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Mädchen in Uniform – Christa Winsloe (1888-1944)

29. November 2012 – 3. March 2013

Christa Winsloe studied sculpture in Munich. In 1913, she married the Hungarian writer Baron Lajos Hatvany. After their divorce, she lived in Berlin and Munich, dedicated herself to her sculptures and published literary-journalistic writings. Her first play, Ritter Nerestan (Knight Nerestan), had a successful run under the alternate title Gestern und Heute (Yesterday and
Today), and its cinematic adaptation, Mädchen in Uniform (Girls in Uniform), became an international hit and a classic of lesbian cinema. In 1932, Christa Winsloe fell in love with the journalist and early critic of Nazism Dorothy Thompson, whom she followed to the US. After their relationship ended, Winsloe returned to Europe. She lived in Munich and France and undertook numerous trips in the years that followed. In 1940, she settled in southern France with the Swiss woman Simone Gentet. The two women wanted to leave occupied southern France, but were murdered near Cluny in 1944.

For the first time, Winsloe’s sculptures and sketches from private collections will be exhibited. Manuscripts and press clippings will represent her work as a professional writer. Her letters will describe her everyday life. Postcards will show places where she lived: Hatvan, Munich and southern France. Documents will evidence the uncertainty friends experienced about the fate of
Christa Winsloe after the war ended. Costumes, posters, sketches of set and costume designs, photographs and documents will show how the three films and selected theatrical productions have been received from 1930 up to the present day. The items are exhibited courtesy of German-language museums.

Curators: Heike Stange, Wolfgang Theis