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Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum
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Review Highlights
Interesting anthropological museum with loads to explore and discover

The objects, photographs and "settings" in this museum are generously displayed over 3 levels, with... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Vegetarian L
,
London, United Kingdom
Fascinating museum

Really interesting and thought-provoking experience, with a different, more critical point of view... read more

Reviewed August 28, 2018
Benny C
via mobile
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Reviewed August 7, 2014

When I visited part of the museum was closed, but even the part I saw was great and gave you an insight to different cultures. So if you are interested in cultures do make this one of you museums to visit in Koln.
The museum had also a lot of interactive displays that were not just for children and gave a deeper understanding on certain issues.
The museum is located close to the Neumarkt and the shopping streets that start there.

Date of experience: July 2014
4  Thank emcFIN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2014

Wish we had skipped this one. It was a very neat museum- interactive, modern, had a lot of technology, but was not as interesting as I thought it would be.

Date of experience: May 2014
Thank Carrie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2014

I cannot express how interesting I found this museum! It presents a much more challenging way of looking at museum objects than is usual. It challenged why we put things in museums, invited you to look at objects through Western and original owner eyes, plus the form and layout of exhibition was outstanding - things in drawers and boxes, things you could only see close up, things embedded in the floor, a meditative space... It's probably the best museum I've ever been to. I would highly recommend it for adults and children.

Date of experience: July 2014
2  Thank eviemou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2014

The museum's curators have tried to come up with a better way of doing something with their collection built on a base of old colonial artefacts than the traditional 'by geography' approach of their peers. It almost works, and their effort is well worth a visit.

In some ways the gallery on 'what's wrong with the traditional approach ?' was the most interesting - the objects collected in the 19th and early 20th centuries reflecting more the values and priorities of the collectors than representing what went on in the lives of the people from whom they came. So the preponderance of weapons represents (it is argued) Europe's 19th century preoccupation rather than an African or Indonesian obsession with the war. And typically a museum displays objects out of context leaving the visitor unable to work out what their role was in daily life. So the RJM sorts by category - starting with greetings (that's an amusing 21st century video addition!), art, doorways, living space, dress, ..... and ending with funerals and religion. (The gallery on 'ritual' was closed when I visited). The overall effect is to emphasise humanity's similarities across cultures rather than its differences.

A few factual and technical details go wrong - a magnificent 3D map on colonialism before the first world war is labelled 'colonies in 2009' (or was that someone's joke?); the impressive and carefully lit gallery of human figures has too many fierce permanent ceiling spotlights (combined with a lack of antireflective glass) that mars the intended effect. But don't let that put you off visiting this magnificent museum !

Labelling in German and English; extensive audio guide available in German and English.

I went because of the temporary special exhibition on Tapa - this was quite a difficult topic for an exhibition and done well, but the permanent collection was the surprise real draw for me.

Date of experience: January 2014
1  Thank colin w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

This is a new and huge building devoted to non-western cultures. The exhibition galleries are in two parts the first explain how the museum came to be, with some quirky and engaging displays about old-time explorers; the second series covers major themes such as living, death, clothing and religion. Objects (many spectacular) are shown as part of realistic settings rather than alone in cases.

Throughout the museum I noticed interesting items placed at child height, and there is in fact a 'Junior museum' within the building, though somehow I missed it. I'd say the museum will appeal to a wide range of visitors from young children to museum professionals. It seems a bit off the beaten track - not many visitors there - but well worth the 10 minute stroll from the city centre.

Usual cafe, museum shop etc. I had a preview of the forthcoming tapa cloth exhibition and can say that the temporary exhibition hall is enormous & that this and other exhibitions are well worth seeking out.

Date of experience: September 2013
1  Thank bolbec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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