The Paris of Daumier and Toulouse-Lautrec. Hamburger Kunsthalle.
During July, the Hamburger Kunsthalle made some improvements on the permanent exhibition spaces. As the visitors could not visit the whole Kunsthalle, and had access only to the new building called Galerie der Gegenwart (with 2 temporary exhibitions), it was nonsense to pay the whole ticket price. Instead of just reducing the price, the direction of the Hamburger Kunsthalle took an innovative and interesting idea: every visitor could decide how much to pay: 4 €, 8 €, 12 € or nothing! As far as I could see, everybody paid something, but I would be glad to know what the whole action results are, and if the person at the reception compiled also some information observed from the visitors: age, alone other in groups. I’d me more than interested on knowing the behavior of the different public segments towards such a price action.
I visited only one exhibition, C’est la vie. The Paris of Daumier and Toulouse-Lautrec, curated by Dr. Jonas Beyer. I don’t know how much it is based on a previous exhibition that ended on February 2013, The Eccentric Gaze. Goya, Daumier, Toulouse-Lautrec, at the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg in Berlin, but obviously they shared pieces, and, why not, texts, side elements and part of the layout. Unfortunately, I did not visit this previous exhibition.
At the entrance, you could find 3 walls: at the center, a small introduction to the exhibition and the idea that connects both artists and their epochs. On both sides, you could find a biography of each artist. Very simple and brief but clear enough to understand the whole layout and the base of the exhibition. From the beginning, all the texts were displayed only on German, what is unfortunately too common in Hamburg. Only the leaflet had information in English. It’s a pity than even in this huge institution, that pretends to be situated among the most important international museums, the foreign public is not considered. Half of the people I saw there were tourists or foreigners as me.
The museography was a classical one, and perfectly done. There were explanations at the beginning of each section, exhibit labels for every piece and, in between, some of them containing more complete information. The walls were painted in two colours, what helped to give warmth to an exhibition that had lots of two-colour lithographies, some of them very small. The illumination was perfect, even for the pieces in spaces where also videos were available in dark corners. The showcases suited perfect for the different formats of the pieces: lithographies, oil paintings, drawings, books, posters, watercolours, videos (oh! in English!)and even sculptures.
The temperature was perfect (thank you), the staff, very kind. It was allowed to take pictures, and there was no audioguide.
My personal impression: it was a very good and interesting exhibition, I loved it!
I am sorry I don’t have interviews. The tourists I talked to couldn’t speak English and none of the Germans I asked for this small video wanted to participate.
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Glockengießerwall, 20095 Hamburg http://www.hamburger-kunsthalle.de/ausstellungen/c%E2%80%99est-la-vie