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Bridging Frankfurt: Exhibit once in a museum!

Updated: Jan 8

Urban Sketching and the City Lab


There are few things that relax me as much as drawing. Sketchbooks have accompanied me for a long time and I often capture urban architecture. At some point I discovered that I am not alone in this. "Urban sketching” is a trend that exists worldwide. In regional groups, sketchers often go out together to draw our environments on paper.


The Urban Sketchers Rhein-Main organise meetings not only in public places, but also in places to which one would not easily gain access as an individual. For example, we have already been to the GSI Darmstadt to draw the particle accelerator (and meanwhile bombarded the the physicist who was showing us around with countless questions! Ultra-exciting).


It was also the Urban Sketchers who suggested the drawing focus for the current exhibition. The city laboratory of the historical museum in Frankfurt am Main has been in existence since 2010, giving Frankfurt residents the opportunity to contribute to the exhibitions themselves. This time the theme was: "City Views. A subjective cartography of Frankfurt".

Foto: Historisches Museum Frankfurt

Development process


The project started in spring. After a kick-off, in which the curators explained the expectations of the museum, we presented our projects. I decided relatively quickly on the theme of "inner-city bridges" because I simply can't get enough of them on my walks along the Main. Unexpectedly, none of the other participants chose this theme. I thought it was all the more important to have this beautiful aspect of our city represented!


Foto: Jens Gerber

At the beginning, my plan was to develop a large bridge out of many small drawings and even to depict the current as well as a historical state. The struts between the lower and the upper part of the bridge should connect the past and the present, at the same time one would have had a time line.



For this purpose, I was even allowed to rummage through ancient drawings and photos in the archives of the historical museum. That was incredibly interesting and inspiring. The plan with the multi-bridge arch was discarded at some point because the curators thought that this metaphor was too much and would weaken the individual drawings. Since there wasn't an interesting "then vs. now" for each bridge anyway, I developed a new plan.


In the end, I created three artworks. Two works with night views of bridges, each showing other bridges in their "reflection". And one work with all nine current inner-city Main bridges from east to west, stacked and grown together to form a complex structure.


Vernissage and exhibition


The deadline for submitting the works was back in August. After that, the team of the historical museum took care of the setup. Construction fences brought the changing city into the museum space, and projects by over 80 city laborists were presented on them. Shortly before the opening, I stopped by, nervous to see if my pictures would actually hang. Somehow I didn't believe it.


The worry was unfounded, of course. On 21.10.22 the time had finally come - my first vernissage. In a real museum! It's hard to describe what was going on inside me that evening. A mixture of pride and disbelief probably describes it best. It was a real weight off my shoulders when my pictures were really hanging there for everyone to see.


The exhibition runs until 10.04.23. More info here.


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