Our guestbook tells us the kinds of questions that concern you, as visitors. Dorothee Hansen, curator and deputy director of the Kunsthalle, answers some of them here.
The security measures you take at the museum are obvious. This is not always pleasant. Does this really have to be?
Yes, it has to be. Works of art are valuable and very sensitive. For this reason, it is extremely important that we maintain optimal conditions for the art works at the museum. Otherwise, we would not receive loans. It is imperative that we maintain a constant room temperature, since the works would change otherwise – wood, paper, cardboard, etc. could “warp”. Thus, for example, it is important that coats be handed in at the cloakroom, especially in bad weather.
But also, security is of utmost importance. If you have to store your handbag, it is not only to ward off theft, but also because of the damage that might be done if it brushed against the paintings. This is why our colleagues take care that the visitors do not get too close to the works of art. In some places, it is necessary to cordon off the paintings or put glass in front of them.
Why is the light so dim in the exhibition?
Unfortunately, light is very damaging to works on paper, since the ultraviolet rays turn them yellow and bleach out the color. May I remind you of what happens if you leave a newspaper out in the sunlight, even only for a day? To protect the artworks, the lighting is regulated to ensure that the works will also be in good condition for the future.
And why are the admission fees so high for a special exhibition?
Compared with other German art museums, we are within the normal range and have not raised our admission fees in the past six years. The amount of money needed for an exhibition with international loans is enormous. In particular, the costs for transport, surveillance, and insurance are exorbitantly high and keep getting higher. The admission fees, of course, only cover a part of the total expenditures, but still, they are indispensible. If you become a member of the Kunstverein, you have free admission to the Kunsthalle and to the special exhibitions – it’s worth it!