Guided tour

Thirst for knowledge meets collecting mania
24 March 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Thirst for knowledge meets collecting mania
24 March 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Museums are facing challenging times: what seemed a must for an ethnographic museum in the past – for example, a collection of human skulls – has now become a sensitive issue. The guided tour explores the motives behind the collecting mania of earlier days and poses questions as to the appropriate handling of sensitive objects today.

> In German

Admission fee

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Guided tour

Secrecy
31 March 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Das Geheimnis
Guided tour
Secrecy
31 March 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Every one of us and every community has its secrets. Usually we keep them locked away in our minds, but one also finds them hiding in documents and objects: what do the secret writings of Batak ritual specialists hold? What is the meaning of the female figure on a Iatmul men’s house?

> With curator Tabea Buri

In German

Admission fee

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Das Geheimnis

Guided tour

Impulse tour on the Story Café
3 April 2019 17:30 - 18:00 PM
Impulsführung zum Erzählcafé
Guided tour
Impulse tour on the Story Café
Secrecy
3 April 2019, 17:30 - 18:00 PM

Every one of us and every community has its secrets. Usually we keep them locked away in our minds, but one also finds them hiding in documents and objects.

With curator Tabea Buri

Admission fee

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Impulsführung zum Erzählcafé

Grasping anthropology

My and some other secrets
3 April 2019 18:00 - 20:00 PM
Erzählcafé: Meine und andere Geheimnisse
Grasping anthropology
My and some other secrets
3 April 2019, 18:00 - 20:00 PM

We tend to guard family secrets; secrets are inclusive and exclusive at the same time; they can be funny, dangerous, deep, even hallowed. We’re looking forward to hearing your little secret! The Story Café is all about memories and experiences: participants get the chance to tell us something, but nobody is asked to reveal a secret.

With Tabea Buri, exhibition curator, and Johanna Kohn, Story Café.

In cooperation with the network “Story Café Switzerland” and “Generations in the Museum”.

Admission fee

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Erzählcafé: Meine und andere Geheimnisse

Guided tour

Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
7 April 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
7 April 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Museums are facing challenging times: what seemed a must for an ethnographic museum in the past – for example, a collection of human skulls – has now become a sensitive issue. The guided tour explores the motives behind the collecting mania of earlier days and poses questions as to the appropriate handling of sensitive objects today.

> With Réka Mascher-Frigyesi

> In German

Free entry

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Kids and families

Rattles and a lot of noise
7 April 2019 13:00 - 17:00 PM
Rasseln, Klappern, Lärmen
Kids and families
Rattles and a lot of noise
7 April 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 PM

In the exhibition Secrecy, there is a platform with instruments on display: they are silent, look almost enchanted. In our workshop, however, it is bound to get loud, because we’re making make rattles and other noisy instruments.

> With Leah Vogler

> Material: CHF 5.–

Free entry

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Rasseln, Klappern, Lärmen

Visitors with special needs

Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
7 April 2019 15:00 - 16:00 PM
Visitors with special needs
Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
7 April 2019, 15:00 - 16:00 PM

Museums are facing challenging times: what seemed a must for an ethnographic museum in the past – for example, a collection of human skulls – has now become a sensitive issue. The guided tour explores the motives behind the collecting mania of earlier days and poses questions as to the appropriate handling of sensitive objects today.

> With Lua Leirner

Free entry

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Guided tour

Provenance research: many roads led to Basel
10 April 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Provenance research: many roads led to Basel
10 April 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

On the first International Day of Provenance Research we show how we at the museum deal with the history of collecting in the exhibition Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania. The guided tour provides insight into ongoing research projects and collaborations with local communities from which we hold objects in our collections.

> With Alexander Brust, curator for America, and Isabella Bosza, curator for Africa

Admission fee

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Guided tour

Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
14 April 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
14 April 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Museums are facing challenging times: what seemed a must for an ethnographic museum in the past – for example, a collection of human skulls – has now become a sensitive issue. The guided tour explores the motives behind the collecting mania of earlier days and poses questions as to the appropriate handling of sensitive objects today.

> With Christophe Schneider

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

Secrecy
21 April 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Das Geheimnis
Guided tour
Secrecy
21 April 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Every one of us and every community has its secrets. Usually we keep them locked away in our minds, but one also finds them hiding in documents and objects: what do the secret writings of Batak ritual specialists hold? What is the meaning of the female figure on a Iatmul men’s house?

