Alfred Flechtheim, the art dealer who brought Picasso to Berlin and founded the magazine Querschnitt, was one of the most important figures of Weimar Germany’s cultural scene. 80 years after his death, the Georg Kolbe Museum has put on a show about his life and work, featuring works by the artists he represented: Continue reading
There is no such thing as “surreal objectivity” – or is there? Based on works from the Nationalgalerie’s rich collection of paintings from the period between the two World Wars, the exhibition Surreal Objectivity. Works from the 1920s and 1930s from the Nationalgalerie takes a fresh look at the phenomenon of the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit), from a perspective sharpened by the knowledge of Surrealism’s achievements. Continue reading
A new exhibition at Tate Liverpool shows portraits of Weimar Germans by August Sander and Otto Dix: ‘Portraying a Nation: Germany 1919–1933 presents the faces of Germany between the two world wars told through the eyes of painter Otto Dix (1891–1969) and photographer August Sander (1876–1964) – two artists whose works document the radical extremes of the country in this period. Continue reading
The Museum Ludwig in Cologne is hosting an exhibition of works by Karl Schenker, one of Weimar’s most famous society photographers: “Everybody who was anybody had their portrait taken in his Berlin studio on the famous Kurfürstendamm.” Many thanks to Dorothy Price for drawing our attention to this fabulous show! Continue reading
Over the past weeks, three new exhibitions have opened on two different continents, almost at the same time, that put Weimar culture back into the spotlight of wider public attention.
In New York, Berlin Metropolis: 1918-1933 at the Neue Galerie “explores the city using a multi-media approach, revealing this complex period through painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, photography, architecture, film, and fashion.” In LA, New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919-1933, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art claims to be “the first comprehensive exhibition in the United States to explore the dominant artistic trends of this period.” Meanwhile, in Berlin, Tanz auf dem Vulkan. Das Berlin der Zwanziger Jahre im Spiegel der Künste at the Stadtmuseum Berlin promises to deliver for the first time a “comprehensive overview” of Berlin’s status as the European centre of the avant-garde in Europe during this period. Continue reading
The myth of the “Roaring Twenties” and of 1920s Berlin is rearing its head again. From September, the Stadtmuseum Berlin hosts the exhibition “Dancing on the Volcano. The Berlin of the Twenties as Reflected in the Arts” aiming at showcasing “the mood and social climate in the 1920s, particularly in the pulsating metropolis of Berlin”.
Sadly, there seems to be no historical awareness of the “legend of the Twenties” (in Helmuth Plessner’s words) and its retrospective, nostalgic quality.
In the current edition of German Studies Review, published in February, Maria Makela argues that the contemporary popularization of scientific knowledge about gonads and their hormonal secretions was an inspiration for much visual and literary culture produced in Germany in the 1920s: Continue reading