Graphic representation of Maria, from Fritz Lang's renowned film Metropolis, 1927. Maria has become a timeless design icon. Her look evokes the golden mask of the Pharaoh King Tutankhamun, discovered five years before her creation, yet she was also the inspiration for generations of subsequent film robots, including C-3PO from the Star Wars series. Maria was not called a robot in Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s 1927 magnum opus, but instead was described as a maschinenmensch – a human machine. Underpinning her striking looks was a deep unease about the place of humans in a world overtaken by machines. Artwork exclusively designed for the Robots Exhibition, 2017 at the Science Museum London. Our Mashinenmensch artwork is the first, official merchandise range produced under license from the estate of Maria’s original sculptor, Walter Schulze-Mittendorff.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library