Goods and Knowledge

Artistic positions on ethnology and the geography of trade

Touristen an einem Schmuckstand im südlichen Afrika. Foto aus dem Bildarchiv der Jesuiten, unbekannter Fotograf, ca. 1930.

The three 19th-century villas of the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt contain 67,000 ethnological artefacts, 120,000 photographs and 50,000 books. Based on the motto “Trading Perceptions – Wahrnehmungen verhandeln”, the museum plans to reorganize its impressive collection with respect to contemporary viewpoints, investigate how the collection was created, and present these findings to visitors in the coming years. The exhibition “Goods and Knowledge” presented the history of the collection with regard to the thematic complex of international trade in Frankfurt and Germany. The idea was to establish a researcher-in-residence programme to develop new approaches, alternative terms and concepts for the museum’s collections. Based on such thematic areas as donors and collectors, traded goods and management, serialism and exchange, the researchers investigated the historic beginnings of the global markets and how they influence our views of culture and society. Not only do the historic items in the collection tell us fascinating stories of the past, but they also serve as a valuable source of knowledge production today.

Artistic director: Yvette Mutumba
Project director: Nina Huber
Artists: Peggy Buth, Minerva Cuevas (MX), Luke Willis Thompson (NZ), David Weber-Krebs (BE), Marie Angeletti (FR), Lothar Baumgarten, Benedikte Bjerre (DK), Rut Blees Luxemburg, Clegg & Guttmann (GB/IL), Rotimi Fani Kayode (NG), Armin Linke, Otobong Nkanga (NG), Pushpamala N. (IN) and Olivier Richon (FR).


Weltkulturen Museum

Schaumainkai 29 – 37

60594 Frankfurt am Main (external link, opens in a new window)