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The new permanent exhibition Frankfurt Now! will be open to visitors from 2017 in the upper floor of the new building. Frankfurt Now! is an exhibition and events space measuring around 1,000 m2 which gives us the chance to constantly discover new things about our city in cooperation with Frankfurters themselves. What does life look like in Frankfurt? What is special about Frankfurt? What do we hope for the future?

Who would be able to answer these questions better than Frankfurters themselves? They are the experts on this city, and have dedicated their Frankfurt knowledge to this room. We invite you to present your expert knowledge in the Historisches Museum Frankfurt and to share it with others.

The motto of Frankfurt Now! is: Frankfurt is many cities. Which Frankfurt do you live in? To be able to answer this question, we are always developing new methods as well as exhibition and event formats. The exhibition addresses Frankfurt’s present and questions the knowledge and experience of its inhabitants. It is aimed at Frankfurters, first and foremost. Participative methods play an important role in this exhibition space.

An important part of this new exhibition room was created by exhibition architects KOSSMANN.DEJONG from Amsterdam, with whom we are developing the participative exhibition concept and the creative form.

Das Foto zeigt den Modellbauer bei der Arbeit am Modell.
Der Modellbauer bei der Arbeit © HMF
Eine Modellbauerin steht auf dem Stadtmodell und benutzt ein Seil, um die Autobahn darzustellen
Letzte Arbeiten am Frankfurt-Modell © HMF, S.Kösling

An artistic city model of over a thousand Frankfurt citizens and Hermann Helle, Frankfurt/Rotterdam 2015 to 2017

The Frankfurt model in the permanent exhibition shows the city as it was described by its inhabitants in 2015. The Historisches Museum asked 1,166 Frankfurters for their views on the city. On that basis, artist Herman Helle built a model that is full of life. Favourite places and non-places, the diversity of the districts and perceptions of the city are the focus of the Frankfurt model. It shows how the Frankfurters who were interviewed see their city. Herman has translated this into art: he portrays the most important places in large-scale, while some stories are told through the use of allusions and found objects. Noises and videos convey the liveliness of the perceived city.
The city’s social groups differ greatly. This is why the opinions of Frankfurters often contradict one another. In Frankfurt, village and city, skyscrapers and timber frames, urban development and greenery are all right next to each other. These opposites come together and surprising neighbourhoods come to light through the model’s use of different media.

Find out about the Frankfurt model in a film by clicking here

Fotographie eines Stadtlaborplakats zum Gallusviertel hinter Glas, in dem sich die Galluswarte spiegelt
Stadtlabor unterwegs Gallus © HMF
Das Foto zeigt eine große Gruppe von Menschen, die an einer Veranstaltung der Sommertour 2015 teilnehmen
Sommertour unterwegs Ostend © HMF

Even if we all live in the same city, we all experience Frankfurt in different ways.
We explore these different sides to Frankfurt in the City Lab and present them to the public. Exhibitions, films and events about the city are created in close cooperation with various people and groups. Starting in 2017, the projects can be viewed in the permanent exhibition Frankfurt Now! as well as online in the Digital City Lab, or out and about in the city.
To the project description.

Entwurfszeichnung von Sigrid Sigurdsson zur Bibliothek der Alten, 1999
Bibliothek der Alten Entwurfzeichnung © HMF Horst Ziegenfusz
Das Foto zeigt die Präsentation
Präsentation "Wege nach Frankfurt" © HMF Petra Welzel

The library, the Bibliothek der Generationen (previously Bibliothek der Alten),  is an artistic remembrance project initiated by Sigrid Sigurdsson and is filled with life by over 100 authors. The project is intended to be cross-generational, spanning 105 years (2000 - 2105).
Books and cassettes are stored here, submitted by private persons, institutions, groups and initiatives. The themes depicted in the contributions cover a wide spectrum, including autobiographical works, artistic contributions and scientific representations. We often hold events centred on individual themes or contributions.
The Bibliothek der Generationen was originally designed for the exhibition called “The memory of art. History and recollection in contemporary art” (2000/2001). Together with then-museum curator Kurt Wettengl, Sigrid Sigurdsson searched for 100 authors who she thought to be connected to the history of Frankfurt. The participants were asked to create a biographical, historical or scientific review of the past century.

Since 2004, the Bibliothek der Generationen library has been part of the Historisches Museum’s permanent exhibitions. By now, almost 90 contributions have made their way into the Bibliothek der Generationen. They consist of historical and biographical observations, diaries and correspondences, drawings, records, artistic and scientific contributions, as well as photos, audio tapes and films. There are no requirements in terms of content; the library boasts a wide variety of topics and memories.
Participants over 50 years of age have three years to create their contribution; those under 50 have until they are 50 years old. This means that there will also be contributions that point to the future and that reflect the beginning of the 21st century. Every year, two more authors are added. In the end, the Bibliothek der Generationen will consist of 200 contributions, covering a period of over 200 years of remembered history.
The aim of the project is to get to know the history of Frankfurt am Main from different perspectives and to give future generations the chance to address the memories and reports of their elders. Judging by experience, an “open archive” such as this, in which citizens actively participate in a remembrance process, can trigger further discussion and processes which influence how a city deals with its own history in the long term.
Using the Bibliothek der Generationen
At the moment, the Bibliothek der Generationen cannot be used due to museum renovations. It will be re-opened this autumn with a new look. An overview provides information on all authors taking part in the project.