This museum promises “a fresh look” at “950 years of city history.” It was closed for three years in the late 1990s, and reopened in the year 2000 with “a new concept” and “26 completely redesigned museum rooms, the new exhibition forum and the large Nuremberg multivision show NORICAMA.”
Like most museums in Nürnberg, the Fembo House provides visitors with an audio guide which is included in the price of admission. Unfortunately, in their eagerness to provide a fresh and exciting look at the city’s history, they tried to use the audio guide to dramatize some of the historical events.
For instance, they had an imaginary radio reporter doing a live broadcast of a banquet celebrating the end of the Thirty Year’s War in 1648. This can be an effective technique if it is done well (as in the 1940s CBS radio series Hear it Now with Edward R. Murrow), but the Fembo House version was highly amateurish and even contained what I thought at the time was a factual mistake.
The reporter was allegedly looking out through the glass window and describing the scene in the street below, and I thought this would have been impossible because one of the exhibits in the same museum informed us that large windows in those days were always opaque. This was because clear glass had to be imported from Venice and was terribly expensive. But I later realized that he probably could have just opened the window to solve the problem.
Still later, I recalled that I had occasionally done live broadcasts myself from the open window of the place where I was working. This was in the 1960s when I was news director of a listener-supported radio station in Berkeley, California. Our studios at that time were on Shattuck Avenue in the center of town, a few blocks from the university campus. Sometimes groups of protesting students would come down and hold demonstrations right in front of our building, so I could simply open the window of the news room and broadcast a live description of what was going on outside. But I only did this when it was something really important, because it meant interrupting the afternoon concert, which I didn’t want to do for just anything.
My photos in this post are from 2005. I revised the text in 2022.