Red Hood, Blue Beard

Fairy-tale colours and experiments in a new exhibition at GRIMMWELT Kassel, from 13.11.2019 to 13.04.2020

GRIMMWELT Kassel opens a new special exhibition „Red Hood, Blue Beard – Fairy-tale colours and experiments“ on 13.11.2019. It is devoted to a subject that has not previously been researched in any depth to date: the world of fairy tales is colourful, but mention of the colours themselves is surprisingly rare. Nevertheless – or perhaps for that very reason – they immediately catch the eye: white snow contrasts with red blood, a strange blue beard shines through the gloom, or a little red hood characterises an entire fairy-tale heroine. The exhibition „Red Hood, Blue Beard“ explores the symbolic, cultural and historic significance of colour, as well as creating a bridge between the colour research of Newton, Goethe, Runge or the Brothers Grimm and modern–day image consulting.

 

When the Brothers Grimm and the Hans Christian Andersen from Denmark published their famous collections of fairy tales, scientific research into the physics of colours and human vision was also booming: in 1810, Philipp Otto Runge and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published the results of their colour research at the same time – and both men were writers or collectors of fairy tales. The world of fairy tales is colourful, but mention of the colours themselves is surprisingly rare. Nevertheless – or perhaps for that very reason – they immediately catch the eye: white snow contrasts with red blood, a strange blue beard shines through the gloom, or a little red hood characterises an entire fairy-tale heroine. The exhibition „Red Hood, Blue Beard“ explores the symbolic, cultural and historic significance of colour, as well as spanning the gap between the colour research of Newton, Goethe, Runge or the Brothers Grimm and modern-day image consulting. „The happy meeting of scientific research and creative imagination during the age of the Romantics inspired the exhibition to explore the significance of colours in fairy tales: why is Red Riding Hood’s headgear red, of all things, and why is a blue beard odd? „ says Peter Stohler, Director and Programme Manager of GRIMMWELT Kassel.

  • © N. Klinger

  • © N. Klinger

  • © N. Klinger

  • © N. Klinger

  • © N. Klinger

  • © N. Klinger

  • © N. Klinger

  • © N. Klinger

  • © N. Klinger

  • © N. Klinger

  • © N. Klinger

  • © N. Klinger

The world would be a sadder place without colours – grey, or maybe even completely black and white. Colours brighten up our lives and weave their own special magic, especially in fairy-tales. Although they are rarely mentioned, there are examples of colour everywhere: clothing, such as Little Red Riding Hood’s headgear, the equally famous hair colour of characters such as Snow White, Rapunzel and Bluebeard, and in solid form such as the gold nugget in Hans in Luck. „The symbolic, cultural and historic significance of colours has often developed in the course of several centuries. Whether it be in the works of the Brothers Grimm, Andersen or Goethe: colours are not chosen at random, but always have a deeper meaning“, says exhibition curator Dr. Sabine Schimma. However, this meaning is not always unequivocal, and it can be interpreted in many different ways, depending on the exact context in which the colour occurs. „This exhibition is a daring experiment: we are presenting the symbolism of individual colours by means of historical drawings and book illustrations, and visitors can experience them in simulations of Mother Hulda’s golden rain or the endless reflections of the German Romantics’ „blue flower” in the Mirror of Infinity“, Schimma adds. The exhibition is also inspiring on another level: fascinating 19th century experiments with colour, using prisms and coloured shadows, invite young and old visitors to participate in hands–on activities. The cheerful, colourful combination of fairy–tale illustrations, games and historical experiments guarantees an intriguing journey of discovery and exploration of a subject that – until now – has led a shadowy existence.

Participating Artists and Illustrators
Markus Lefrançois has worked as an illustrator and graphic designer for numerous publishers, museums and other clients since 2004. He studied Visual Communication at the Kunsthochschule (Art College) Kassel, specialising in Illustration|Comic and Graphic Design. As a child, he spent many enjoyable hours observing, drawing and painting the subjects provided by nature on the outskirts of the lovely town of Seligenstadt. Today, he enjoys the results of his four children’s creative talent and the inspiration he finds in and around Kassel, his new home town. Having taught for many years at workshops all over Germany, at the Kunsthochschule Kassel and the European Art Academy in Trier, he is able to pass on all his knowledge to other art lovers and enthusiasts. 

Katrin Nicklas was born in a small town in Bavaria in 1976. Via the props departments at theatres in Munich and Berlin, she eventually moved to Kassel, where she studied Visual Communication, specialising in Animation and Illustration, at the Kunsthochschule. Since 1998, Katrin Nicklas has lived and worked in Kassel as an illustrator and maker of animated films; she also draws figures and is happy when they feature in stories.

Patricia Thoma (* 1977) works as a visual artist at the interface between art and design, where her subject is sustainability. After receiving an M.A. from Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, she taught at universities in China. Her work has been exhibited at renowned museums such as the Kunstpalast Düsseldorf, the Weltkulturenmuseum in Frankfurt and the Grassi Museum in Leipzig; she has won numerous awards, including a scholarship at the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg and bursaries at the National Goyang Art Studio (Korea) and S-AIR, Sapporo (Japan).

Red Hood, Blue Beard - Fairy-tale colours and experiments
An Exhibition by GRIMM WORLD Kassel

Director | Head of Programmes
Peter Stohler

Curator
Dr. Sabine Schimma

Design | Scenography
Archimedes Exhibitions GmbH: Christine Krüger, Werner Rien

Project Management
Manuela Greipel, Dr. Sabine Schimma

Mediation | Supporting Pro­gramme
Julia Ronge

Press | Public Relations | Marketing
Mirko Zapp

Administration
Beate Balow, Stefanie Büscher, Lina Schmidt, Timo Vogt

Technical Construction | Lighting | Media Technology
Armin Jakob, Rolf Tonhäuser

Art Handling | Conservational Care
Dieter Fuchs, Hans Peter Tewes

Translation
Stephen Corsham (NATIVES), Neville Williamson

Graphic Design Key Visual
Büro Ballmann Weber

With our special thanks to the participating artists
Markus Lefrançois (Auftaktillus­trationen Ausstellungsbereiche/Initial illustrations exhibition areas), Katrin Nicklas (Carnovs­ky-Installation Froschkönig/Car­novsky installation Frog Prince, Frau Holles Goldregen/Mother Hulda’s rain of gold, Figuren auf Magnetwand/figures on magnetic board), Patricia Thoma (blaue Blume/blue flower)

and to the exhibit lenders:
Grimm collection of the City of Kassel, University Library Kassel, The Association of the Brothers Grimm in Kassel, University of Kassel – Didactics of Physics, Klassik Stiftung Weimar

We would also like to thank the supporters
JS Medientechnik GmbH & Co. KG, ZEISS Vision Center Kassel

as well as all other contributors, including:
druckRegler, Ebel Tonstudio­technik, Jenaer Bildungszentrum gGmbH | SCHOTT CARL ZEISS JENOPTIK, Karen Marschinke, Matthias Marth, Tischlerei Mennickheim, Daniel Rothen, Steger Ausstellungsobjekte, Heiko Wiktor

Press contact:
GRIMMWELT Kassel gGmbH, Mirko Zapp | T +49.561.59861913 | mirko.zapp(at)grimmwelt.de
Weinbergstraße 21, 34117 Kassel | www.grimmwelt.de

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