The fourth tour of the Mining Museum, "Art. Ideals and Reality", is an art exhibition with a background in cultural studies. Contrary to classical museum structure, in which pieces are arranged according to the epoch, style or celebrity of the artists, the exhibit is organized according to mining motifs. Whether it is Everyday Life, End of Work, Community or Adventure, all works of art are described through the subject’s perspective and placed in relation to each other. The scenography takes up the elongated and slightly meandering architecture of the room, a white elongated platform running centrally to its central axis: the so-called sculpture belt. It presents all the three-dimensional works of art in the exhibition, always matching the respective motif. The respective flatware is supplemented to the left and right of the band, hanging on the room’s walls.
Each section of the tour is rounded off by a special showcase: the display window. This showcase presents surprisingly different perspectives, illustrating the themes of art and culture in mining. For example, a jersey of the Schalke 04 football club is on display in the Community section. The design of the jersey is based on a classic mining shirt and is complimented by a video showing the famous "Steigerlied" being sung by fans in the stadium.
A large glass cabinet opens up behind the last third of the sculpture band. It contains the world's only collection of porcelain figurines with mining motifs from the Beate and Achim Middelschulte Foundation. When entering the cabinet, the filigree shelving system offers visitors a panorama of the filigree works of art undisturbed by texts. Two media stations offer the possibility to obtain information about selected exhibits by means of numerical codes.