Haus der Seidenkultur (HdS) is closed to visitors as from immediately until 21st April. “We are following the example of the municipal museums which have also closed for the time being”, says press spokesperson Dieter Brenner announcing the unanimous decision of the Committee. And: “Against the background of the recent developments we unfortunately had no choice than to proceed in this way”.
Therefore HdS is following the government recommendation to avoid unnecessary events. “This also reflects our responsibility towards our voluntary staff who all belong to the frequently quoted risk group due to their age, making this step inevitable”, says the Committee who ask “for understanding for the exceptional measure in the history of the museum”.
However the museum’s online shop still remains open: „An important source of income ensuring the future of our cultural work which we plan to intensify in the internet and social networks”, says Brenner. Through these platforms HdS will continue to provide information about current developments.
“Old display window decorations belong on the rubbish heap, that was the general opinion of the town of Krefeld. Now this unique decoration is in the museum for the time being”, that is how Jens Krepela introduced a television report for the programme “Lokalzeit”.
Author Helge Drafz visited Haus der Seidenkultur (HdS) with a television team where the report about the exhibition “Krefeld in 3D as it once was” was filmed for the WDR channel. “The visitors see a mixture of doll’s house and stage setting“, explains the presenter, awakening interest for the exhibition which can be seen in the museum in Luisenstrasse until April 26th.
In front of the camera the chairman of the museum, Hansgeorg Hauser, describes how the 14 dioramas with the impressive scenes of old Krefeld managed to escape the shredder just in time. And: “We are looking for a new owner”. Reason: The exhibits are getting old and urgently need to be restored.
For the television visit, curator Achim Wahl dusted down the figures in the „doll’s house“ and explained live in the WDR microphone how fascinating it is “to delve into the interesting stories behind the individual scenes.”
In the WDR mediathek it is possible to access the report under the title “Historische Bilder zeigen Krefelder Stadtgeschichte” (Historic scenes portray the history of Krefeld) Just click on the following link: https://www1.wdr.de/mediathek/video/sendungen/lokalzeit-duesseldorf/video-lokalzeit-aus-duesseldorf---514.html
WDR author Helge Drafz (left) interviews the Chairman of the museum live in front of the camera.
HdS Photo: Brenner
Translators visited the museum in Krefeld
What was a Dutch teacher from Deventer doing on the central computer at Haus der Seidenkultur (HdS)? Answer: The Dutch teacher is Harold Pieters (54) and he translates the texts from the HdS Internet platform (www.seitdenkultur.de) from German into Dutch. “In this way our neighbours from Venlo, Den Haag and Amsterdam and the surrounding areas can more easily find out about our organisation”, says Chairman of the Museum, Hansgeorg Hauser describing the new service.
The translation project was initiated by the HdS museum volunteer Jürgen Reck. “During the volunteers’ excursion last year, a Belgian called Antony Vanslembrovck (74) gave the group a guided tour in the cathedral in Xanten. We were so fascinated by his combination of information and humour that I asked him whether he could possibly translate the German texts into Dutch for us“, says Reck.
As the Flemish speaking Belgian was well aware that Dutch and Flemish are slightly different, he asked his friend from Deventer to proof-read the texts. In the end it was Pieters who completely took over the project.
Recently all those involved met in the museum in the Luisenstrasse in Krefeld. Now that we have visited this amazing organisation we are particularly proud to be able to contribute to this great jewel,” said the two gentlemen from the Benelux who were served an original “Niederrheinische Kaffeetafel” at HdS as a thank you for their voluntary work.
In addition the new Benelux friends each received a necktie with one of the nostalgic patterns which were once woven at the Hubert Gotzes weaving workshop for ecclesiastical textiles. By the way: The Dutch word for necktie is “stropdas”, and this will also be communicated in the Internet by HdS in future.
The Benelux translation team at the central computer at Haus der Seidenkultur (HdS). Our picture shows (left) Chairman of the Museum Hansgeorg Hauser, Antony Vanslembrovck, Harold Pieters and Jürgen Reck, who established the contacts in the neighbouring countries.
