Ursula Edelmann Frankfurt/Main . Museum festival

Frankfurt/Main . Museum festival

We, and I mean my family, certainly paid close attention to the events unfolding where you were, but we did not truly believe that things would turn out well in September 1989. These photos of mine were taken far from the events of that time, but date back to a time that we are only familiar with from pictures and art history.

Frankfurt am Main. Museum festival on 02 and 03 September 1989: Städel Museum, bank of the river Main, entrance stairway: “The attractiveness of art”. Fashion show of the Galerie Stoff & Stein in front of paintings from the museum, left: Auguste Renoir (1841–1919): After the luncheon (La fin du déjeuner), 1879 and right: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880–1938): Two women with washbasin (Zwei Frauen mit Waschbecken), Berlin 1913.

Fashion show with pictures at the Städel

The Städelsches Kunstinstitut offered a range of different activities at its gates: a large painting surface was extended around the fence, upon which children eagerly painted. Whether abstract in the form of freely mixed colours or specifically in the form of an elephant with ribbon – the children appeared to be enjoying themselves. The Odeon Tanzorchester played “Kann denn Liebe Sünde sein” and “Für eine Nacht voller Seligkeit” for the older visitors. The hits of the twenties and thirties found an avid audience. The contrast to the whimsical melodies was provided by a fire dancer in red and white, acrobatically twirling both his partner and a flaming sword in the air. A performance of a wholly different nature was to be found on the steps to the Städel. Various pictures were positioned here. What appeared at first glance to be an auction bore the title “The attractiveness of art”, revealing itself to be a fashion show of a very special kind. What did the cosmopolitan lady wear in the 16th century? “The lady with dog” by Jacopo Carucci da Pontormo displays it at the Städel. A model descended the steps elegantly, clad in a long red evening dress – the modern woman wore the gown with as much dignity as her doppelganger of 450 years previously. Paintings by Kirchner, Renoir, Hodler or older masters such as Holbein served as inspiration for the models, with Galerie Stoff & Stein transforming these “role models” into fabric. The idea of drawing fashion inspiration from the pictures of the Städel met with a great response.

(Newspaper extract, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 04/09/1989)