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just a few weeks ago I took the opportunity to visit the BMW Museum in Munich for the first time since childhood. While not as impressive as Mercedes' gargantuan shrine in Stuttgart, it nonetheless offered the odd interesting exhibit.
It's a bit of a shame that, in order to measure up to the more modern competition, BMW has decided to abandon much of the Museum's original concrete architecture. As a result, its interior is rather bland in comparison with the still inspiring Karl Schwanzer-penned hull.
But in this instance, photos are better at talking than words (and the forum is a better place for photos than the galleries - that uploader must've been designed with the main aim of testing one's frustration limits...).
Sam the Eagle says:
Is it as dull inside as it looks on the pics? The last one in particular looks utterly pointless.
[This Reply has been modified by the Author]
Hell is other people.
The ideal museum for cars features neutral, clearly lit spaces with cars viewable from 360 degrees. What a car museum does not need is the kind of confusing, glittering and polychromatic visual noise that someone had decided to deploy in the BMW museum. The inspiration was clearly based on car shows such as Paris and Geneva. I think the orange BMW 2002 illustrated here in Kubrick´s exellent photos comes close to being acceptable but it did not need matching period lamps to "explain" it. This is a car museum for people who don´t really have much interest in cars, isn´t it? For a car enthusiast the car is enough. Like good ingredients in a meal, a car doesn´t need any surplus sauces, garnishes and decorations. Other than perhaps a scantily clad young lady writhing in barely surpessed exctasy over the bonnet, natch.
I wasn't particularly awestruck when I visited the BMW Museum, I must admit. I actually liked some of the more abstract exhibits (particularly the simply wonderful "kinetic sculpture") and some of the cars shown were worth the visit all by themselves. At the same time I had the feeling as if the architects/curators don't really believe in mere cars being able to support an entire museum - which meant that a fair number of gimmicky elements were added, occasionally to the detriment of the actual cars. My images of the 850 convertible prototype - a car I consider a minor sensation to actually see in the metal - aren't as obscure due to my photographic inability, but because that part of the exhbition was actually lit like a new wave/gothic night club. The qualiyt of the photos I took of the designers' sketches (all of which were originals!) suffered for the same reason, as well as rather off placement.
Like Bert pointed out, the BMW Museum doesn't really cater to those of us who know their BMW E codes - it's actually among Munich's top tourist attractions and was practually flooded with Chinese visitors the day I visited. To them it might actually be interesting to learn what BMW did before the first X5 came out. Yet that doesn't fully explain why and how Mercedes-Benz could do a considerably better job trying to combine a plethora of conflictive requirements.
Thanks for the clarification. It just confirms my first impression when I saw the first pictures you posted. Too much theatre, and not enough confidence in letting the cars speak for themselves. I take it you've also visited the Porsche museum? That one seems to fulfill the latter brief a lot better based on pics posted elsewhere ( Mark Hamilton's own pics if I remember correctly and CAR's own pics not long after).
Actually I think I would have spent most of my time looking at the sketches (that 'americanized' 6-series that someone else pointed out in another thread is strangely fascinating). And I like your pic of that orange 2002ti (you could just crop out the visitors on the left).
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