The mesmerising Valeska Gert

Dancer – actor – cabaret performer – bar owner

Valeska Gert (1892−1978) always stunned her audiences, even at her first public performance in 1916. She pushed her body, her face and her voice to the limits. Her “Tontänze” (sound dances) were ungraceful, grotesque depictions of urban characters. She lent expression to existential conditions such as birth and death. From the mid-1920s she also took on roles in silent movies like “The Joyless Street” in 1925 and “The Threepenny Opera” in 1930/31. Kurt Tucholsky, Bertolt Brecht and Sergei Eisenstein were enthusiastic fans of the eccentric performer.

Paintings, drawings and photographs by Jeanne Mammen, B. F. Dolbin, Umbo and others reveal Gert not only in theatrical poses but as a specimen of her era.

Even at a ripe old age, Valeska Gert inspired young people who rebelled against conventions in their chosen lifestyle or their art. In West Berlin’s alternative art scene of the early 1980s, Gert was still a key reference after her death, influencing the world of punk music through people like Frieder Butzmann and Wolfgang Müller, founder of the band “Die Tödliche Doris”.


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

Opening hours

Wednesday–Monday 10 am–6 pm

Closed on 24.12. and 31.12.

Floor plan

PDF Floor Plan