History of the Museum Ulm and its collections in the exhibition
“A Question of Time?”
On October 4, 1925, the “Museum of the City of Ulm” was opened under founding director Julius Baum (1882 – 1959). It emerged from the Museum of Applied Arts, founded in 1882 and institutionally taken over by the city of Ulm in 1923. The basis of the museum’s collection are besides the objects from the Museum of Applied Arts the collection of the 1841 founded Society for Arts and Antiquity in Ulm and Upper Swabia, which became the property of the city by contract in 1923.
Starting with the “Kiechelhaus”, the former residential and commercial building of an merchant family from Ulm, which housed the Museum of Applied Arts, the museum was gradually spatially extended by adjacent buildings. Today the museum complex consists of overall seven buildings, including new buildings constructed in 1999 and 2007.
Since 2017, the building has borne the name “Museum Ulm” – in the meantime, it was reopened in November 1956 as the “Ulmer Museum” under Director Herbert Pée in the course of extensive renovation work after the Second World War. In addition to the collections Archaeology, Old Masters and Modern Art, there are also the objects from the archive of the former Ulm School of Design (“HfG-Archiv”), which has been a department of the museum since 1993.
A more detailed overview of the extensive history of the museum as well as the development of the HfG-Archiv offers the permanent exhibition “A Question of Time? Museum Ulm yesterday, today, tomorrow”, which has been on display since spring 2020. In addition to the historical treatment, it presents an insight into the extensive museum holdings based on selected objects. The collections, which cover 40,000 years of art, culture and design history, stimulate references to current social and political issues, which in turn create new demands and opportunities for museum work. Against this background, the exhibition “A Question of Time?” not only looks at the past and present, but also at the future of the museum. The museum in general increasingly sees itself as a place where questions can be asked and discussed. In the exhibition, visitors are invited to participate at participative stations in discourses on the future development of the museum.