The World of Tim Burton

Find new dates of the exhibtion at the end of the post!


I’ve attended the press preview of the exhibition “The World of Tim Burton” yesterday and I was so eager to write about it and so happy about the chance to see his work and him in person. And I did all of that. I fell in love with Tim Burton’s movies when I was a kid and as you might know the fascination of your childhood will stay with you forever. So originally I thought that I will remember this day as a really happy one but I can’t. It became a day about the general questions how to do your blogger relations as an institution instead of a day about great art. It all started just fine. I arrived early with my photographer. I especially hired her for the day to get the best picture results and to keep myself focused on the art works to write the best post I could. The welcome was well organized and just great. Thanks to the supervisions and shop team of the museum. I even got a free catalogue edition which is great and will be used for a post next art book Friday. I felt very welcome in the museum until the actual press conference started. The head of the press department announced that all Bloggers were forbidden to take any pictures of the exhibition because we are not true journalists. This is a ban from Disney and Warner Brothers. What a shame and a scandal! They also tried to ban us from the preview originally but the Max Ernst Museum still let us in. I really appreciate that.

14082015_burton_pk65I like to write about exhibitions, especially in smaller museums, because I know that they don’t have massive budgets for blogger relations and because I am an art historian working in marketing today. So normally this is a win-win-situation for me because I can do what I studied art history for originally – to write about art. But to write about art means that you need at least some pictures that’s why I work with professional photographers. And I have to say that Steffi took great pictures in the exhibition I am just not allowed to show you them.

As a blogger I experienced a lot of difficult moments with people from institutions and companies in the last years. I know that there are difficulties with the copyrights and everything and I have a great understanding for that. I also had awesome times of course like a couple of weeks ago at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam or at the Lagerfeld exhibition in Bonn. Those people were of great help and really really nice to me. I felt welcome and I will visit those museums again and again whenever an exhibition is of interest for me. But the general questions if Bloggers have the same rights as journalists remains. I studied art history and literature, if this would be an official magazine or a print article I would be allowed to use the pictures. That’s a huge paradox if you ask me. I totally respect if someone tells me that this blog doesn’t suit their interests or that it doesn’t fit them or whatever reason there is to don’t like it. That’s totally OK for me. Nobody needs to read or like my blog but to ban bloggers in general because they don’t write for classic media is just wrong. I also weren’t sure if I should write this post or not but I want you to know why there is no usual post today about the exhibition with a lot of great pictures although I said that on Instagram and Facebook yesterday.

But there might be hope. I wrote an email to Tim Burton Productions right after the conference and asked them for a reason. I mean there has to be a good reason for the blogger ban right?! Maybe it’s a misunderstanding and everything will be fine. Until then the curtains will stay closed unfortunately. And thank you Max Ernst Museum for still letting us in!


The exhibition

Tim Burton, The Last of Its Kind, 1994, 50,8 x 40,6 cm, private collection, (c) 2015 Tim Burton, all rights reserved
Tim Burton, The Last of Its Kind, 1994, 50,8 x 40,6 cm, private collection, (c) 2015 Tim Burton, all rights reserved
For the first time ever the art of Tim Burton is shown is Germany. After the presentation in New York (Museum of Modern Art), Paris, Prague, Tokyo and Osaka it can now be seen at Max Ernst Museum in Bruehl. More than 500 drawings, paintings, marquettes, sketches, props and short films are waiting for you to explore them. “It’s like opening up your closet” Tim Burton said about showing is private collection to the public. And it truly is like travelling the mind of this outstanding artist. The exhibition is divided into nine sections based on film themes and motifs of Burton, so you can walk through the exhibition as you like. There is no chronological order. I totally fell in love with the amount of napkins Tim Burton uses in his daily life to sketch ideas wherever he is. He also always carries a notebook to write down impressions and ideas. They also have some of those notebook pages in the exhibition. It’s like looking over the artists shoulder. You will also find all your favourite characters of his movies and stories like the Aliens from Mars Attack, Batman, Jack Skellington, Beetlejuice or Frankenweenie. There are sketches from his time at school, at Disney and also drawings in which he explores the realms of psychology. This interest in psychology and the relation between our dreams, mind and reality is the connection between Tim Burton and Max Ernst.


