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Stand-in wife


What does it mean to be the wife of an architect?

Apologies to those architects more likely to have husbands than wives, but this is, after all, still a male-dominated profession. In Germany, at least, it can bring you glory, but only temporarily. At Leipzig's splendid new art gallery, a tradition of mosaic-making has been revived with a 6m-wide monochrome mosaic in the foyer by Stephan Huber, showing donors past and present. This means that 20thcentury businessmen mingle with artists such as Caspar David Friedrich. But who is that slightly earnest-looking woman with short hair and glasses? She is the wife of one of the architects of the building, from Berlinbased practice Hufnagel Pütz Rafaelian, but she is only listed in the catalogue as 'stand-in'.

Which is exactly what she is. The museum hopes to receive more donations in the future, at which stage it will unpick the image of Frau Architekt, and insert the generous donor in her place. Sic transit gloria mundi.

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