Exhibition on Bremen’s fairytale animal quartet
23 March to 1 Sept 2019, Kunsthalle Bremen
The Bremen Town Musicians represent courage and solidarity, and they are an integral part of the city’s image – even though in the fairytale they never actually get to Bremen. The journey that the donkey, dog, cat and rooster undertake together in search of a dignified life is defined by hope and pragmatism.
The story, which celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2019, first appeared in the second edition of Grimm’s fairytales in 1819. Since that time, depictions of the Bremen Town Musicians have featured in everything from early book illustrations, kitsch and commerce to the fine arts.
As part of the Town Musicians Summer, the Kunsthalle art gallery, in cooperation with the State Archive, is dedicating a major exhibition to the Bremen Town Musicians. Using art, kitsch and caricature, it illustrates the journey of the four protagonists from historical sources to fairytale, from book to pictures, from city to museum and from Bremen to the world.
In addition to historical images from illustrations, tourism marketing and advertising the exhibition also shows works from the collection of Maurizio Cattelan and Ayse Erkmen, as well as loan pieces with motifs or themes linked to the fairytale.
The Bremen Town Musicians is one of the best-known and most popular of the Brothers Grimm fairytales. Grown-ups and children all over the world know the story of the donkey, the dog, the cat and the rooster who dream of becoming musicians in Bremen. If you don’t know the tale, or would like to refresh your memory, please click here.