Corroded Desk Lamp

presumably 1930s

This corroded desk lamp belongs to a collection of similar lamps. They were found in the courtyard of the former Kunsthaus Tacheles shortly after the fall of the Wall. The damage may already have occurred during the bombing of Berlin in the Second World War. In the Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge, the lamps are the starting point for the collection area “Things after Disasters”. Their decay is not halted and in a few decades they will probably have disintegrated completely.

Since the 1990s, the Museum der Dinge has been collecting things that are heavily marked by the traces of their use or historical events or are on the verge of decay. Where museums were long considered exclusively a place of preservation, digitisation and sustainability awareness has brought about a change. It is being discussed whether objects have a right to decay and whether this can be shown.

The rusty desk lamp is currently part of the special exhibition “The Story of My Life. Object Biography as Concept, Method and Genre“, which can be seen at the Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge until 4 September.