The Development of West German Art Museums in the 1950–1990s in the Context of Architectural Discussion and Cultural Policy

Alexander Lemeshinski, M.A.

The project aims to shed light on the history of museum architecture in German-speaking countries during the second half of the 20th century and lies primarily in the field of architectural history. Museum studies play an important role in the research, focusing on the impact of museum specialists have within architectural issues. Importantly, there were two female contributors within this field, namely Leonie Reygers and Irmgard Woldering, who directed museums during the postwar era.
This project tends to see these numerous new museums, mostly housing art objects from ancient to contemporary, in a political perspective, connecting them to various political eras of the Bundesrepublik. The essential part of the project is the comparative analysis between West Germany and its Communist counterpart in terms of museum construction. Both countries had completely different approaches to museum architectural space, a fact that requires further investigation. How two countries tackled museum development requires further investigation.Those museum projects caught massive domestic and international attention.They were represented in multiple exhibitions abroad and numerous monographs, architectual magazines and newspapers, eagerly debated there. The investigation of reception is thus equally important in the research. Part of this project aims to collect and involve in the research the archival and mass media data on architectural objects and exhibitions.

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