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Archive for the ‘Museums’ Category

Digital Curation

I know it’s been ages since I posted anything, but I have recently become inspired to start a series of blog posts about museums. I know I have written about museums in the past, such as the Buchheim and, of course, the BMW Museum where I work. But I thought it would be good for me to keep a focus among my blogs….so museums it is!

A hot topic at the moment is museums, particularly in new museums and the curation of new exhibits, is the idea of the Virtual Museum. My first contact with this idea came while I was at my new job; the online tool department transformed the collection of the Staatliche Kunstsammlung Dresden (Dresden State Art Collections) into a Second Life platform. That means those who are registered on Second Life with their own digital self, or sometimes called an avatar, can virtually walk through the museum and view digitized works of art!

At first the idea struck me as disappointing; why would someone look at a mini-copy of a work of art on his or her computer screen instead of going to see the actual work? But then again this goes back to the issue of movie theaters having problems with viewers streaming movies online…

The advantage to digitizing museums has one crystal clear advantage; education and research. Although many museums still have The other interesting idea behind the Second Life museum is that it differentiates itself from online museum archives, which have already been around for a few year, in spatial aspects, presentation, and pedagogical strategies. Welcome the birth of digital curation…

I read an article in the New York Times (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 8.Feb.2010) entitled “Online, It’s the Mouse That Runs the Museum.” The article explores the advantages to digital museum presentation and curation. Because of the general knowledge of social media platforms (a.k.a facebook and Twitter), web users are becoming more accustomed to having influence on subject material. At the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which will open in Warsaw in 2012, a virtual platform allows web users to support the collection by sending their own photographs, videos, etc. Even more exciting is the French project for the Museum of Afghan Civilization, which only exists in digital form. Its goal is to allow people in Afghanistan to share photographs that are taken there in areas where computers are scare. A new way of communicating culture! The founder of this museum stated, “Curators are starting to realize that they can be challenged by the audience.”

What a wonderful idea! I’ll have to admit, I’ll be excited if at some point I cross paths with a digital curating project!

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BMW Begeisterung

“Begeisterung” is a German word, most commonly translated to “enthusiasm,” but one of the things I like so much about the German language is its use of word montage, creating a word out of many others or prefixes and suffixes, so that if you take it all apart you great the true meaning of the word. “Geist” I’m sure many of my English readers know. It means “spirit” or “ghost.” By adding the be- at the beginning, it becomes “en-spirited” or “inspired.” The -ung ending changes it from a verb/adjective to an abstract noun, making it the thing which creates a spirit within you.

While going through my training as a BMW Counter worker and now a tour guide, the idea of having “Begeisterung” for BMW has continuously come up. I then wanted to post about it and maybe even pass on the Begeisterung to those who read my blog! In order to do that, I thought I’d post videos about cars in the museum.

This one is about the BMW 328, built in 1936, with roadster and race car models of which only 464 were built!

This video is about the Concept Car (a high-tech futuristic car that has never been mass produced) called the BMW GINA, a.k.a. “a philosophy”:

I hope you enjoy this…and now I’ve made another video post! Yay!

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Back in February I googled “jobs museum munich” and found an job offer for the BMW Museum. At first I applied to be a tour guide, but because I had no tour guide experience at the time, it was recommended to me that I apply for the job at the Ticket and Information Counter, which I then got. In April and May I trained for the job, and in June the new BMW Museum, expanded and reconstructed, opened and I started my job there. I really enjoy working at the museum, not only because of the mixture of German, History, Art, and Cars, but also because of the people I get to work with.

When my boss found out that I was interested in the tour guiding job, she then works things out and about three weeks ago offered me a position as a tour guide at the BMW Museum! So I’ve been studying for that like crazy (I actually should be studying instead of writing this post!) But I wanted to let everyone know about this job and post some pictures, so here you go!

This is a picture of me taken in the old temporary museum

This is a picture of me taken in the old temporary museum

BMW Welt, BMW Museum, and the Office Skyscraper

Left to right: BMW Welt, BMW Museum, and the Office Skyscraper

Me working at the counter

Me working at the counter

The Info and Ticket counter

The Info and Ticket counter

Entrance to the Museum

Entrance to the Museum

The BMW Platz

The BMW Platz

Doing a bit of studying...

Doing a bit of studying...

The BMW Isetta (I'm in the background)

The BMW Isetta (I'm in the background)

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Starnbergersee

Philipp and I had a little bit of time off, so we decided to take a day trip to Starnbergersee (or Starnberg Lake). In a way it’s the Munich equivalent of Lake Tahoe as it’s about the same distance away, but it’s no where near as big as Tahoe.

We went to an Art Museum there called the Buchheim Museum. It was created from the art collection of Lothar-Günther Buchheim, a German artist who also happens to be the author of the novel Das Boot, which was later made into an award winning film. Buchheim also founded his own publishing company which publishes his criticism of the art that he studied and collected. In the museum there were exhibits of the works that he collected juxaposed with his own works, which was very interesting, because you could see the influences.

from Max Pechstein, German Expressionist

from Max Pechstein, German Expressionist

from Buchheim, in the South Pacific

from Buchheim, in the South Pacific

You can kind of see the influences here, although I would like to find better examples. I can’t find the exact same pictures from the two artists on the internet (I suppose I should have written the names of the works down, but I just didn’t think of it at the time.) Two things I find interesting about Buchheim’s stylist evolution are 1. he used Asian paintbrushes, which he held vertically and 2. you can tell by the laying of the paint colors that he first painted the colors and then the outlines. This means that his eye sees color first, and then form. I usually paint by first sketching or drawing the outlines, and then color them in, so I’m curious to try Buchheim’s technique.

There were also two exhibits, one on top of the other, of other German Expressionists and of African art. I was amazing to see the resemblances!

An African mask like the ones in the exhibit

An African mask like the ones in the exhibit

A portrait by the artist Erich Henkel

A portrait by the artist Erich Henkel

It’s amazing to see that Erich Henkel probably saw these masks. The forms of the eyes are so similar and the cheekbones give the same general impression. If, in fact, Henkel was not influenced by African masks, it certainly is interesting to see such cross-cultural representations being so much the same!

I had a particular interest in seeing the Expressionist artists’ use of linoleum and wood etchings for printing. I gained some inspiration for my own lithographic works and hopefully I’ll have time to develop those soon!

Anyway, here are pictures from our excursion:

The Buchheim Museum with Starnberg Lake in the background

The Buchheim Museum with Starnberg Lake in the background

Giraffes outside of the museum!

Giraffes outside of the museum!

An old BMW made into Art!

An old BMW made into Art!

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