HUM - die Kunst des Sammelns


HUM – the Art of Collecting

taxomanic course through the research collections of the Natural History Museum Berlin

Collecting and classifying defines the daily routine at the Museum of Natural History. Here, in the non-public research collections, the diversity of nature becomes tangible: Thousands of birds, crabs, spiders, snakes, fossils are being collected, labelled and categorized. Comprising more than 30 million specimens, the Berlin collection is one of the world’s largest. HUM – the Art of Collecting, an artistic and documentary portrait of the museum created by and starring its scientists, uses texts, spaces, sounds, objects and scenes to tell of a world contained in shelves and specimen jars, of our human passion for collecting and of the power of our love of order: taxomania.

A taxomanic course in three acts leads visitors through an enormous labyrinth representing the diversity of nature, simultaneously transforming the halls of the research collections into a labyrinth signifying the utopia of knowledge. The scenes of the three-act play are composed of the many different languages of art: concerts, installations, performances, etc.

Project site:


Julia Gerlach (Ed.): Julian Klein / a rose is: HUM – die Kunst des Sammelns. form + zweck Berlin 2008

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Press Example:

The Local – Theatre and science collide in Berlin museum