A few exhibits in Berlin

 

Miscellaneous avant-garde art c. 1910 – 1930

 

The artist of the murals, Fidus (one-name pseudonym), was one of the most influential artists hardly anyone’s ever heard of, as his ideas and aesthetics spread to the west coast of the U.S. and later became popularized as a whole host of developments associated with natural living, countercultures, and hippies. He was involved in movements for communes, nature, natural living, healthy diet, mysticism, and free sexuality from the 1890s up to WWII.  Some similar-minded Germans emigrated to California in the 1890s to 1950s and there is evidence that they had central roles in the formation of what we now call west-coast lifestyles.

He is probably one of key figures in the transmission of Art Nouveau styles (Jugendstil in Germany) to 1960s California counterculture as seen in enormously popular designs such as posters and record sleeves of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Fillmore Auditorium.

 

Subway stations 1960s – 80s

 

Berlin had outstanding modern architecture for its subways stations from the end of the war up until the 1980s or 1990s, when the design quality underwent a spectacular collapse from great heights to the miserable catastrophes that characterize nearly everything built or renovated since 1985. This exhibit had archival photos of a few stations in their original state of sleek although sometimes blunt elegance. The ‘bones’ still exist but many of them are obscured by junky, incompetently planned alterations and just plain decay due to inadequate maintenance.

 

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