Rolf Sachsse

Bonn 1949) is a trained photographer and he studied art history, communication studies, and German literature at the universities of Munich and Bonn. After finishing his PhD. on the relation between architecture and photography in the twentieth century, he worked as a curator, writer, and photographer. He was Professor of  Design History and Design Theory at the University of Fine Arts Saar, Sarrebruck, where he also was Pro-Rector of Academic Affairs until 2017. He has published widely on photographic history, design, architecture, and sound art; bibliography accessible under

Camouflage of Art, between Advertising and Popular Entertainment: Variétés and Magazines at the End of the 1920s

The 1924-1933 era was a Golden Age of magazines. New forms of pre-print and print technologies allowed for relatively high-quality image reproductions at comparatively low costs. Finding entrepreneurs who financed new contents for showing off their technical qualities were not so difficult to find. At the same time, picture postcards, illustrated papers, and well-designed books indicated new ways of marketing commodities. Bauhaus designers, for instance, published picture postcards or their own illustrated journals, and leading modernist architects such as Erich Mendelsohn and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe had their new houses advertised in luxuriously designed books from distinguished publishers. At the same time, widely distributed fashion and entertainment magazines were printed for the New Woman.  The end of the 1920s also saw the rise of pulp magazines with crime and love stories and anything readers would ask for. All of these elements inspired Surrealist movement and its iconographic and media eclecticism. This paper intends to present a typology of 1920s magazines and their possible as well as real influences on Variétés.