Ernst Leitz Museum invites visitors to experience photography interactively and to create it themselves

Rediscover perception: From October, the new Ernst Leitz Museum invites visitors to experience photography interactively and to create it themselves. The new Ernst Leitz Museum in Leitz-Park Wetzlar, the home of the Leica camera, will open in October as a modern museum dedicated to photography. Four newly designed experience areas on around 600 square metres on the upper floor of the museum sensitise visitors to conscious perception, invite them to participate and try things out and inspire them to discover the world of photography with curiosity and create it themselves. 

Fotografieren, Licht und Schatten / Ernst Leitz Museum Wetzlar

In the four experience areas, optical phenomena are demonstrated at interactive stations and the basic rules of photography are vividly illustrated. Using the integrated Leica cameras or their own smartphones, visitors can try them out on site, implement creative ideas directly and download the pictures and selfies via the new Leitz Park app to take home as souvenirs. Together with the other displays in the museum dedicated to the history of the company and the Leica brand, as well as a special exhibition with exciting exhibits from the adjacent Leica corporate archive, the new Ernst Leitz Museum creates a fascinating world of photography experience that enriches the region with yet another attraction. The rooms on the ground floor of the museum with an exhibition area where international artists present their outstanding photo series round off the new museum concept.

The four experience areas of the Ernst Leitz Museum in detail: studio klv (Berlin), an interdisciplinary consulting and creative office specialising in the conception of interactive exhibitions, museums, science centres, brand worlds and visitor centres, is responsible for the concept development and implementation of all experience areas in the new museum.

Seeing and perceiving
In the entrance area, the focus is on "seeing and perceiving". At the beginning, it is important to develop a feeling for seeing and to sensitise for a conscious perception. Optical phenomena are explained in an understandable way. To this end, for example, an oversized aperture is installed in the museum's large panorama window, which opens and closes as soon as you approach it. In addition, there are various frames with filters, colours and lines that explain details of image composition and encourage visitors to come up with their own ideas.

Technology and History
The second area is dedicated to "Technology and History" and thus to the tradition-steeped Leica company history as well as its innovative achievements, craftsmanship and product milestones. Bronze busts present the central figures of the Leitz family who have shaped the company through their commitment and work. Oskar Barnack - the inventor of the Leica camera - has his own area dedicated to him. At a desk, visitors can leaf through his workshop book, look at the historical construction drawings and admire his own photographs in digital picture frames. The original historical objects in the showcases bear witness to the fact that Leica had a decisive influence on the development of photography. A digitally expanded window also offers a glimpse into the Leica corporate archive with highlights from the company's history. In addition, interactive stations give visitors the opportunity to discover the outstanding technical features of Leica cameras and lenses in a playful way - for example, to build a lens and follow the live simulation of the beam path on the monitor, or to determine the matching Leica cameras in pairs using acoustic memory based on the sound of the shutter release. Other stations include a darkroom. At a large interactive table, visitors can digitally recreate the steps of analogue photo development.

Technik und Historie Dunkelkammer / Ernst Leitz Museum Wetzlar

Photography

In the third experience area, visitors can learn more about the basic rules of photography and the influence different factors can have on photographs at various interactive stations. Photo settings on various themes invite visitors to experiment with the installed camera or their own mobile phone. Staged effects such as reflections, light and shadow, colour moods, movement and wind offer opportunities for unusual photos and show the many possibilities and facets of creative image composition. There is also an exhibit dedicated to the "self-portrait": visitors control the colour and intensity of light at a mixing console and take photos of themselves. All the pictures taken can then be downloaded using the Leitz Park app and taken home as souvenirs.

Special exhibition
The fourth area will feature changing special exhibitions with exhibits on a variety of topics from the world of Leica. For the opening of the museum, the exhibition "Oskar Barnack" will be shown, which illuminates both the private person and his professional career as an employee of the Ernst Leitz Werke Wetzlar and photography pioneer. Enriched with exhibits from the Leica corporate archive and the passionate photographer and filmmaker's own photographs, this area rounds off the unique photography experience in the new Ernst Leitz Museum.

Further information on the Ernst Leitz Museum 

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