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Form Follows Flower (and DRESSES!) at the Kunstgewerbemuseum

Last Sunday we headed to the Kunstgewerbemuseum, or ‘Museum of the Decorative Arts’.

 

The Museum is only about a half an hour walk from our house, so, given that the day was clear, and the sun was shining, we decided to walk there. Of course this very quickly descended into a power walk instead, once we rediscovered that clear always means COLD in German Winter. 

Still, Berlin was looking particularly beautiful, so I even risked my non-gloved fingers to get a few shots of the clear blue. Check out the baby Philharmonie (the Kammermusiksaal) glowing at golden hour (3 pm!), with the Mt Fuji of Potsdamer Platz in the background!

Matthijs, who organised the visit greeted us at the entrance with his friend, and after several minutes of un-layering, we set off to find the exhibit. There was some confusion, during which we were led towards a Sonderausstellung (special exhibit) which seemed to be mainly about otters, before we managed to find our flowers.

Or, in this case, leaves:

In all honesty, all four of us felt a bit let down by the exhibition. In contrast to the advertisement campaign, which looked spectacular, the exhibit was rather small, and didn’t seem to have a strong direction. Plus, on of the artworks shown online, a giant blue anemone, could not be found anywhere.

In terms of the theme- ‘form follows flower’, there were a couple of sketches of leaves and other plant parts, which nicely illustrated the transition from nature to nouveau, as well as a few examples of floral patterning.  

Apart from that, there were also some rather charming old timey videos showing plant movement, in the form of growth….

.. or via plants that actually move and dance with time. The one on the right is a mimosa, the touch-me-not kind. Points for anyone who can tell me what the guy on the left is, I can’t remember, but would not mind at all having him added to my garden.

Further though there was a display case of giant flowers, including this guy, who we get to stare at every day:

(It’s a tobacco flower).

And then things got kind of futuristic.

Behold! A hole.

Put on your headphones, stare through the hole.

This is what you’ll get:

I’m calling it ‘Cactus Disco’.

A plastic cactus, lots of lights and club sounds in your ears.

I tend to love contemporary art, but I have to admit, I did not understand the reasoning behind Cactus Disco.

We finished looking at the flowers in less than half an hour, so decided to spend some time wandering around the rest of the museum.

The Decorative Arts, as represented by the Kunstgewerbemuseum, seems to have a couple of main themes.

There was larger household objects, which included a stunning collection of chairs, as well as some larger furniture items.   \

^Does anyone even like ‘Memphis’ style?

Then there was the smaller objects, which included a whole lot of porcelain, some quite nice glassware, and some brassy things. These we mostly ignored.

^Note the presence of flowers on the vases. We saw a lot more flowers outside the exhibit than inside.

And then.

Then there were, the costumes!

Which were breathtakingly beautiful.

And when I say costumes, I don’t just mean stunningly beaded dresses. I also mean Hats! Shoes! and Jewellery!!

Including several Lalique pieces, which are loved by all my family members.

   

You will notice that they also contain flowers. But were not contained in the exhibit.

Want more flowers?

Check it:

I want this pansy perfection on the left so very very much. Why do we not wear hats these days people?

Ok, so if I could only steal five things to wear, it would probably be 1) that mauve hat.

2) This absolutely perfect silk seafoam wrap dress.

3) TURBAN!

 

4) and 5), the abstract calligraphy dress and that red number in the background.

But oh, there were just so many other options to love!

…Plus a few others that were not entirely to my taste:

In what is perhaps an attempt to distract from one’s kleptomaniacal tendencies, the museum also has a dress-up area.

So of course I spent a few minutes primping and preening for the camera.

This photo is me mid-swoosh. I’m going to confidently state that there are few things in life that are as satisfying as swanning around a room in full crinoline. Especially if you loudly declare ‘swoosh swoosh’ as you walk.

Alas! My skirt was not full enough to fit an entire crinoline beneath it.

So I went with the bustle instead:  

Lovely, but I can’t help feeling that I look a little like a duck.

 

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1 Comment

  1. andrew says

    Has my predilection towards ferrets even turned you against otters! How terrible.
    And as for everyone in your family liking Lalique……. give me a dinosaur cocking its leg anyday..

    And you can start wearing hats, especially the tall turbanny-type one. Might be difficult getting on trams though…

    Looks like you enjoyed yourself. Quack!
    love
    papa

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