By Despina Stratigakos
Round the starting of the 20 th century, ladies started to declare Berlin as their very own, expressing a imaginative and prescient of the German capital that embraced their female modernity, either culturally and architecturally. ladies situated their lives and made their presence felt within the streets and associations of this dynamic city. From apartments to eating places, colleges to exhibition halls, a visual community of women’s areas arose to deal with altering styles of lifestyles and paintings. A Women’s Berlin retraces this mostly forgotten urban, which got here into being within the years among German unification in 1871 and the loss of life of the monarchy in 1918 and laid the basis for a singular adventure of city modernity. even supposing the phenomenon of ladies taking regulate of city house was once frequent during this interval, Despina Stratigakos exhibits how Berlin’s focus of women’s construction initiatives produced a extra absolutely discovered imaginative and prescient of an alternate city. girl consumers known as on girl layout execs to aid them outline and articulate their architectural wishes. some of the initiatives analyzed in A Women’s Berlin signify a collaborative attempt uniting woman consumers, architects, and architects to discover the character of girl aesthetics and areas. whilst that girls have been remodeling the equipped surroundings, they have been remaking Berlin in phrases and photographs. girl newshounds, artists, political activists, and social reformers portrayed ladies as influential actors at the city scene and inspired woman audiences to view their dating to town in a greatly varied mild. Stratigakos finds how women’s remapping of Berlin attached the imaginary to the actual, merged desires and asphalt, and inextricably associated the production of the fashionable lady with that of the fashionable urban.
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Additional info for A Women's Berlin: Building the Modern City
Their subservience to foreign tastemakers, particularly to French couture, was especially decried. One can understand why members of the Lyceum Club in Berlin, forging an institution for bourgeois women modeled on elite English clubs, would have been sensitive to conspicuous displays of luxury. 74 Whereas in London, the appearance of luxury, as Smedley noted, concealed the taint of women’s economic poverty, in Berlin it exposed the shaming spiritual poverty of the nouveau-riche mind. Under the right circumstances, however, these same clubwomen were quite willing to be associated with luxury.
39 The use of male judges, which became standard practice at both the London and Berlin clubs, sent the message that women artists had received the most stringent seal of approval—that of their male colleagues. Curt Stoeving, artistic director of the new Wertheim gallery, published a favorable review of the show in Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, an inﬂuential organ of the design reform movement in Germany. 6. Objects by London Lyceum Club members on display at the Wertheim exhibition, 1905. From Stoeving, “Ausstellung des Londoner Lyceum-Club in Berlin,” 511.
1. Lyceum clubhouse at 128 Piccadilly, London, c. 1905. Postcard, Noble collection C24 P19, Guildhall Library. 2. Hall of the London Lyceum Club. From “The Lyceum Club of London: An Organization of Women Engaged in Literary, Artistic, and Scientiﬁc Pursuits,” Critic 46, no. 2 (1905): 136. From Piccadilly to Potsdamer Strasse 21 For their money, members received goods and services that made the club highly attractive. The club presented itself as a labor union for female “brain workers,” aggressively pursuing international markets for their creative work.
A Women's Berlin: Building the Modern City by Despina Stratigakos