Submitted by Karin Trommer, Volunteer

When I started to volunteer at ESMoA in the Fall of 2016, preparations for BRAIN were in full swing. Joining the busy beehive at ESMoA in their work to turn portraits of 396 Nobel Prize winners of the past 20 years into an ESMoA Experience, my task was to research a number of the award winners for famous quotes and meaningful statements. To accompany the visitors’ experience, these quotes were to be printed and laid out on tables, close to the award winners’ portraits, for visitors to take home.

Starting my research I soon found that I was not looking for mere technical data about the award winners, but I was looking into personalities of scientists, writers, politicians, activists, i.e. people! I scanned their biographies, their works, achievements, publications, articles about them and whatever was available on the World Wide Web to find a certain message they might have ‘for the world’, some insight they might want to share with the ‘outside’. During this ‘investigation’ I learned a lot about the award winners and their personalities. I literally felt close to them and grew attached to ‘my’ Nobel Prize winners! I did find statements, quotes, sometimes funny or sarcastic, sometimes serious and alarming. Searching for their ‘message’ was an interesting journey, full of surprises.

Here are three examples to enjoy…

“Sometimes people like to ask me why should girls go to school, why is it important for them. But I think the more important question is why shouldn’t they, why shouldn’t they have this right to go to school.”
“It is not time to tell the world leaders to realise how important education is – they already know it – their own children are in good schools. Now it is time to call them to take action for the rest of the world’s children.”
Malala Yousafzai | Pakistan/UK, Peace 2015

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
Milton Friedman| USA, Economics 1976

“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”
Gabriel Garcia Márquez | Colombia, Literature 1982

BRAIN was a huge success since its opening and the collections of quotes quickly turned out to be an integral part of the visitor experience. Almost 90 different quotes provided them with a link to the exhibited portraits and opened up an individual approach to distinguished and decorated people.

Volunteering at ESMoA is an experience in itself and I very much enjoy being part of this hub of enthusiasm and motivation to get ART going in a special way! Interested in joining? Volunteers are always welcome! (Contact Volunteer Coordinator Eugenia Torre at [email protected])

Read all the quotes: Experience 25: BRAIN Selected Quotes from Nobel Laureates

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