The Twentieth Century German Art Exhibition
Answering Degenerate Art in 1930s London
This book represents the first study dedicated to Twentieth Century German Art, the 1938 London exhibition that was the largest international response to the cultural policies of National Socialist Germany and the infamous Munich exhibition Degenerate Art. Provenance research into the catalogued exhibits has enabled a full reconstruction of the show for the first time: its contents and form, its contributors and their motivations, and its impact both in Britain and internationally.
Presenting the research via six case-study exhibits, the book sheds new light on the exhibition and reveals it as one of the largest émigré projects of the period, which drew contributions from scores of German émigré collectors, dealers, art critics, and from the ‘degenerate’ artists themselves. The book explores the show’s potency as an anti-Nazi statement, which prompted a direct reaction from Hitler himself.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: The Organisation of Twentieth Century German Art
Chapter Two: Campendonk’s ‘Jumping Beast’: Neutrality and Resistance in Swiss Museums
Chapter Three: Schmitt-Rottluff’s ‘Fishermen’s Houses’: Art and Status in Exile
Chapter Four: Liebermann’s ‘The Potato Gatherer’: German Modernism, German Dealers and the London Art Market
Chapter Five: Schwitters’ ‘The Golden Ear’: ‘Degenerate’ Artists as Lenders to London
Chapter Six: Macke’s ‘Men on a Bridge’: Loans from the Reich
Chapter Seven: Baumeister’s ‘Kneeling Group’: The British and Twentieth Century German Art
Chapter Eight: The Reception of Twentieth Century German Art in Britain and Germany
Appendix One: Index of Twentieth Century German Art Exhibits
Appendix Two: Index of Twentieth Century German Art Lenders
Lucy Wasensteiner is Lecturer in Art History at the University of Bonn, and Associate Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.