The Alliance of Early Universal Museums celebrates its first anniversary!
A year ago, on October 13th 2020, online simultaneously in three European cities: in St. Petersburg, in Haarlem (the Netherlands) and in Halle (Germany), an Agreement was signed on the creation of the Alliance of Early Universal Museums. The Alliance was founded by three museums: the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Frankeche Stiftungen (Halle, Germany) and the Teylers Museum (Haarlem, the Netherlands). These museums are one of the oldest in Europe and one of the few that have retained the historical universal character of their collections.
The Agreement on the creation of the Alliance was signed by Andrei Golovnev, Director of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Marjan Scharloo, Director of the Teylers Museum, and Thomas Müller-Balcke, Director of the Frankeche Stiftungen.
In December 2020, the publishing house of the MAE RAS released the first issue of the Kunstkamera magazine (No. 4 (10)) in its new status as an official academic journal of the Alliance of Early Universal Museums.
In May 2021, the first online seminar of the Alliance was held, in which not only the founders participated but also the representatives of museums candidates for membership in the Alliance: the Museum at the University of Bologna, the Archives of the Royal Society of London, the Friedenstein Castle Museum in Germany, the Vienna Treasury and the Ambras Castle Museum in Austria. The online meeting was also attended by prominent scholars in the field of museology including British academician and researcher Arthur McGregor, art historian Kim Sloan, Belgian sociologist Yves Winkin. One of the main topics at the seminar was the preparation for the First Assembly of the Alliance of Early Universal Museums, which will be timed to coincide with the 350th anniversary of the birth of Peter the Great and will be held on his birthday on June 9, 2022. The theme of the conference is Bridging the past, present and future. Early universal museums – historical perspectives and new challenges.
The First Assembly of the early universal museums will be held at the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg). Thus, all the participants of the Assembly will witness an important historical event - the opening of the re-exhibition "Peter’s Kunstkamera", the purpose of which is to recreate for the public the atmosphere of the early period in the history of the oldest museum in Russia, one of the favorite brainchilds of Peter the Great. The re-exposition will transform two floors of the famous Kunstkamera tower that to this day remains one of the main symbols of Russian science.