The Jewish Museum Berlin continues its series of exhibitions on consumer and economic history with this exhibition about advertising. The starting point is a comprehensive collection of advertising stamps – stamp-sized images used mainly for corporate and product advertising that were donated to the museum by a private collector. Before the First World War, millions of these stamps were in circulation, sparking a veritable “collecting mania”.
The exhibition examines the phenomenon of advertising stamps from various angles – it sheds light on their evolution from simple seals to promotional items distributed in their millions and describes the short-lived mass phenomenon of collecting advertising stamps. It shows the broad collection of motifs used in the small images – from art stamps to stamps with explicit Jewish reference. Other topics include the production of the stamps and some industries where Jewish entrepreneurs were prominently represented.
Today, these small advertising stamps are often the only visual evidence that remains of once-flourishing companies and stores after two world wars and the Shoah. The exhibition invites the senses on an exploration of a colorful chapter in the history of German consumerism and advertising.
A companion booklet is sold at the museum shop.