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Showcase Exhibition

"Goods Fine and Splenderous. Impressions of the Art of Window Dressing"

The emergence of department stores also brought new ways of presenting goods with it: The design and decoration of shop windows informs potential customers about the goods on offer and tempt them into buying. Shopping in the new department stores became an experience and a social happening. Good window-dressers became a must and window dressing became a modern art form.

The showcase exhibition in the Rafael Roth Learning Center offers insight into window-dressing from its beginnings in the early 20th century up to the present. The focus is primarily on KaDeWe as a leader in the field; photos of Berlin branches of Hertie and Wertheim document the theme further.

In six glass showcases, the forms of window-dressing are presented alongside information on the historical period to which they belong – From the triumphant advance of department stores around 1900 to the development of window-dressing as a career in the 1920s; from the boycott of Jewish shops in 1933 to the presentation of "Deutsche Wertarbeit" (Top-class German workmanship) in the mid 1930s; from "Window Display of the West" in the 1950s through the hippy era in the 1960s to the brand-focussed minimalism which has prevailed since the 1990s.


7 July to 12 October 2007


Libeskind Building, Rafael Roth Learning Center, basement


with Museum ticket

As shop windows not only awaken desires in passers-by, influencing their fashion and consumer consciousness, but also reflect the social, ideological, and political developments of the time, thus shop windows can be seen as membranes between the colorful world of the department store and the outside world.

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