»A book that causes a stir is always worth reading. «, Harry Graf Kessler wrote into his diary on January 15th, 1891. And foreclosed the meaning of his own minute and sensually accurate observations in words. The publisher, nobleman, patron and diplomat filled 57 volumes with his diary-like notations in 57 years. They are snapshots from eventful times, from the Weimar Republic to the rise of the Nazis. Like a “photographer in words”, the covert homosexual observed his surroundings on innumerable journeys on express trains and during afternoons in salons and museums and put the contradictions of his time into sentences, that have lost none of their topicality today. The German literature archive Marbach edited the 57 volumes never intended for publication and is supporting The Stiftung Brandenburger Tor with the multimedia exhibition in the Max Liebermann Haus, which is putting Graf Kessler’s observations in the center of attention and surrounding them with historical documents in images and sounds. The bon viveur’s passion for art and collecting is symbolised with artworks on loan. Because on November 20th, 1903 he wrote: »Great task: teaching the German to believe in art.« With Kessler, we are submerged in a fascinating world regarding political history as well the humane aspects: The unique and manifold cabinet of curiosities of a world in between collected by a man who himself was always caught between ideologies, the environments, the two stools. So go, see, marvel and understand.
Harry Graf Kessler, Flaneur durch die Moderne | 21st May to 21st August 2016 | Max Liebermann Haus, Pariser Platz 7, 10117 Berlin | hgkberlin.de