Photo by Viktor Richardsson
If you're the sort of person who equates the word "museum" with stuffy art galleries, then you're in desperate need of heading over to Schöneberg for re-education. This trio of one-of-a-kind museums will certainly set you straight.
Located on the Wilmersdorf-Schöneberg border, Berlin’s very own Lipstick Museum displays the private collection of German make-up artist René Koch: over a century’s worth of the colourful tubes, including baroque lipstick from 1883. Koch will give you a private tour, sprinkling in anecdotes from his 20-year career in New York, where he rouged stars like Joan Collins, Hildegard Knef and Claudia Schiffer. You’ll see lipstick jewellery, fashion, pop art and even 150 autographed kiss impressions from the likes of Bonnie Tyler and Brigitte Nielsen. If you’re lucky enough, Koch will even ask you to lipstick-kiss his Berlin bear.
Want to see “petrified ice” from the second Ice Age? The screws from a 1939 plane crash in Peru that had only one survivor? The supposed hybrid of an acorn and an olive? You’ll have to go to the Museum of Unheard-of Things, a bedroom-sized museum filled with a hodgepodge of artistic, (pseudo-) scientific and overall bizarre objects. Opened by photographer Roland Albrecht in 2000, the free-of-charge exhibition also includes actual historical artefacts, like the broken parts of a typewriter used by Walter Benjamin to write The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Judge for yourself what’s real and what’s surreal.
A den for experimentation, the Youth Museum comprises two changing exhibitions and two permanent shows: Villa Global, a set up of bedrooms which depict the culturally diverse lives of 15 different Berliners; and a “chamber of wonders” in the cellar. PC parents won’t want to miss the “gender discovery port”, where schoolkids are encouraged to challenge gender norms through visual art and games. It’s not all kiddie fun, though: current photo exhibition Ruinen und Rolleiflex is a sobering documentation of the destruction of Schöneberg after WWII.