Continuing the thread from last time, this post takes us again to the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Hamburg for a look at another of its colorful displays. This bold black-and-purple gallery presents a "cabinet of curiosities" in which the objects are grouped according to aesthetic criteria rather than geographic or cultural origin or the like. Part of the aesthetic effect in this Kunstkammer is achieved not just by the objects but the display: the strongly contrasting colors and recessed cases are very eye-catching. The radiant cases drew me toward them, a moth to the flame. (A similar concept of colorful cubes sunken into a black wall appears in the Neues Museum in Berlin.) What I find so smart about the flashy display concept in this instance is that it actually advances the theme of the room: like the original Kunstkammer, it elevates aesthetic effect to the highest priority. This space demands to be experienced on an aesthetic level first and foremost. Indeed, you can hardly do otherwise — because in keeping with the original Kunstkammer concept, the only text in the entire room is the name of the room printed on the wall!
Ideas on Display
A humble space to reflect on concepts of museum display as enacted across a wide range of subjects, countries, and approaches.