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Progress as a Promise. Industrial photography in divided Germany

Pei Building, 1st and 2nd Floor

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Dramatically lit factories, glowing steel, seemingly endless conveyor belts: the stockin- trade of industrial photography is the promise of more and better. Better working conditions and a better standard of living. More attractive, more functional, more plentiful consumer goods. In short, progress.

Photography is itself a product of industrialisation, and photographers have been capturing the world of work since the 1860s. In the process they have forged a specific visual canon. The exhibition shows photographs taken for industrial enterprises in East and West Germany between 1949 and 1990. They are exhibited for the first time in the contexts in which they were originally used, the diverse print media of the steel, chemical, textile and car industries. The exhibition reveals the ideas associated with the historic visual sources, drawing out differences and similarities between East and West in their depictions of progress – and thus in their promise of a better life.

Online tickets

We recommend purchasing an online ticket with a time slot. Especially on weekends and holidays there may still be waiting times. Please also show the online ticket at our ticket desk, as you will receive a sticker there that entitles you to visit our exhibitions. Tickets can only be booked six weeks in advance. Tickets for Guided Tours can be only purchased on-site.

On Berlin Museums Sunday, every first Sunday of the month admission is free. Tickets for this are only available on site.

Please note the applicable admission regulations and the current visitor regulations. The online ticket is offered with the support of visitBerlin. Accepted as a mobile ticket or printout: You will receive your ticket when you show it at the cash desk.

Please note that tickets cannot be refunded. The terms and conditions of visitBerlin apply. The booked time slot must be kept to. In case of technical booking problems please contact
visitBerlin. For questions about the reservation please contact verkauf@dhm.de

Guided Tours


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As part of EMOP Berlin - European Month of Photography

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