What women’s glossy magazine Brigitte is to modern Germany, SIBYLLE – Magazine for Fashion and Culture was to the GDR. With a circulation of just 200,000 per issue, and six issues a year from 1956 on, the magazine was a rare product and always sold out in no time. Its photographs and outstanding graphics played a key role in its impact, along with the articles on fashion, art, architecture and health.
The dedicated photographers were not only masters of their craft, they also had explicit artistic ambitions for their work, giving the Vogue of the East a cosmopolitan charm. Starting at the end of April 2018, the exhibition "SIBYLLE 1956-1995. Magazine for Fashion and Culture" in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden's Kunstgewerbemuseum presents the magazine's main photographers: Sibylle Bergemann, Arno Fischer, Ute Mahler, Werner Mahler, Sven Marquardt, Elisabeth Meinke, Roger Melis, Hans Praefke, Günter Rössler, Rudolf Schäfer, Wolfgang Wandelt, Michael Weidt and Ulrich Wüst.
After Rostock, Rüsselsheim and Cottbus, the exhibition developed by Kunsthalle Rostock will stop in the rooms of the Wasserpalais of Schloss Pillnitz. The Main Hall focuses on GDR fashion culture. The exhibition not only looks at this facet under cultural and historical aspects, it also gives a vivid impression of these fashions with designs, contemporary documents, drawings and costume jewellery produced in the GDR from the inventories of Stadtmuseum Berlin.
On the other hand, the rooms in the central wing of the Wasserpalais focus on the fashion photographs from SIBYLLE. Various images by the 13 photographers hang side-by-side here, ranging from classical fashion shoots in front of socialist city backdrops in Berlin, Budapest or Moscow, through travelogues from South-Eastern Europe, right up to experimental fashion photographs from the everyday lives and work in the GDR. A chronology of SIBYLLE issues featuring originals and reproduction documents the development the magazine underwent from the first issue in 1956 to the year of the political turn in 1989 and beyond.