The initiative of the Federal Government and the German economy, which is under the patronage of the former Federal President Horst Köhler, announced a competition in 2006 to find an imaginative place in Germany for every day of the year 2006.
The Museum for Sepulchral Culture was awarded the "Selected Landmark 2006" from 1200 applicants by the initiative "Germany – Land of Ideas". This is not only a tribute to the work, but also proof that the theme of dying, death and mourning has meanwhile found its place in the cultural landscape. The 365 selected locations formed the largest series of events for innovation, courage and curiosity ever held in Germany. The Museum for Sepulchral Culture presented itself to the public on the Sunday of the Dead in a ceremony during which the award "Place in the Land of Ideas" was officially presented.
Since 2020, under the conditions of the Corona pandemic, numerous museums have entered the virtual space with their exhibition or have expanded their presence there. Thus, the contact and exchange with the visitors could be maintained, despite often closed doors. Since then, the Museum for Sepulchral Culture has also been represented on Museum Virtuell with all its exhibitions since 2020. The rooms, texts and exhibits can be experienced in 360° mode thanks to modern 3D technology. These elaborate scans of the exhibitions are supported and produced by the managing director of Museum Virtuell, Dirk Leiber.
In 2021, the digital platform Museum Virtuell will award its own exhibition prize for the first time. According to the jury's decision, the 2021 exhibition prize will go to the Museum for Sepulchral Culture in Kassel and honor the exhibition "Suizid – Let's talk about it!".
"Everyone knows someone who has had to deal with it. There are people who have tried to take their own lives, relatives who can't get out of brooding, patients who can no longer see any other ways out of their suffering, society that casts prejudice on it, legislators who regulate it, associations that support it," writes Dirk Leiber about the winning exhibition.
Since 2010 there is a cooperation between the Museum for Sepulchral Culture and the Institute of Ethnology/ Cultural Anthropology at the University of Hamburg. Together with museum staff, the chair holder Prof. Dr. Norbert Fischer and graduates of the program prepare the content of the annual transmortale at the museum. The museum provides the infrastructure as a platform for interdisciplinary exchange for young scientists. In this way, museum holdings in the form of exhibits, archives and library become known to young academics as a possible basis for research and the most current research on the topic of death is brought together. The young academics are given the opportunity to present their research on the topic of death to a circle of interested people from various professional fields and to feed the knowledge gained back into their own teaching and learning environments.
You can learn more about transmortale here.
Suicide prevention is an important social and therapeutic activity in social work. Here, universal suicide prevention plays a central role in promoting public discourse on tabooing, denial, social exclusion and the prevention of offers of help. In a two-semester seminar of the B. A. programme in Social Work, an exhibition concept on the subject of "Suicide – Relatives – Society" will be developed in cooperation with the Museum für Sepulkralkultur. The seminar is designed as a multi-professional exchange between social work, humanities and cultural sciences, suicidology and psychiatry and offers students the opportunity to learn public relations work on a socially taboo psychosocial topic in theory and practice. The exhibition is scheduled to open on World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September 2021.
You can find out more about the project here.
In the meantime, the museum and the Chair of Material and Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Historical Institute of the University of Paderborn have been cooperating for several years. Students and teachers of the Master's programme in Cultural Heritage regularly come to Kassel to further their knowledge of the dimensions of sepulchral culture. The museum is involved in the education of students by providing rooms, materials and specialist knowledge and provides insights into the practice of curating and exhibiting. In mutual exchange, graduates and students also helped plan intercultural events such as the Día de los Muertos or spend entire project phases in the museum. The chair is held by Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Seng.
The Museum for Sepulchral Culture offers valuable training opportunities, especially for professional groups who frequently come into contact with death and mouring people. Young policeman and -women should therefore learn in their training how members of different religious communities deal with death and mourning or how legislation influences possibilities of burial. In 2019, the Hessian University of Police and Administration Wiesbaden, Kassel Department, and the Museum for Sepulchral Culture therefore entered into a cooperation in order to promote the academic achievements of the students and to intensify the professional exchange with education and research.
In the field of application-oriented scientific education of students in Bachelor's programme B. A. of the Protection and Criminal Investigation Police both institutions want to cooperate in the future and take part in reciprocal events in order to ensure a lively exchange directed towards the further development of the quality of the education of students.
