Sonntag, 13. Januar 2013

My lesson in German Art Nouveau

I cannot think twice when it comes to continuing my documentation about the cultural life of my city of Berlin. Sooner after I realized yesterday my ignorance when it comes to art deco in Berlin and in Germany in general, I decided that it is about time to visit Broehan Museum, situated relatively close to my place. 

Welcome to the world of German art nouveau
I expected to learn a lot about the topics I had on my list beforehand, but had no idea that so many people are visiting the museum at the same time with me, on such a cold Sunday afternoon. It was a kind of celebration organized at the last floor, with many elegant ladies and gentlemen, the type of Sunday fashion that I expect to meet on the streets of Wien, but still many of the visitors were on a pleasure trip with their spouses and families.

The museum is a relaxing option for anyone looking for a cultural discovery that does not require too many intellectual effort. You will find a lot of interesting interior design tips, with many pieces of furniture that were familiar to many of the visitors - 'my oma had this kind of...' were some of the most frequent observations I have heard there - and some good samples of the fine porcelain so common in many houses in Western Europe. 

For 6 Euro, I paid the entrance to a world that was about to forget. It reminded me a lot about my old cherry-wood big dinner tables and the creative tapestry of the chairs that we needed to left behind because the new doors and rooms of the new appartment were too small for allowing such a display of bourgeoisie. It also reminds me of the impressive collection of Gallés of one of my best friends from the old land, and the Limoges and Sevres and Bohemia porcelaine that we were using each week, even all we had at the time were some eggs and homemade cheese and tomatoes - hence my full sympathy for the absurd literature.  

The German art nouveau, it was mentioned, disappeared largely in the 30s and survived only in the US.  But you will not see the expansive Bohemian and Austro-Hungarian bold architecture, but the cute line of the coffee makers. Looks like a tank, isn't it?
Vive la bourgeoisie!
My favorite carner
Compared with the Bohemian and Austrian versions, the German art nouveau refugiated in the kitchen. At the beginning of the 20th century, under the influence of the French art nouveau, many German artists educated in France decided to add new lines to the food objects and pieces of furniture. The term art nouveau itself has some deep German roots, as it beared the name of an art gallery in Paris owned by Siegfried Bing, born in Hamburg. With the exception of two pieces of jewelry by Wilheml Lucas von Cranach, the majority of objects presented at the permanent exhibition has a direct functionality, that goes hand in hand with many interesting decorations, but also a couple of kitchesque appearances.

I was really impressed by the creative design of the lightning solutions. Not the usual crystal trees, but a lot of metal and glass artistry. This one is really gracious.
Nothing more, nothing less but a simple mirror, made of glass.
At the second floor of the museum there are exhibited some samples of paintings belonging to Berlin secessionism, none impressive enough to make me think too much. The worse in my opinion are Walter Leistikow's representations of Gruenewald. 

Till one of the boys doing the after-party cleaning warned me to do not take pictures - I suppose it was a joke, but was already tired and with my documentation lessons made - I collected a lot of nice images and colors, enough for warming my very cold afternoon in the city. 

A simple bed that reminded me of the Japanese simplicity. No wonder, as the art nouveau, at least during the decorative stage was strongly influenced by the Asian arts.

This creative plate is the work of creative minds that were living at the beginning of the 20th century. 

A plate from a big set aimed to be used for - what else - fish

The ridiculous trio for your bottle of whiskey or vodka: the nun, Napoleon and the Cossack

This is how I remember some of my old pieces of furniture

Especially those German artists influenced by the French art nouveau introduced a lot of natural , especially floral elements in their works. The size of this flower pot is similar to many Chinese type of pots.

Simplicity is the key to elegance

A counter with almost everything

Karl Hagemeister spent most part of his life in Werder and used as source of inspiration the luxurious landscape of Brandenburg.

Another member of Berlin Secession is Hans Baluschek, who portrayed the daily life of Berliner, with many paintings reminding of Doebler's Alexanderplatz

The teapot with chropoprase is the work of Wolfgang Tuempel,  an experienced gold and silversmith artist.

The Gruenewald paintings that I have not appreciate, signed by Walter  Leistikows

Bohemian influences, with the strong art-deco dimension

Wish I have my own Karl Hagenauer to build me such a personal mirror

Another welcoming corner

The Dutch Leerdam glass school

Swedish glass art

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