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Lighting Two Museums
When the modern wing of the Art Institute of Chicago and Museum Brandhorst in Munich both opened in May 2009, they showed two lighting concepts for presenting the biggest works of art of the 20th century with small but important differences. Whoever visits the two museums during the day will be impressed by the equally distributed and carefully composed daylight that streams into the exhibition rooms. Only in the evenings, when the light loses its strength, do the differences between the design concepts and the characteristics of the rooms become apparent – the warm and focused halogen light in Chicago differentiates itself from the indirect and completely equal neon light in Munich. Maybe precisely this aspect – the transition of light – shows the difference between museum design and presentation of modern art in North America and Central Europe in a particularly succinct way.