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Art history in the pub!

— June 2011

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The cover of Curt Morecks'  Guide to 'Depraved' Berlin

Art History in the Pub: Dr Camilla Smith on 'Tourism, Sexology and Homosexuality in Curt Moreck’s Guide to “Depraved” Berlin (1931)'

25 July 2011, 7:30 p.m.

40–42 Chalk Farm Road

London NW1 8BG

Free to attend, no booking necessary.

As part of the AAH's commitment to bringing the best in cutting-edge art-historical research to a wider community, we are pleased to be able to announce the first of an intended regular ‘Art History in the Pub’ series of talks, lectures and events. Our first speaker is Dr Camilla Smith from the University of Birmingham, giving a talk called Tourism, Sexology and Homosexuality in Curt Moreck’s Guide to ‘Depraved’ Berlin (1931)

The talk is based on the then well-known writer and social commentator Konrad Hammerling, who published the tourist guide, Führer durch das lasterhafte Berlin (guide to depraved Berlin) under the pseudonym Curt Moreck in 1931.

It will suggest through a closer analysis of the guide's text and illustrations how important tourism was for Berlin's homosexual community through the book's discussion of communal spaces and illustrations by 1920s artists such as Jeanne Mammen and George Grosz. It will also discuss the connections Moreck had with the pioneering homosexual liberation activist Magnus Hirschfeld and how, as a result, Moreck's guide might be understood as an important response to the renewed and failed attempt by Hirschfeld and his followers to overthrow the contemporary laws discriminating against homosexuals during the interwar period.

Finally, the talk will briefly consider the readership of the guide and its connections of Moreck's other erotic and sexological publications and argue that the legal status of the guide itself, coupled with its distribution, meant that it was probably intended for a heterosexist audience of 'armchair' travellers.

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