Cultural Event Report German Historical Museum

Cultural Event Report: German Historical Museum
I developed an interest to visit the German Historical Museum following
the shocking stories that my grandmother used to narrate on how military
conflicts shaped the German culture including the clothing styles. I had
also advanced my knowledge about the German culture in different
historical articles such as Idson (1971) and Lehmann (2009). I visited
the museum on September 3, 2013 to confirm the truth of the narratives
with historical experts, learn more about the German culture, and view
other artifacts of the German attire and other cultural artifacts that
the narratives and articles may not have captured. The museum is located
in Unter den Linden, Berlin in Germany. My first site at the front view
of the museum gave the hope of that the museum would satisfy my
expectations. The place was clean, handled by welcoming members of
staff, and had spacious rooms. This was a confirmation that museums are
fertile grounds for learning demographic transitions and cultural
dynamics (Farrell, 2010).
After clearance by a receptionist, I began moving from one room of the
museum to the other in search for the two artifacts that would be more
enlightening about the culture of the German society. The first room I
entered contained pictures of different groups of people with captions
that suggesting that the pictures were intended to ease the process of
exploring the German culture. I did not find this section being
resourceful and I decided to move to the next room which had contained
the Sculpture that was constructed to commemorate the cultural history
of the evangelical parsonage in Germany. To my disappointment, the
exhibit had been scheduled for October 2013. This was disappointing to
me and I almost doubted the cultural richness of the museum. However,
next two rooms I visited were resourceful and rejuvenated my hope. This
is where I found the curtain representing the Kaiser’s proclamation
and a picture of the sailor suit.
Although the room contained over 8,000 types of cultures worn by the
ancient Germans from the eighteenth century, the curtain of the German
Kaiser appeared more informative and rich in culture. The piece measured
337 cm in length by 164 cm in width and was made with cotton. The
curtain originated from England in 1900 with the primary goal of
representing the proclamation of the Reich in Versailles hall of
mirrors, which occurred in January 1871. The artists used the painting
versions of 1885 and reminded me of an article written by Infoplease
(2000) about Anton von Warner 1843 to 1915. The political message on the
curtain was the illustration of how Prussia fought for leadership and
political power in the German Reich. The curtain contained the pictures
of German chancellor, two generals, and a raised helmet. The curtain, in
my view, was a representation of the German culture and historical
events through textile and garments.
The second piece was a German sailor suit, which was a representation of
nature and culture. The piece measured 44 cm in length for both short
and shirt. It was made in 1910 using cotton. The purpose of this piece
was to commemorate Kaiser Wilhelm II who came up with a new naval
policy. In addition, the sailor suit was widely worn by young boys and
girls in the late nineteenth century (Leslier, 2010). The suit’s
material and patterns resembled the British naval forces with three
white strips to commemorate the three Nelson’s sea battles. The piece
of clothing was established in Kiel, a naval port where Germany
leadership pursued imperialistic and colonial policies. The piece may
appear like any other piece of cloth, but it was very informative about
the German history of battles and use of art to advance culture and
The visit satisfied my curiosity about the use of art and textile skills
to represent cultural, nature, and historical events in Germany. In
addition, the cultural and historical pieces that I found most
interesting were resources and confirmed some of the stories that my
grandmother had narrated to me about cultural and historical events that
has shaped Germany to its present status. However, absence of the
exhibition of the Life after Luther was a disappointment because I
believe it could have provided me with an opportunity to learn much
about the contribution made by the Protestant parsonage on the German
culture. In overall, my visit to the German Historical Museum was
interesting, informative, and memorable.
In conclusion, I will never undermine cultural visit in my life as I had
always done before I visited the German Historical Museum. It was an
opportunity to look at the textile material with an objective eye and
compare the myths told about the German history with historical
artifacts such as the sailor suit. The experience I gained from the
visit imparted me with a new perspective about German and I now know
that it is not what I had always imagined.
Farrell, B. (2010). Demographic transformation and the future of museum.
Washington DC: American Association of Museums.
Idson, E. (1971). Countries and their culture. Springfield: Advameg
Infoplease, (2000). Anton Alexander von Werner. London: Pearson
Lehmann, H. (2009). Culture and politics in ninetieth century Germany.
Washington DC: German History Institute.
Leslier, H. (2010). Sailor suit. Los Angeles: FIDM Museum.