Exhibition | Germany: Memories of a Nation

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on September 25, 2014


Johann Tischbein, Goethe in the Roman Compagna, 1787,
(Frankfurt: Städelshes Kunstinstitut)

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

From The British Museum:

Germany: Memories of a Nation—A 600-Year History in Objects
The British Museum, London, 16 October 2014 – 25 January 2015

Curated by Barrie Cook

This exhibition will examine elements of German history from the past 600 years in the context of the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago. From the Renaissance to reunification and beyond, the show will use objects to investigate the complexities of addressing a German history which is full of both triumphs and tragedies. Navigate through Germany’s many political changes—from the Holy Roman Empire through unification in the 1870s and the troubled 20th century to today’s economic powerhouse at the centre of Europe. Explore art by Dürer, Holbein and Richter, and marvel at technological achievements through the ages which gave the world Gutenberg’s printing press, Meissen porcelain, the Bauhaus movement and modern design icon the VW Beetle.

List of loans

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

From BBC’s Media Centre:

Germany_bbc_noobjDetails of a brand new Radio 4 series, Germany: Memories of a Nation, were announced today (Thursday 11 September) at an event hosted by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum and writer and presenter of the series, and the BBC’s Director-General Tony Hall. The series will once again place objects at the heart of the story, letting the memories they evoke tell a fascinating and complex history, this time of Germany. Looking back from the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago, Germany: Memories of a Nation will explore 600 years of the country’s history, over six weeks, in a 30-part Radio 4 series.

From the Brandenburg Gate to Bavarian bratwurst and the Gutenberg Bible, via Volkswagen engineering, fairy tales and degenerate pottery, the series—which begins on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 29 September—will ask how much of what we think about Germany coincides with how Germans see themselves and what touchstones of national identity shape the relatively recently reunited country.

Germany has been in the public consciousness this summer with the centenary of the First World War and the memories of D-Day veterans—and, of course, the World Cup. This series—which will be available online in perpetuity, both on BBC iPlayer Radio and as a download—will examine the key moments that have defined Germany’s past, its great, world-changing achievements and the catastrophes of the 20th century, and explore the profound influence that Germany’s history, culture and inventiveness have had across Europe. Themes covered will include the country’s historical divisions and shifting frontiers, the forging of a national identity and now facing the legacy of a turbulent history.

The series is inspired by an accompanying exhibition at the British Museum: Germany: Memories of a Nation, which will open on the 16 October. The exhibition will include most of the objects featured in the series, alongside many others; objects that tell diverse and fascinating stories which embody the memories shared by all Germans. Important loans from Germany, many of which have been lent for the first time, will augment objects from the British Museum and other UK collections. . .

The full announcement is available here»

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Scheduled for a November publication from Allen Lane:

Neil MacGregor, Germany: Memories of a Nation (London: Allen Lane, 2014), 512 pages, ISBN: 978-0241008331, £25.

neil-_3047520bFrom Neil MacGregor, the author of A History of the World in 100 Objects, this is a view of Germany like no other. Today, as the dominant economic force in Europe, Germany looms as large as ever over world affairs. But how much do we really understand about it, and how do its people understand themselves? In this enthralling new book, Neil MacGregor guides us through the complex history, culture and identity of this most mercurial of countries by telling the stories behind 30 objects in his uniquely magical way. Beginning with the fifteenth-century invention of the Gutenberg press, MacGregor ventures beyond the usual sticking point of the Second World War to get to the heart of a nation that has given us Luther and Hitler, the Beetle and Brecht—and remade our world again and again. This is a view of Germany like no other.

Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since August 2002. He was Director of the National Gallery in London from 1987 to 2002. His celebrated books include A History of the World in 100 Objects, now translated into more than a dozen languages and one of the top-selling titles ever published by Penguin Press, and Shakespeare’s Restless World.

%d bloggers like this: