State Textile and Industry Museum (TIM)

Karl Borromäus Murr

Director

State Textile and Industry Museum Augsburg - TIM

Augsburger Kammgarnspinnerei, Provinostraße 46, 86153 Augsburg

www.timbayern.de

Augsburg, Germany
Micheletti Award 2011


The TIM - more than a museum







The TIM and its Permanent Exhibition
20 January 2010 saw the opening of the State Textile and Industry Museum (TIM) in the South German city of Augsburg, which historically ranked among the most important textile manufacturing locations in Europe. The museum hosted more than 250.000 visitors in its first two years. Its theme is the eventful history of the textile industry in Bavaria, encompassing the trans-national, European and global scope of its network integration. The museum is housed in the historical halls of a former spinning mill, founded in 1836. The rooms were meticulously redesigned by the Austrian architect Klaus Kada (Graz, Austria) for use as exhibition spaces. 

Three routes lead the visitor around the circuit of the permanent exhibition, which also can be experienced interactively at numerous points. The first route explores the textile production process: from the raw textile fibres, the spinning, weaving and refining stages, right up to the fully tailored item of clothing. In a second route, the TIM tells the story of the people involved in the textile industry, namely the workers and the entrepreneurs whose lives were shaped by the rhythm of the machines from the nineteenth century onwards. The focus here is on the economic, social, political and cultural aspects of work in the textile industry. The masterpiece of the museum is the pattern book collection of the New Augsburg Calico Factory, which is covered by a third route through the museum circuit. The collection contains more than 1.3 million printed fabric patterns originating from between 1780 and 1990. The TIM, in cooperation with the internationally renowned Atelier Bruuml;ckner (Stuttgart, Germany), has revived the patterns upon giant-sized female figures. These interactive beauties allow the visitors to become their very own designers. 

TIM for Kids
The TIM provides an extra museum area especially for children. This gives the opportunity to learn about various different textile techniques in their very own pedagogical museum room. Both children and adults can be active at several interactive stations: examining textile raw materials under a microscope, or trying out various spinning, weaving, knitting and printing techniques.  

European Dimensions of the TIM
Although the content of the TIM concentrates on the region of Bavaria, the trans-national, European and worldwide network integration of the textile industry here plays a central role in the exhibition. Raw material imports came from Italy, Egypt, India, Australia or the USA, while finished products were mostly exported all over Europe. The German "economic miracle" of the 1950ies saw thousands of so-called bd"guest workers" immigrating to Germany from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, the former Yugoslavia and Turkey, many of whom also worked in the many textile factories. Today, the descendants of these bd"guest workers" are among the welcome guests of the museum, most of whom are offered a guide in their native language.  

Innovative Aspects of the TIM

Alongside its classical museum features, the TIM is breaking innovative new ground in many ways. An important aspect of this is a broader understanding of the term bd"history", which involves a continual confrontation with the present. The concept of a living museum is an essential part of the TIM programme. In the textile machine section, former textile workers demonstrate the machines with an authenticity not to be found elsewhere. Since the museum''s own weaving machines are all capable of producing material, they are available to designers who use them to produce exclusive limited edition lines. The TIM is currently cooperating with a local eco-textile label, which very successfully produces organic clothing with individual designs. The TIM also cooperates with a number of fashion schools, with the museum''s own catwalk providing a public forum for the latest collections. With its special event spaces, the TIM is in a position to function as a cultural centre over and above its primary role as a museum. The Augsburg Municipal Theatre worked together with the TIM to produce a very successful documentary play about the decline of the municipal textile industry, which is performed regularly on our premises. The TIM also functions as a stage for poetry readings, contemporary music, or jazz and blues concerts. Private enterprises, too, make use of the TIM as a venue for company meetings, conferences etc.

Since its opening the museum has won several national and international awards like the Luigi Micheletti Award 2011, an if Gold Award 2011, an Cannes Lion 2011, Annual Multimedia 2011 and Silver Winner 2011 (Art Directors Club Germany).

Images by Volker Mai