16 October 2021

The 'Moderne Künstler' series by MMB

Before colour photography became mainstream, most film star postcards contained sepia pictures. There are a few exceptions like the Moderne Künstler series by German publisher MMB. All the postcards in this series contain pictures in colour of German film stars of the 1910s. The lithographs, based on star portraits, were all made by F.J. Wesselsky.

Valdemar Psilander
German postcard by MMB, no. 452. Photo: F.J. Wesselsky. The card has on the back Dutch publicity for J. Bijloos, Eau de Cologne.

Valdemar Psilander (1884-1917) was the most popular male actor in the Danish cinema of the 1910s.

Gunnar Tolnaes
German postcard by MMB, no. 453. Photo: F.J. Wesselsky.

Gunnar Tolnaes (1879-1940) had his most famous performance as an Indian prince in the Danish orientalist melodrama Maharadjahens Yndlingshustru/ The Maharaja's Favourite Wife (1917), with Lilly Jacobson. It was so popular that it had a Danish sequel in 1919 and a German sequel in 1921. After a substantial film career in Denmark, he alternated acting in German films as well as in Danish films, until the end of the silent era.

Dorrit Weixler
German postcard in the Moderne Künstler series by MMB, no. 455. Photo: F.J. Wesselsky.

German silent film actress Dorrit Weixler (1892-1916) anticipated such better known comedy stars of the German cinema as Ossi Oswalda and Anny Ondra. The career of the bright and light comedienne was like a candle burning on both sides.

Hanni Weisse
German postcard in the Moderne Künstler series by MMB, no. 457. Photo: F.J. Wesselsky.

German actress Hanni Weisse (1892-1967) belonged to the great film divas of the early German silent film. She was able to maintain her stardom till the 1920s.

Ludwig Trautmann
German postcard in the Moderne Künstler series by MMB, no. 459. Photo: F.J. Wesselsky.

German film actor Ludwig Trautmann (1885-1957) was the first German film star. Between 1912 and 1955, he appeared in 69 films, and also wrote, produced, and directed several films. In the Nazi period, he was prosecuted because of 'homosexual acts'.

Hella Moja
German postcard in the Moderne Künstler series by MMB, no. 460. Photo: F.J. Wesselsky.

During the First World War and the following years Hella Moja (1890-1951) was one of the most popular stars of the German silent cinema. There was even a Hella Moja serial and in 1918 she founded her own film company.

Wanda Treumann
German postcard in the Moderne Künstler series by MMB, no. 461. Photo: F.J. Wesselsky.

Wanda Treumann (1889-1963) was a German actress and film producer. Together with Viggo Larsen, she produced many films in the 1910s, in which she also often had the female lead.

Ossi Oswalda
German postcard in the Moderne Künstler series by MMB, no. 462. Photo: F.J. Wesselsky.

Ossi Oswalda (1895-1947) was one of the most popular comediennes of the German silent cinema.

Erna Morena
German postcard in the Moderne Künstler series by MMB, no. 463. Photo: F.J. Wesselsky.

Erna Morena (1885-1962) had an enormous career in German silent cinema in the 1910s and 1920s, and until the mid-1930s she was regularly performing in German sound films.

Bruno Kastner
German postcard in the Moderne Künstler series by MMB, no. 466. Photo: F.J. Wesselsky.

German actor Bruno Kastner (1890-1932) was one of the most beloved stars of the 1910s and 1920s. His parts as the elegant and charming dandy made him a heartthrob of the German silent cinema.

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