This museum was not quite what I expected when I walked in. I was expecting something not entirely unlike the Sir John Soane Museum; something a bit mad, a bit off-kilter, something that looked more like a hoarders’ paradise than a museum. What we got when we arrived at the Museum of Things was something not entirely unlike the Design Museum. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t an unpleasant experience, just a bit of a shock. I mean, could “Things” be any vaguer as a theme or topic?
I think not. Anyway, on with the adventure!
This is a museum we had to plan to see because it’s only open on the weekends. Usually I prefer the ones that you can just visit on the fly with no specific plans made, but hey, I’m on holiday so the usual rules can go out the window!
Stuff and Things
So, yes, back to the museum… I was expecting a museum full of stuff. Unimaginable amounts of it everywhere. What was actually there was a museum full of things. Instead of a chaotic mess of stuff, there was a selection nicely ordered things. The main aim of the museum, it seems, is to educate us about the importance of good design ,as opposed to bad kitsch-y design. Interestingly, the collection is based on the archive of the Deutscher Werkbund (German Work Federation) an association of artists and designers formed in 1907, which served as a precursor to the Bauhaus movement.
Needless to say,if I had to choose between the “Good Design” and the “Bad Design” then the kitsch-y stuff (things?) would win every time. It was so much more fun! Check out this assortment of Mona Lisa themed stuff! AMAZING.
Serious Side of Stuff
The Museum of Things had a small display containing some Nazi memorabilia. At first, seeing these things alongside the rest of the collection made me a bit uncomfortable. I think it was because they are so historically charged, whereas everything else is just… junk?
This is where taking the time to read the signs really pays off. It turns out that the German advertising industry in the 30s saw ‘kitsch’ Nazi stuff as sales-boosting, however, the Nazi government saw this as an “affront to their dignity.” Hmm.