Art of the East German Uprising

As Stalin grew ever more paranoid and unpredictable in the final months of his life, the ailing dictator demanded that Walter Ulbricht’s Communist government in the German Democratic Republic consolidate its control over the country by intensifying the process of Sovietization. In the summer of 1952, land confiscations, tax hikes, and a public pay freeze […]

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Painting Through the Berlin Wall

“We enjoyed painting a line through that one!” The German journalist and author, Frank Willmann, recalled with glee the moment in 1986, when he and four friends daubed white paint across Keith Haring’s iconic Berlin Wall mural. This iconoclastic act was part of an art-activist stunt that stretched 3 miles along the infamous structure. Since the wall was suddenly erected on 13 August 1961, to separate … Continue reading Painting Through the Berlin Wall

What & Where: The Guard Who Jumped the Berlin Wall

What: Florian and Michael Brauer and Edward Anders, Mauerspringer (Walljumper), 2009 Where: Brunnenstraße, Berlin, Germany In June 2009, a few months prior to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new sculpture appeared on the streets of the German capital. Mauerspringer (Walljumper) by Florian and Michael Brauer and Edward Anders depicts a life-sized East German border guard named Conrad Schumann, in … Continue reading What & Where: The Guard Who Jumped the Berlin Wall

Exhibitions of the Month: From Germany to Lenin

This month sees the closure of the British Museum’s chronicle of Germany, timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Germany: Memories of a Nation is an ambitious retrospective, attempting to tell 600 years of history through objects in a single room. The country’s difficult Cold War history, divided between the Soviet-backed German Democratic Republic and the Westernised Federal … Continue reading Exhibitions of the Month: From Germany to Lenin

Keith Haring Paints the Berlin Wall

On 13 August 1961 construction started on the Berlin Wall, tearing apart the German capital. For the next 28 years, the Wall would be a symbol of Soviet oppression and a literal representation of the ‘Iron Curtain’ between East and West. With the rise of the graffiti art movement in the 1980s, the West Berlin side of the Wall became a Mecca for street artists. Keith … Continue reading Keith Haring Paints the Berlin Wall