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The Ladies of the Inventory

markk museum

ABOVE: Painting of a Songye power figure from DR Congo attributed to Nora Witt and a handwritten documentary card, both included in the exhibition presently at the MARKK, Hamburg.
© MARKK.

HAMBURG—A long-term exhibition at the Museum am Rothenbaum Kulturen und Kunste der Welt (MARKK) in Hamburg has been on view since May 2019 and focuses on the behind-the-scenes work that goes on in the museum. Ausgezeichnet: Künstlerinnen des Inventars (Distinguished: Women Artists of the Inventory) is a look at a group of drawings of art objects produced in the first half of the twentieth century by employees at the museum as part of its inventory and documentation work.

While this show offers an opportunity to get a better understanding of the processes and methods of inventorying through a display of the drawings and their subjects together, its greatest merit lies in its emphasis on the aesthetic qualities of the sketches, watercolors, and other means of representation and on the credit it gives the artists, who were often marginalized in an institutional setting that was dominated by men.

The preparation of the exhibition involved a great deal of research that ultimately brought these women’s identities to light and made it possible in many instances to accurately attribute their works. Historical photo- graphs of the women at work complete the exhibition, and these have the distinct flavor of a portrait society.

Museum am Rothenbaum Kulturen und Kunste der Welt (MARKK)
Distinguished: Women Artists of the Inventory
Long term Special exhibition
markk-hamburg.de

MARKK Hamburg

ABOVE: Painting attributed to Henriette Wagener of an Alaskan visor and the object it represents (inv. 15.11:141).
© MARKK.

MARKK Hamburg

ABOVE : Headcap, Alaska
19th century
Wood and whale tooth
Coll. JFG UMlauff
Inv. 15.11.141
©MARKK

MARKK

ABOVE: Selection of handrawings
© MARKK

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