First collection from Haus der Seidenkultur sold out in no time
The run on the silk scarf which Haus der Seidenkultur (HdS) had made for the Krefeld Zoo as its contribution to the rebuilding of the ape house was tremendous. “Shortly after the publication the silk scarf in an edition limited to 500 was sold out”, says chairman of the museum, Hansgeorg Hauser.
Via the social networks, zoo friends from abroad were also informed about the unique item. “Orders from various different countries in the world, even China, were received in the online shop,” says Hauser, very pleased about the overwhelming resonance.
“For this reason we have decided to have a second “ape scarf” made,” said Hauser announcing the production of a second silk twill scarf with different animal pictures from the burnt down great ape house. The photos were taken by the zoo photographer Hella Hallmann. HdS was once again able to win over designer Annika Balter from the advertising agency “Mediacolor” for the graphic design.
“This current silk scarf is even more colourful and fresher”, says Hauser reflecting on the new collection which has been limited to one thousand. Ten euros of the sales price (28 €) of each scarf will go to the fund set up by the Krefeld Zoo to finance the rebuilding of the ape enclosure.
“In order to facilitate the entire billing process for our staff”, the customer pays € 28 and ten euros are put into a specially positioned donation box as direct donation (our photo).
HdS has found the following sales partners for this donation action: Bookshop Mennenöh, Rheinstraße 70; Becker-Wittig Estate Agents, Ostwall 111; Hafels Interior Design, Kölner Str. 532 (Fischeln); Copy Wolf, Oberstr. 34 (Uerdingen); Optician die brille, Krefelder Str. 32 (Hüls); Haus der Seidenkultur, Luisenstr. 15.
In addition the silk scarf, dimensions approx. 70 x 70 cm, can be purchased from the HdS online shop. The link is:https://seidenkultur.de/shop/online-shop
Haus der Seidenkultur has had a second edition of the silk twill scarf “Ape House II” produced so that even more donations are received.
The wave of support for the Krefeld Zoo has not died down. For example, Haus der Seidenkultur (HdS) has in a record time of just under a week had a silk-satin scarf made with a motif from the ape house which can already be purchased for a price of €28,-. For each scarf – 70 cm x 70 cm – sold ten Euros will go to the reconstruction of a new home for the apes”, says Chairman of the Museum Hansgeorg Hauser. And: “In order to increase the intrinsic value of the unique collection, we have limited the edition to 500.”
The motifs originate from the Krefeld-based photographer Hella Hallmann. The advertising agency “Mediacolor” was involved in implementing the special edition. “Thanks to the extremely rapid assistant of all those involved we were able to get this support project on the rails very quickly”, says Hauser thanking a “super team” for their commitment.
The silk-satin scarf can be bought during the opening hours of the museum shop in Luisenstrasse 15, namely Wed.-Fri. from 15.00 to 18.00 hours and on Sun. from 13.00 to 17.00 hours. The Zoo Scarf is also on sale in the HdS online-shop which has recently been set up. Hauser:“With a click on the following link you are making a contribution to the reconstruction of the ape house in Krefeld’s Zoo.” https://seidenkultur.de/shop/online-shop/category/view/10
Silk routes of discovery through the town, now also for individuals
Haus der Seidenkultur HdS is starting the new year with numerous new options and an extended range of touristic choices in Krefeld. “Starting straightaway we will be offering regular walks or coach tours on the silk routes around the town”, says museum press-spokesperson Dieter Brenner. And: “In the past such tours were only available for group bookings but now individuals can take part.”
The first date for a two-hour “Town Coach Tour on the Silk Routes” is Friday, 13th March. The first “Town Silk Walk” will take place on Friday, 20th March. This includes a visit to the St. Dionysius parish church with a short tour of the church and organ music.
