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Art & History


History of Science and Art in Focus

Campus Berlin-Buch campus is a science location with a venerable tradition in medical-biological research. In 1930 the Institute for Brain Research of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society with the affiliated neurological clinic was opened here, with Oskar Vogt as director.

The sculpture L'homme by Jean Ipoustéguy. Bronze, 1963.
The sculpture in front of the Max Rubner House is part of Ulrike Mohr's artwork called "Händigkeit" and it symbolizes two chiral carvone molecules. Picture: Vera Glaßer

A Place of Creativity

Art and science share the creative process, art can inspire science – and vice versa. This relationship has always played a role in the design of the campus. Thanks to financial contributions, loans and donations, the campus has numerous sculptures and a Japanese garden with a stone lantern. The collection also includes paintings and installations, including works by Jeanne Mammen, most recently shown in her major retrospective at the Berlinische Galerie. With new buildings for science, the stock of art on buildings (Kunst am Bau) is growing: In the MRI research building, artist Robert Patz has put a large-scale science comic on the walls of the hallways. The installation "Treated Wood" in the south-east of the campus presents itself enigmatically. “Chirality" by Ulrike Mohr and the ”kunstnest” (art/artificial nest) by Fritz Balthaus are among the most recent acquisitions in Buch. The light installation "Splash" by Barbara Trautmann is located at the MDC site in Berlin-Mitte.

Histology workstation

In her book about genetic research at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin-Buch, Elly Welt describes a "huge, beautiful outdoor area" with endless lawns, countless trees and beds full of tulips and daffodils. Even today, the science and biotech campus is a large park with meadows, tall trees and forest-like areas. Rare trees such as the hemlock, Christ's thorn or the Japanese string tree bear witness to the fact that the site was also home to a tree nursery for a number of years.

Microscope exhibition

History of Science

Prominent scientific personalities associated with the campus are commemorated, among other ways, in the form of portrait busts. Among them are busts of Cécile and Oskar Vogt, Max Delbrück, and Hermann von Helmholtz. In the campus science museum, historical laboratory equipment and devices as well as the workplace of the well-known geneticist Nikolai Wladimirovich Timofeeff-Ressovsky can be viewed. The neuroscientist Professor Helmut Kettenmann made his extensive collection of historical microscopes available for a permanent medical history exhibition, which provides information about the beginnings of microscopy through to modern methods used at the Max Delbrück Center.

Portrait of the physicist and physiologist Hermann von Helmholtz. Copy of a sculpture by Adolf v. Hildebrandt.

Museum of the History of Science

In the Museum of the History of Science in the Oskar and Cécile Vogt Building, the history of the former Institute for Brain Research of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and the subsequent Academy Institutes for Medicine and Biology is shown primarily through scientific equipment as well as text documents and illustrations. On display are a collection of old scientific equipment and experimental techniques, especially histological work from the time of brain research, biochemical and chemical work, documents and equipment on the history of electron microscopy, and the workplace of the Russian geneticist Nikolai Wladimirovich Timoféeff-Ressovsky.

The museum is currently only accessible by appointment.

Annett Krause
Telefon: 030/9489 2920

For further information, see:

Geschichte der medizinisch-biologischen Institute Berlin-Buch / Prof. Dr. Dr. hc. Heinz Bielka / ISBN 3-540-42842-9

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