Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Fighting for Visibility in Berlin: In Conversation with the Curator

Dora Hitz, Cherry harvest, 1905, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Reinhard Saczewski.

Museums And Exhibitions

Fighting for Visibility in Berlin: In Conversation with the Curator

I have managed to ask a couple of questions of Dr. Yvette Deseyve, the curator of the exhibition Fighting for Visibility. Women Artists in the Nationalgalerie before 1919 that you can visit in Berlin until March 2020. If you want to find out more about it, read my previous article here.

Exhibition space, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin 2019, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Foto: Andres Kilger.

How did the idea of organizing this exhibition come about? Were you inspired by the events linked to the #MeToo movement, or was it budding already years ago? (Taking into account that the NG has been involved in the gender discourse since the 1970s).

The idea to open the exhibition right now is certainly less due to the #MeToo-debate than due to a Berlin “anniversary”. In 1919, the Berlin Academy of Arts allowed women to attend regular art classes for the first time. Furthermore, with the exhibition Fighting for visibility, we are building on an in-house tradition. In 1975, the first German museum exhibition of female artists took place here in the Nationalgalerie. Research has evolved enormously during this time, and it was time to take up the beginnings of 1975, and then work on this topic in a fundamental way.


You divided the exhibition booklet into several sections, assigning each artist to a particular category. Was it conceived as a tool to facilitate the visit of the exhibition, or did you want to find a link between the artists, trying to unite them somehow?

My intent was to make it clear to our visitors, that being a woman artist was not the same at the end of the 18th century as it was at the end of the 19th or beginning of the 20th century. Therefore the concept of the exhibition is in the first part chronological, in the last room I try to focus on aspects on visibility: what helped or prevented the awareness of works by women artists.

fighting for visibility in conversation
Käthe Kollwitz, Lovers II, 1913, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Roland
März.

Why did you choose the title “Fighting for visibility”, if many of the artists you treat in the show did actually achieve success despite many barriers? Wouldn’t it have been better to emphasize their success rather than their struggle?

Nevertheless many of them were very successful, it was and maybe still is still a struggle for many women artists to get their rightful place in art history.


Have you received any negative reactions/ opinions such as ‘it’s yet another feminist and biased exhibition, which treats artists out of their context for contemporary discourse purposes’? 

No, actually we have had no negative comments on showing exclusively women artists. For me personally, it was a pity that a lot of journalists focused on statistical questions like: what percentage of art by women do you have, how many will be shown after the special exhibition, rather than really seeing and analyzing the artworks themselves!

fighting for visibility in conversation
Caroline Bardua, Portrait of Caspar David Friedrich, 1810, Öl auf Leinwand, ©
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Andres Kilger.

Do you have any plans to tour this exhibition to other German cities? And do you intend to continue to display the works which so far have been in the magazines after the exhibition’s over?

Yes, we are trying to set up traveling exhibitions with part of the works to tour around Germany or abroad.


Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

Comments

More in Museums And Exhibitions

  • The Friendship of Salvador Dali and Coco Chanel. Salvador Dali and Coco Chanel sharing a cigarette, 1938. Pinterest. The Friendship of Salvador Dali and Coco Chanel. Salvador Dali and Coco Chanel sharing a cigarette, 1938. Pinterest.

    Artists' Stories

    A Fierce Romance of Art and Fashion: The Friendship of Salvador Dali and Coco Chanel

    By

    When Dali moved to Paris in 1926, Chanel was already a famous fashion designer. Dali had already worked in the fashion industry, as he had collaborated with Elsa Schiaparelli. But, Coco also introduced him to theatrical costume design, jewelry, and other things that combined both art...

  • dailyart

    Cambridge: The Fitzwilliam Museum Highlights

    By

    Today we celebrate the reopening of The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Its collection ranges from renowned Renaissance works to some of the finest Impressionist paintings. Today we are going to explore some of the many masterpieces that the gallery has to offer. Hidden amongst the beautiful...

  • Art Forms

    The Magic and Splendor of Karagöz, Turkish Shadow Puppets

    By

    Evoking the imagination of adults and children for centuries, Karagöz (Black Eye in Turkish) is a popular and beloved Turkish shadow puppet character as well as the name of the shadow puppet theater in Turkish culture. The art of Karagöz/Turkish shadow puppets is beyond magical; it...

  • 21st century

    Meet the Award-winning Sculptor and Installation Artist Ayşe Erkmen

    By

    Berlin-based Turkish visual artist Ayşe Erkmen has been awarded the Ernst Franz Vogelmann Prize for Sculpture in 2020. As the first woman artist to receive this prize, she will have her sculptures Kuckuck (2003) and not the color it is (2014) displayed in the retrospective exhibition...

  • Julian Hakes, Mojito Shoes, 2015, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Julian Hakes, Mojito Shoes, 2015, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

    Art Forms

    10 Awesome Pairs of Shoes from the Victoria & Albert Collection

    By

    Victoria & Albert Museum in London is a hoarder’s dream. They have unrivaled collections of everything you can think of, one of them being shoes. The V&A shoe collection consists of over 2000 pairs and spans over 3000 years of history. It shows human inventiveness in...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy