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Pictures Galore and Collecting Mania

Advertising in Miniature

The Jewish Museum Berlin continued its series of exhibitions on consumer and economic history with this exhibition about advertising. The starting point was a comprehensive collection of advertising stamps, postage stamp–sized images used mainly for corporate and product advertising that were donated to the museum by a private collector.

Past exhibition

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The Libeskind building is marked in green

Where

Libeskind Building, lower level
Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

Before the First World War, millions of these stamps were in circulation, sparking a veritable collecting frenzy. The exhibition examined the phenomenon of advertising stamps from various angles: it shed light on their evolution from simple seals to promotional items distributed by the millions and describes the short-lived mass phenomenon of collecting advertising stamps.

Postage stamp of a illustration of a black and grey tucan bird holding colorful ties in his beak

Poster stamp for Hermanns & Froitzheim, ca. 1911, after a design by Julius Klinger; Jewish Museum Berlin, donation by Peter-Hannes Lehmann; photo: Jens Ziehe

The exhibition shows the broad range of motifs used in the stamps' small images, from art to explicit Jewish references. Other topics included the production of the stamps and industries in which Jewish entrepreneurs were prominently represented.

Today, these small advertising stamps are often the only visual evidence that remains of once-flourishing companies and stores after two world wars and the Shoah. The exhibition gave visitors a sensory exploration of a colorful chapter in the history of German consumerism and advertising.

Exhibition Information at a Glance

  • When

    4 Dec 2014 to 31 May 2015

  • Where

    Libeskind Building, lower level
    Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin
    See Location on Map

Stamp of an illustration of a blonde woman wearing heels and a long red dress sitting on a striped couch

Poster stamp of the fashion boutique Kersten & Tuteur, about 1913; based on a design by Ernst Deutsch; Jewish Museum Berlin, gift of Peter Hannes Lehmann, Photo: Jens Ziehe

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