Exhibition TME, Washington D.C.
Travelling Micromuseum Exhibition of the Erich Kaestner Museum
On October 29, 2014, the Travelling Micromusem Exhibition (TME) in honor of the famous German writer Erich Kaestner opened in Washington D. C. at the German Embassy (designed by Egon Eiermann in 1962). In the years between 1962 and 1964, the embassy building was built according to a design by Egon Eiermann. It is the only building of this architect outside Germany. It was renovated from 2010 to 2014. The mobile exhibition, which will be shown in other U.S. cities over the next six months, was conceived and created by architect and lighting designer Ruairi O’Brien. He is also president of the Erich Kaestner Museum in Dresden.
The aim of O’Brien’s concept is to present the important stages in the life of the author, who became world-famous particularly through his children’s books. The individual sections of the Micromuseum reflect the stations in Kaestner’s life, his four major places of activity Dresden, Leipzig, Berlin and Munich.
Kaestner draws portraits of big city life in many of his books. This is particularly inspiring for architects and urban planners, because the depictions of a city like Berlin in the 1930s, which Kaestner describes in works like “Emil and the Detectives” or “Fabian,” are like a kind of blueprint for cities that no longer exist. This element also appears in his autobiography “Als ich ein kleiner Junge war”. Here, Kaestner describes Dresden before the bombing on February 13, 1945, impressively showing that some aspects of a city are irretrievably lost after its destruction. Such a book is a reminder that war destroys many things irretrievably.