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(Re) creating positive cultural landscapes in Germany: the role of iconic museum buildings

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Susannah EckersleyORCiD


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Germany’s political history in the 20 th century has had a remarkable effect on its cultural landscape, in particular in terms of its museums and the use of iconic architecture to house many of them. While the political turmoil of Germany during the 20 th century is well known, the various political powers’ (whether totalitarian or democratic) continuing use of ‘high’ culture, and in particular of museums and architecture, as a medium for significant cultural and political change is less widely appreciated. This paper will explore this history in order to assess the success and effect of such cultural strategies. It will analyse the political support for new museum architecture, looking firstly at the background to the unique national cultural landscape created by decentralisation of cultural funding, secondly surveying the post World War II museum building boom in West Germany, and thirdly examining in detail the local effects in Munich, a major German city. Finally, the role of iconic museum architecture in the cultural landscape of the reunified capital of Berlin will be investigated.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Reid SC

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Forum UNESCO Cultural Landscapes in the 21st Century

Year of Conference: 2006