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Culture

What's On at Europe's Museums

Sweden shows there's more to its design tradition than Ikea, London's V&A pays tribute to a pioneering industrial designer and Berlin showcases a collection of avant garde art.

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L' Arlésienne by Vincent van Gogh at the Köller-Müller Museum

Swedish Design Returns to its Roots

This new permanent exhibition at Stockholm's Nationalmuseum marks the beginning of a journey through Sweden's history of art handicraft and design from the 16th century to the present day. Exhibits including oriental kites and ancient grotesques showcase the ornamentation of the Renaissance and the flowery extravagance of Baroque and document the roots of European design development. The exhibition is organized into themes such as "Trade and consumption," "Style," "What was new?" "What was modern?" and 'Who controlled taste?" An ideal introduction to the Nationalmuseum's exhibition of "Modern Design 1900-2000."

Design in Sweden 1500 - 1740 is a permanent exhibition, open Sun., Wed. and Sat. 11:00 - 17:00, Tue. and Thur. 11:00 - 17:00

V&A Pays Homage to Pioneering Industrial Designer

London's Victoria and Albert Museum is turning its spotlight on Christopher Dresser (1834 - 1904), a pioneering artist who helped shape British design over the last century. The show takes a close look at Dresser’s career, with displays of silver, metalwork, furniture, ceramics, textiles, wallpaper and watercolors. Often described as the first independent industrial designer, Dresser's influences included Japanese, Egyptian and Asian art and design as well as abstract pattern based on the scientific study of botany. Dresser's designs were transformed after a visit to Japan in 1876 and he began to reject ornament in favor of form and the qualities of materials. It was this development and Dresser’s unique approach towards manufacture that helped establish his reputation as a pioneer of the aesthetic ideas which dominated 20th century design.

Christopher Dresser, A Design Revolution runs from Sept. 9 through to December 5 and is open daily from 10:00 - 17:45, Wed. 10:00 - 22:00

Berlin Appraises the Avant Garde

The Kupferstichkabinett, or Museum of Prints and Drawings in Berlin, is exhibiting the 216 works that make up the Paul Maenz Gerd de Vries collection. The donation comprises drawings, printed graphics, posters, portfolios and correspondence reflecting central developments in art from the late 1960s to the present day, many of which originated at Paul Maenz's Cologne gallery, one of the most important avant garde galleries of its time. The show explores work by Anselm Kiefer and Martin Disler, onceptual artists such as Joseph Kosuth, Robert Barry, Hanne Darboven, and movements such as Arte Povera, Arte Cifra and the Mülheimer Freiheit.

Where Are You Standing? The Paul Maenz Gerd de Vries Donation runs from September 10 through January 9, and is open Sun. 11:00 - 18:00, Tue. - Sat . 10:00 - 18:00

Focus on Finland

The German capital's Museum of European Cultures (Museum Europäischer Kulturen) is hosting a show of work by Finnish photographer Jaako Heikkilä, born in 1956. Heikkilä travelled the region of Pomorje, together with the journalist Helene Alm, between 1997 to 1999. The photographs presented in this exhibition were taken during their tour. On display are portraits and impressions of people's everyday life and homes on the Kola Peninsula, in far northern Russia. Solo exhibitions by the artist have already been shown in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany and Great Britain. The exhibition on display in the Museum of European Cultures is organized in cooperation with the Finland Institute in Deutschland.

The Pomor - Inhabitants of Kola Peninsula, Photographs by Jaako Heikkilä runs from September 10 through January 14 and is open Sun. 11:00 - 18:00, Tue - Sat. 10:00 - 18:00

Helene's Favorites

The wife of a wealthy industrialist, Helene Kröller-Müller began to build her world famous art collection in 1909, using her own taste as her guide. Today, the collection comprises some 12,000 works and the museum staff has culled a selection of some of the most important paintings and combined them with decorative works and sculptures she surrounded herself with. Historical photographs show how Kröller-Müller arranged the works herself and a short, illustrated biography gives visitors a more complete picture of one of the 20th century's most important art collectors. The show's highlights include paintings by van Gogh, Odilon Redon, August Renoir and Henri Fantin-Latour as well as sculptures and Chinese jade and Greek vases.

Helene's Favorites runs until September 1, 2005 and is open Tues. - Sun. 10:00 - 17:00

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