A Life for Hamburg

Oscar Troplowitz

From a simple chemist's shop in Hamburg to an international concern, from architecture to film, from Nivea to Renoir – Oscar Troplowitz (1863–1918) was active in many different fields and his influence can still be felt far beyond the city boundaries. As a businessman Troplowitz created the world-famous Nivea brand, among others, but he was also politically engaged and a keen supporter of the arts. To mark his 150th birthday, the Hamburger Kunsthalle is highlighting the different aspects of Troplowitz's life and work in a special exhibition, with particular emphasis on his appreciation of fine and applied arts. The display reassembles important parts of his collection of paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries, including works by Corot, Sisley, Liebermann and Slevogt. Finely drawn print advertisements and striking posters commissioned by the Beiersdorf company, in styles ranging from Art Nouveau to New Objectivity, transported artistic images into everyday life, while animated commercials by film pioneer Julius Pinschewer also used humour and charm to present toothpastes and face creams to cinema audiences.