Past exhibitions

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Aby Warburg: Mnemosyne Atlas – The Original

10 March to 25 July 2021

In the 1920s, the art historian and cultural theorist Aby Warburg developed his Bilderatlas Mnemosyne. For this project of a ‘picture atlas’, he studied the interplay of images from different periods and contexts, ranging from antiquity and the Renaissance to contemporary culture. To highlight universally recurring visual themes and patterns, Warburg juxtaposed images of works of art from the Middle East and Europe with contemporary newspaper clippings and advertisements.
His method set new standards: for the first time, motifs and images were looked at across epochs. His work transcended the disciplinary boundaries between art history, philosophy and anthropology and laid the foundations for today’s disciplines of image and media studies.
To this day, Warburg’s approach remains inspirational and offers alternative routes through our visually and digitally dominated world. Consisting of 63 large panels, the exhibition is the first to present a nearly complete reconstruction of the last documented version of the Atlas with Warburg’s original visual material.

Curated by Roberto Ohrt and Axel Heil with the Warburg Institute, London, in cooperation with the Bundeskunsthalle
Produced by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

Hannah Arendt
and the 20th Century

9 March to 20 June 2021

The twentieth century simply cannot be understood without Hannah Arendt.
Amos Elon, journalist and writer

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was one of the most important political thinkers of her time. Controversial and opinionated, she commented on current events. In her judgements she did not follow any tradition or political direction. ‘Thinking without a banister,’ she called it.
The Jewish writer who had fled Nazi Germany coined the terms we still use to describe two central concepts: ‘totalitarianism’ and ‘banality of evil’. She wrote about anti-Semitism, the situation of refugees, the Eichmann trial, Zionism, the US political system, racial segregation, student protests and feminism.
Not one of these issues has been resolved. Thus, the exhibition presents a life and work that reflect the history of the 20th century and that have lost none of their relevance and explosive power. The presentation is not biographical, but sheds light on Arendt as a public intellectual: the disputes she engaged in, the insights she shared, the errors she was subject to. Hannah Arendt’s ideas continue to challenge our own judgement, even in current political contexts, especially at a time when democracy is in grave danger of being undermined in many places around the world.

An exhibition of the Deutsches Historisches Museum in cooperation with the Bundeskunsthalle

Show bibliography

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Museumsmeile Bonn
Helmut-Kohl-Allee 4
53113 Bonn
T +49 228 9171–200

Opening hours

Mondays closed
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
(including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)