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Other titles in the Social History, Popular Culture, & Politics in Germany series:
Franz Radziwill and the Contradictions of German Art History, 1919-45 (Social History, Popular Culture, & Politics in Germany)by James A. Van Dyke
Synopses & Reviews
"Van Dyke has taken a risk and succeeded masterfully. His book means a major step to our understanding of the art world and the cultural politics during the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. This case study, with its methodological approach, its close reading and contextualization, is a superb work and contributes to central debates about modernity and art history."
---Olaf Peters, Department of Art History, Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg
"James van Dyke has made a critically important contribution not only to German art studies, but also to the broader investigation---in history, literary studies, and cultural studies---of early twentieth century 'modernities.'"
---Barbara McCloskey, University of Pittsburgh
"Far more than a monograph on an individual painter, this carefully researched work of critical art history captures the complexities and paradoxes of culture during the Third Reich. James van Dyke's examination of Franz Radziwill---arguably the preeminent 'reactionary modernist' artist of the time---shows that success during the Weimar Republic did not preclude an attempt to find accommodation with the Nazi regime. Many modernist cultural figures sought to find a place in the Third Reich, and while this proved difficult, their experiences undoubtedly challenge the notion of a monolithic 'Nazi art.'"
---Jonathan Petropoulos, author of The Faustian Bargain: The Art World in Nazi Germany
What was Nazi art? For the most part, we think of traditionally painted scenes of peasants plowing; blonde German girls with or without clothes; and heroically posed, square-jawed soldiers. When we think of modern art in Nazi Germany, we typically think above all of the infamous exhibition "Degenerate Art," which opened in Munich in July 1937. While these associations are not entirely wrong, the relationship between modern German art and National Socialism is considerably more complex than has generally been understood.
In Franz Radziwill and the Contradictions of German Art History, 1919and#150;45, James A. van Dyke tells the story of a well-known modern artist who regarded modernity and civilization with deep ambivalence during the 1920s and then for a time became a strong supporter of National Socialism. Radziwill's art, politics, and career are embedded in the debates about the definition of German art and state art policy in and after Hitler's rise. Challenging the monolithic view of "the Nazis," this book details how a painter could be championed by certain powerful National Socialists and be seen as a "degenerate" artist by others, how he could criticize the state and yet fight for the Fatherland, and how the unevenness of Hitler's state could foster hope and resistance even in a man who ultimately was deeply distressed by events.
James A. van Dyke is Assistant Professor of Modern European Art History in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, and has published extensively on German modern art.
Jacket art: Franz Radziwill, The Death Dive of Karl Buchstand#228;tter, 1928, oil on canvas on masonite, 90 and#215; 95 cm. Museum Folkwang Essen. (Photo: Jens Nober.) and#169; 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
An exploration of the career of Franz Radziwill, investigating the question of art in a Nazi context
An interdisciplinary approach to Kracauer's body of work
A close look at Charlotte Salomon's fantastical autobiography Life? or Theater? and the way that German social history has omitted the stories of German Jewish women and suicide
Charlotte Salomon's (1917-43) fantastical autobiography, Life? or Theater?, consists of 769 sequenced gouache paintings, through which the artist imagined the circumstances of the eight suicides in her family, all but one of them women. But Salomon's focus on suicide was not merely a familial idiosyncrasy. Nothing Happened argues that the social history of early-twentieth-century Germany has elided an important cultural and social phenomenon by not including the story of German Jewish women and suicide. This absence in social history mirrors an even larger gap in the intellectual history of deeply gendered suicide studies that have reproduced the notion of women's suicide as a rarity in history. Nothing Happened is a historiographic intervention that operates in conversation and in tension with contemporary theory about trauma and the reconstruction of emotion in history.
Culture in the Anteroom introduces an English-speaking readership to the full range of Siegfried Kracauer's work as novelist, architect, journalist, sociologist, historian, exile critic, and theorist of visual culture. This interdisciplinary anthology---including pieces from Miriam Bratu Hansen, Andreas Huyssen, Noah Isenberg, Lutz Koepnick, Eric Rentschler, and Heide Schland#252;pmann---brings together literary and film scholars, historians and art historians, sociologists, and architects to address the scope and current relevance of a body of work dedicated to investigating all aspects of modernism and modernity. The contributors approach Kracauer's writings from a variety of angles, some by placing them in dialogue with his contemporaries in Weimar Germany and the New York Intellectuals of the 1940s and '50s; others by exploring relatively unknown facets of Kracauer's oeuvre by considering his contributions to architectural history, the history of radio as well as other new media, and museum and exhibition culture.
About the Author
Gerd Gemand#252;nden is the Sherman Fairchild Professor of the Humanities at Dartmouth College, where he teaches in the Department of German Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Comparative Literature.
Johannes von Moltke is an Associate Professor of German Studies and Screen Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan.
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