All the museums
Museum fur Völkerkunde
Founded in 1879 by an association of Hamburg businessmen and foundations, the Museum für Völkerdunde ranks among the largest ethnological museums in Europe. It originated from a small ethnographic collection held at the municipal library of Hamburg in the mid-nineteenth century, overseen by Adolph Oberdörfer and Ferdinand Worlée, at which point it consisted of some 645 artifacts. The museum's Art Nouveau building was erected between 1908 and 1912 under the leadership of Georg Thilenius, the institution's first director. Today the museum preserves over 350,000 artifacts and almost 400,000 historical and ethnographic photographs. The collection comprises objects from Africa, Australia, Europe, Indonesia, the Americas, and the South Seas, selections of which are presented to the public in alternating exhibitions. The museum will undergo partial renovations through 2009.
Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde
The Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde München was founded in 1868. The first collectors of the non-European objects which make up the museum's present-day collections were members of the Wittelsbacher family, the royal dynasty of Bavaria. In 1830, for example, King Ludwig I bought a large collection of ethnographic objects from India and Oceania which later came under the museum's care. Today, the total collections comprise some 200,000 objects from Africa, the Americas, South and East Asia, the Muslim world, and Oceania. Important contributions to the pre-Columbian American collections were made by zoologist Johann Baptist Spix and botanist Karl Friedrich Philipp Martius, who explored the Amazon from 1817 to 1820. In 1888, Princess Therese von Bayern undertook a five-month expedition to the area and returned with a rich collection of objects originating from many different native cultures. Von Bayern also traveled to North America in 1893, contributing greatly to the museum's collection of North American Indian art, which includes the earliest collected kayak in the world (ca. 1577). A number of the museum's most important treasures are held in the extensive collections of Oceanic art. The earliest of these objects originate from Polynesia, and some date back to the time of Captain Cook. Much of the material of highest quality was collected between 1884 and 1914 in Melanesia and Micronesia, during the German colonial period.
The UrbanArt Biennale®” at the World Cultural Heritage Site at the Völklingen Ironworks has established itself as the most important art exhibition of 21st century art Europe. In 2015 we extended the UrbanArt Biennale® to the UrbanArt Parcours. 80 male and female artists, featuring works from 21 countries and 6 continents, rendered a comprehensive overview of the Urban Art scene in the world at the “UrbanArt Biennale® 2015” at the World Cultural Heritage Site at the Völklingen Ironworks – European Centre for Art and Industry Culture. The “Urban Art Biennale®2015” presents the art of the 21st century. The centre of the “Urban Art Biennale®2015” is the Burden Shed at the World Cultural Heritage Site at the Völklingen Ironworks that boasts an exhibition area of 10,000 m². The picture series and temporary installations were exhibited at that location.
Museum der Weltkulturen
The Museum der Weltkulturen was created in 1904, bringing together in the process all the nineteenth-century ethnological collections that existed in Frankfurt at that time. The museum's permanent collections presently number approximately 67,000 objects from Africa, America, Oceania, Europe, Asia, and Southeast Asia. The museum also houses a 120,000-image archive and 50,000-volume reference library. Gallery 37 holds the museum's contemporary non-European art collection, featuring works of Indian, African, Oceanic, and Indonesian origin which are still nearly unknown in Europe.
The origins of the museum date back to 1806 when a K.K. (Austrian-Hungarian Empire) ethnographic collection was initiated following the acquirement of a part of the “Cook Collection” (Captain Cook). Since then an ever increasing selection of anthropological material was stored in the Natural History museum in Vienna. This changed in 1876 when a Museum of Ethnology (Völkerkunde) was established in the Neue Burg. The museum has been part of the Scientific Institution of Public Law "Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna with Museum of Ethnology and Austrian Theater Museum" since 2001. Today, the Museum of Ethnology Vienna is one of the most important ethnological museums of the world. It preserves more than 200,000 ethnographic artifacts, 25,000 historical photographs, and 136,000 books and journals primarily relating to the culture and history on non-European peoples. Since 2006, the museum also holds the Human-Ethnological Film Archive Eibl-Eibesfeldt with more than 300 kilometers of film about the daily life of five traditional societies in Africa (!Kung, Himba), South America (Yanomami), and Oceania (Trobriand, Eipo/In-Yalenang). Among the museum's special treasures are the collections from Oceania and North America assembled by James Cook on his circumnavigations 1768–1780 and a group of Mexican featherwork and other rare and precious objects from the Americas, Africa, and Indonesia, which in 1596 were part of the collection of Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol at Ambras Castle.
The impressive collection of the Wereldmuseum (World Museum) dates back to 1885, at which time private donors as well as institutions gave collections of “exotica” to the museum. Since the end of the 1980s, the renovated museum has also been showing contemporary works, photographs, and films. In 1997, the museum acquired a unique collection of European objects that illustrates the confrontations and exchanges between Western and foreign cultures. The museum’s ethnographic holdings consist of over 200,000 pieces, of which 35,000 are from Oceania, 15,000 from Africa, 9,000 from the Americas, and 29,000 from Indonesia. It also has 10,000 textiles from all over the world. The Oceanic works are primarily from former Dutch colonies and entered the museum as a result of scientific expeditions or through exchanges with German museums. The largest known Asmat ancestor pole, which measures fourteen meters, is noteworthy among the objects displayed on the first floor. In recent years, the museum has focused on Australian Aborigine acquisitions. The African collection was developed thanks to the participation of over 300 collectors. The museum’s objects from Angola and Liberia date to the end of the nineteenth century. The Americas collection, which consists mostly of Northwest Coast material, was acquired from the British Museum, and the Surinam objects came from a gift from Queen Beatrix. There is also a Pre-Columbian collection worthy of mention. Donations from Dutch missionary associations are the foundation of the Indonesian collection, which is currently being enlarged through the acquisition of textiles. The museum’s masterpieces are on permanent display in a section called “The Treasury,” which offers visitors a three-story panorama of the world of non-European arts.
Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian
Founded in 1937, The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian is New Mexico’s oldest non-profit, independent museum. The Wheelwright offers unique exhibitions of contemporary and historic Native American art. We’re famous for our focus on little-known genres and for solo shows by living Native American artists. We originate every exhibition, bringing you new research, fresh perspectives, and rich, lively visual expression. This June 2015, the Wheelwright Museum opened the Jim and Lauris Phillips Center for the Study of Southwestern Jewelry, our first major gallery expansion in our 78-year history, and the first exhibition space anywhere devoted permanently to the past, present, and future of Native American jewelry and related traditions.