A Visit to the Kunsthalle Museum
The Jewish Museum in Berlin: Part Two

The Jewish Museum in Berlin: Part One

Are you museum-ed out yet?  This week on the blog is turning into quite the museum tour and I've got one more for you today.  It's part one, because there's so much to share.  

Nathalie and I went to the Jewish Museum in Berlin.  

You can read her excellent post on our visit here.

It's a fascinating museum where even the architecture tells a story.  There are all these odd spaces and windows at quirky angles.  

Those things that look like doodles are windows.  And it does change your perspective.  

That is part of the art of architecture -- you can create an emotional reaction from the way you shape a person's environment.

Here's a peek at what looks like a garden from above:

However, when you walk through it, it's anything but.

It's called the "Garden of Exile."  And it feels very ominous as you walk through the cement pillars.  There are some better pictures than mine here.

But an even better example of architecture setting a mood is the Holocaust Tower.  The museum was designed with several "voids" by architect Daniel Libeskind.  These voids have been turned into really interesting exhibits.  I was particularly moved by the Holocaust Tower.  It's a narrow pitch black room with a ceiling several stories high.  The only light comes from a very small sliver way up at the top. The room is concrete and has no temperature control.  It is cold and quiet.  And then there's that light.

That tiny sliver of daylight that becomes a beacon.  And as your eyes adjust, it seems to get brighter.  A beautiful physical manifestation of hope.

Another one of the voids is used for an exhibit called "Fallen Leaves."  I had a very strong emotional reaction to this one.

It's a long, tall, cement room.  The floor is covered with a sea of metal faces, disappearing into the dark.

The room is very very quiet.  Until...you step out onto the faces and they start to clink together making a horrible jangling noise.  You can hear the noise on this video.

Not only was the noise terrible, but I got a terrible feeling when I looked down at my feet and saw myself walking across all of those faces.

You see, they represent the 10,000 war dead.  And the cacaphonous melody of metal against metal, coupled with their open mouth stares really struck me to the core.  

I got about half way across them and had to turn back.  I couldn't go any further.

Absolutely one of the most powerful art experiences I've ever had.

I'll share more from the Jewish Museum tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by!