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For the first time, the Bröhan Museum is devoting itself exclusively to the women artists in its collection. Women painters and graphic artists of the Berlin Secession such as Maria Slavona, Julie Wolfthorn and Käthe Kollwitz, women artists of the Wiener Werkstätte such as Vally Wieselthier and Hilda Jesser, women sculptors such as Chana Orloff, women ceramists such as Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein and Ursula Fesca, as well as women silversmiths, glass artists, furniture, porcelain and textile designers.

Dora Hitz, Waldmärchen, 1894, Privatbesitz
Dora Hitz, Waldmärchen, 1894, Privatbesitz © Dora Hitz, Waldmärchen, 1894, Privatbesitz

For of more than 20,000 objects in the Bröhan Museum's collection, only about 1,500 come from women. That is just under 7.5%. The nearly 1,000 male artists in the collection are contrasted by 99 female artists. What are the reasons for this imbalance? And who were those who, against all odds, chose a career as a female artist or designer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?

A current contribution to the visibility of women artists and designers of the modern era


The exhibition presents the diverse works and biographies of these women artists. In doing so, it highlights their decisive contributions to the development of European art and design. In an art establishment that defined creativity and creativity as primarily male characteristics and granted women at best decorative talents, these achievements are all the more remarkable - especially since many of them, as women and Jews, even experienced intersectional discrimination.

The show features works from the collection as well as loans. It provides a new perspective on female design between 1880 and 1940, with illustrated biographies and some 300 exhibits revealing a wide spectrum of different lives and artistic achievements. Paintings and sculptures, design objects and pieces of furniture are presented in their contemporary context. In this way, the exhibition provides insights into the gender debates at the turn of the century and also discusses crucial social issues that affected the lives of women artists:
To what extent did women have access to artistic training opportunities and professional networks? What were the expectations and demands regarding their domestic and commercial activities? What strategies did women artists develop to deal with adversity or to contribute to the acceptance of women in artistic professions in the longer term?

In addition to the historical view, the exhibition also takes a look at the present and reflects on topics that are relevant today as they were then, such as motherhood, care work, or the gender pay gap. In addition, the exhibition invites visitors to exchange ideas and reflect together: in the course of the exhibition, a walk-in encyclopedia of women artists is created in an interactive room.


The exhibition "Ansehen! Art and Design by Women 1880-1940" aims to make a current contribution to the visibility of women artists and designers of the modern era with its broad panorama of design positions.
Additional information
Free guided tours
Every Saturday, 3 pm, there is a free guided tour of the exhibition.
Without registration. Limited number of participants.

Curator tours
Sun, 6/26/Sun, 8/28, 11 a.m. each, registration not required.
There will be a live tour on Instagram @broehan_museum on Thu, 6/30, 6pm.
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