First personal annual meeting of the Alliance of Early Universal Museums in Haarlem (Netherlands)

Alliance welcomes new members and adopted plans for 2023

The members of the Alliance of Early Universal Museums are gathered at the Balcony of the Oval Room in Teylers Museum in Haarlem (Netherlands)

For the first time since its foundation in 2020 in the Francke Foundations in Halle, the members of the Alliance of Early Universal Museums (AEUM) conducted the annual meeting in person from 9-11 June 2022 in Haarlem (Netherlands). The Teylers Museum issued the invitations at short notice, as the planned meeting in St. Petersburg (Russia) could not be held due to the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Under the leadership of Director Marc de Beyer, the structure of the Alliance was further developed and work topics for the coming years were defined at the three-day meeting. The art historian Kim Sloan (London, Great Britain) was elected advisor to the Alliance and takes over from Arthur MacGregor, who at his own request had only accompanied the founding process of the international alliance. The Museo di Palazzo Poggi (University of Bologna, Italy) was accepted as a new member, thus expanding the Alliance to include another European country that is highly significant for the history of early modern universal collections.

Kim Sloan is an internationally renowned expert on British art and collecting, especially of the 18th century. She worked for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (1987-92) and in Prints and Drawings at the British Museum (1992-2020). She organized several exhibitions and was principal curator of the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum from 2000 onwards and continues to advise on the collections of Sir Hans Sloane. Her highly acclaimed book Enlightenment: Discovering the World in the Eighteenth Century was published in 2003.

Palazzo Poggi (built between 1549 and 1560) became the seat of the Instituto delle Scienze in Bologna in 1711, founded by Luigi Ferdinando Marsili. One of the most valuable collection of the museum, still preserved today, was created by Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522 - 1605) with the name of »Microcosm of Nature« or »Teatro di Natura«. Today, the Museo di Palazzo Poggi, the major museum of the University of Bologna, has taken on the task of preserving, restoring and exhibiting to the public the laboratories and collections of the Istituto delle Scienze.

In September 2023, a major international symposium with leading representatives of significant collections and cultural institutions from six European countries will take place at the Franckesche Stiftungen (Halle, Germany). The focus will be placed on historical and contemporary challenges of collection presentation from the perspective on the reception by visitors. New members will be admitted to the Alliance on this occasion.