Art Nouveau Heritage in the Upper Rhine Valley is the title of our project, which looks at the Art Nouveau architectural heritage in the Rhine basin area.
Through 80 magazines of two and a half minutes, we present the outside and interiors of 40 buildings selected for their uniqueness. In many cases these images are a first as some of these buildings had never been filmed before. These images are complemented with archive material and modern music of the period.
Our tri-national project (France, Germany and Switzerland) sheds light on the, strangely enough, little known heritage of Strasbourg, Colmar, St-Léonard, Guebwiller, Mulhouse (all in Alsace), Freiburg, Kalrsuhe, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Traben-Trarbach (Baden-Württemberg), Basel and Riehen (Basel Canton).
Well regarded specialists have taken part in the project. Within the international context of Art Nouveau, they look at its effects on the Rhine basin and study regional variations. And we question them on the extent of interchange between the three countries concerned.
Each magazine builds on a central theme and paints a portrait of the men who raised architecture to the level of total art: Berninger & Kraft, Lutke & Backes, Kuder & Muller, Aloys Walter, Fritz Beblo, Charles Spindler, Curjel & Moser, Hermann Billing, Max Lauger, Rudolf Linder, Gustav Doppler, Romang & Bernoulli, Hans Sandreuter, Rudolf Schmidt, Bruno Schmidt, Bruno Möhring.
Our collection presents a vast range of buildings: decorative art schools, churches, railway stations, restaurants, shops and department stores, municipal baths, villas, and residential properties, artists' colonies, architects' studios, art museums and more.
The series is coproduced by Faites un Vœu - Compagnie d'auteurs, France 3 Alsace, the Centre Régional de Documentation Pédagogique (CRDP - Regional Educational Documentation Centre) in Alsace and the Landesmedienzentrum (State Media Centre) Baden-Württemberg. Our objective is to show the series in other places also touched by this artistic movement.
The exterior views were done by Emmanuel Royer, with Jean-Louis Melchior as crane operator and Raphäel Sieffert as assistant. France 3 Alsace technicians did the interior shoots. Matthieu Boetsch and Estelle Horrenberger carried out the editing.
The series is broadcasted from June 27th by France 3 Alsace on TV and their web site, with two episodes a day for five weeks in a row. A DVD, Art Nouveau Heritage, which comes with educational notes, will be available in France and Germany.
Between now and then, we invite you to the exhibition on the same subject at the Badisches Landesmuseum in Karlsruhe. There, we show a 20-minute retrospective film with a selection of some our most beautiful images.
Mélissa Décaire Hertzog
Author and Producer, Strasbourg