Hands on at the BMW museum
Touching the exhibits in a museum? Normally that’s a big no-no which you ignore at your peril. But as we all know, forbidden fruit is the sweetest – and that’s why the BMW Museum is opening its doors on Friday, 23 November for the fifth edition of its “Night of the White Gloves”. From 7 p.m. onward, visitors will don a pair of white gloves and be free to stroke the cars they would normally be allowed to caress with their eyes only. “The ‘Night of the White Gloves’ is a unique event in the museum landscape. It offers our visitors a rare opportunity to get a feel – quite literally – for BMW’s brand history, which now goes back more than 95 years,” says Dr Ralf Rodepeter, Director of the BMW Museum.
Until the midnight hour, visitors can freely explore more than 125 exhibits, including classics that were – and remain – true rarities, such as the legendary BMW 328. A special highlight is the 25th anniversary of the BMW Z1, which was first unveiled at the 1988 Frankfurt Motor Show. It was this model that marked BMW’s successful revival of its sports roadster tradition.
The time-honored Munich-based company Roeckl will also have a hand in the event with an impressive demonstration of what goes into manufacturing high-quality leather gloves. Cars and gloves, after all, have a shared heritage – think of the leather-lined steering wheel and the indispensable glove compartment. The Steinway company, meanwhile, will be providing an unusual exhibit in the shape of a bright-red grand piano that will bathe one of the BMW Museum rooms in a flamboyant light. Experts from various fields will also be on hand to talk to visitors and answer questions.
Making a spectacular contribution to this year’s focus on the theme of “Light” is Osram with its so-called “Dandelion”. The light manufacturer’s installation was recently set up in the BMW Museum and will be on show in the Museum Bowl until the end of January 2013. The “Dandelion” consists of some 1,000 organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs. Like its sibling the LED, an OLED is a semiconductor that converts electrical energy into optical lighting. While LEDs use a minuscule luminous chip to emit pinpoint light, OLED panels generate light across a surface. To achieve this, various organic synthetics are vapor-deposited on a base material. The light-emitting layer of an OLED is approx. 400 nanometers thick – one hundredth the thickness of a human hair. When switched off, OLEDs can be reflective, neutrally white or transparent depending on the material used for the substrate.
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