The Museum Fünf Kontinente, formerly known as the Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde, was founded in 1862 as the first ethnological museum in Germany. The collection of artefacts of everyday life, ritual objects and works of art which are preserved and continually expanded here reflect humanity’s cultural diversity. They build bridges from the past to the present day and open doors to other ways of life and viewpoints. The Museum offers access to the cultural riches of the earth’s peoples in a way which is unique with Munich’s broad range of museums.
Based on our collections, we display the commonalities and differences of civilisations from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, Oceania, the Orient and Europe. We invite children and adults to become acquainted with a variety of civilizations and the people who shaped them. We encourage visitors to consider what may seem to be "strange" modes of thought, to reflect on points of view and to take away inspirations and new ideas for their own lives.
We stand for open-mindedness and respect. We endeavour to promote an understanding of other cultures and to defeat xenophobia and discrimination – in Germany and elsewhere. Cooperation with specialists, curators and artists from the countries of origin of our collections is a matter of course for us. This leads to new perspectives and insights. As all parts of the world become increasingly linked, we refer to current social contexts and pose questions with an eye to the future.
As part of humanity’s cultural memory, we preserve, restore and expand our collections. With our exhibitions and events, publication and the development of an online archive, we make these treasures accessible to a broad public. Our work is based on sound, up-to-date research.
Many projects could not be implemented without the generous support of friends, patrons and sponsors of the Museum. We are deeply grateful to them.
The Museum Fünf Kontinente provides opportunities for encounters, experiences and reflection …
We look forward to welcoming you here.