Jeanne Mammen, o. T. (Selbstbildnis), o. D. (um 1926), Ausschnitt, Förderverein der Jeanne-Mammen-Stiftung e.V., © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017, Foto: © Mathias Schormann

Jeanne Mammen. The Observer

Jeanne Mammen (1890-1976) is one of the most complex and colourful figures in recent art history, a sharp observer who portrayed glamorous contemporaries, giddy night life and figures on the margins of society: distinctive icons of the “Golden Twenties”. After 1945 her work became abstract. The retrospective shows 170 works from a career lasting over 60 years.

In these stories we unveil the extraordinary life and work of the multifaceted artist Jeanne Mammen.



Grace and guts

Grace and guts: that was how Kurt Tucholsky described Jeanne Mammen’s figures in 1929. Her urban milieus teeming with divas, vamps and cheeky hussies were all the rage in the illustrated and satirical magazines of the 1920s...

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The urban chronicler

The 1920s were boom years in Berlin. After the First World War, young people flocked to the capital of the new republic in search of work, prosperity and a life of their own choosing, and possibly to escape traditional gender roles...

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Strolling down Ku’damm

Kurfürstendamm was the street that made Berlin a modern entertainment hub. Cafés, variety halls, cabarets, theatres, cinemas and shops sprouted here around 1900. In the ‘Golden Twenties’ the working and middle classes, artists and intellectuals, all came here for a good time...

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Glamour and Objectivity

In the late 1920s, Jeanne Mammen turned her attention to women in the urban entertainment business. The emphasis in Show Girls is not on the flirtatious frivolity of night-club dancing, but on the darker aspects of the job: alienation and tough graft...

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The Observer

Many of Jeanne Mammen’s watercolours and drawings in the 1920s featured fashionably styled vamps and tramps. Yet she herself preferred “to pass through the world unseen”. Peering at herself in an artistic mirror was not her thing. 

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Short Surface Report

Discretion in her own affairs was one of Jeanne Mammen’s cardinal principles. Self-portraits are few and far between, and she produced no written résumé of her life. Not until 1974 could she be coaxed into a few personal jottings entitled “Short Surface Report”. 

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Write me, Emmy!

After 1933, Germany was not a pleasant place to live for Jeanne Mammen and many of her friends. Those who could, left the country. This sorry situation prompted the artist to write a script for a film called Write to me, Emmy! Max is waiting for news from Emmy...

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Independent and Self-Willed

Among the many different characters and types we meet in Jeanne Mammen’s work, it is women who make the strongest impression. As a chronicler of the Weimar Republic, the artist wields a sharp pen as she dissects the rituals that New Woman undergoes in pursuit of a media ideal ...

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Splendour and Misery in Berlin

For this magazine cover, Jeanne Mammen places a fashionable couple before a modern urban backcloth of tower blocks, rail bridges and such bright night life that the moon up above in the jet-black sky is fairly useless as a light source...

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Jeanne Mammen: a life in pictures

Orange top, chalk-white face, jet-black hair cropped like matchsticks – Valeska Gert embodied the New Woman ideal better than anyone else. Flaunting her surrender of self-control was her hallmark, a symbol of personal freedom, and it revolutionised dance in the Weimar Republic...

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Jeanne Mammen – A discovery

Jeanne Mammen’s artistic attention was not only caught by the people around her. She was equally capable of immersing herself in the imaginative world of literature. Her favourite writer by far was the French novelist Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880)...

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Berlinische Galerie

Landesmuseum für Moderne
Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur
Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts

Alte Jakobstraße 124–128
10969 Berlin Germany

Tel +49 (0)30-789 02-600
Fax +49 (0)30-789 02-700

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Wednesday–Monday 10 am–6 pm

Closed on 24.12. and 31.12.

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