“Our tours link the past, the present and the future of the textile town”, reveals Brenner describing the concept as “tours of discovery through the “Town like Silk and Velvet”. This applies in particular to the new town walk which is being offered in conjunction with the current exhibition “Crefeld in 3 D as it once was”.
14 dioramas (as we reported) currently on show at the museum depict what Krefeld looked like in the so often described good old times. “At the original locations we now see how the town has changed,” says Brenner, who is also acts as the town guide for HdS.
New options can also be found on the HdS internet platform where the museum shop is accessible around the clock under https://seidenkultur.de/shop/online-shop.
There is also news from the museum educationalists who will soon present their concept for 2020 which will include numerous interesting options for children and youngsters. Recently the museum staff have often been asked whether admission is free for children at HdS, - a measure which has just been introduced in the municipal museums. “That was always the case at HdS,” says museum Chairman Hansgeorg Hauser – HdS being the pioneer for free admission for children as it were.
In addition Hauser gave notice of the committee resolution that in future any person may attend the annual general meeting of the Association of Friends, not just members. Hauser: In this way our activities become more transparent and more people will be attracted to our voluntary cultural work for Krefeld.”
Here our town hall – once the town mansion of the von der Leyens – as it once was. The previous contruction was made of timber. HdSPhoto: Brenner
And this is what the Krefeld town hall of looks like today. HdS Photo: Wahl
Holiday Period Closure from 21st December to 2nd January 2020
“Take on the challenge and be open”, is how the Chairman of the Association of Friends, Hansgeorg Hauser (photo), subtitles his greetings for the festive season. Hauser recommends that in this age of modern communication we should talk directly to one another more often. And: “We must learn to argue again without foaming at the mouth and learn to tolerate our differences. A person who argues can pull himself/herself together again. A person who doesn’t speak and what’s more doesn’t listen cannot arrive at solutions. Speechlessness means standstill.”
“Let us make sure that our society keeps talking” is what Hauser wishes for the coming year. At the end of every discussion it should be possible to find a mutual compromise; “because the ability to compromise is one of the strengths of democracy”.
In this spirit Hansgeorg Hauser wishes all friends of Haus der Seidenkultur and the active volunteer “a peaceful and fulfilled life in 2020”.
Following the break over the festive season starting on December 21st, our museum will open again on Thursday, January 2nd. All the best until then.
Our exhibition “Crefeld in 3 D how it once was” can now be seen on television. Reimund Meincke from „k&m Medienproduktion“ has shot a film for Kreveld-TV in the museum. Press spokesperson Dieter Brenner, interviews live the Director of the Town Archives, Dr. Olaf Richter, Curator Achim Wahl and Chairman of the Association of Friends Hansgeorg Hauser.
Click on the following link to start the film:
This is Maryse Gaspard, once top model at Pierre Cardin. Today she is Directrice de la Haute Couture at the fashion czar‘s establishment. And what is the most fashion conscious lady in the world wearing? A silk scarf from Haus der Seidenkultur (HdS), naturally.
Three years ago Madame Gaspard visited HdS personally where there was a temporary exhibition commemorating the first European Fashion Oscar, the “Golden Spinning Wheel” awarded to Pierre Cardin by the town of Krefeld 53 years ago now. The realisation that fashion belongs in a museum has now also been acted upon by the “Düsseldorfer Kunstpalast” where the HdS team once again met up with Madame Gaspard who was happy to recall the “personal atmosphere” of the Cardin exhibition in the “Town like Silk and Velvet”.
In Düsseldorf, where the present Cardin exhibition can be visited until 5th January 2020, Madame Gaspard wore a scarf with the HdS gondola pattern. “Each of our historical patterns used for scarves and neckties is accompanied by a certificate describing the significance and the origin of the pattern”, says HdS spokesperson Dieter Brenner. And: “In Maryse Gaspard we once again have a prominent ambassador who literally takes our scarves around the whole world!”
