MFAH Artful Thursday Lecture: "Archipenko's Berlin: The Roaring Twenties"

Photo © 2014 Estate of Alexander Archipenko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Alexander Archipenko (1887–1964), the inventive Kiev-born American artist, lived in Berlin in the early 1920s before settling in the USA in 1923. The short and fragile democracy of Germany's Weimar Republic (1919–1933) turned the city of Berlin into a sophisticated metropolis, attracting artists from all around Europe — including the Russian avant-garde.

Berlin in the 1920s was a vibrant arts hub where the visual and the performing arts blossomed. The liberal Zeitgeist appealed to artists like Chagall, Kandinsky and Archipenko. The so-called "Roaring Twenties" were the time of Bauhaus design, of Marlene Dietrich acting on the stage and in silent films, of Kurt Weill exploring musical theater, of Marina Tsvetaeva publishing her poems, and of Albert Einstein serving as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics.

During this period the cosmopolitan city of Berlin was bursting with bars, dance halls, cabarets and movie theaters, in a spirit that was summed up in the Broadway musical and Hollywood movie Cabaret, based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood.

In this lecture, Anna Tahinci engages the audience in a multi-disciplinary reading of Berlin's visual and performing arts in the 1920s, including literature, poetry and cabaret lyrics. This Artful Thursday complements the exhibition Alexander Archipenko: The Berlin Drawings.



Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005


Admission is free.
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