Das Lübeck von Heinrich und Thomas Mann
Were Heinrich and Thomas Mann actually born in Buddenbrookhaus?
Did their artistic curiosity stem from their mother?
Was there really a “blue angel”?
Was Lübeck really always a ‘home of the heart’?
In their youths, the senator’s sons Heinrich and Thomas rebel against the stale bourgeois world of their hometown. In the Lübeck novels Buddenbrooks and Professor Unrat, they portray a rather unflattering picture of the city; both novels become a scandal. But the Lübeckians are proud of their famous sons. The exhibition traces the contrary relationship of the brothers to Lübeck and thematises the perspective of Lübeck held by Heinrich and Thomas Mann.
The clash with their father plays an important role for both Heinrich and Thomas Mann. He represents everything which is deemed necessary for a successful, bourgeois life in “the stuffy town” (Thomas Mann): tradition, reputation, achievement. The future heirs have, however, different plans. Indeed, they inherit from their father a penchant for elegant clothes, but they loathe the austere world of business, which is entirely oriented around the practical. Before composing the prose texts detailing their relationships with Lübeck, the brothers escape into the world of art. North and South, bourgeoisie life and artistry – the unique work of the Mann brothers emerges from between these poles. And despite world fame, the feared question remains: “What will Lübeck say?” (Thomas Mann).
The successful special exhibition “Herzensheimat” (home of the heart) takes a look behind the façade of common stories about the Mann brothers. A curator’s commentary arranges, supplements and scrutinises these stories – and thereby opens up new perspectives. The visitor not only discovers new knowledge, but also sees the old in a new light – in the literal sense of the word too – a further lighting concept places the visual focus on central exhibits. Innovative artistic emphasis and current research findings offer the possibility of deep engagement.