“Anyone who wants to join the circle of fashion ambassadors can find the appropriate information material and arguments at the museum,” says Brenner promoting the museum shop which is, as of immediately, open around the clock online. This not only makes Father Christmas happy but also the Chairman of the Association of Friends, Hansgeorg Hauser: “The turnover during the Christmas period is an important source of income for us and we need this in order to continue contributing to the cultural scene in the town of Krefeld in future”, he says.
Anyone wanting to do their Christmas shopping at the museum has an opportunity to do so during normal opening hours, namely Wednesdays to Fridays from 15.00 to 18.00 hours and Sundays from 13.00 to 17.00 hours..
In Düsseldorf Madame Gaspard wore a scarf from Haus der Seidenkultur.
HdS-photo: Christof Denter
Made possible as a result of cooperation between the German Textile Museum and HdS
Barbara Köstner has a very unusual field of interest. She is a textile archaeologist. “My speciality is fabrics from the ancient world and the early Middle Ages”, explains the doctoral candidate from the University of Bonn. Currently the researcher is working closely with weavers who are happy to pass on the knowledge they have gained over their professional lifetime to the following generations at Haus der Seidenkultur in Luisenstrasse 15. Because the ingrained knowledge of the “oldtimers” helps the academic to better understand the weaving techniques used by the ancient Egyptians 2000 years ago.
Actually Barbara Köstner works mostly with a microscope. She searches for museums in England, Greece, Spain and other countries where Egyptian finds dating from the centuries before Christ are stored. She then carefully examines these fragments of ancient textiles to find out more about the material, the pattern and the weaving technique.
But “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. This gave rise to the idea of reproducing these ancient fabric fragments on present-day looms. Using the practical approach it is possible to unlock further secrets.
Dr. Annette Schieck, Head of the German Textile Museum in Krefeld-Linn recommended Haus der Seidenkultur also located in Krefeld to her young colleague. Here the looms are ready for use and above all there are experienced practitioners who have learned to weave from scratch.
Barbara Köstner was happy to take up the suggestion. And consequently the doctoral candidate and the weavers have since the summer been developing a programme to “reproduce” ancient fabrics.
Next September they are offering an appropriate workshop for conservators, scientists, artists and hand weavers, both in German and in English. Because those interested come from all over the globe. “The first workshop is fully booked,” says Barbara Köster who is very happy about the overwhelming response.
No wonder: Such a close interlinking of science and practical application in respect of ancient fabrics is surely unique in Europe. It has only been possible thanks to the amicable co-operation between the textile museum in Linn and Haus der Seidenkultur in the heart of the city. “That is a unique feature for Krefeld”, emphasizes Dr. Annette Schieck.
The project is being financed by the cultural trust of the Krefelder Sparkasse (bank). “We are sponsoring it to the sum of 24,000 Euro“, confirms the Sparkasse director, Lothar Birnbrich.
The citizens of Krefeld can also support the project: “We are still looking for looms for the project,” says Hansgeorg Hauser, Chairman of the Association of Friends of Haus der Seidenkultur. “Anyone who has a compact table loom or pattern loom with 12 or more shafts at home should get in contact with the museum.”
At the loom: Textile archaeologist Barbara Köstner working with the experienced weavers (from left to right) Dieter Blatt, Manfred Weisters and Christian Beckers to reproduce ancient textiles and to unlock their secrets. Photo: Ernst Müller, Stadt-Spiegel
For the festive decoration in the display window in the extension on the Neumarkt during the Advent period 1961, the Krefeld branch of the departmental store chain Kaufhof AG had 14 three-dimensional depictions of street scenes from Old Krefeld made by the employees responsible for window decoration.
These so-called dioramas which can now be seen at Haus der Seidenkultur were made of cardboard, plywood, fabric and paint based on models from the past with meticulous attention to detail. The perspective representation magically draws the gaze of the viewer to what is happening in the scene.
All the figures are affectionately designed, the buildings accurately reconstructed according to the documents from the town archives. “The attention to detail is astonishing,“ says Dr. Olaf Richter who as head of the town archives represented the town of Krefeld at the opening of the exhibition. And: “The exhibition serves as encouragement to delve deeper into the history of our town.”
