No virtual medium can replace a physical museum visit, but many can effectively supplement it. With a growing selection of digital offerings, the Georg Kolbe Museum offers the opportunity to explore its diverse exhibition and outreach program from afar or to participate in its research activities. From the growing online collection Kolbe Online to the first podcasts and its own Youtube channel to app-based audio walks, virtually mapped Kolbe sculptures, or digital outreach offerings such as online workshops and video messages, the museum uses a variety of new formats that enrich the lively exchange with its visitors.
Digital Collection: Kolbe Online
The scholarly indexing and successive digitization of the holdings of the Georg Kolbe Museum is progressing steadily. The results can be explored on „Kolbe Online„. The online collection contains sculptures, drawings, plaster models, historical photographs, correspondence to and from Georg Kolbe, as well as a growing number of works by other artists represented in the museum’s collection. A special feature of the virtual collection is the linking of items that are related in terms of content, which makes it possible to trace the genesis of individual works and to identify references within groups of works. Another area of the collection is currently being made digitally accessible, namely the prints that played an important role in Kolbe’s work during his lifetime.
Kolbes Kiez: An Audio Walk for Berlin’s Westend
A number of buildings in the immediate vicinity of the Georg Kolbe Museum tell of the testing of different models of living over the course of Berlin’s urban history. Proceeding from Georg Kolbe’s close relationship with architecture, the audio walk „Kolbes Kiez“ (Kolbe’s Neighborhood) offers the opportunity to explore striking architecture and urban spaces in the proximity of the objectively modernist museum building via app. „Kolbes Kiez“ was created in collaboration with Poligonal – Büro für Stadtvermittlung and with the generous support of the Senate Department for Berlin and Europe. Among the stations: Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation Typ Berlin, Haus Poelzig, recently demolished despite efforts by a citizens‘ initiative, the iconic ICC building, and of course Georg Kolbe’s Sensburg, home of today’s museum. An overview is provided by the project website „Kolbe außer Haus“ (Kolbe Outdoors), where the individual audio images can also be played at home. But if you’re in Berlin, we recommend that you download the app for iPhone or Android and take a walk in the direction of the Westend.
Kolbe on the Map: Stories, Sculptures, Urban Criticism
A total of 32 sculptures by Georg Kolbe are located in architecturally prominent public places around the world. All have their stories, and some are also embroiled in larger, commemorative controversies. „Kolbe on the Map“ links a selection of geo-referenced works and sculptural sites with cultural-historical anecdotes and edited archival material from the museum. The green dots on the digital map lead to the little journeys through time, which the museum team produced in cooperation with Poligonal – Office for Urban Communication and with funding from the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. Because they are best experienced on site, the format is mobile-optimized. Anyone who calls up the „Kolbe außer Haus“ map on their smartphone and approaches the marked positions will find it easier to navigate. Starting from Berlin’s urban space, the format is continuously expanding to include works all over the world.
Youtube channel: Exhibition films, trailers, interviews
If you can’t make it to Berlin during the run of an exhibition, or if you’d like a little foretaste via video, you can get it at Youtube. With professional partners such as the team from art/beats, the Georg Kolbe Museum produces films for all of its exhibitions; usually a short trailer and a comprehensive presentation with original sound bites from the artists and curators. In addition to exhibition films, the museum’s channel also publishes interviews and artist talks that took place as part of the supporting program at the museum or even purely virtually.
Podcast: Die absoluten Tänzerinnen
The German-language podcast „Die absoluten Tänzerinnen“ (The Absolute Dancers) was created as a supplement to the exhibition „The Absolute Dance – Female Dancers of the Weimar Republic,“ which was shown at the museum from April to October 2021. Like the show itself, the audio format introduces eleven remarkable female movement artists who worked in Berlin during the Weimar years. In a time marked by social change, by abject poverty and feudally lived wealth, by the desire for adventure and discovery, by experimentation and the fascination of new beginnings, these courageous women danced their way to a great deal of freedom. They performed at theaters like the Volksbühne, but also found their audience in small clubs and night bars. Some popular and scandalous, others on a grand mission. Curtain up for: Charlotte Bara, Tatjana Barbakoff, Anita Berber, Claire Bauroff, Hertha Feist, Valeska Gert, Jo Mihaly, Oda Schottmöller, Vera Skoronel, Celly de Rheidt and Berthe Trümpy. Each dancer has her own episode dedicated to her biography as well as specifics of her artistic approach. The first GKM audio format can be heard on all popular platforms, from Apple Podcasts to Spotify. (German only, sorry.)