As part of the competence network KIWit (Kompetenzverbund Kulturelle Integration und Wissenstransfer), the Genshagen Foundation aims to make a concrete contribution to shaping the personnel structure of cultural institutions in a more diverse way with its activities to promote young talent that are sensitive to diversity: A special focus will be placed on the removal of barriers to recruitment for people with a history of immigration. In addition to eight other BKM-funded cultural institutions in Germany, the Museum for Sepulchral Culture has also entered into a cooperation with the Genshagen Foundation in order to set up a ten-month trainee position with a view to promoting young talent that is sensitive to diversity. This position, which is financed by the Genshagen Foundation, has been occupied since September 2019 and supports the museum, among other things, in redesigning the permanent exhibition and developing an intercultural and inter-religious dialogue. New ways of design and visualisation are to be developed together with various groups. The key question is:
"How can we develop the new permanent exhibition in such a way that the diverse perspectives and cultures it contains are included in the development of the presentation?"
The cooperation is completed with the end of the KIWit trainee program.
ICOM Germany is committed to the tasks and goals of the International Museum Council (ICOM) in Germany. With over 6,000 members, it is the largest organisation of museums and museum experts in Germany and at the same time the national committee with the largest number of members within the International Museum Council.
The German Museum Association represents the interests of museums in Germany and stands for a diverse and sustainable museum landscape.
It represents the interests of the participating museums and their staff vis-à-vis political committees and bodies, e.g. in the Education Committee, the Europe/International Affairs Committee or the Cultural Heritage Committee of the German Cultural Council, and establishes subject-specific and cultural-political networks between museums throughout Germany.
AsKI e.V. was founded in 1967 on the initiative of the Federal Minister of the Interior as an association of currently 37 nationally and internationally renowned independent cultural and research institutes, which represent the quality and diversity of cultural Germany through a valuable collection. The "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e. V." (Study Group Cemetery and Monument) has been a member of AsKI since its foundation, followed by the Central Institute and Museum for Sepulchral Culture. In addition to the active exchange and support we receive from AsKI e.V., projects such as the AsKI joint exhibition "Die Verwandlung: Sterben und Trauer 1914-1918" (The Transformation: Dying and Mourning 1914-1918) are also being developed in cooperation with the association.
The Hessian Museum Association supports the non-governmental museums in Hesse through expert advice, continuing education events, financial support and public relations measures.
As part of its financial support, it grants subsidies for museums under private law and makes recommendations for the financial support of museums run by local authorities. The sponsors of non-governmental museums are entitled to apply. The granting or recommendation of subsidies is linked to the submission of a museum concept. Only museum owners whose institutions meet the minimum requirements for a museum are eligible to apply.
Since the 1970s, death dance associations have been founded in various European countries, and the independent section in Austria has existed since 2002. The association endeavours to promote science, research, art and design in connection with death dances and related topics. Its aims are to raise the profile of this genre, international professional exchange and continuous systematic research.
The Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe is a European network made up of public and private organisations that maintain cemeteries that are considered historically or artistically significant.
Historical cemeteries as elementary representatives of the Sepulchral culture, on which ideas and laws of the epochs were reflected, are researched and preserved in many places by associations and societies. We maintain a regular exchange with many such associations, and joint projects as well as training and advisory services are developed.
The Museum for Sepulchral Culture in Kassel is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively and comprehensively to the themes of dying, death, burial, mourning and remembrance. It presents, researches and conveys the broad spectrum of Sepulchral culture in its exhibitions, events and educational offerings. In addition to the Sepulchral Culture there are, however, numerous museums all over the world, which have developed from historical cemeteries, crafts enterprises around the topic of burial, or art treasures, or which focus on one of the aspects of the Sepulchral Culture.
