Alles Klar? Glass and Death Alles Klar? Glass and Death
Alles Klar? Glass and Death
© Museum für Sepulkralkultur, Kassel, Bildarchiv
Photo: Anja Köhne


23. February 2018 – 13. May 2018

Alles klar? Glass and death

Of Transparent Things and Transcendent Ideas

Glass is a fascinating material. Glass is universal and everyday. It is durable, transparent, reflective and can sparkle. Glass is translucent, but also opaque. Glass is surprisingly changeable, fragile, fragile and bizarre. Glass makes a preservation for earthly eternity possible and is at the same time a symbol of the transcendent. But glass is also an inexpensive material for imitating what is valuable. The exhibition took the inherent fascination of glass as an opportunity to trace this material within the museum's own collection. Due to the distinct spectrum of attributed properties and its manifold symbolic qualities, glass is also used in many ways in funeral and mourning culture. In this special show, the Museum for Sepulchral Culture presented glass objects and things with applications made of glass, which refer to historical phenomena and contemporary tendencies in the sepulchral culture. were on display: Wreaths of pearls, funerary crowns, urns, pieces of jewellery and room monuments, but also grave markings or a 150-year-old ceremonial hearse, right up to memorial crystals in which traces of the deceased are fused.

Like hardly any other material, glass is linked with ideas of the world of the dead. Derived from the Middle High German term "glanst" for "shining" or also "glistening", it seems obvious that Christianity thought of the light-flooded sky as a sea of glass and, in the context of the creation story, represented God with a transparent glass ball in his hands – the symbol of the world of light he created. The realms of the blessed or dead are often described in Nordic mythology as a mountain of glass. The steep and slippery slopes cannot be climbed by mortals. The glass here separates the living from the dead in an insurmountable way. And some people are convinced that through the back of a glass filled with spring water they can make contact with spirits and powers of the hereafter.

For the exhibition opening the duo GlasKlang – Olaf Pyras and Marcel Quappen presented the musical piece "Der Gedanke vor dem letzten Gedanken" (The thought before the last thought).


facebook youtube instagram

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.

Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur

Museum für Sepulkralkultur

Weinbergstraße 25–27
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst
Kassel Documenta Stadt
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz