By Despina Stratigakos
Round the starting of the 20 th century, girls started to declare Berlin as their very own, expressing a imaginative and prescient of the German capital that embraced their female modernity, either culturally and architecturally. ladies positioned their lives and made their presence felt within the streets and associations of this dynamic city. From apartments to eating places, faculties to exhibition halls, a visual community of women’s areas arose to deal with altering styles of existence and paintings. A Women’s Berlin retraces this mostly forgotten urban, which got here into being within the years among German unification in 1871 and the dying of the monarchy in 1918 and laid the root for a unique adventure of city modernity. even supposing the phenomenon of ladies taking keep watch over of city house used to be common during this interval, Despina Stratigakos exhibits how Berlin’s focus of women’s construction initiatives produced a extra totally learned imaginative and prescient of another city. lady consumers known as on lady layout pros to aid them outline and articulate their architectural wishes. some of the initiatives analyzed in A Women’s Berlin characterize a collaborative attempt uniting lady consumers, architects, and architects to discover the character of woman aesthetics and areas. even as that girls have been remodeling the equipped surroundings, they have been remaking Berlin in phrases and photographs. woman reporters, artists, political activists, and social reformers portrayed girls as influential actors at the city scene and inspired lady audiences to view their dating to the town in a considerably diverse mild. Stratigakos unearths how women’s remapping of Berlin hooked up the imaginary to the actual, merged goals and asphalt, and inextricably associated the production of the trendy girl with that of the trendy urban.
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Extra resources for A Women's Berlin: Building the Modern City
Under the right circumstances, however, these same clubwomen were quite willing to be associated with luxury. As we will see in chapter 4, luxury dominated the design and displays of the national women’s exhibition hosted by the German Lyceum Club in 1912. In that setting, luxury was marked by its artistic creators as 38 From Piccadilly to Potsdamer Strasse speciﬁcally German—digniﬁed, not ostentatious. 75 In this light, the “problem” of the clubhouse on Potsdamer Strasse was not luxury per se but luxury that was foreign and beyond the control of those with the redeeming power of Bildung.
Through its encyclopedic eﬀort, the book exposed its readers to the astonishing scope of female cooperation, constructing a powerful vision of Berlin as a place for collective female identity and action. What a Woman Must Know about Berlin represented a cartography of female agency in the industrial metropolis. In clear, concise language, the guidebook mapped out the city of the modern woman, who, whether single or married, acting alone or in a group, deﬁned herself by her interest in and engagement with her urban milieu.
8. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Frauen am Potsdamer Platz, woodcut, 1914. Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource, New York. Copyright by Ingeborg and Dr. Wolfgang Henze-Ketterer, Wichtrach/Bern. From Piccadilly to Potsdamer Strasse 31 Set amid the shops, the Lyceum clubhouse could be seen to oﬀer Kirchner’s women—looking quite vulnerable on their traﬃc island, encircled by men—a haven from an exciting but also stressful commercial environment. 49 Reuter, a founding member and leader of the club, was quite clear about this goal in the publicity piece she wrote for Der Tag.
A Women's Berlin: Building the Modern City by Despina Stratigakos