In preparation for the 500th anniversary of Lucas Cranach the Younger's birth in 2015, Alice - Museum für Kinder presents an exhibition for children, young people, and families in the FEZ centre Berlin and in the antehall of the Gemäldegalerie - just metres away from the 'real' Cranach pieces.
'Popup Cranach' brings Cranach's works to life. Eight paintings by the multitalented artist Lucas Cranach the Younger and his father are 'taken apart' so they can be experienced in a fresh and exciting way by younger and older visitors alike. Visitors step through a time portal to enter another world, travelling back in time to the 15th and 16th century, the age of Cranach and Matin Luther. The world-famous pictures are broken down into their composite parts and suddenly take on other meanings, as exploring visitors decipher their coded messages and unlock the secret language of pictorial symbolism with the help of sophisticated games.
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Cranach's Luther portraits give us an impression of what an advertising campaign might have looked like around 1500, and the old ladies who dip into the artist's iconic 'Fountain of Youth' suddenly come to life. Our younger visitors can even slip into the costumes of the time, allowing them to feel what it was like to be one of the electors of Saxony from Cranach's paintings. There is also a chance for younger visitors to crawl into a giant's hideout (a task not for the faint-hearted), as well as to have a go at being art detectives, exposing forgeries in the research laboratory.
The exhibition conceptualized by Alice - Museum für Kinder breaks new ground in helping children visualize the artists, their works, and the world as it was 500 years ago, and draws many parallels to today's image-dominated media world.
The interactive exhibition is the result of a collaborative project between Alice - Museum für Kinder (FEZ Berlin), the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony-Anhalt, and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Monika Grütters, Minister of Culture, is official patron of the exhibition.
'Popup Cranach' has received funding from the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the 2017 Reformation Jubilee. The funding was approved by the German parliament and is also supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds (the arts council of Berlin), and the State of Saxony-Anhalt.
After the Berlin presentation, the exhibition will travel to Wittenberg, Cranach's home and workplace, and will feature as part of the state exhibition 'Cranach the Younger 2015'. It will then tour in the following years to Halle, Kronach, Vienna, Graz, and other cities.
Parallel to the exhibition in the Gemäldegalerie, a workshop entitled Hands on Cranach gives young visitors the chance to paint, print, and experiment in a huge, specially designed space. The workshops are scheduled to take place at the Alice Atelier, a massive art-activities studio at the FEZ Berlin in Wuhlheide. Some 500 pupils will work with ten Berlin artists in a series of workshops, set up to mimic an artist's studio. The workshops will run from September 2014 until April 2015 and will be followed by the children holding their own exhibition featuring the works they have made.
What is Alice - Museum für Kinder?
Alice is a museum for children, located at the FEZ centre in southeast Berlin. It organizes and presents interactive exhibitions for children, young people, and families. The exhibitions frequently travel to major museums in Germany and abroad. In its choice of displays, Alice approaches difficult and socially relevant topics and prepares them in a way that allows children and young people to grasp and respond to them. Most recently, Alice has, for example, presented exhibitions with titles like 'So what was the GDR?', 'Watch out: family!', and the travelling exhibition 'Tell me something about death', which has already gone on show in fifteen German and European cities. In 2012, the exhibition 'Willkommen@HotelGlobal' was awarded the US-based Promising Practice Award.
The exhibition 'Popup Cranach' sees Alice move for the first time from Wuhlheide, on the outskirts of the city, to a site in the middle of Berlin, where the original Cranachs hang: the Gemäldegalerie.
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