"Keep calm and carry on" - while the whole of Europe is following the Brexit debate full of unrest, we take the British at their own word: Our new exhibition focuses on the special relationship between Germany and Great Britain. Whether it's the Beatles, Mr. Bean, Harry Potter or the Royal Family, the British and their culture have always fascinated Germans. Millions of German viewers switch on their TVs for Royal weddings and every year on New Year's Eve they watch a drunken butler jump over a tiger skin in the British comedy classic "Dinner for One". This tradition of festive German television is, by the way, largely unknown in Great Britain.
In eight differently designed sections, the exhibition takes up various aspects of the German-British relationship. The exhibition begins with the German dismay at the Brexit vote, which is reflected in Jacques Tilly’s design for a Carnival parade float. However, looking back in contemporary history, to the times of Adenauer and Churchill, it becomes clear how divided the relationship of the British to the “Continent” in general and also to the Federal Republic has been since 1945.
For the Germans, on the other hand, after the Second World War the occupying power Great Britain quickly becomes an ally and a cultural model. Queen Elizabeth’s II. triumphant first visit in 1965 triggered the Germans' love of the British monarchy, which continues to this day. England and Germany are also united by their love of football and, since the Wembley finals at the latest, by a particular rivalry. In the 1960s, "beat fever" spread across the channeland brought British music to Germany, as you can hear in the exhibition. Visitors can play British hits from the last 50 years and vote for their favourite songs in the visitor charts. Today, British films and literature have attained cult status and become iconic, such as the novels about the young wizard Harry Potter or the James Bond films.
With valuable loan of works from the Royal Collection, music and film classics and also the aforementioned tiger skin, the exhibition consciously illustrates the German view on Britain and the British and takes at look at the many British peculiarities that have influenced Germany.
In our new book accompanying the exhibition you will find everything there is to know about the British-German relationship. Intriguing articles and lots of photos introduce you to British culture. Best enjoyed with a cup of tea.