Fahrrad aus Holz ohne Pedale
© Deutsches Fahrradmuseum Bad Brückenau, Foto: Sarah Seefried

Self-Propelled - or how the Bicycle moves us

As the season opening on 30 April 2016, the Dresden Museum of Decorative Arts in Schloss Pillnitz is showing an exhibition on design and culture of the bicycle entitled “Self-propelled — or how the bicycle moves us”.

  • DATES 30/04/2016—01/11/2016
  • Opening Hours currently closed


Lift off, get your balance and glide away: two centuries have passed since the invention of the Draisine, yet being “self-propelled” by bike is still a fascinating form of locomotion — and this is what curator Petra Schmidt is spotlighting with her exhibition on design and culture of the bicycle in the River Palace of Schloss Pillnitz. By focusing on the milestones of bicycle development such as the historic velocipede, folding bikes, mountain bikes, racing cycles and also the necessary components and accessories like lights, saddles and helmets, she illustrates how technical innovations and aesthetic standards have influenced and shaped bicycle design and its development.

Fahrrad aus Holz ohne Pedale
© Deutsches Fahrradmuseum Bad Brückenau, Foto: Sarah Seefried
Karl Drais, Laufmaschine („Draisine“), 1817. Replica, 1970 Mannheim


But most of all the exhibition is about movement per se: the curator explores the theme in sections such as “The Discovery of Mechanical Movement”, “Movement in Sport”, “Social Movements” “Emotionally in Motion” and the “Future of Locomotion”: because people on one hand move themselves through the bicycle, just as the bicycle moves people — and not least emotionally. The show puts the bicycle into focus as a mirror to its age, when it investigates its significance for the workers’ and women’s movements, also for hippies, who revolutionised the bicycle as a sport with their forerunners to the mountain bike. Today, as well, it is its autonomy that enables the bicycle to make a political statement — for instance when participants in the Critical Mass event pedal through town in order to demonstrate for more rights for the bike in city traffic.

Digital scenarios and mobile, rideable bicycle installations help to kick the show into top gear. An accompanying programme plans additional activities such as the “Pillnitz Summer Sundays” with guided tours, children’s workshops and street food from the vending bike, a bicycle collection campaign for refugees; also lectures and bike expeditions.


Hauptpartner: freundeskreis; Globetrotter; Little John Bikes; Meso, Wala
Partner: DB Schenker; Schwalbe
Medienpartner: Delius Klasing; Sächsische Zeitung

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