Thanks to fortunate circumstances the unique exhibits did not sink into oblivion; Haus der Seidenkultur (HdS) so to say saved them from the rubbish heap and “revived” them in order to present them in a temporary exhibition entitled “Krefeld in 3D as it once was”.
During the preparations for the exhibition, curator Achim Wahl was literally faced with huge challenges. After all each diorama with outside dimensions of 1.53 metres wide and 1.58 metres high weighs some 50 kilos. In order to transport them from the basement of the Robert-Jungk comprehensive school in Krefeld-Hüls where the dioramas were being stored, Wahl had to design and build a special sliding carriage which he named “Pharaoh”.
NEW OWNER NEEDED
The exhibits are in the meantime rather aged and will hardly survive renewed storage. Wahl: “They need to be expertly restored because not just the heads of the small figure have suffered over the past 58 years.” Therefore HdS is now looking for someone who is willing to take on the entire collection and restore it. (More about this soon)
Toma Neill, a well-known bandoneon player, who has perfectly mastered the instrument “Made in Krefeld” provided the music for the opening. Anyone who had previously regarded the instrument as a “Squeezbox from the Lower Rhine” was taught otherwise. Neill, amongst other things a guest musician with the orchestra “Neue Philharmonie Westfalen” enticed concertante sounds from the instrument. Chairman of the Association of Friends, Hansgeorg Hauser, was not the only one who had “never experienced or heard” such sounds from the bandoneon before.
Krefeld in 3D: Naturally the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum may not be left out.
Curator Achim Wahl (right) together with the head of the town archives Dr. Olaf Richter, who indicates the plan according to which this 3-D picture was reconstructed. It depicts the Schwanenmarkt with a view of the Alte Kirche (Old Church)
An amazing development: Where once the textile landscape flourished in the “Town like Silk and velvet”, the abandoned company premises have lain derelict for decades. Now new life is emerging in the former factory halls in various parts of the town, for example in the Mies van der Rohe Business Park at Girmesgath 5. New offices where creativity and innovation are at home are now being established in the listed buildings belonging to Verseidag.
In cooperation, we from the museum Haus der Seidenkultur (HdS) now offer guided tours on the historical premises. Former pupils of the Fichte Gymnasium (Grammar School) who took their school leaving examination there 62 years ago took the opportunity to book this tour. .
During the tour Janina Hofius (left) combined the past, the present and the future of Verseidag which continues to produce fabrics in Industriestrasse. Nowadays however, these are not silk and velvet but high-tech textiles. For example the textile roofs of the Olympic stadiums in Berlin and Munich came from Krefeld – a fascinating story which we are happy to relate in the museum. And why the new central bus terminus Ostwall – Rheinstrasse should have a glass roof seems very strange to us.
„Aldi inspiriert“ is the title of the new edition of the customer magazine of the discounter. On page 46 there is a rubric Tips for Visits in the Region. Four suggestions are made, starting with modern architecture in Düsseldorf up to the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum in Cologne.
Tip No. 3 hangs “On a Silk Thread”. This is a reference to Haus der Seidenkultur which is also mentioned in the Aldi leaflet. Isn’t it great that a relatively small museum is being presented to the public on such a large stage.
“Krefelder Kulturcocktail” is the title of a programme which Radio “KuFa” broadcasts via the soundwaves of “Radio Niederrhein” once per month. One of the most recent editions was about the EU- project “Mingei”. Our press spokesman Dieter Brenner explains why the EU is digitalising the former handicraft at our museum.
Our point paper designer Dieter Blatt was also interviewed by Gabriele Kremer. In the photo his fingers are being synchronised for the pc. Our point paper designer Dieter Blatt was also interviewed by Gabriele Kremer. In the photo his fingers are being synchronised for the pc. Why not listen to the programme. The Cocktail also includes fantastic songs. Click on the link and download the June edition: https://www.kulturfabrik-krefeld.de/radio/kanal/3