> With the exhibition curator Tabea Buri

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Das Geheimnis

Guided tour

Field research in the Minster
28 April 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Auf Feldforschung im Münster
Guided tour
Field research in the Minster
28 April 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

For once, talk in the Basel Minster is not about theology or art history, but about anthropology. Following a 30-minute crash course on the stuff anthropology is made of in the Museum der Kulturen Basel, we explore the Basel Minster from a new angle: what does the church’s main porch tell us about social belonging? In how far is a church service also a performance?

Start: Museum der Kulturen Basel, end: Basel Minster

> With Antonio Russo

Admission fee

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Auf Feldforschung im Münster

Grasping anthropology

Downward dog: yoga tour in the museum
1 May 2019 18:00 - 19:30 PM
Herabschauender Hund: Yoga-Tour im Museum
Grasping anthropology
Downward dog: yoga tour in the museum
1 May 2019, 18:00 - 19:30 PM

The “downward dog” is a popular yoga position. Johanna Heusser, dance and yoga instructor, looks back on many years of intensive training in addition to critically reflecting on the practice of yoga. She has developed her engagement into a performance. Together with the curator Stephanie Lovász, she embarks on dance-cum-dialogue tour of the museum in the course of which the audience is also invited to try a few exercises.

> In collaboration with the Basel Dance Festival

Admission fee

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Herabschauender Hund: Yoga-Tour im Museum

Special event

Dancing with objects
5 May 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Tanzen mit Dingen
Special event
Dancing with objects
5 May 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Dance masks from a wide range of cultures are on display in the exhibition BIG: some of them huge and expressive, others dainty and imaginative. Beatrice Voirol explains the contexts in which they are used and the relationship between dancer and mask. The subsequent show by “Tulpa” is object theatre and dance performance in one. A mysterious dance object enters the room: what follows is a dialogue between body and object, an encounter between small and large, between the subtle and the obvious.

With Beatrice Voirol, curator for Oceania, and the creators of “Tulpa”: Fabrizio Di Salvo, music, Sol Bilbao Lucuix, dance, and Tabea Rothfuchs, object design.

> In collaboration with the Basel Dance Festival

Free entry

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Tanzen mit Dingen

Kids and families

A fancy box for keen collectors
5 May 2019 13:00 - 17:00 PM
Sammelwut und Sammelkiste
Kids and families
A fancy box for keen collectors
5 May 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 PM

What do you collect? Feathers, elegant paper, animal teeth? In the workshop you get to decorate your own collector’s box which you can take home to keep all your treasures in.

> With Leah Vogler

> Material CHF 5.–

Free entry

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Sammelwut und Sammelkiste

Workshop for adults

Boro, Sashiko, and Kantha – Introduction to Japanese and Indian embroidery
11 - 12 May 2019 11:00 AM - 16:00 PM
Workshop for adults
Boro, Sashiko, and Kantha – Introduction to Japanese and Indian embroidery
11 - 12 May 2019, 11:00 AM - 16:00 PM

In Japan, the running stitch is used for mending and embroidering textiles. The museum’s textile storage holds countless examples showing how this sewing and embroidering technique is applied in Japan. They serve as inspiration for our own designs.

Please bring along any textiles in need of repair, leftover cloths, and a picnic for lunch!

There is only place for 16 textile aficionados, so please register by Fri 8.5. under 061 266 56 32 or at info@mkb.notexisting@nodomain.comch

> CHF 190.–

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Guided tour

World views
12 May 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Weltsichten
Guided tour
World views
12 May 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

We invite you to explore the museum and its history. Get to hear about adventurous expeditions and meticulous collecting, discover surprising objects from all corners of the world, and learn what modern anthropology is all about.

> With Antonio Russo

Admission fee

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Weltsichten

Guided tour

Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
19 May 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
19 May 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Museums are facing challenging times: what seemed a must for an ethnographic museum in the past – for example, a collection of human skulls – has now become a sensitive issue. The guided tour explores the motives behind the collecting mania of earlier days and poses questions as to the appropriate handling of sensitive objects today.

> With Christophe Schneider

International Museum Day: Free entry

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Guided tour

Best-of
26 May 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Best-of
Guided tour
Best-of
26 May 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The most valuable, the best known, and the most popular – the “Best of” guided tour presents select objects from all exhibitions. At the same time, we question the criteria of such rankings. What are they based on: collectors’ interests, scientific value or personal preferences? What’s at the top of your personal list, and why?

> With Reingard Dirscherl

Admission fee

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Best-of

Guided tour

Fashion
2 June 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Fashion
2 June 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Pretty clothes are fun and contribute to our individuality. But how are designs created? What narratives lie hidden in the yarn? In StrawGold and other exhibitions we encounter numerous objects that provide background information as to the way we dress, and invite us to explore fashion traditions in other parts of the world.

> With Nadja Breger

Free entry

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Kids and families

My fabulous creature
2 June 2019 13:00 - 17:00 PM
Mein Fabeltier
Kids and families
My fabulous creature
2 June 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 PM

Using wood, furs, cloth leftovers, tulle, shells, and bags of imagination we create a mythological creature. At the same time, we consider where the materials come from. Are they natural or artificial?

> With Leah Vogler

> Material: CHF 5.–

Free entry

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Mein Fabeltier

Grasping anthropology

Who Needs this mask? Discussions concerning the restitution of cultural heritage objects
5 June 2019 18:00 - 19:30 PM
Wer braucht diese Maske? Debatten um Rückführung von Kulturgütern
Grasping anthropology
Who Needs this mask? Discussions concerning the restitution of cultural heritage objects
5 June 2019, 18:00 - 19:30 PM

What’s behind the claims for the restitution of cultural heritage objects? What does restitution mean for the future of anthropological museums? How does one reconcile the interests of the countries of origin with the concerns of research and conservation and the interest of museum visitors? In a short guided tour of Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania we first take a look at some “sensitive” objects before debating the issue in a podium discussion.

With Dr Anna Schmid, director of MKB, Prof Dr Elisio Macamo, University of Basel, and Prof Dr Gesine Krüger, University of Zurich.

Admission fee

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Wer braucht diese Maske? Debatten um Rückführung von Kulturgütern

Guided tour

Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
9 June 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
Thirst for Knowledge meets Collecting Mania
9 June 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Museums are facing challenging times: what seemed a must for an ethnographic museum in the past – for example, a collection of human skulls – has now become a sensitive issue. The guided tour explores the motives behind the collecting mania of earlier days and poses questions as to the appropriate handling of sensitive objects today.

> With Reingard Dirscherl

Admission fee

> Calendar
> PDF

Guided tour

From Maya script to website
16 June 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Von der Mayaschrift zur Website
Guided tour
From Maya script to website
16 June 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Chiselling texts, carving signs, painting symbols, digital data world: what does generating data actually mean?

> With Christophe Schneider

Admission fee

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Von der Mayaschrift zur Website

Special event

Brass serenade
23 June 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Brass Serenade
Special event
Brass serenade
23 June 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Very British, Southern Dixie charm, Brazilian fire, or do you prefer classical music after all? In this picnic concert you don’t have to make a choice, because the brass ensemble of the Basel Symphony offers a bit of everything.

> Works by William Byrd, Johann Sebastian Bach, Jim Parker, Stephen Foster, George Gershwin, Zequinha de Abreu, and Chris Hazell

> In case of bad weather, the concert will not take place.

Free entry to concert

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Brass Serenade

Guided tour

StrawGold
30 June 2019 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Guided tour
StrawGold
30 June 2019, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Why is a Bavarian dirndl made of African cloths? Moreover, in what way are these cloths still African? Objects, ideas and technologies have been travelling between cultures since time immemorial. Learn more about these fascinating entanglements.

> With Eli Wilhelm

Admission fee

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Museum > Collection

Collection

The collections of the Museum der Kulturen go back to the mid-19th century. With the valuable pieces from Ancient America donated by the Basel businessman Lukas Vischer, the city at the knee of the Rhine came into possession of one of the first ethnological collections in Europe.
Initially, private collectors used their own money to travel across continents and bring back to Basel interesting objects and evidence of everyday indigenous culture. What started as a small collection that was part of a universal museum developed, thanks to scholars such as Fritz and Paul Sarasin, Felix Speiser, Paul Wirz and Alfred Bühler, into a stronghold of scientific work and an ethnological museum of international standing. In the subsequent decades, they made further major contributions to the systematic expansion of the collection.

Today, the Museum der Kulturen Basel is among the most important ethnographic museums in Eu-rope. Its collection of more than 300'000 objects is impressive and of world renown. Over generations, comprehensive collections were built up focusing on particular areas, with valuable objects from Eu-rope, Africa, America, Oceania, Indonesia, South, Central and East Asia.

