Richard Peter sen., Fountain of the Coupelles (artist Leoni Wirth), ca. 1975, SLUB Dresden Deutsche Fotothek.

After its (re)construction, Prager Strasse (Prague Street) became a popular place to live for the people of Dresden, as this photograph taken in the 1970s confirms. It shows a group of children playing by the fountain pool designed by the artist Leoni Wirth (1935-2012). She was inspired by the flowers and mushrooms she stylised. This playful arrangement brought a refreshing and festive atmosphere to the straight-lined urbanism of Prager Strasse. The complex spatial arrangement of the groups of fountains, planned with precision, had a decisive influence on the atmosphere of the urban space.

Leoni Wirth’s fountains, especially the dandelion fountains, were undoubtedly among the most popular works in Dresden during the GDR period. However, they were not seen by everyone as works of art in their own right and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when Prager Strasse was redeveloped, they were ruthlessly dismantled. The fountain was later restored buton a much smaller scale, and some elements, deemed superfluous, were relocated to other parts of the city, to the great displeasure of the artist who considered that her dismantled work had lost its meaning.

Sonia de Puineuf