31. Lange Nacht der Museen Highlights

August 27, 2012

Germany

As I mentioned last week, this past Saturday was the 31. Lange Nacht der Museen in Berlin. Over 100 museums took part, and were open from 6pm in the evening until 2am in the morning. I was taking part in a double capacity. Officially, I wasn’t working and there on my own time, but as the National Museums in Berlin, whom I work for, joined Twitter on Friday (you can find them at @smbmuseum) I was sending some ‘live’ tweets throughout the night. Therefore I was mostly sticking to ‘our’ museums.

I started out at the Museumsinsel (Museum Island), where the mayor of Berlin was officially opening the night on the steps of the Altes Museum. Then I headed over to the Kulturforum, which is one of the hubs for the night, where I bumped into an old friend ;-)

After a quick visit to the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings), where there were some fun art workshops taking place around the theme of Berlin, I headed out to Dahlem, a borough to the southwest of Berlin and home to the Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Museum of Asian Art), Ethnologisches Museum (Ethnological Museum) and Museum Europäischer Kulturen (Museum of European Cultures) . It was going to take a good hour each way to get there and back, so it was my main destination for the night, but their collective programme sounded amazing and it turned out to be well worth the trip.

To go along with their current special exhibition “China and Prussia. Porcelain and Tea.”, the Museum für Asiatische Kunst was running a porcelain painting workshop, and adults were welcome to take part too. Often all the fun stuff is just for kids, so I jumped right in at the chance. Art, or specifically drawing – whether it’s on paper or porcelain – is not my strong point, but I was happy with my result (more on that later this week):

But the absolute highlight of my evening had to be at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen, which was also celebrating the end of their Apulian Culture Days. There was a huge buffet set up in the garden, with regional food from Apulia. Pasta, meat, cheese, bread, biscuits, wine…and it was all free! Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love cheese, so after finishing off a plate piled high with fresh ricotta, mozzarella and other Apulian cheese specialities, I felt like I was in heaven. But that was before I discovered the icecream stand. Oh my…four different flavours to try, from almond to mulberry. And such generous portions. I only made it through three flavours before having to admit defeat.

And while I was sitting in the garden stuffing myself with enjoying my icecream, I was being carried away by the amazing Tarantula Garganica and their spirited music (which sometimes reminded me of the Shetland fiddle music performed by the amazing Fiddler’s Bid). They were so good, they sent shivers down my spine.

By the time I made it back to the Kulturforum, it was past midnight, so I started to slowly make my way home and stop and the Museum für Kommunikation (Museum for Communication) on the way. This is not one of ‘our’ museums, but was a personal favourite I had chosen to end the night with. Always up for a laugh, I had my photo taken at the Caribbean Photo Booth…

…and then headed to the arts and crafts area, where you could make jewellery or other designs out of old electro junk. Since it was already so late I didn’t want to start anything complicated – apart from the fact that my brain was too tired to think up anything complicated at that point – but came away with these two lovely napkin holders:

There was just enough time for a quick whistle stop tour round the current special exhibition DIY, which closes in a week so I musn’t forget to come back for a proper look before it’s too late, before jumping on the shuttle bus home. I am sooo glad that I live right next to a museum on a shuttle bus route, because it made getting home so easy-peasy!

Thank you to the Lange Nacht der Museen team and to all the museums who took part. Thank you to the Museums in Dahlem and the Museum für Kommunikation for their amazing programmes. I had an awesome night!!

 

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