Egyptian grain mummies and toy cars, Peruvian totem poles and Meissen porcelain, Chinese granaries, guild equipment, paintings and thousands of books – the collection that forms the foundation of the PANEUM spans not only the ages, but also the world.
And it is brought together by one important staple: bread.
The purpose of the collection is twofold. On the one hand, it takes us on a journey through time and space, from the probably accidental “invention” of bread in the Neolithic period to Egyptian sophistication and Roman efficiency, mediaeval bakers’ pride and modern industrialisation to today's almost immeasurable bread diversity. On the other hand, the collection shows how bread’s journey begins on the farmlands and continues, through mills and bakeries, into our homes. The stations along this path have not changed over the millennia, and yet nothing has remained the same. This is also noticeable in the PANEUM.
The PANEUM is also an architectural journey of discovery, starting on the ground floor with the newer intakes and curiosities. “The best of the best” are artfully staged in the central atrium. Gazing upward, the most beautiful exhibits catch the eye as they float above like giant crystal chandeliers. On our way through the PANEUM, we immerse ourselves in different worlds of bread before the porcelain ballet brings historical figures to life.
The exhibition in the PANEUM is modelled on the idea of the Wunderkammer, which originated in 16th century Italy as “gabinetto delle curiosità” or “mirabilia”. Here, rarities and curiosities, often with nothing more in common than the person collecting them, were displayed. It was about the perspective that the collector had, his shared knowledge of the objects and the stories he told.
Making noise is part of the trade
It is, thus, not strictly scientific criteria, but colourfulness and a unique blend that distinguish the collection. Uli Prugger and Alfonso Demetz from GRUPPE GUT about the design: “In the presentation of the themes and exhibits, we focus on a mixture of discovery and information, amazement and job-related knowledge sharing. The result is an element of surprise, opening not only mouths but also minds.”
The PANEUM, therefore, stands in the tradition of the classic Wunderkammer, dedicated to a feeling that is so deep it burns in the heart and in the mind – the feeling of wonder. The Wunderkammer has always been and still remains an experience that touches all the senses. Step inside and be amazed!