The Artistic History that is Berlin

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Posted on July 15, 2016

One of the most impacting cities I’ve had the privilege of spending time in is, without doubt, Berlin. On a recent holiday in Europe, we spent almost a week there.

There is a tenacity and boldness within it’s population that was arresting and despite it’s sometimes horrific past, it has a confidence that makes you sit up and take notice.

It’s a city that has endured two world wars and the decadence of the interwar period was marked by a hedonistic lifestyle and a fear of death.

In 1961 the Berlin Wall was built between east and west Berlin and its subsequent tearing down came twenty eight years later. It is a city that has known great sadness and loss yet despite this, it has become known as a world leader in the area of the arts.

Berlin style is a quirky aesthetic of the unglamourous, a new form of German understatement with a confidence projected by the city. Artists from all over the world began to flock to Berlin in the 1990’s, finding there affordable studios – dealers and collectors followed soon after.

The architecture of Berlin reflects the city’s turbulent history. Baroque and Neoclassical, houses from the Grunderzeit period, and modern architecture – all these styles influence the face of the city.

Berlin 2

It is true that local history also influences the work of designers in Berlin more than almost any other major world metropolis. Over the years, a very independent design scene has taken shape despite having almost no connection to local industry, which only returned sporadically after the war.

Did I enjoy our time there? Most definitely! But more than that, it’s been a reminder of the strength of the human spirit to rise up and build again!

Credits: AAD Berlin City Guide teNeues