Art and proapaganda in nazi germany Essay

Submitted By trevorsstephens
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Trevor Stephens
Art & Propaganda in Nazi Germany

Writing Assignment #2 Artist in Nazi Germany

Germany led the artistic fields with a healthy lead, setting the world standard in the nearly every facet of artistic expression. In the 1920’s, with the end of World War I, a new government was formed. This government was known as the Weimar Republic. While many German political aspects remained the same from German Empire, the was one major difference. One of the main disparities between the two would be the Weimar Republic’s emphasis on art. New emergences in music, paintings, architecture, dance, and playwriting shattered barriers limiting art around the world. (1)
In 1933, the National Socialist came to power, replacing the Weimar Republic. Along with the governmental change came major reforms in art. Many artists were banned from continuing their artistic expressions. Many artists were exiled, arrested, forced to conform to Nazi ideology, prevented by law to purchase art supplies, paint, compose pieces, criticize Nazi art or ideology, or continue any artistic means. These artists became known as degenerate artist and their art known as degenerate art, entartete kunst. Any art that was made by Jewish artist and those with conflicting ideals with the Nazi’s were considered entartete kunst as well as any modern art like Bauhaus, Expressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Impressionism, and such art. These artworks filled the exhibit known as, none other than, the Entartete Kunst Exhibition, which premiered in Munich, opening on July 19th of 1937. This exhibit opened the day after the Great German Art Exhibition, and exhibit displaying art that expressed the power and perfection of Germany and Nazi ideology. Although, the Entartete Kunst Exhibition was displayed much differently than the Great German Art exhibition. The “Degenerate Art” was displayed in a state of disarray that was very aesthetically unappealing, with captions pointing out how it was bad for the German image even comparing it to the mentally ill and retarded.(2)
One notable artist that was persecuted by the Nazi Party and labeled as degenerate was Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. He openly rejected Nazi ideology and became a target to the Socialist Party. Kircher was born May 6th of 1880 in Aschaffenburg, Bavaria. He studied art at Königliche Technische Hochschule in Dresden. He is known as one of the founders of Die Brücke, "The Bridge". The Bridge is known to be the innovators of expressionism. Ernst Kirchner’s art is known to display the nude female body and depictions of casual copulation. This would obviously go against Nazi ideology. Furthermore, the way in which he depicted these women was as very natural, using commoners as models, instead of the perfect female image, preferred by Nazi art. In 1933, Kirchner was labeled by the Nazi Party as a degenerate artist and prohibited to continue making art. In 1937, the Nazi’s confiscated over 600 pieces of his work and either destroyed them or auctioned them off, profiting from the sales. Kirchner suffered from a mental breakdown during the First World War