May 16, 2022
German luxury goods maker Montblanc is inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the world of handwriting with the grand opening of the permanent “Montblanc Haus” exhibition in Hamburg.
Set across three levels covering nearly 40,000 square feet, Montblanc Haus explores the brand’s history and its artisans, personifying its belief in the value of writing as a tool for expression. Designed by Nieto Sobejanos Arquitectos and inspired by Montblanc’s heritage, the building itself pays homage to the packaging of a Montblanc writing instrument, featuring its recognizable color combination.
“We envisioned creating a special home for the art of writing, a place where people could discover or rediscover the incredible power of handwriting and the creativity, imagination and emotion it unlocks in everyone,” said Nicolas Baretzki, CEO of Montblanc, in a statement.
“Montblanc Haus was conceived as a journey of discovery, told through the eyes of a company that has been at the heart of the culture of writing for over 115 years,” he said. “It is our hope that Montblanc Haus becomes a meaningful landmark for Hamburg, a city that is so important to the history and identity of Montblanc, and for local communities and faraway visitors to discover and enjoy.”
Destination for inspiration
On May 10, Montblanc inaugurated the new space with a private event attended by a number of notable figures, including actress and director Maggie Gyllenhaal, actor Oscar Isaac, actor and writer Reggie Yates and Dree Louise Hemingway, great-granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway.
Notable figures from the world of entertainment gather to celebrate Montblanc’s latest venture
Led by the notion to “inspire writing,” Montblanc encourages guests to explore various themes, broken up into different areas, within the new exhibition.
“The Pulse of Writing” is an immersive experience that highlights the power and value of writing, while Montblanc’s “Legacy and Vision” tells the story of the house and its most well-known instrument, the Meisterstück.
“Handwriting from around the World” explores handwriting as art, spotlighting different types of handwriting translated into artistic pieces.
“Craftsmanship and Innovation” showcases the savoir-faire of the brand’s writing instrument creation and production. In this section, the brand honors the men and women who craft each of its products.
“Montblanc Collections” explores different limited editions and exclusive high artistry pieces.
The “Mark Making” space is dedicated to visitors and to those who have left their mark on the world, featuring an autograph library with 30 original handwritten notes from Ernest Hemmingway, Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, Spike Lee and more. Here, visitors may also sign a digital guestbook.
In addition to exploring each of these themes, guests may test Montblanc pens and send postcards around the world. Montblanc Haus will also offer a series of classes in its writing studio including the art of calligraphy, creative writing and children’s classes.
As part of its commitment to the importance of writing and education, Montblanc will host special classes dedicated to children and young adults of underserved communities to provide the tools they need to use writing as a form of creative expression.
In addition to the permanent museum, visitors may enjoy temporary exhibits, the Montblanc archives, a café as well as a boutique that features exclusive Montblanc Haus products.
Pop-ups and exhibits are becoming increasingly popular as a way to immerse audiences into a brand’s history and values and foster more experiential engagement.
LVMH-owned French fashion house Christian Dior featuring its “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in New York from October 2021-February 2022.
Curated by Florence Müller with Matthew Yokobosky, the exhibition was an artistic and historical melding of Dior ethos and American culture.
The experience began with a journey through time and space, revisiting founder Christian Dior’s artistic journey from France to America. The exhibition showcased Dior’s earliest haute couture creations, some of which have never previously been displayed in public.
A gallery of paintings followed a celebration of American photographers, including Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle and more, all of whom have photographed images of those integral to the Dior brand. An adjacent gallery displayed creations by previous Dior artistic directors with work from Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré and more (see story).
Similarly, French jeweler Cartier struck the contradictory cords of edge and refinement with a Los Angeles exhibition and campaign showcasing its Clash collection in August 2021.
To mark the opening of the exhibit, the brand invited some familiar faces to celebrate, including brand ambassador Lily Collins and music producer Finneas, who designed the exhibition’s specially curated soundscape. In tandem with the week-long exhibit, the brand released short films providing insight into what influenced and inspired the collection and event (see story).