Meeting report

Crystals in arts and science

Kiel, March, 2002

[Crystal glow]
On the occasion of the 10th Annual Meeting of the German Crystallographic Assn, the DGK, held at the U. of Kiel, March 4 - 7, 2002, an exhibition was organized by two crystallographers, Wulf Depmeier and Horst Küppers and artists V. Eliasberg, B. Manitz and I. Moor from the Muthesius School of Fine Arts. The exhibition 'Corners & Edges - The Crystal in Science and Arts' which took place at the Kieler Stadtmuseum Warleberger Hof stimulated a dialogue among scientists and artists as to why people are fascinated by crystals.

One focus of the exhibition was on expressionist painters Hans Scharoun, Bruno Taut, Wassili Luckardt, Wenzel Hablik and F. Peter Droemmer who depict crystals in a more or less metaphorical way. A few natural mineral specimens helped to illustrate the artists’ fascination with crystals.

The spatial illusions of Hermann Paulsen, Susanne Dölker‘s humorous zeolite framework, the sensitive paintings of Valeria Eliasberg and Irina Moor, the elegant textile objects of the group XX-Tex organised by Annegret Haake, the impressive Euclidean space tilings of Friedhelm Kürpig, and the magic models of minimal surfaces of the crystallographer Elke Koch, made a deep impression on the viewers. The figure shows V. Eliasberg‘s painting 'Der Raum' ('Space').

Of particular interest to crystallographers was the life work of crystallographer mathematician Heinrich Heesch Kiel. His work on plane tilings, black-and-white groups and the four-colour problem was represented with several exhibits. Other exhibits concerned the expressionist painter F. Peter Droemmer of Kiel and the history of the Mineralogical Inst.

About 3000 visitors attended the exhibition over 30 days. The exhibit catalogue described the history of the Mineralogy/Crystallography Inst. in Kiel. A virtual tour of the exhibition, which is also available on CD, can be found on the website

The exhibition would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of the DGK and the IUCr.

W. Depmeier