Jazz music was among the most controversial and hotly-debated cultural aspects of East German (GDR) society. It celebrated its American origins, and therefore considered imperialist, capitalist, and decadent across the Eastern Bloc countries. However, the music was immensely popular, despite the official censors. These artifacts from the Wende Collection capture the liberating effect that jazz afforded the citizens of the GDR and Eastern Europe, as well as the government’s ever-changing position on how to best control the unstoppable musical force.
Justinian Jampol, The Wende’s Executive Director, and Chris Wyrick, of the Hollywood Reporter, discussed the impact of Fame on the Arts, as it relates to such topics as Prestige, Infamy, Defamation, and Forgetting.
Cristina Cuevas-Wolf, The Wende’s Manager of Collection Development, led a lively discussion about Political Icons in Experience 05 FAME.
In collaboration with the Thompson Gallery, The Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War presented Deconstructing Perestroika, the first major exhibition in the United States of hand-painted Soviet-era political posters that were inspired by a new government policy of transparency in the former Soviet Union. Organized to mark the 20th anniversary of the former super power’s demise in December 1991, this exhibition highlighted some of the key political and cultural shifts that defined the era and ultimately led to the fall of the Soviet Union.
The Wende Museum hosted a booth at Fiesta La Ballona for a second time to promote the Museum’s collections and its move to the Armory building, which is adjacent to Vet’s Park where the event is held.
Join Jeff Gauthier, Executive Director of The Jazz Bakery, CSUN jazz historian Glen Garrett, and musician and Culver City Arts Commissioner John B. Williams for a lively discussion at the exhibition opening for Music of the Imagination: Jazz Behind the Iron Curtain.
The exhibition Claus Bach's View of Weimar presents scenes of East German (GDR) everyday life that may seem typical, yet show how people gave individual meaning to their lives within the larger socialist collective. They capture prosaic experiences and at the same time, reflect on them. These images also provide views into the immediate post-Wall period in the GDR. This is the first time Claus Bach's work is being shown outside of Germany.
The work of the irreverent East German photographer Claus Bach is the subject of the exhibition Claus Bach’s Views of Weimar currently on display at The Wende Museum through June 2013. Weimar has been the locus for the debate on the legacy of East German art and in 2012 Bach was one of four photographers featured in a comprehensive survey on GDR visual media. Virginia Heckert, J. Paul Getty Museum Curator; Wolf Gruner, USC History Professor; and Brechtje Beuker, UCLA German Professor, will explore whether Bach’s photographs are contemporary art, cultural documents or ‘just’ East German photography -- or perhaps something else completely.
Soviet artists, writers and ideologues successfully created a new grammar of universality, one that promised the world equitable modernization, rapid industrialization, economic equality, the creation of a welfare state, and liberation of women from the patriarchal family. Explore how these revolutionary ideas became embedded in innovative art forms through a selection from the collection of The Wende Museum.
The exhibition Red Threads: Selections from The Wende Museum's Textile Collection highlights the Museum's fashion and textile collection offers a unique perspective into these industries and the uneven development of consumerism in Cold War-era Eastern Europe.
READINGS | Angela Thompson and Ana Tajder
USC-Max Kade Institute, 2714 S. Hoover St., Los Angeles, CA 90007
Reception to follow the program
The Fall Salon will present a special evening of conversation about secretive and unfamiliar objects, places and subjects. Photographer Taryn Simon, in conversation with Peter Tokofsky, Education Specialist, J. Paul Getty Museum, will discuss her work Contraband (2010), an archive of global desires and perceived threats, presenting 1,075 images of items that were detained or seized from passengers and mail entering the United States from abroad.
In response to the 50th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall on August 13, the Wende Museum presented “Across the Wall” at the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk. The exhibition displays high-quality reproductions of sixteen portrait paintings from the former Soviet Union in the museum’s collection.