Verenigung de Terebinth (Rhenen, NL)
National Federation of Cemetery Friends (NFCF) (South Croydon, GB)
Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, USA)
Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust (London, GB)
Friends of Nunhead Cemetery (London, GB)
Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery (London, GB)
Assistens Kirkegard Formidlingscenter (Kopenhagen, DK)
Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe (ASCE) (Maribor, Slowenien)
Network in Germany
Bauhütte Stadtgottesacker e. V. (Halle)
Der Golzheimer Friedhof soll leben e. V. (Düsseldorf)
EFEU e. V., „Alter St.-Matthäus-Kirchhof" (Berlin)
Evangelische Kulturstiftung Görlitz Nicolaifriedhof (Görlitz)
Friedrich-Carl-Heimann-Gesellschaft – Verein der Förderer historischer Denkmäler in der Stadt Köln e. V. (Köln)
Freunde des Arolser Alten Friedhofs e. V. (Bad Arolsen)
Freunde des Bornstedter Friedhofes e. V. (Potsdam-Bornstedt)
Freundeskreis Alter Friedhof Gießen, Arbeitsgruppe im Oberhessischen Geschichtsverein Gießen e. V. (Gießen)
Freundeskreis Historisches Homberg e. V. (Duisburg)
Freundeskreis Historisches Ihringshausen e. V (FKHI) (Fuldatal)
Freundeskreis Melaten (Köln)
Förderkreis Friedhof Bergedorf e. V. (Hamburg-Bergedorf)
Förderverein Alter Friedhof – Historischer Bürgerpark e. V. (Bad Nauheim)
Förderverein Jüdischer Friedhof Berlin-Weissensee (Berlin)
Förderkreis Historischer Waldbachfriedhof Offenburg e. V. (Offenburg)
Evangelischer Friedhof Overberge (Bergkamen)
Förderverein Alter Berliner Garnisonsfriedhof e. V. (Berlin)
Förderverein Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdorf e. V. (Stahnsdorf bei Berlin)
Förderverein Invalidenfriedhof e. V. (Berlin)
Förderverein Alte Dorfkirche Zehlendorf e. V. (Berlin)
Förderverein Erinnerungsstätte der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung Berlin Friedrichsfelde e. V. (Berlin)
Förderverein Historischer Friedhöfe Buttstädt e. V. (Buttstädt)
Förderverein Evangelischer Friedhof Kölnstraße e. V. (Düren)
Förderverein Eliasfriedhof Dresden e. V. (Dresden)
Förderverein zur Pflege der Friedhofs- und Bestattungskultur Freiburg (Freiburg)
Förderverein der Alte Friedhof Greifswald e. V. (Greifswald)
Förderverein Haus des Lebens e. V. Mahn- und Begegnungsstätte jüdischer Friedhof (Halle/Saale)
Förderkreis Ohlsdorfer Friedhof e. V. (Hamburg)
Förderverein Friedhof Engesohde (Hannover)
Förderkreis historischer Grabstätten in Mannheim e. V. (Mannheim)
Förderkreis Hasefriedhof – Johannisfriedhof e. V. (Osnabrück)
Förderkreis Friedhof Unter den Linden e. V. (Reutlingen)
Förderverein zur Denkmalpflege des Alten Friedhofes in Saarlouis (Saarlouis)
Förderverein Friedhofsfreunde Dölzschen (Dresden)
Gesellschaft für Freunde und Förderer des Alten Friedhofes in Bonn e. V. (Bonn)
Gesellschaft der Freunde und Förderer des Alten Friedhofs in Freiburg (Freiburg)
Geschichte Für Alle e. V. (Nürnberg)
Interessengemeinschaft Historische Friedhöfe (Berlin)
Initiative Innerer Neustädter Friedhof (Dresden)
Jüdischer Friedhof Altona (Hamburg)
Kontakt über die Stiftung Denkmalpflege Hamburg (Hamburg)
Lindauer Kulturerbe Alter Friedhof e. V. (Lindau)
Paul-Benndorf-Gesellschaft zu Leipzig e. V. (Leipzig)
Protestantischer Friedhof Augsburg (Augsburg)
Südfriedhof Leipzig (Leipzig)
Verein für Friedhofskultur in Halle und dem Umland e. V. (Halle/Saale)
Verein Alter Friedhof (Hamburg)
VIA MONUMENTUM – Denkmalpflege Heidelberger Friedhöfe e. V. (Heidelberg)
Stiftung Historische Kirchhöfe und Friedhöfe in Berlin-Brandenburg (Berlin)
Verein der Förderer des Kulturdenkmals Gottesacker Herrnhut e.V. (Herrnhut)
Amis du Musée Funéraire National (Paris, F)
Metnitzer Totentanzmuseum (Metnitz, AT)
Wiener Bestattungsmuseum (Wien, AT)
Sammlung Friedhof Hörnli (Basel, CH)
Museumsfriedhof Kramsach (Kramsach, AT)
National Museum of Funeral History (Houston, USA)
National Funeral Museum (London, GB)
Nederlands Uitvaart Museum Tot Zover (Amsterdam, NL)
Kegyeleti Múzeum (Budapest, H)
Museu de Carrosses Funebres (Barcelona, ES)
Network in Germany
Friedhofsmuseum Berlin (Berlin)
Friedhofsmuseum Kühndorf (Kühndorf)
Friedhofsmuseum Seelhorst (Hannover)
Grabkreuzmuseum Manfred Bergmeister (Ebersberg)
Graphiksammlung Mensch und Tod (Düsseldorf)
Museum Friedhof Ohlsdorf (Hamburg)
Steinmetzmuseum Scherer (Ulm)
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.
Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur
Museum für Sepulkralkultur
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0