Moden-Spiegel: Homage to Lieselotte Friedländer

Pen on transparent sheets, 2013

From 1922 to 1933, artist Lieselotte Friedländer (1898–1973) drew hundreds of illustrations, covers and vignettes for “Moden-Spiegel” (“Fashion Mirror”), the weekly fashion supplement of the popular Berliner Tageblatt, a Berlin daily. Sketched in black ink, Friedländer’s quick and whimsical lines depict the feminine ideal of the time, of an elegant, independent woman strolling along Berlin’s famed Kurfürstendamm.

One of the most successful fashion illustrators working in Berlin at the time, Friedländer was fired from the Tageblatt at the height of her career, in 1933. Being a “quarter-Jew” – according to Nazi classification – she was banned from practicing her profession (“Berufsverbot”), yet managed to survive the Nazi regime working odd jobs. Returning to West Berlin in 1949, she was unable to resume her previous career, dying impoverished and largely forgotten. Laufer’s installation pays homage to Friedländer on the very location seen in so many of her illustrations, allowing a peek into Berlin’s roaring 1920s.

Display box at Kurfürstendamm, Berlin. Part of “Spuren, Hohlräume Leerstellen: jüdisches Leben am Kurfürstendamm,” organized by the UdK as part of “Diversity Destroyed: Berlin 1933–1938–1945”