Berlin: The Twenties

Berlin: The Twenties

by Rainer Metzger
     
 

Berlin, a haunting vision of the twentieth century's first modern city, is a cultural history filled with 400 shockingly fresh and romantic photographs, paintings, and other images.

In the brief years between the twentieth century's two cataclysmic world wars, the modern metropolis was invented in Berlin. Life in Berlin was a cabaret, and Marlene…  See more details below

Overview

Berlin, a haunting vision of the twentieth century's first modern city, is a cultural history filled with 400 shockingly fresh and romantic photographs, paintings, and other images.

In the brief years between the twentieth century's two cataclysmic world wars, the modern metropolis was invented in Berlin. Life in Berlin was a cabaret, and Marlene Dietrich, Thomas Mann, Alfred Einstein, or Joseph Goebbels might be seated at the next table. The avant-garde thrived there. The mass media magnified the impact of everything from fads to political ideas. Subcultures and club cultures nurtured gender-bending fashions and lifestyles. Architects and designers struggled to free themselves from the past. In the background beat the new rhythms of urban experience: the coming and going of the latest planes and trains and automobiles, the clacking of typewriters in vast offices, the jazz band that never sleeps. Berlin: The Twenties is a book for history buffs, travelers, and lovers of modern art and design.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Scholar/author David Jelavich has said the study of cultural history-especially that of modernism in Europe, and especially Germany-is most rewarding when it applies to cities and the interaction of their particular elite and popular cultures. Two new titles about Berlin deliver extraordinary visual pleasure while managing to say something appropriate about a well-delineated subject: the urban culture of Germany's capital in times of hopeful uncertainty. British art historian Gisbourne and photographer Rakete present a look at 19 established contemporary artists and their work in the city via interviews, biographical summaries, and some 170 mostly color photographs. The varied creations of these artists, most born in the 1960s and 1970s, often employ stunning materials to comment on consumer culture. Rakete's images show us the artists both inside their studios and outdoors in the Berlin they are keen to represent.

Metzger (Art Acad. of Karlsruhe, Germany; Gustav Klimt: Drawings and Watercolors), meanwhile, records a Berlin very different from Gisbourne and Rakete's "unfinished" city, one decades younger. The book is a delight to pore through: a plethora of wonderful but as-yet-unfamiliar black-and-white photographs chosen by Brandstätter, the Viennese editor, overwhelms the text, much as our consciousness of what was to come after these intermezzo years overlays all. Youthfulness and the scale of the city engendered a self-consciously modern metropolis, expressed not only in painting, literature, theater, film, and dance, but also in journalism, radio, advertising, and propaganda. In all this, Metzger finds a local definition of modernity-one that required"distraction" and offered "the aesthetic answer to the Weimar Republic." The Twentieswill be welcome in every public library; Berlin Art Now is suited for specialized collections.
—John Hagood

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810993297
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
05/01/2007
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.75(w) x 9.62(h) x 1.63(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Rainer Metzger is a writer and cultural historian, and professor of art history at the Academy of Karlsruhe, Germany. His books include Vincent van Gogh: The Complete Paintings (1996) and Gustav Klimt: Drawings and Watercolors (2005). He lives in Vienna.

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