Beyond the Wall: The Art and Architecture of Berlin

Streaming until November 30


Hot Docs at Home Mon, Aug 31 12:00 PM


Registration is now open, courses begin October 1. Members save on registration—join to support Hot Docs today.

Burying its turbulent political and social history in the rubble of the Wall, Berlin has evolved into one of the most important cultural centres of the modern world. Join Natalie Ribkoff, an art historian who has lead sold-out Curious Minds series on topics like Art Nouveau and Chicago Architecture, for a colourful tour of the art and design masterpieces of this great city. From the historic Brandenburg Gate to the swirling spaces designed by current day titans including Frank Gehry, we’ll experience Berlin’s dramatic architecture through a series of dynamic slide-illustrated lectures. Come face to face with modernist masterpieces and treasures from antiquity. Meet the creative innovators who are securing Germany’s place in contemporary architecture. Experience one of the world’s most vibrant cities as you’ve never seen it before.

Led by fine art advisor and art historian, Natalie Ribkoff, who has provided professional art advice and collections management services to a number of Canadian corporations and private individuals. An energetic educator with a passion for the visual arts, Natalie teaches Art History at the School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto.

The six lectures in this series will all be available to stream as of Thursday, October 1. Once they are online, you can access each lecture at your leisure by clicking on links in your confirmation email, or by visiting your My Shows page.

Lecture 1: Imperial Berlin
We begin the series by touring the majestic structures of Imperial Berlin. We’ll spend some time exploring the work of Prussian Architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, whose passion for Greek architecture transformed the historic centre of Berlin into Athens on the Spree.

Lecture 2: Turbulent Times: Art at the Turn of the Century 1871 - 1918
New forms flowered as artists rejected the academic styles favored by the Emperor and independent artists provided raw depictions of Industrial Berlin. We’ll meet up with Architect and Industrial Designer Peter Behrens, instrumental in the founding of the Deutscher Werkbund, and mentor to Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius.
Lecture 3: Berlin in the 1920s
Reflecting the angst of the time, artists of the Weimar period depicted the horrors of war, moral decadence and the rise of Nazism. We’ll spend time at the Bauhaus discovering how this radical social and cultural experiment in art education brought together a constellation of talented individuals that changed art and design forever.

Lecture 4: Modernism, Censorship and "Degenerate" Art
Learn about the powerful artworks that disturbed Hitler so profoundly that he banished them from public view. From the acidic street scenes of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner to the upside down world of George Grosz and Otto Dix, you will have a first hand look at the “degenerate” artworks featured in the seminal Entartete Kunst Exhibition in 1937.

Lecture 5: After the Wall: Contemporary Architecture
The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 unleashed an unprecedented building spree. We’ll meet some of the superstar Architects who descended on Berlin to restore famous structures including the Reichstag. Construction of new cultural facilities including the Jewish Museum ensures that the dark time in Berlin’s past will not be forgotten.

Lecture 6: Exploring Berlin’s Museums and Famous Artworks
We’ll spend time on Museum Island exploring an ensemble of world famous museums and unique artworks. Treasures of antiquity await us beyond the doors of notable cultural institutions including the Neues Museum and the Pergamonmuseum.

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Additional Information

Course registration: $49 (Hot Docs Members: $33, $27, Free)

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