There’s a new Master in town.
Last week, local lady and Alys Antiques owner Jutta Mark graduated from Waikato University with a Master’s Thesis in Art. Having started the research in 2012, Jutta was “delighted” to not only don her gown and be capped, but also be awarded First Class Honours for her chosen line of exploration - Cabaret and Art as Expression of the Modern Era in Berlin from 1900 to 1945.
“I felt overjoyed as I walked onto that stage,” she said. “It was a real sense of achievement.
“To work towards something for that length of time and to be recognised with such a title is a wonderful feeling.”
Completing the entire project in her native German, Jutta said she undertook the study to stretch her mind and to revisit the cabaret numbers she loved so much.
“A thesis is to write about an area and find something new,” she said. “Always having a strong love for the cabaret and having lived in Berlin for so long, I chose my goal to be making parallels and connections between the literary and political literary cabaret and the art of the modern movement between 1900 and 1945.
“That period was of great change and turbulent, political times; Imperialistic Germany, extreme censorship and restriction, the pressure-cooker situation following WWI and the Weimar Republic, and the rise of Hitler and national socialism – there was an incredible change from very figurative art to very expressive art, which started in Paris and moved straight to Berlin.”
Titled Zeitgeist meaning “the spirit and modernism of the time”, Jutta supplemented her research with visuals, lyrics and images to illustrate her points as well as introducing important authors, composers and actors.
“Basically, what my thesis concluded was that the artists of the cabaret and the artists of the visual modern movement expressed similar sentiments.”
And her journey to graduation was not without its hurdles – panic came in October last year, when the German department at the University closed.
“I chose to take up the challenge of writing the entire process in German to get my language back up to scratch again,” she said. “It’s not as elegant as it was 40 years ago!
“The language side of things grew even more important to me as time went on, so when the University closed the department I was extremely concerned. But fortunately, we managed to work our way around it.”
Jutta holds a long tradition working in the arts; in the 1970s she worked in Berlin for Nierendorgf Gallery, one of the most famous art galleries dealing with modern movement in Germany. She has been associated with Alys Antiques in Victoria Street since the early 1990s, taking over the ownership reigns in 2007. She also has a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Psychology and works as a hypno-therapist.
And now her incredible knowledge of the art arena has been extended even more, to put into her pieces and pass onto her customers.
“I always have a lot of fine art in store, and now my furthered study has aided me in talking points and knowing about items much more in depth,” she said.
Jutta is certainly making her mark.