17 November 2015 until 25 September 2016
Hamburg in the Twenties
Views and Visions

In 1919 quite accurately 1 million people are living in Hamburg. 42.000 men do not return from the battles in World War I. The economy lies fallow, large payments to the victorious powers arrest development and often, the urban population is starving. But looking at the art at that time, the approximately one and a half decades between war and National Socialism, one seems to sense another reality. Of course many artists are hinting at poverty and misery, but overall an atmosphere of hope and change prevails. The best known example is Bauhaus with its future-oriented suggestions for a new form of art and design. Even in Hamburg young artists develop new ways of life, plan monuments of the future and show a metropolis full of beauty and rhythm. In the exhibition „Hamburg in the Twenties. Views and Visions”, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) shows more than 40 views of the city, architectural visions and artistic interpretations paired into seven groups of works by Willy Davidson, Max Gerntke, Karl Gröning, Paul Helms, Georg Hempel, Rolf Nesch und Heinrich Stegemann. The different approaches to escape from reality and to create a new and better world yield surprising yet moving images of Hamburg in the Twenties. The exhibition shows drawings, gouaches, lithography, metal prints, woodcuts and silhouettes from the time between 1919 and 1934. An exhibition with works from the Collection Hamburger Sparkasse. Approximately 350 objects from this collection, especially by artists from Hamburg Secession, are at the MKG as a permanent loan.

Ill.: Max Gerntke, Sketch for a Monument, around 1920, © MKG | Georg Hempel, Arch of a Bridge, around 1930, © MKG | Max Gerntke, Metropolis of the Future, around 1925, © MKG