Yesterday evening I attended the opening of Stadtmuseum Berlin’s new exhibition: “Tanz auf dem Vulkan” (Dancing on the Volcano) – Berlin’s “Golden Twenties” as reflected in art and design. The Weimar Republic (a historical epoch defined as extending from 1918, the end of WWI, to 1933, the year when Adolf Hitler became German chancellor) is one of the most interesting, complex and, of course, pivotal periods in German history.
Tanz auf dem Vulkan approaches Berlin’s Weimar Republic from a different angle. Rather than analysing the political, social and economical aspects of these fifteen years and what they were leading up to (depressing and very grim since we all know what happened), the exhibition highlights a different side of the Weimar Republic: the hedonistic and colourful lifestyle, culture, art and design of Germany’s capital in the Roaring Twenties.
The exhibition has assembled a great collection of art and memorabilia: paintings, litographs and sketches, photos and posters, fashion, shoes and accessories, interior design and furniture. One of the rooms is dedicated to the fragrance culture of the early 20th century: curated by Berlin-based niche fragrance brand J.F. Schwarzlose, this part of the exhibition illustrates the world of German perfumery in the 1920s, focussing on the history of J.F. Schwarzlose and the brand’s iconic IA-33 fragrance. Which, incidentally, is one of my favourite Schwarzlose perfumes.
The IA-33 fragrance exhibition was one of the reasons why I visited Tanz auf dem Vulkan: my current Mintel trend article is about J.F. Schwarzlose and its Berlin heritage, tied in with the launch of Schwarzlose’s new men’s fragrance which is taking place today. Or rather tonight, on the roofttop terrace of Berlin’s Amano hotel!
Tanz auf dem Vulkan will run until 31st January 2015. More information is available on the museum’s website.