Gutenberg revisited: new permanent exhibition on the history of print
July 4th, 2018 marks the opening of a new permanent exhibition on the medium of print with new content in the Print and Playing Card Museum of Luxembourg. The exhibition entitled Gutenberg Revisited has been awarded the label 2018 Année Européenne du patrimoine culturel#EuropeForCulture.
Clearly laid out on two levels, the exhibition provides a comprehensible history of the medium of print. The timespan has been considerably expanded. Whereas before, the exhibition treated the period from 1850 to 1950, the exhibition now comprises the timespan ranging from the 3rd millennium B.C. to our own 21st century. An ostensive timeline conveys this period on 14 large-sized info panels containing new illustrations and objects, and presents a clear overview of the most important national and international historical events. From an international point of view, the birth of the medium is generally attributed to Johannes Gutenberg’s printing of the bible in 1452. In Luxembourg, the beginning of the history of print is situated in 1598 with the granting of the first printing privilege to Mathias Birton in Luxembourg City.
The exhibition draws a parallel between the upheaval caused by the invention of printing and today’s age of digitalization. Both mark revolutionary social turning points.
The ground floor houses an impressive array of historical printing machines, among which two deserve special mention: the linotype that revolutionized especially the newspaper print and the Original Heidelberger Tiegeldruckpresse that represents the high point in the development of platen presses. Historical film material further illustrates the functioning of these machines. The playback soundscape of the printing machines in action provides an impressive audible background to the exhibition and can be played by the simple push of a button next to each machine.
Print is alive. Most people think of printing as a thing of the past, but they could not be more wrong with regard to the kulturhuef. The museum strives to keep print alive, which is why workshops and artist residencies are regularly organized. Both residents and workshop visitors have the opportunity to work on the historical presses. The creations produced in the framework of the residencies are then exhibited in the in-house ExpoCube of the museum. Visitors also have the opportunity to print their own souvenir on one of the historical hand presses.
A working party including the kulturhuef president Liane Felten, the general coordinator Monika Jakobs, as well as the members of the administrative board Jean Reitz and Volker Hoyer, has been responsible for the general conception of the exhibition, which was implemented in collaboration with external service providers.
Georges Zigrand, who has previously designed the new museum shop and the ExpoCube, was involved as a design consultant on the new exhibition. Also joining the team were historian Hans Fellner and graphic designer Laurent Daubach.
This new exhibition marks but the first step in the development of the museum. Further innovations are planned.
In order to guarantee access to as wide an audience as possible, informational material is available in German, French, English and Luxembourgish.
All of our facilities are barrier-free, that is to say accessible for people with reduced mobility. The kulturhuef was evaluated and received the label of accessibility for people with impairments by EUREWELCOME. Our exhibition provides easy access for wheelchair users and all elevators are correspondingly adapted to accommodate wheelchairs. A suitable number of disabled toilets are available in each building. Companion dogs are equally allowed in every building, including the cinema. Disabled parking spaces are available on both sides of the kulturhuef.
New visual identity
In addition, the kulturhuef introduces a completely revised visual identity. A new logo represents the diversity of the cultural institution kulturhuef.
The square shape including three carved triangular forms can be interpreted with a certain playfulness: on the one hand, it represents the shape of the courtyard of the kulturhuef with its three entrances; on the other hand, it brings to mind the letter K. Besides the one uniform logo, the established colours green, orange and blue will continue to represent the respective pillars of
the museum, cinema, and café.
The museum keeps its title of Print and Playing Card Museum Luxembourg – abbreviated kulturhuef musée. The Cinémaacher is renamed „kulturhuef kino“, while the Kulturhuefcafé will change its designation to „kulturhuef bistro“. These new denominations symbolize the unity of the kulturhuef. A new signage furthermore makes for easier visitor orientation.
The website kulturhuef.lu has equally been completely redone. The focus has been put on comprehensibility and easier navigation through the diverse program offered by the kulturhuef. The website showcases itself as easy, decluttered and comprehensible.
The new visual identity was designed by Cropmark – creative studio, while the technical execution of the website was implemented by Redlingshöfer + Hofmann.
Liane Felten, president, on the kulturhuef
‘As president of the kulturhuef, and speaking for the administrative board and our dynamic team, I consider myself very lucky to have been able to present the cultural jewel that is the kulturhuef to the citizens of Grevenmacher, the Greater Region, and Luxembourg as well as to all those interested in cultural diversity.’