People pictures and 'the people's face'
Portrait photography between construction and propaganda

08.07.2005 to 30.10.2005

Museum Europäischer Kulturen

In co-operation with the Institute for European Ethnology at the Humboldt-University Berlin

Portrait photography of the 1930s and 1940s forms a substantial, but often disputed, part of the collection of many museums. The ideological burden of these photographs, their historical significance, the content and aesthetic constraints of photography in terms of its own time, and the influence of the spirit of the period are all subject to question.

The Museum of European Cultures examines these problems, exploring, for example, the work of the photographer Erna Lendvai Dircksen and also the photography published in books and magazines of the period.

This exhibition documents an important but neglected period in visual culture, which has affected all succeeding generations. It is a descriptive supplement to the opening exhibition of the museum of European cultures "Die Stunde Null - Überleben 1945". The exhibition is shown in the context of this year's theme: "Between War and Peace: 1945 - the 60 years after". It consists of two parts: "ÜberLeben - UmbruchZeiten 1945" (which deals with the end of the war seen from the perspective of everyday life), and "Die Stunde Null - Die Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin", which describes the situation of the holdings of the national museums in Berlin around 1945.