In addition to ethnographic artefacts, it also has a collection of around 50'000 historic photographs. These are both objects as well as a source for conducting research into the object.

At irregular intervals, individual collections are described and photographically documented on this page.

This site is still under construction!
Objects
Big Babanki, Hocker mit Menschenköpfen, Kamerun, 1962, Sammlung Basler Mission, Foto © Museum der Kulturen Basel
Opferhäuschen, Indonesien, Borneo, Kalimantan, vor 1935, Sammlung Basler Mission, Foto © Museum der Kulturen Basel
Priesterweste, Indonesien, Borneo, Kalimantan, vor 1935, Sammlung Basler Mission, Foto © Museum der Kulturen Basel
Ganesha, Indien, 1856, Sammlung Basler Mission, Foto © Museum der Kulturen Basel
Mahjong. Han, China; vor 1898; Bambus; IId 85. Mahjong ist ein Spiel für vier Personen und in Ostasien von ungebrochener Belibtheit. Unser Spiel hat 144 Spielsteine, Ziegel genannt.
Guanyin. Han, China; 19. Jh.; Holz; IId 1363. Die Göttin der Barmherzigkeit und des Mitgefühls ist die chinesische Variante des Avalokiteshvara. Sie verspricht, jene zu retten, die sie anrufen.
Essschale. Han Shandong, China; Quing-Dynastie (1644-1911), Quianlong (1736-1796); Porzellan; IId 478. Gerichte werden in Schalen und auf Platten in der Mitte des Tisches platziert. Jede Person hat eine eigene Schale, in die sie ihr Essen legt.
Bügeleisen (yuntou). Han, China; 19. Jh.; Messing, Holz; IId 9535. Zum Erhitzen wurden glühende Kohlen in das Metallbecken gefüllt und mit Sand vermischt, um die Hitze länger zu halten.
Weste aus Bambus. Han, China; 19. Jh.; Baumwolle, Bambus; IId 279. Das Unterhemd aus verknoteten Baumwollfäden mit aufgefädelten Bambusröhrchen schützte das Oberkleid von Körperausdünstungen.
Altar. Rajastan, Indien; 20. Jh.; Holz, Farbe; IIa 11492. Der Flügelaltar ist der Gottheit Vishnu gewidmet. Er wird von professionellen Erzählern genutzt, um die in Bildern dargestellten Legenden vorzutragen.
Göttin Kali. Indien; 2000; Holz, Gips, Karton, Papier, Plastikperlen, Metallblech, synthetisches Haar; IIa 11493. Die Göttin Kali, wörtlich: die Schwarze, wird in ganz Indien verehrt. Die zu ihren Ehren abgehaltene Zeremonien finden im häuslichen Bereich und im öffentlichen Raum statt.
Das Geistwesen Maha Giri. Yangon, Myanmar; 2000; Holz, Tüll, Stoff, Papier, Metall; IIb 4052.14. Nat ist in Myanmar die Bezeichnung für ein ganzes Heer von verschiedenen Geistwesen, die omnipräsent sind. Maha Giri wird in jedem Haushalt verehrt.
Stevenfigur. New Georgia Island, Salomonen; vor 1929; Holz, Nautilusschale; Expedition Paravicini 1928-29; Vb 7525. Die Figur wurde am Steven eines Kanus oberhalb der Wasserlinie aufgesetzt. Sie soll Gefahren frühzeitig erkannt und die Menschen davor beschützt haben.
Fasnachtslaterne. Basel, Schweiz; 1929; Holz, Metall, Textil, Acrylfarbe; VI 11885; Sammlung Paul Wilde, Basel. 384 x 266 x 140,5 cm. Grosse Zugslaternen mit satirischen Darstellungen sind eine Besonderheit der Basler Fasnacht. Dieses Transparent schuf der Kunstmaler Wilde.
Maske. Basel, Schweiz; 1950/60; Papier, Acrylfarbe, Pflanzenfasern; VI 71116; Sammlung Christian Kaufmann, Basel. 30 x 19,5 x 63,5 cm. Die in Basel etablierte Kunst des Larvenkaschierens ist auch ausserhalb der Fasnacht beliebt. Diese Maske entstand zum 60. Geburtstag von Prof. Alfred Bühler.
Männerkopftuch. Palästina; 1981; Baumwolle; IIe; Sammlung Basler Mission. 112 x 117 cm. Die kufiya, das in Palästina traditionell getragene Männerkopftuch, ist seit den 1970er Jahren zu einem Mode-Accessiore des Westens geworden.
Synkretistisches Amulett. Zizers, Graubünden, Schweiz; 18. Jh.; Pergament, Handschrift; VI 25297; Sammlung Emanuel Grossmann, Riehen. 174 x 5,6 cm. Das mit magischen, jüdischen und christlichen Symbolen und Formeln beschriebene Amulett belegt kabbalistisches Wissen im Alpenraum.
Rechtsurkunde, "Tessel". Albinen, Wallis, Schweiz; 1818; Holz, Hanfschnur; VI 6570; Sammlung Eduard Hoffmann-Krayer, Basel. 31 x 65,5 cm. Mit Hauszeichen und Kerben wurden früher Abmachungen zu Rechten und Pflichten einer Gemeinschaft festgelegt und garantiert.
Fasnachtslarve. Basel, Schweiz; 2003; Papier, Acrylfarbe, Baumwolle, Kunststoff; III 27550; Sammlung Maoua Koné, Bamako. In Mali vertraut mit Fabelwesen lernt die Marionetten-Künstlerin in Basel den "Basilisk" kennen und krönt damit eine Fasnachtslarve.
Anker. Insel Rügen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Deutschland; 19. Jh; Holz, Gneis; VI 48; Sammlung Paul und Fritz Sarasin, Basel. 85 cm. Sehr archaisch wirkt dieser einfach und günstig herzustellende Anker eines Ostsee-Fischers: Das Holzgeäst wird durch einen Stein beschwert.
Möbelmalerei. Toggenburg (?), Ostschweiz, Schweiz; um 1880; Holz, Ölmalerei; VI 25393; Sammlung Max Wydler, Zürich; 57,5 x 62,5 cm. Die Kastenfüllung steht für die in der Ostschweiz verbreitete Tradition der Möbelmalerei. Dieser Engel soll wohl die Funktion eines Schutzengels haben.
Eingericht, Geduldflasche. Burgenland, Österreich; 1901; Glas, Papier, Textilien; VI 56628; Sammlung Wolfgang Riedl, Wien; 23,5 x 7,5 x 11,5 cm. Gleich wie das Buddelschiff der Seemänner entstand mit geduldiger Hand diese als Wallfahrtsandenken dienende Arbeit.
Kleines Andachtsbild. Prag, Tschechische Republik; um 1850; Papier, kolorierter Stahlstich, Goldprägung; VI 12574; Sammlung Anton Pachinger, Wien; 12 x 8 cm. Ein Zeugnis für die schon früher über weite Wege gepflegten Beziehungen: Dieses "Pragerbildchen" erwarben Pilger in Triberg (Schwarzwald).
Grabtuch. Besançon, Doubs, Frankreich; ca. 1750; Seide, Stickerei; VI 20819; Sammlung A. L. Henry, Montreux; 20 x 27 cm. Bis Ende des 18. Jh. stritten sich mehrere Orte um den Besitz des echten Grabtuches. Hohe Verehrung genoss jenes im französischen Jura.
Wallfahrtswimpel. Antwerpen, Belgien; 1706; Papier, Druck; 42591; Sammlung Werner Konrag Jaggi, Zürich,; 13,3 x 8.5 cm. In einigen Gegenden Europas erwirbt man noch heute einen am Gnadenbild befestigten Wimpel. Seltener sind sie in ein Mirakelbuch eingefügt.
Votivbild. Polling, Bayern, Deutschland; 1835; Öl auf Holz, Silberblech; VI 30390; Sammlung Max Wydler, Zürich; 31,5 x 25 cm. Als sichtbares Zeichen der Dankbarkeit gegenüber einer göttlichen Macht lässt sich das Votoivbild auch als gemaltes Gebet bezeichnen.
Hinterglasbild. Czestochowa, Woj. Slaskie, Polen; 1981; Hinterglasmalerei, Holz; VI 57636; Sammlung Borys Malkin, Warschau; 44 x 34 cm. Erst im 18. Jh. findet das Hinterglasbild Eingang in die meist religiöse Volkskunst. Die Maria im Sträflingskleid entstand zur Erinnerung an ein KZ-Opfer.
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