London 1938: The Institutionalisation of German Modernism and the Ensuing Backlash in the 1920s and 1930s
Part of The Wiener Library’s London 1938 exhibition series
This talk introduces the patterns of public/private collecting, dealership and patronage during the Wilhelmine period (prior to 1918) but focuses on the Weimar era. After the First World War, state promotion of modern German art was consolidated, particularly under Ludwig Justi (1876-1957), director of the Berlin National Gallery. In 1919, he founded the Galerie der Lebenden (Gallery of the Living) in the Kronprinzenpalais(Crown Prince’s Palace) and forged links between modernism and progressive ideas of nationhood. The talk traces the fate of Justi and the Kronprinzen collection, as well as the implications for German-Jewish patrons and dealers, subsequent to the Nazi accession to power in January 1933. It examines the official campaign against modernism that climaxed in the “Entartete Kunst” ("Degenerate Art") exhibition in 1937.
About the Speaker
Dr. Shulamith Behr is Honorary Research Fellow at The Courtauld Institute of Art. She is a specialist in the study of German Expressionism and has published widely in the field. Her research on art and exile can be found in the volume Arts in Exile in Britain 1933-1945: Politics and Cultural Identity (Brill, 2005), which she co-edited with Marian Malet. Her most recent publications focus on the exile period of Ludwig Meidner, a leading exponent of German literary and artistic Expressionism.