In 1920s Hamburg, a dancer couple created wild, Expressionist costumes that looked like retro robots and Bauhaus knights. The dancers were Lavinia Schulz and Walter Holdt, and through the new Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) online collection, their tragic, forgotten story can be rediscovered.
The 1924 series of photographs of their costumes by Minya Diez-Dührkoop, herself a fascinating figure who took over her father Rudolf Dührkoop‘s Hamburg portrait studio in the early days of photography, are among thousands of public domain items released by MKG online this month. “With its MKG Collection Online, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe is the first museum in Germany offering out-of-copyright images under the Creative Commons license CC Zero,”Antje Schmidt, MKG Sammlung Online director, told Hyperallergic. “To make new cultural creation possible it is important not only to make this content accessible, but usable.”
Eventually MKG hopes to have its entire collection searchable online with high-resolution images, and open-use where possible. In addition to Diez-Dührkoop’s photographs of the dancers, the German museum holds the costumes themselves. They were acquired after the couple’s death in 1924, the very year the images were shot, and not rediscovered in their boxes until the 1980s.
According to MKG, the dancers created 20 full-body costumes for performances between 1919 and 1924, all accompanied by avant-garde music, often composed by Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt. One reason the striking costumes might have been left to gather dust was the startling and sad end to Schulz and Holdt’s story. Both were in their 20s, and had earned little money from their artistic work. In financial ruin, on June 18, 1924, Schulz shot Holdt, and then turned the gun on herself. They both died from their wounds.
Recently, their story has finally come to light, and the restored costumes are on view in the MKG’s Sammlung Moderne galleries. For the reopening of those galleries in 2012, there was a performance reanimating the costumes, with their creative mix of fabric, cardboard, papier-mâché, plaster, leather, and other found objects contributing to a lively frenzy of movement, revived after nearly a century in obscurity.
Explore more images from the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg at MKG Collection Online.
Ceramic fried eggs, critiques of real estate, and a whole booth dedicated to female-identifying saints caught my eye at Untitled, NADA, and Art Miami.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office recovered 23 looted objects from Shelby White’s home over the last year and a half.
The award-winning Canadian artist explores notions of power through the imagery of science fiction in portraits, sculpture, and objects.
An egregious “anti-woke” billboard erected in Los Angeles attempts to sow division among Latino/a/x communities.
This week, missed signs of previous life on Mars, the appeal of forged art, and why are blue whales singing in lower octaves?
This affordable, interdisciplinary program with excellent facilities and private studios offers in-person instruction for 2023.
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed forcefully posits multiple parallels between the world Nan Goldin grew up in and the one she fights in today.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including Bob Thompson, Aimee Goguen, Uta Barth, the Transcendental Painting Group, and more.
The latest episode of this documentary series on PBS explores the meaning of home through handmade objects, hand built homes, and the artists who create them.
There is the singular artist and then there is the more exclusive club that has only one member. Harvey belongs to the latter.
The artists say the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma must sever ties with Poju Zabludowicz, whose wealth comes in part from Israeli defense contracting.
Rhode Island School of Design opens registration for its residential summer Pre-College program and year-round online intensive Advanced Program Online.
Vanessa Albury, whose eco-friendly ceramic sculptures help revive filter-feeder populations, is raising funds to complete her first film about the project.
An archeological exploration of the amphitheater’s sewers and water systems uncovered remnants of meat, vegetables, olives, nuts, and yes, pizza.