More aus Deutschland: Print Museum, Berlin and Halle!

an antique wood engraving
by Aliene De Souza Howell (MFA 2011)
Leah Flam, the director’s intern, has been the most kind translator and ambassador to Leipzig we could ask for. She brought us to the Museum of Printing Arts in Leipzig. Gutenberg’s Printing Revolution found much enthusiasm here and the museum has preserved presses from the 1500s, the oldest known worldwide which STILL work!

One of the staff gave us demonstrations on multiple machines and even let us print our own.

a brief bit of the demonstration

an installation from the Berlin Biennale
After exploring more museums in Leipzig, Berlin seduced me yet again. I voyaged there with Anita DeSoto, a New Zealand painter who is also doing a residence here at LIA. We made it through 3 of the 6 venues housing “What is Waiting Out There,” the title of the 6th Berlin Biennale. The title is indicative of the work, which had a largely political bent, its statement rejecting the notion that art is separate from the global socio-economic climate. In the Alte Nationalgalerie contemporary works were shown adjacent to Menzel, producing a historical dialogue and a surprising aesthetic sparkle given the overwhelming contemporary mediums of choice were video and installation. Also in Berlin, Anita and I were taken with the Martin-Gropius Bau Museum, exhibiting Olafur Eliasson’s Innen Stadt Außen and the Frida Kahlo Retrospective.

We finished the trip with the Holocaust Memorial. It was somber, artistic, provocative and just abstract enough to let one walk away with a unique experience.
("protecting the castle")

Back in Leipzig long enough to get some solid painting in, we were treated to Leah’s largess once again, and were whisked away to the town of Halle, half an hour outside of Leipzig. Our first stop was the medieval castle Moritzburg which housed a large collection of the Die Brucke painters and a selection of impeccable ancient crafts. The rooms ranged from musty and castle-y to elegantly carved and inlaid wood walls and ceilings. The next stop was the house of Handel! Its highlights included an antique piano as large as a Manhattan bedroom, costumes from opera performances and a white wrought-iron vine tunnel room.
chocolate SeaHorse made by a local art
student (maybe time to switch mediums?)

And our final destination there was an olfactory extravaganza, Germany’s oldest chocolate factory! And yes, there were free samples. This was a tasty way to see Germany’s industrial history as well as witness the production of some of the world’s favorite treats. The entrance to the museum was designed to assimilate the deck of a ship, sailing the viewer through the voyage of the cacao bean. The final rooms conjured the spirit of Willy Wonka, with one room made entirely of chocolate. There was also an exhibition of chocolate pieces made by local art students including a larger than life sea horse, chess set and bustier!

Meanwhile we are working fast and hard in preparation for our final exhibit, which opens one week from today!


  1. THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!

  2. I pondered to myself recently what were the most important things in my life. The answer seems to be clear that art was up there in importance. Why? Frankly, I don't really know. May be someone here can enlighten me?
    As was my wont w
    hen I have some free time, I browsed the marvelous site,, where they keep thousands of digital images for customers to select to have printed into handsome canvas prints for their homes.
    This image jumped out to jolt my reveries: Still life with bread, by the Cubist Georges Braque. Is art like this picture, as essential as bread and water, or should I say bread and wine?