Tim Burton, no title (The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories), 1982-84, 25,4 x 22,9 cm, private collection, (c) 2015 Tim Burton, all rights reserved
Tim Burton, no title (The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories), 1982-84, 25,4 x 22,9 cm, private collection, (c) 2015 Tim Burton, all rights reserved
The surrealist Max Ernst (1891 – 1976) whom the museum is dedicated to has been a pioneer for Dada and Surrealism. He produced – like Burton – a very complex oeuvre of paintings, sculptures, graphic art and poetry. Constantly experimenting, in 1925 Max Ernst invented a graphic art technique called frottage, which uses pencil rubbings of objects as a source of images. He also created the grattage technique, in which paint is scraped across canvas to reveal the imprints of the objects placed beneath. He used this technique in his famous painting Forest and Dove (as shown at Tate Modern in London).

Tim Burton’s style is of course very different to that of Max Ernst but they kind a share a way of thinking and exploring the world in a very creative way. Tim Burton named Max Ernst as a source of inspiration for his work. And that’s the reason why this small museum is able to show his work. If you’re a Tim Burton fan I would recommend that you use the chance to see this fantastic collection of his art work before the exhibitions moves on to Sao Paulo next year.

There will be more about Tim Burton on the blog next week including a raffling of a big fan package.

14082015_burton_ausstellung01b 14082015_burton_ausstellung03b 14082015_burton_ausstellung07b 14082015_burton_ausstellung11b 14082015_burton_ausstellung13b 14082015_burton_ausstellung17b 14082015_burton_ausstellung19b 14082015_burton_ausstellung23b 14082015_burton_ausstellung24b

#museum | Max Ernst Museum, Bruehl (Germany)

#exhibition | The World of Tim Burton

#until | 3 January 2016


Next stops

O Mundo de Tim Burton, February 4th – May 15th 2016, Museu da Imagem e do Som, Sao Paulo, Brasil

Lafayette Art and Design Center, 323 Fuxing Zhong Lu, Shanghai, Sun June 26 – Mon Oct 2016

Hongkong Arts Center, Taikoo Place, November 5 – January 23, 2017.

All photographs by (c) (curtains by Freepik).

16 thoughts on “The World of Tim Burton

  1. Liebe Michelle,

    der jüngste Artikel der SZ, der weder auf das Museum noch auf die Ausstellung an sich eingeht und bei dem man sich fragt, ob vor dem Verfassen des Textes die Ausstellung überhaupt selbst gesehen wurde, wirft ein besonderes Licht auf die Frage “klassische Presse / Journalisten” und ihnen gegenüber “keine Journalisten sondern nur Blogger”. Ich als Leserin weiß, wo ich Qualität erwarten kann – und die Qualität macht sich nicht am Presseausweis fest.

    Viele Grüße


    1. Liebe Angelika,
      den hab ich noch gar nicht gesehen. Muss ich mir mal anschauen, aber wir kennen doch alle das Phänomen, dass teilweise nur noch Pressemitteilungen abgedruckt werden. Andererseits gibt es auch ganz hervorragende Journalisten und für Blogger gilt letztendlich das Gleiche. Ich lese wahnsinnig gerne Blogs, aber es gibt ja auch einige die keine fehlerfreien Sätze schreiben können. Irgendwann werden die Presseverbände sich ja vielleicht mal öffnen.
      Liebe Grüße


      1. Hi Sergey, there haven’t been any new dates released yet. As soon as I have them I will update the article. But after 7 years travelling the world who knows if there will be more exhibitions.


  2. How much time would you say you need to cover the entire exhibit?
    Will try to catch it in Hong Kong next week & trying to finalize my itinerary. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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