During my last visit to Saxony in mid-December 2023, I had the opportunity to visit the Chemnitz Industrial Museum again. For me as a technology enthusiast who spent my vocational training and studies in Chemnitz – sorry, formerly Karl-Marx-Stadt – it’s always a good place to visit. But this time I was particularly attracted by the special exhibition “Chemnitz shines”.
Chemnitz and light – there’s certainly a lot you can say and show about that. At least everyone who drives past Chemnitz on the highway in the dark knows that Chemnitz really shines. The colorfully illuminated tall chimney of the power plant, which is also visible from the surrounding area, has become one of the city’s landmarks. Of course, it is also the subject of the special exhibition. Just like the development of public lighting in the city. For me, however, the neons on display were much more exciting. These are attached to a double-sided steel frame and shine in their original colors. I was very pleased that the Industrial Museum is honoring some of the neon signs that were dismantled in the city and is now putting them on display.
There was a very special atmosphere in the exhibition room. There weren’t many visitors in the museum that day apart from me (they were probably all at the Chemnitz Christmas market) and at times I was all alone in the special exhibition. So I sat down on one of the benches, looked at the neons and listened to the humming of the transformers. Beautiful!
Various background information was researched on the exhibited installations. And other neon signs, some of which no longer even have photos, can be called up via a large interactive screen using a city map. In principle, this is what I am doing in my “neonmuseum.de” project for Karlsruhe – in Chemnitz, the whole thing is just more tangible.
The highly recommended special exhibition runs until May 5, 2024, but even when the neon signs have been taken down again, there is a very beautiful installation in the permanent exhibition: that of the former Wismut department store “Glück Auf”.
Many thanks to the Chemnitz Industrial Museum for the permission to publish the photos!