Object Lessons on our Museum’s History
Trainee Lisa Renner performing inventory; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: David Studniberg
I still remember my first day of work at the museum well, some months ago. Together with two new colleagues, I rode the elevator one floor down, we passed through two secured doors, and there we were: in the warehouse. There on two iron shelves towered bulging boxes and cartons as well as all kinds of objects — and with them, my job for the next eight months as an academic volunteer at the Jewish Museum Berlin: to set up a little special exhibition on the history of the museum itself.
Somewhat at a loss, I rummaged through a hodgepodge of exhibition papers, invitations, and photographs of people I didn’t know, and asked myself what a wire-frame goose on skateboard wheels or an old elevator sign were doing in a museum. → continue reading
Golem Costume for Death, Destruction, and Detroit II at the Schaubühne Berlin, 1987. Directed by Robert Wilson; Lender: The Jewish Museum, New York
The Golem is brought to life from inanimate material, as is the exhibition we are dedicating to him. Up until the opening on September 22, many days will be spent building, painting, felting, typesetting, printing, writing, cutting, hanging and pouring. For the celebratory opening, we have invited as our special guest, a robot who will greet the public.
REEM and REEM C at a Meet-and-Greet © PAL Robotics, Barcelona
© Scholem Archives, The Jewish National and University Library, Jerusalem, Israel
But up until that moment, there is still a lot to be done. All of the objects and works of art have already arrived in Berlin. For example, the smallest item (14.5 x 11 cm), which is roughly the size of a post-it. On this piece of paper, Gershom Scholem (1897–1982), the scholar of Jewish mysticism, noted the beginning of the so-called “Golem Recipe,” which he had discovered in a medieval manuscript during his research at Oxford. → continue reading
Conservation Work on the Boris Lurie Exhibition
Conservator Alicija Steczek in front of a work of Boris Lurie; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Stephan Lohrengel
Visitors to our exhibition “No Compromises! The Art of Boris Lurie” (further information on our website) do not usually realize that they are viewing the result of lengthy groundwork and complex collaboration between various divisions of the museum. Those involved include, among others, employees of the temporary exhibition department, the registrars who for example take care of loans and organize shipments, and us conservators. We were already on board a year and a half before the exhibition was installed. Our work continues for the duration, only coming to an end with the closing and removal of the show in early August.
Boris Lurie’s art is fascinating and very variegated as to materials. Our work to protect it is thus correspondingly elaborate. → continue reading