Special exhibition

Meet the Reef!

A new exhibition module in the Coral Reef

The rich species diversity and fascination of a tropical coral reef is on display in the permanent exhibition “Coral Reef” at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt. Here, visitors can “immerse” themselves in the reef habitat and experience this ecosystem in various ways in the exhibition space.

Exhibition expansion

Since the spring of 2022, visitors to the Coral Reef can also look forward to a constantly changing range of offers. For direct exchange, there is a feedback station where visitors can talk to the curators; the museum team would like to find out what content and topics are of particular interest to visitors here, and what they would like to see in the exhibition in the future. With this “hands-on” approach, museum visitors can help shape the new Senckenberg Natural History Museum Frankfurt with their own ideas, wishes, and visions.

As part of this exhibition expansion, the permanent exhibition “Coral Reef” will be supplemented and viewed from three different perspectives: those of society, art, and science. Issues such as the threats to coral reefs, but also local and global protection measures and the benefits of the reef ecosystem for us humans will be addressed.

The first topical expansion of the permanent exhibition will be designed by the museum team in cooperation with the Senckenberg Natural History Museum’s Youth Council. The young adults will contribute their questions and suggestions here. This first perspective will be on display starting in November 2022.


Intervention im Korallenriff
Visitors at the temporary feedback station in the Tropical Coral Reef.
Intervention im Korallenriff
Setup of the temporary feedback station in the Tropical Coral Reef.
Curator Lisa Voigt with visitors at the temporary feedback station in the Tropical Coral Reef.
Exhibition visitors share their interests with one of the curators at the feedback wall.

For the presentation of the different perspectives, a new exhibition module is being created. In the coming months, in the Reef exhibition you will be able to explore for yourself again and again what this new transformative element looks like and how it changes and evolves. The exhibition project runs until August 2024.


Innovative and flexible presentation of current topics in a permanent exhibition

As a research museum, the Senckenberg Natural History Museum is continuously working on new exhibition and presentation formats in order to strengthen the dialogue and exchange with its visitors. This makes it possible to incorporate the visitors’ interests into the exhibitions through innovative and flexible presentation formats.

The approach of “research-based curation” is being studied and further developed here as part of the BMBF research project “Temporary Permanence” together with the German Institute for Adult Education – Leibniz Center for Lifelong Learning (DIE) in Bonn and the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen. With this approach, the museum team takes on the curatorial challenges of responding to current issues by making short-term adjustments to permanent exhibitions, incorporating the perspective of society, and reflecting on their own working methods. The making of an exhibition thus becomes an experiment in itself, outside of familiar and discipline-defined working methods and processes. The museum’s self-image as an institution receives new impulses and forms the basis for the central question – what a research museum could look like in the future. Research projects such as this one therefore also constitute an integral part of the rebuilding process of the Senckenberg Natural History Museum.

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and runs until August 2024.

The German Institute for Adult Education – Leibniz Center for Lifelong Learning (DIE) in Bonn and the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen are cooperating institutions.

The exhibition is located on the museum’s second floor in the room with the Tropical Coral Reef. It can be visited in conjunction with the permanent exhibition.

Do you have any suggestions, ideas, or criticism? We’d love to hear from you! Just send an email to lisa.voigt@senckenberg.de or katarina.haage@senckenberg.de