Happy Birthday, Ken Adam!
Press release, 1 Jan 21
Museum für Film und Fernsehen
Potsdamer Straße 2
Heidi Berit Zapke
+49 30 300903-820
Press release, 1 Jan 21
Sir Ken Adam would have been 100 years old on February 5, 2021. In 2012 the world-renowned production designer gave his archives to the Deutsche Kinemathek, and our institution presented these materials at the Museum für Film und Fernsehen two years later in the exhibition “Bigger Than Life. Ken Adam’s Film Design«. Even today, Ken Adam’s legacy is trailblazing ‒ his work on Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Dr. Strangelove’ immediately comes to mind. Adam’s spectacular designs were formative for the early ‘James Bond’ films, setting pioneering trends as much for film and design as for architecture.
We are commemorating this centennial anniversary on Ken Adam’s birthday ‒ with two thematic online tours and an expansion of the online presentation, www.ken-adam-archiv.de, about Ken Adam and his artistic oeuvre.
On February 5th at 1 pm, Rainer Rother, artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, and Anett Sawall, graphics archivist at the museum, will take viewers on an Instagram tour titled “James Bonds Welten und ihr Designer” (James Bond’s World and Its Designer), providing insights into the scenographic work of the legendary production designer.
On February 10th at 7 pm, curator Kristina Jaspers will use Ken Adam’biography to shed light on his “Raumvisionen” (Visionary Spaces) on her Instagram tour.
In an augmentation of our online presentation of the production designer’s archives ‒ www.ken-adam-archiv.de ‒ the Kinemathek is publishing recollections and commentary by the designer’s prominent friends and colleagues, companions and admirers. They pay tribute to Adam’s superb drawing techniques, the visionary power of his designs, as well as the elegance and drama of his set designs. And last but not least, they recall the man Ken Adam, whose eventful biography reveals the links between his willingness to take risks, his sense of grandeur and fine humor.
Sir Ken Adam (1921–2016) was one of the 20th century’s most influential production designers. The Berlin-born artist wrote film history with his seminal and style-defining sets.
Adam, whose family had to leave Berlin in 1934 and emigrated to London, initially enrolled at the Bartlett School of Architecture. During World War II he served as a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force.
By chance, he was commissioned with designs for a film after the war. He subsequently worked with outstanding designers such as Oliver Messel, and collaborated with renowned directors, including Stanley Kubrick, Robert Aldrich, Jacques Tourneur and István Szabó.
Adam’s name is primarily tied to the designs of the James Bond films, and his sets bore his signature style from the very beginning. He was responsible for a total of seven James Bond films.
Over the course of more than half a century, Adam worked on some 100 film projects, two opera productions, a multimedia project and diverse exhibitions. Ken Adam was paid homage many times and he received numerous awards for his work, including a British Academy Film Award, six Academy Award nominations and two Oscars. In 2012 Adam entrusted his extensive artistic oeuvre to the Deutsche Kinemathek, including 6000 graphic designs, numerous photographs, letters and awards, such as his two Oscars, as well as research documents for individual film productions. Sir Ken Adam died on March 10, 2016. He was 95.
The majority of the anniversary events are held in German
Feb. 5, 2021, www.ken-adam-archiv.de: Happy Birthday, Ken Adam!
Barbara Broccoli, Silke Buhr, Sir Christopher Frayling, Axel Eichhorst, Uli Hanisch, Katharina Kubrick, Daniel Liebeskind, Alex McDowell, Gereon Sievernich, etc., share their recollections in drawn, filmed and written greetings.
Feb. 5, 2021, 1 pm, Instagram Tour: “James Bonds Welten und ihr Designer”, with Rainer Rother and Anett Sawall (in German)
Feb. 10, 2021, 7 pm, Instagram Tour: “Raumvisionen”, with Kristina Jaspers (in German)