.
The main topic of the working group in 2009 was "Curating cultural knowledge". Against the background of present discussions about different forms of visualization and coming from a theoretical and practical perspective it dealt with the possibilities and limits of visualizing and publicly sharing the current research of cultural studies in different exhibition projects.
Excursion to Berlin's museums | Feb 24 - 26, 2009
This three day trip to Berlin explored the long-lasting change of the local museum landscape. The group visited i.a. the new monument for the murdered Jews in Europe, the Pei-building of the Deutsches Historisches Museum and the renovated Bode-Museum.
Excursion to the Museum für Kommunikation, Frankfurt/Main | 2009
Excursion to the Filmmuseum with Filminstitut, Frankfurt/Main | 2009
Excursion to the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt/Main | 2009
Excursion to Cologne | Oct 2 - 3, 2009
A report on the excursion and a more detailed programme are available here.
Master Class with Prof. Dr. Olaf Peters: "Curating cultural knowledge - Dix and the Neue Sachlichkeit as a research and exhibition topic" | Dec 1, 2009
Founding of the AG Museum Culture by Christiane Holm and Lutz Hengst.
Exhibition concept wins ideas competition presented by the Hessiches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst | 2009
A short description of the concept and of the award ceremony's official press release can be found here:
The exhibition was realised together with the "Hessenpark" in 2012: Link to the exhibition's website.