The Wunderkammer Olbricht

The practice of maintaining ‘cabinets of curiosities’ evolved during the Renaissance and Baroque. Such cabinets were collectors’ rooms in which precious artworks (artificialia), rare phenomena of nature (naturalia), scientific instruments (scientifica), objects from strange worlds (exotica), and inexplicable items (mirabilia) were preserved. They reflected the standard of knowledge and view of the world at that time.

Berlin also had its Kunstkammer. Founded by Elector Joachim II (ruled 1535 – 1571) and almost completely destroyed during the Thirty Years War, it was rebuilt by Elector Friedrich Wilhelm and eventually found its home under Friedrich III in the newly expanded Stadtschloss (City Palace). Today the few remaining objects have been distributed around different museums that have become the successors to the cabinet of curiosities, albeit in a thematically differentiated way.

Our Wunderkammer reanimates this tradition in Berlin once more. It provides an insight into the past and manages to fulfil its original intention of some two to five centuries ago: to transport the visitor into a realm of sheer astonishment—whether by means of the legendary unicorn, ultimately exposed as the tusk of a narwhal, an amber mirror flooded with light fashioned from the “Gold of the North”, the coconut chalice that came into the possession of Alexander von Humboldt and which is adorned with images of Brazilian cannibals, preserved specimens of a Nile crocodile and a great blue turaco, or wooden cabinets that only reveal their mysteries to the curious eye.

The quality of the objects, numbering in excess of 200 from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, is unique and makes the Wunderkammer Olbricht one of the most important private collections of its kind.

The Kunstkammer Georg Laue, Munich, is responsible for the conception, the installation, and supervision of the Wunderkammer Olbricht.

Guided tours of the Wunderkammer and of the current exhibition can be booked through art:berlin.
Audio guides for adults and audio guides for children by children are available at the admission desk.

Please find the list of exhibits of the Wunderkammer Olbricht here.

Wunderkammer Olbricht

Blick in die WUNDERKAMMER OLBRICHT © me Collectors Room Berlin, Photo Bernd Borchardt Bernstein-Spiegel im originalen Etui, Danzig um 1650 © Kunstkammer Georg Laue, München Blick in die WUNDERKAMMER OLBRICHT © Joachim Fliegner, 2009 Vanitas-Wendekopf, Flämisch, um 1520 © Kunstkammer Georg Laue, München Blick in die WUNDERKAMMER OLBRICHT © Joachim Fliegner, 2009 Blick in die WUNDERKAMMER OLBRICHT © me Collectors Room Berlin, Photo Bernd Borchardt Elfenbein-Kabinettschrank, Umkreis Melchior Baumgartner, Augsburg um 1650 © Kunstkammer Georg Laue, München Anatomisches Lehrmodell einer schwangeren Frau, Stephan Zick, Nürnberg um 1680 © Kunstkammer Georg Laue, München

programme for children

programme for children

With a scavenger hunt through the exhibition Schöne Grüsse Thomas Schütte and Wunderkammer Olbricht we want to take our young visitors through the whole exhibit.

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Audio guide for the Wunderkammer Olbricht

An audio guide will guide visitors through the Wunderkammer Olbricht. The hour-long tour offers you detailed insight into the general principles behind a ‘cabinet of marvels’, as well as into key, individual exhibits.

 

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Guided Tours

Our art communications partners from art:berlin can provide you with an insight into the Olbricht Collection and the Wunderkammer through a variety of guided tours. After the tours, we cordially invite you to get together in our me Café for communal reflection upon the artworks.

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