Heads - masked, transformed

29 September 2023 to 14 February 2024

The human countenance: it reflects personality, reveals emotions and states of mind – occasionally it also imparts things that one would rather hide. Make-up or masks disguise it, indeed, they transform it. The paintings, prints, sculptures and hand-made objects inhabit this dynamic field of imparting, concealing and transforming. The exhibition presents over ninety works belonging to a private collection that ranges in its chronological sweep from the fourteenth century to the present day. The artworks have one thing in common: they bear witnesses to their time and yet they are timeless – making them both topical and emotionally compelling.

The collector couple lives in Berlin but grew up in the Black Forest. Both continue to have strong ties to the region. Their enthusiasm for the traditional Elzach Fasnet  and its famous wooden masks was the instigation for their collection. The overall focus is on works by international artists who approach the human head and face in various ways – either simply recording it, developing their view of it, or deforming it.


Crystal Magic – The Hidden Magic of Dark Tourmalines

24 May 2023 to 14 January 2024

Tourmalines are not only sought-after gemstones, but also beguiling study objects. Whereas colourful versions are rare and precious, tourmalines that are jet-black on the outside are commonly found ‑ sometimes also in the Black Forest. Initially they appear to be unremarkable, but a fascinating surprise is waiting inside them: cut the crystals into slices; grind these slices until they are wafer thin; and colours, and sometimes incredible pictorial worlds, will emerge out of the darkness. These impressive artworks of nature were created because tourmalines react very sensitively to external influences during their growth, thereby adapting their shape and colour.


Celts for Kids – A journey into the Iron Age

30 November 2023 to 1 September 2024

Through the comic heroes Asterix and Obelix, the Celts are known as comical ruffians. But what were people really up to in the Iron Age? How did they live here in Breisgau? An interactive discovery tour shows that the Celts were not only courageous heroes, but also pioneers in arts and crafts. They travelled far and wide and traded. Unique finds, hands-on stations and illustrations invite children and young people on an exciting journey through time.


Creating Memories: Japanese Photographs

28 October 2023 to 14 April 2024

Fascinating landscapes, spectacular temples or people adopting romantically staged poses while wearing traditional costumes: early photographs such as these, hand-coloured in delicate shades, still influence the image of Japan abroad to this day. Countless ateliers offered the images for sale as souvenirs. Their dissemination throughout Europe led to Japan becoming a place of longing for many travellers towards the end of the 19th century.
Zurich-based East Asia specialist Hans Bjarne Thomsen has researched the photographs of the Ethnological Collection at the Museum Natur und Mensch (Museum of Nature and Man). We now present them as a cabinet exhibition in two successive hangings, placing them in their cultural-historical context.
Hanging I: 28 October 2023 to 7 January 2024
Hanging II: 13 January to 28 April 2024


Wilhelm Hasemann and the Invention of the Black Forest

22 July 2023 to 24 March 2024

With the paintings, illustrations and postcards of Wilhelm Hasemann (1850–1913), the characteristic “Bollenhut” hat conquered the world and continues to shape the image of the Black Forest, even today. Born in Saxony, Hasemann’s enthusiasm for the region and its people was so great that he settled in Gutach and founded a painters’ colony. The artist used photos as templates and made countless sketches. From this rich pool of subjects, he created countless compositions afresh: elaborately decorated traditional costumes appear in many paintings; and imposing farms, interiors or particularly idyllic regions recur time and again. Glancing over Hasemann’s shoulder, we discover a great deal about projection and presentation, thereby unfolding astounding parallels to today’s social media with its filter functions, obsession with optimisation and the hunt for the perfect picture and plenty of likes.