Berlin in the Spring: A report by C. Shatz

Report by Charlotte Schatz

[Ed. note: Philadelphia artist Charlotte Schatz made a trip to Berlin, Lyon and Paris this spring and wrote these lively reports on her visit. The first two posts will cover her time in Berlin.]

Hi Everyone:
Had a great first day. I went to sleep at 10 pm and woke up at 9 am! Made myself breakfast in my little apartment and met Robert on the street where we shopped for food. [Robert is Robert Dodge, colleague and friend of Charlotte’s from the Art Department at Bucks County Community College. He is retired and living in Berlin part of the year.]

Brucke Museum.jpg
Sign for the Brucke Museum

After unpacking we took 4 different means of transport including a double decker bus to the de Brucke Museum to see the work of these early German Expressionists. It’s a lovely museum in the suburbs of Berlin but small with not many paintings. I was particularly impressed with their graphics, woodcuts, linocuts used to annouce their work. The housing in the area was very beautiful, lots of geometry and linear elements, very Bauhaus.

Doorway left over from German Democratic Republic (the old East Germany)
Doorway left over from German Democratic Republic (the old East Germany)

Then we went to the Berlin Guggenheim to see an exhibit called Affinities. Some interesting work but the theme left me cold. One in particular was the work of Kai (last two names forgotten) who presented a huge watercolor of a dollar bill-about 10ft. by 8 ft. Amazing. An early Kandinsky from the time when his and Chagall’s work was similar.

Doorway left over from GDR.jpg
Another GDR doorway

Then we walked the Kastianien Straße (Chestnut St) which had been in the East Berlin section. There is not much left of the old,drab buildings but I got some good doorways. Robert said 2 years ago the street was full of old, gray buildings from the time of the GDR but now there are very few, mostly all rehabbed with just some graffitti-covered doorways.

It’s 7:30 pm and we are going out to dinner. I’m not jet lagged and feeling fine -just hungry.

Charlotte Schatz is a Philadelphia painter and sculptor. Read Part 2 of this report.