chapter  3
14 Pages

Wilhelm R. Valentiner’s Reshaping Museums in the Spirit of the New Age (1919) and its Reception 1

ByMonika Flacke

This chapter focuses on the text by Wilhelm R. Valentiner of 1919, entitled Umgestaltung der Museen im Sinne der neuen Zeit (Reshaping Museums in the Spirit of the New Age) was an expression of the crisis to which German museums inevitably fell prey during the political upheavals of the 1918 Revolution in the aftermath of the First World War. It examines this long-forgotten text by Valentiner and its significance for the debates on the public role of museums in the Weimar Republic. In 1921, Kuppers used Valentiner's conception as the basis for a proposal of his own. Paul Erich Kuppers envisaged filling the House of the People with rather different contents from anything Valentiner had imagined. He proposed creating one room, in which pictorial art, poetry and music could all find expression on an equal basis. He pointed out that his conception was not only derived from Valentiner, but went back to an essay 'The Modern Museum', by Max Raphael.