© Büro für Sinn und Unsinn, Halle (Saale)

About the Exhibition

Lucas Cranach, Father & Son: mysterious & multifaceted

Even their signature was mysterious: Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) and his son, Lucas Cranach the Younger (1515-1586), were fond of signing their work with a serpent which had the wings of a bat, a crown on its head and carried a ring in its mouth. Who were these artists who created around 5,000 paintings as well as being successful and prospering as councillors and mayors, as owners of houses, forests, a printing house and an apothecary? How did it come about that the Cranachs, among other things, immortalised Luther’s translation of the bible? Father and son were at any rate multitalented: quick, creative, hard-working and true team-players.

POP UP CRANACH: Pictures in Motion

The interactive POP UP CRANACH exhibition revolves around eight paintings. As visitors travel in time through a town, these images dramatically spring to life, turning into shadows and sounds, worlds of games and colours. Every detail in the paintings becomes a riddle looking forward to being solved by children’s creative answers. In the famous fountain of youth, old ladies suddenly become as fresh as a daisy, period costumes invite you to a dance and fashion show and visitors can experience the marketplace in Wittenberg with all its historical hustle and bustle. Above all, visitors to the POP UP CRANACH exhibition become active discoverers of art and history. The Cranachs succeeded in changing the world a little with their art by creating totally new motifs and their own visual language, to the amazement of their contemporaries. In addition, they won widespread recognition for the reformer Martin Luther via an ‘advertising campaign’ in which they painted numerous portraits of their famous friend. Using their printing house, they turned Luther’s translation of the bible into a bestseller. The Cranachs recognised long ago the power of images and the media, which makes deciphering their work a journey back to the future.

With POP UP CRANACH, Alice – Museum for Children at the FEZ Berlin is, for the first time, leaving its permanent exhibition space in Berlin and moving from Wuhlheide to Potsdamer Platz and the impressive Gemäldegalerie of the National Museums in Berlin – because the gallery where the actual Cranach paintings hang is exactly the right place for a Cranach exhibition for children and young people.

2015: Celebrating Cranach & Cranach, Discovering History

The 500th birthday of Cranach’s son, Lucas Cranach the Younger, in 2015 provides a fitting opportunity to take a fresh look at the work of both artists. The son created works which were just as fascinating as his father’s, though he has always stood in the latter’s shadow and is much less well-known to following generations. With POP UP CRANACH – an extraordinary art adventure for children, young people and families – the son finally receives the recognition he deserves. The exciting period of transition from the medieval to modern age can also be called ‘adventurous’, shaped as it was by huge changes and discoveries (the printing press, America …), during which the two Cranachs operated their modern, creative workshop. Their multifaceted works mirror, in their vivid visual storytelling, the new beginnings and turmoil of the age. Whether you want to experience the Cranach masterpieces as a museum visitor, detective, researcher or riddle-solver, be prepared to be hands on because POP UP CRANACH is interactive Cranach. From 26 September 2014 to 12 April 2015 in the Gemäldegalerie of the National Museums in Berlin.
From 26 June to 3 November 2015 * POP UP CRANACH will be presented at Augusteum/Lutherhaus Wittenberg (as part of the exhibition “Lucas Cranach the Younger – Discovery of a Master”.

POP UP CRANACH is a project by Alice – Museum for Children at the FEZ Berlin and the Luther Memorials Foundation of Saxony Anhalt in cooperation with the National Museums in Berlin.

POP UP CRANACH