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Artotheks, Again

A new article (Rent-a-Painting, June 23) by Karen Naundorf from Deutsche Welle, in English and with great pictures, brings us back to the topic of artotheks, libraries where you can borrow artwork. To paraphrase Troy McClure, you may remember this topic from such posts as this one on February 2 and this one on February 13.

Residents of Bremen, for example, can choose between works by German artists Max Ernst, Joseph Beu[y]s, and Gerhard Richter or even take home a Günter Grass drawing to go along with one of the Nobel laureate's novels. Photography buffs can find pieces by Man Ray or Helmut Newton and there are even works by Ren[é] Magritte and Roy Lichtenstein on offer. [...]

Rental habits change over time, according to Stahl: "Those who come more frequently don't just look for the obvious: They're choosing paintings that mystify them." But that wasn't the case for 7-year-old Josef, who recently stopped by Bonn's artotheque with his mother to pick a painting for his room. "That one's silly and that one's totally boring," he said, pointing to a couple of pieces before settling on a screenprint depicting dark-green raindrops with faces in front of a dying forest. "I want that one," he screamed. "That one's funny!"

His mother didn't seem to get it. "Well, it's a bit serious," she said, looking slightly unhappy before telling Stahl to wrap it up. For the next two months, it's going to adorn Josef's bedroom walls. And then it's time [to] redecorate again.
Can you imagine? Apparently, many Germans don't even know they have them.

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