Germany versus France: The Struggle over Style, 1900-1930

28 April 2016 - 11 September 2016

Germany versus France: an explosive match. In 2016, we think primarily of sport events, but in the early twentieth century the two countries met on the battlefields of Europe. In matters of art and style, the relationship between the two countries was also shaped by a mutual competition. How do we want to live? What things do we want to surround ourselves with? And what is good style?

From Jugendstil or art nouveau around 1900 through the art deco of the 1920s and functionalism, different concepts of living and dwelling were developed in the two countries that perhaps represented a reaction to the ideas from the other country. This exhibition compares German Jugendstil and French art nouveau and explores the exaggeration of these stylistic struggles in the 1920s. The range stretches from École de Nancy with its excessive ornamentation to the minimalist type and machine furniture of Deutscher Werkbund, the elegant luxury of objects of French art deco to the functionalist forms of New Frankfurt. Furniture and design objects from Germany and France enter into a dialogue with one another and illustrate the relationship between the unequal neighbors marked by artistic exchange and national competition.

In addition to pieces from the Bröhan-Museum collection that have not been exhibited from some time, the exhibition also presents numerous new acquisitions, gifts, and long-term loans. Works by August Endell, Willi Baumeister, Hans Christiansen, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Louis Majorelle, René Lalique, Alfons Mucha, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Henry van de Velde, Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier, Jean Emile Puiforcat, Jean Prouvé and many others are shown.

Media Partners: Wall AG, , rbb kulturradio, zitty, tip Berlin, Dinamix
Supported by: Institut français Berlin, Freunde des Bröhan-Museums e.V.

Design advertising motif: Gerwin Schmidt, 2016