Avant-garde on a cake platter

Sammlung Stefan Bachmann, Berlin, Foto: Armin Herrmann, 2019
Cake platter; manufacturer and date unknown

Absatz 1

A cake platter with a geometrical pattern; a green-printed biscuit tin with a form that recalls a pyramid cake: crockery that was especially popular during the Weimar Republic avowed to constructivist patterns and striking colours. Contemporary art was brought home to the kitchen table, as kitchen plates were decorated with motifs of avant-garde painting. The exhibition presenting such everyday objects of the 1920s and 1930s at the Museum der Dinge in Berlin is entitled “Decoration as Trespass?”. The Modernity one sees there clearly sets itself apart from the monochrome ceramics preferred by the Werkbund and the Bauhaus.


Sammlung Stefan Bachmann, Berlin / Foto: Armin Herrmann, 2019
Biscuit tin, 1930, Christian Carstens KG, Feinsteingutfabrik Gräfenroda

Absatz 2

“We want to present other Modern positions,” the curator Imke Volkers explains. Using examples from private collections, she aims to broaden the perspective to include forms of expression that go beyond well-known purist design principles. The exhibition presents industrially mass-produced goods. Spraying and stencil techniques were used to apply the decoration. Even during the global economic crisis, these jugs and plates remained fashionable and affordable products. They thereby fulfilled all demands that the discourse of the times made. Volkers asks: “Why did spray-decorated goods still fail to become part of the way we perceive the period?” In the mid-1930s, the popular crockery disappeared from shop windows. Because the Nazis outlawed such avant-garde styles? The exhibition also investigates that question.


Museum der Dinge
Exhibition view of Museum of Things "Dekor als Übergriff?“

Autorenkürzel + Infobox

[KK 2019; Translation TBR]


The exhibition “DEKOR ALS ÜBERGRIFF?” will continue until February 10, 2020
at the Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge
Oranienstrasse 25
10999 Berlin


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