July 29, 2022 to March 12, 2023

Munich 72. Fashion, People, and Music

    The Münchner Stadtmuseum has chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Munich Summer Olympics by seeking out the hidden traces left by the Games. “Munich 72” brings together several exhibitions and projects, including a citywide exhibition entitled “In Search of Traces of the Olympic Games”.

    The Münchner Stadtmuseum’s participatory exhibition, “Fashion, People, and Music”, showcases personal memorabilia and shines al light on their owners’ individual stories. Items have been selected from our collections to illustrate the key role played by fashion and music in shaping the Games’ public image. Indeed, their influence extends far beyond the Olympics themselves. Interactive and digital elements breathe new life into the 1972 Olympics experience. Many of these contributions echo the memory of September 5, when a terrorist attack on the Israeli team sent shockwaves across the world and "nothing was the same as before". One part of the exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to reflect on this dark chapter in the history of a Games that had been intended to be a supremely cheerful event.

    Our “Munich 72” Storytelling Café opened at the start of this year as a space for people to share their personal recollections of the Olympics. Since February, witnesses of the events themselves and owners of items of interest have come to the Storytelling Café to share their stories and memories and show their memorabilia and even offer it on loan. Some of their anecdotes, images, digitized Super 8 movies have been included in the “Fashion, People, and Music” exhibition, and all their memories and memorabilia will shortly be on permanent display in our Online Collection. From later this summer, users will be able to upload their contributions directly. We are able to offer these interactive digital tools thanks to generous funding from the German Federal Cultural Foundation’s “dive in. Programme for Digital Interactions”.

    Parisian couturier André Courrèges was chosen as the designer mainly responsible for the uniforms worn by the Olympic staff. His work fused Otl Aicher’s color palette with a casual safari look to create a style that deliberately eschewed any military overtones yet grouped the Olympic staff into easily recognizable categories. Some items of Olympic clothing were modeled on casual garage overalls. In the official setting of the Games, his provocative unisex suits were the first of their kind not to have separate versions for men and women, a bold move for those times. The hostess costumes, however, sought to strike a balance between tradition and modernity with their sky blue and white dirndls that, in the eyes of Otl Aicher, reflected the colors of the Upper Bavarian landscape. The exhibition, also features some of Courrèges’ haute couture clothing. His avant-garde pieces, with their clean, geometric lines, created an unorthodox and distinctly alternative look far removed from the conventions of the times.

    The musical dimension of the exhibition explores the 1972 Summer Olympics’ hugely important cultural program. Their avowedly democratic, participatory approach was echoed in the opening and closing ceremonies and ran through the entire cultural program. The “Spielstraße” (Avenue of Entertainment), located next to the Olympic Lake and designed by architect Werner Ruhnau, was a radically democratic concept. It aimed to attract a huge public audience and had, as a prominent feature, Neue Musik.  “Exotica for six singing instrumentalists, each with at least ten non-European instruments” was a piece specially commissioned by the Olympic Culture Commission from German-Argentine composer Mauricio Kagel. Most of the instruments used at the premiere at Haus der Kunst had been borrowed from the Münchner Stadtmuseum’s collection – a highly unusual move, when viewed from the perspective of current practice. This loan involved sixty percussion, wind and string instruments largely originating from Africa and Southeast Asia. Swedish-German puppeteer Michael Meschke (Marionetteatern Stockholm) created a Punch & Judy Show about the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games for the Avenue of Entertainment. In a piece that addressed openly antisemitism and colonialism, Meschke’s typically anarchic Punch lampooned kings and emperors alike.

    The exhibition features selected items from the Museum’s Fashion Collection, 30 instruments, and photographic material from the Olympic music and culture program, some of which have not previously been on public display, in addition to various loans from the “Munich 72” Storytelling Café. Audio stations bring the music back to life – one highlight is the longest medley in musical history.

    Plan Your Visit

    Opening hours

    Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
    Closed on Mondays

    Every 2nd Wednesday of the month selected exhibitions at the Münchner Stadtmuseum are open until 8 pm

    Filmmuseum München  Screenings
    Tuesday – Thursday 7 pm
    Friday – Saturday 6 pm and 9 pm
    Sunday 5 pm

    Getting here

    S/U-Bahn station: Marienplatz
    U-Bahn station: Sendlinger Tor
    Bus 52/62 stop: St.-Jakobs-Platz


    St.-Jakobs-Platz 1
    80331 München
    Phone +49-(0)89-233-22370
    Fax +49-(0)89-233-25033
    E-Mail stadtmuseummuenchende
    E-Mail filmmuseummuenchende

    Ticket reservation Phone +49-(0)89-233-24150

    Stadtcafé Phone +49-(0)89-26 69 49