This section contains an overview of the most relevant exhibitions. Each item is connected to the organizing museum.

Parisian prints from the 1920s

Roger Pérot (1908–1976), Delahaye, 1932, Plakat, Lithografie, 160 x 120 cm, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) has acquired a collection of Parisian prints mainly from the 1920s that is unparalleled anywhere in Germany. From a total of over 700 sheets, some 150 will be on view at the show, representing in equal measure posters, graphics (pochoir prints and lithographs), and advertisements printed chiefly in the magazines Vogue and L’Illustration. It may be surprising to see advertising placed on equal footing here with other graphic artworks, but these ads were often designed by leading artists and reflect the major themes of the times: the automobile, which reached an aesthetic culmination circa 1930; the French chanson, which rose to prominence in the 1920s; the Parisian Haute Couture created during this era; and, last but not least, dance and cabaret, which played an important role especially in Paris. The Paris Art Deco posters are regarded internationally as a high point in the history of the poster.

The Bavarian Myth

At the occassion of one hundred years existence of Free State Bavaria (Freistaat Bayern) presents the Haus der bayerischen Geschichte the coming into being of the myth Bavaria, based on Woods, mountains and kings. The show tells in chronological order the (constitutional) history and the stories, which shaped the image of Bavaria.

Scientific Discourse in the Middle Ages 500-1500

Today’s scientific world rests upon the shoulders of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars who translated ancient scriptures in the Middle Ages. The significance of this transfer of knowledge cannot be overstated. The exhibition is dedicated to this phenomenal period of the meeting of cultures. Four great writing cultures are presented: Hebrew, Greek, Arabic and Latin. While religiously-motivated questions prevented the acceptance of cross-cultural knowledge, they also often provided the initial impetus for scientific research. The exhibition focuses on areas that benefited particularly from this intercultural dialogue. The topics that have been much discussed since ancient times take centre stage: medicine, astronomy and astrology. The often richly illuminated manuscripts are mainly from the Middle Ages and impressively evidence how fundamental knowledge in these scientific fields was passed on. These meetings, which were enriching for all parties, primarily took place at the points of intersection and contact in the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. The courts of the caliphates of the Middle East and the princedoms in Europe, the schools, as well as the universities that were beginning to become institutionalised functioned as melting pots and catalysts in this process. The cultural heritage from Greek and Roman Antiquity was the starting point. Transmitted via Byzantium, monasteries in Latin Europe and above all through the early translations by Arabic and Jewish scholars, it left its mark on the entire Middle Ages. The exhibition shows how the translations, comments and excerpts from original works served to initiate a creative process of appropriation.

Fashion in the Third Reich

Fashion magazin, around 1939. Photo: TIM Augsburg.

Fashion in Nazi Germany is the subject of an exhibition of clothing under a totalitarian regime. It shows the way the ideology infiltrated into the lifes of all citizens, from childhood to private and professional life. Uniforms of the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) and the Bund Deutscher Mädel (female youth), police, postmen and other officials feature. The regime also produced fashion magazines, focusing on the German way a woman should dress. Outfits worn by women on the production line, in offices of the Reich, in daily life or at social events and ballroom gowns also feature in the exhibition. Fashion in a totalitarian regime is fascinating, because the official guidelines and propaganda always meet resistance of social, religious or ideological groups or individuals. This was also the case in Germany, by the Catholic Youth Organisation “ Bund Neudeutschland” , the Swing Youth “ Swingjugend”, the Edelweiss Pirates “ Eidelweisspiraten” and various other (in) formal organizations, that resisted the official doctrine and dresscode. This resistance was relatively safe until the outbreak of the war in 1939, but the regime brutally persecuted individuals and groups after the fortune of war had changed after 1942. By the end of the war, in 1945, fashion was fully controlled by the regime and opposition by dresscode had been wiped out. One of the most cruel excesses was the fate of inmates of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Around 15-20 prisoners died every day, because they were forced to walk on unfit shoes to try new models, materials and their life expectancy. Even fashion was a murderous business in the Reich.