THE PERMANENT EXHIBITION
Wilhelm Ostwald’s life and work
Our permanent exhibition on the life and work of Wilhelm Ostwald is located in the former work rooms of the scientist, in Haus Energie. They have largely been preserved in their original condition.
Explore the exhibition at your own pace or during a guided tour. Our museologists can tell you a great deal of fascinating information about the fields Wilhelm Ostwald worked in as well as about life with his family. Our tours are adapted for any age and are also available for kids.
Visitors from abroad may wish to avail themselves of the English-language booklet explaining the exhibition.
»It was charming to become acquainted with such a creative spirit.«Comments in the guestbook
»The museum and the park are places of relaxation and education. This combination has been brilliantly achieved. It’s not a monument, but a house where Ostwald’s spirit is still alive.«Comments in the guestbook
»We were amazed by the wonderful atmosphere we encountered here. The exhibition is unique and impressive.«Comments in the guestbook
Wilhelm Ostwald’s journey through life
The first room in the exhibition, the former music and dining room of the Ostwald family, presents selected stages in the scientist’s life: from his childhood in Riga with information on his family history and the beginnings of his scientific experiments to his appointment to the Institute of Physical Chemistry in Leipzig, being awarded the Nobel Prize, and Ostwalds later research into colour theory.
Wilhelm Ostwald is rightly described as a polymath, and this is especially apparent from his diverse research literature. In his library containing about 24,000 publications, visitors can immerse themselves in Ostwald’s era. To preserve its original atmosphere, there are no large information panels used. Instead, there are small handouts explaining the library’s structure.
The highlight of the exhibition is Wilhelm Ostwald’s laboratory with the original labratoroy bench where he conducted numerous chemical experiments. The laboratory was also used as a painting workshop and experimental room for his research of colour therory. Wilhelm Ostwald produced the gas mixture required for the Bunsen burner by himself as there was no external gas supply when he moved into Haus Energie.
According to its name, this room was used for ironing and folding laundry in Ostwald’s time. Later on, it was converted into a library. Today, it sheds light on the history of the Nobel Prize. During your visit, don’t forget to read about the thrilling connection to Albert Einstein!
The exhibition also includes a viewable storage area with scientific apparatus, a colour- and paper store containing over 1.000 painted landscapes and about 3.000 colour sketches by Wilhelm Ostwald, and a furniture store. The repository, the storerooms, and the extensive archive can be used with the help of research staff.
The Energie-Reich is used for temporary exhibitions. Displays addressing aspects of Wilhelm Ostwald’s life are presented here. In addition, it is also a place of relaxation where you can recharge your own „Energie“ levels by means of tea or coffee!