Saturday, March 15, 2014

Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1939

The Neue Gallerie in New York City just opened a new exhibit on degenerate art. The Nazis branded modern art as degenerate and initiated a campaign against it, seizing works from museums and private collections.

The New York Times has a great review of the exhibit and a short clip of a Nazi exhibit of degenerate art in 1937. The Times also has an excellent review of the Neue Gallerie Show. It notes that when Hitler came to power, he wanted to purify German culture. In 1938, Nazis opened an exhibit of modern art and called it a freak show, even implicating Jews in the attack. According to the Times, "the whole thing ... meant to demonstrate the threat the new art posed on everything German."

The painting above is a self-portrait by Ernst Ludvig.

Thanks to my colleague, Jeff Feinstein, for sending me the link to this exhibit.

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