New mosaics at „Haus des Lehrers“

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The world’s largest mosaic has been newly created.
Discover one of the most ambitious works in contemporary art.


That’s what we knew and loved: Walter Womacka’s famous mosaik (part). Right side: Now discover the new images right here on the website!


Vergangenheit: das Haus des Lehrers mit der alten

Replaced: Walter Womackas mosaics from 1964 at the HdL (Architect: Hermann Henselmann)

A great legacy
The famous and monumental mosaic frieze „Unser Leben“ (Our Life), created by Walter Womacka for the „Haus des Lehrers“ (House for the teacher) at the Berlin Alexanderplatz, was a socialist icon. It portrayed the diversity of life in the first worker’s and peasant’s state on German ground in unprecedented accuracy. The authorities, thus all workers and peasants of East Germany, wanted the highest level of consonance to their real living conditions. Therefore this genre is called „socialist realism“. Womacka was one of it’s most important representatives. The idea of diversity was already established in his decision to use the technique of a mosaic. What it showed to the viewer, was life in GDR in the early sixties  – citizens working, doing science, learning and raising their children together, shaping their leisure time, cultivating people’s Friendship and looking towards their future.

A new view
The Picture of East German life may have been as realistic as it could have been, but life doesn’t stand still. The frieze aged and was completely restored at it’s 40th anniversary. Now it is over 50 years since it has been unveiled for the first time. It was time to take a fresh look at our life. Fortunately, the finding comitee could commit Tyrz Kongo for the task, one of the most distinguished contemporary artists. This bold and multitalented artist already managed to refresh an outstanding example of East German art in „updating“ the famous Chemnitz Marx Ensemble carefully, but consistently. (Watch it here.)

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New mosaics – the HdL smiling under the sun!

A herculean task
Uniting the different aspects of our era in a new mosaic as truthful as Womacka did with his, was even more complex. But Kongo mastered this herculean task after two years of work. The new frieze was unveiled in a ceremony on October 3. The old one will be restored again and be presented on the roof of the Neue Nationalgalerie from 2017 on.

Same style, new idea
Like in Chemnitz, Kongo  preserved the general appearance of the building as we love it. But he put a stronger emphasis on our vibrant metropole. Therefore he called his work „Berlin Mosaik“. Like it’s predecessor, this Mosaic consists of four parts, which refer to their direction. This website shows all of them in entirety and in detailed views. Also you can watch every Mosaic together with it’s predecessor to easily retrace the astounding developments of our life in Berlin – or even better: come to Berlin and watch the mosaic!

Now, where do you want to start – west, south, east or north side?

By the way: Share your HdL-experience simply on your social network and/or write a comment!


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