degenerate art

▪ art exhibition
GermanEntartete Kunst

      term used by the Nazi Party in Germany to describe art that did not support the ideals of National Socialism. It was also the title of a propagandistically designed Nazi (Nazi Party) exhibition of modern art held in Munich in 1937.

      With Hitler's rise to power in 1933, the systematic suppression of contemporary art quickly spread throughout Germany. Sanctions were created to forbid the exhibition and even the creation of any contemporary art not approved by the Nazi Party; such work was labeled, along with the artists who created it, as “degenerate.” In 1933 this art began to be displayed in defamatory exhibits intended to disparage modern art, and to link the Jewish race with the decline of German art.

      The culmination of these exhibits was “Entartete Kunst,” which opened in Munich in July 1937 and was advertised as “culture documents of the decadent work of Bolsheviks and Jews.” The works on exhibit included only a small segment of the almost 16,000 works of modern art confiscated from German museums on the orders of Joseph Goebbels (Goebbels, Joseph), the minister of propaganda. So-called degenerate works by Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky (Kandinsky, Wassily), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig), Emile Nolde (Nolde, Emil), and other major artists of the 20th century were displayed with paintings by psychotic patients and were subjected to vicious ridicule by the press and the German people, who attended in vast numbers. This exhibit was designed to contrast with a simultaneous exhibition of art approved by Nazi leaders made up of works executed in an academic style and dealing with typical Nazi themes of heroism and duty. After showing in Munich, “Entartete Kunst” toured to other German cities. In 1939 many of the confiscated works were auctioned in Lucerne, Switzerland, or sold abroad to finance the Nazi Party; the rest are believed to have been burned in Berlin.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Degenerate art — Cover of the exhibition program: Degenerate Art exhibition, 1937. Note the word Kunst , meaning art, in scare quotes Cover of the exhibition program …   Wikipedia

  • degenerate —    Being in decline; having fallen to an inferior or undesirable state, especially in mental or moral qualities. Also, a depraved, corrupt, or vicious person. Because modernism was so counter to the fascist aesthetic, Adolf Hitler (German, 1889… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • Degenerate music — (German: Entartete Musik) was a label applied in the 1930s by the Nazi government in Germany to certain forms of music that it considered to be harmful or decadent. The Nazi government s concern for degenerate music was a part of its larger and… …   Wikipedia

  • Art et liberté — war ein Gruppe von Künstlern und Literaten, die sich um 1939 in Kairo zusammenschloss. Stilistisch ordnet man sie dem Surrealismus zu, doch Schlagzeilen machte die Gruppe eher mit politischen Aktionen als mit ihren Werken. Am 22. Dezember 1938… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Art destruction — involves the damaging or destruction of works of art. This can happen through a natural process, an accident, or deliberate human involvement. Natural destruction All physical works of art are slowly affected and degraded by the natural elements …   Wikipedia

  • Art of the Third Reich — Die Partei, Arno Breker s statue representing the spirit of the Nazi Party The art of the Third Reich, the officially approved art produced in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945, was characterized by a style of Romantic realism based on classical …   Wikipedia

  • ART — This article is arranged according to the following outline: Antiquity to 1800 INTRODUCTION: JEWISH ATTITUDE TO ART biblical period the sanctuary and first temple period second temple period after the fall of jerusalem relation to early christian …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Degenerate — De*gen er*ate, a. [L. degeneratus, p. p. of degenerare to degenerate, cause to degenerate, fr. degener base, degenerate, that departs from its race or kind; de + genus race, kind. See {Kin} relationship.] Having become worse than one s kind, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Art —    Though Austria has a long and rich tradition in painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts, the country’s enormous collections are, on the whole, more notable than individual Austrian artists. There is a fine gallery dedicated to Austrian… …   Historical dictionary of Austria

  • German art — describes the history of the visual arts in Germany.The Bamberg Horseman is a stone equestrian statue by an anonymous medieval sculptor from the cathedral of Bamberg.The Danube School (German:Donauschule or Donaustil) is the name of a circle of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.