The New Objectivity “Type” Portrait in the Weimar Period Look at the People!
Foto des Werkes Hausvogteiplatz um 1926 von Rudolf Schlichter

Look at The People!*

The New Objectivity "Type" Portrait in the Weimar Period

The exhibition focuses on the neo-objective type portrait in the historical context of the Weimar period (1918 - 1933). In many of their portraits, artists such as Otto Dix, George Grosz, Jeanne Mammen and Hanna Nagel give contour to social types such as the New Woman or the Worker. These portrayals were influenced by a pervasive debate, whether in art, literature, cinema, fashion, or science: the search for the face of the times”, for new 'role models' for the crisis-ridden population in the wake of the First World War. In retrospect, it becomes clear that many stereotypes and clichés from that time still have an effect today and continue to influence the way we look at our counterparts.

The project makes a connection to the present with an installation by Cemile Sahin (*1990), which was developed especially for the exhibition. The artist takes up typification and classification tendencies that are evident in computer-based facial recognition tools - whereby parallels to the constitution debate in the Weimar period can be discerned.

An exhibition of the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart in cooperation with the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz - Museum Gunzenhauser.

* The exhibition title refers to the widely received guidebook “Look at People!” [Sieh dir die Menschen an!] by Gerhard Venzmer (1893-1986). The book was first published in 1930 by Franckh'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung Stuttgart and, according to the publisher's description, was intended to explain "clearly the inner relationships between the shape of the body and the character of the human being". Despite the publication’s popularity, it must be noted from today’s perspective that the theories formulated by Venzmer do not go beyond pseudo-scientific fabrications.


Hans Baluschek, Rudolf Bergander, Albert Birkle, Richard Birnstengel, Friedrich Bochmann, Steffi Brandl, Gottfried Brockmann, Friedrich Busack, Heinrich Maria Davringhausen, Erich Drechsler, Kate Diehn-Bitt, Rudolf Dischinger, Otto Dix, Hermann Fechenbach, Conrad Felixmüller, Fred Goldberg, Otto Griebel, George Grosz, Lea Grundig, Hans Grundig, Elsa Haensgen-Dingkuhn, Hainz Hamisch, Olga Hayduk, Nini Hess, Karl Hubbuch, Heinrich Hoerle, Lotte Jacobi, Grethe Jürgens, Alexander Kanoldt, Annelise Kretschmer, Paula Lauenstein, Lotte Lesehr-Schneider, Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler, Jeanne Mammen, Hanna Nagel, Gerta Overbeck-Schenk, Lotte B. Prechner, Anton Räderscheidt, Curt Querner, Christian Schad, August Sander, Josef Scharl, Rudolf Schlichter, Wilhelm Schnarrenberger, Georg Scholz, Alice Sommer, Cami Stone, Erika Streit, Ernst Thoms, Kurt Weinhold, Erik Winnertz, Dörte Clara Wolff [DODO], Richard Ziegler – and Cemile Sahin


The digital tour presents individual type portraits of the Weimar Period (1918-1933) and the main themes of the exhibition. It connects historical sources with current debates from society, social science, and the humanities.

App free of charge / Rental device 3 €

Please remember to bring your own headphones.


Programm für Schulen

Thank you.

  • In Cooperation with
    Logo Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz Museum Gunzenhauser
  • Supported by
    Logo Kulturstiftung der Länder
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    Logo Friede Springer Stiftung
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    Logo Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung
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    Logo Rudolf August Oetker Stiftung
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    Logo Leap
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    Logo Musaget
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    Logo "Innovationsfonds Kunst Baden-Württemberg"