29
Jul
2013
dmasur's picture

Berlinische Gallerie

Today was a full day of viewing, thinking and linking.  We first went to the Berlinische Gallerie where there is a wonderful collection of Weimar paintings.  However, we focused primarily on three paintings:  Der Tolle Platz, Felix Nuβbaum; Die Mutter, Otto Freundlich; Der Poet Iwar von Lücken, Otto Dix.  These paintings are very representative of the societal angst that was felt between the two wars -- The life that was lost, the life of the present, and the life of the unknown future.  This angst was depicted in the unsettling colors, the unnatural perspective, the sharp angles, the grotesque imagery and in some cases frenetic unrefined brush strokes.  These are all very good visuals we can use in our classrooms to give students a real sense of how people felt between the wars.  Their world was turned upside down and would no longer be the same.  We then came together at the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and discussed what we viewed at the museum.  It was so interesting to hear from other teachers what they took away from the museum.  So much of what we shared were common themes and ideas but another layer was added.  There were different perspectives that were brought to the discussion table depending on the culture from which we came. This you cannot get when viewing art alone.  

In working on the "changing identities" line we collaborated with our colleagues regarding a lesson plan to use in the classroom.  In many respects it was like giving birth--somewhat painful, very messy, but beautiful in the end.  I felt comfortable with what we produced.

PS.  I was delighted to be working across the street from the Mexican Embassy.  I felt right at home, coming from San Diego :-)

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