Berlin, a city known for its art scene and world-class museums, needed something like the Buchstabenmuseum. The Museum of Letters, like it is known for some people, is the place to preserve, restore and exhibit signage from Berlin and around the world. If you are a typography lover like me, you will love the site.
I was there back in May 2014 for the opening of On the Wall – Lettering versus Calligraphy, and I managed to find time to explore the museum. I was more than happy with it. The pictures here are a few of the ones I took there. If you want to see more, you will have to go there and explore.
EXPLORING THE BUCHSTABENMUSEUM IN BERLIN
The Buchstabenmuseum was opened to the public back in 2008, and it was so popular that the museum had to move to a bigger space. The museum researches and documents the story behind the signs. It is the place to be if you care about the unique typographic qualities of those letters that survive on the rainy and snowy days on the streets.
When we visited the location, the museum was housed in a former GDR supermarket called Handelsorganisation next to the Jannowitzbrücke U-Bahn station in Mitte. And the place is big enough to hold the exhibition ground and what I called the archive, where new obtained letters arrive and are stored. Nowadays, they are set up next to the Bellevue S-Bahn station.
Since most of the letters exhibited at the museum were designed to be mounted on the top of buildings, viewing them up close is a different experience. Sometimes you need more space than provided to see the letters in all their glory. It will be the first time they see these letters in all their details for most people. What, sometimes, may include peeling paint, rusted metal, dead plants and even spider webs.
Seeing these letters from so close is an unusual experience that turns these letters into gateways into a not so distant past. I was glad to bring my camera with a fisheye lens, or I wouldn’t be able to picture most of what I saw there.
But there are still problems there. Since the Buchstabenmuseum runs entirely by volunteers, it works under constant resources and time constraints. And, while the increase in public meant more money, nearly all of it goes straight into rent and maintenance.
And this is why I decided to write about the museum here and help bring more people there. The price of admission is cheap, and you will love to visit the place and see all those big letters, even if you are not a typing maniac like me.
The Buchstabenmuseum is located at Stadtbahnbogen 424, and you can take the train to Bellevue to arrive there without any problems. But the pictures here are from when the museum was still located next to Jannowitzbrücke since we wrote this article back in 2014.
The museum is open from Thursday to Saturday from 13:00 until 17:00 and click here to know the admission price. And don’t forget to visit the gift shop!
Buchstabenmuseum in Berlin
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