Essay on Movements in Art Report

Essay on Movements in Art Report

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Degenerate art is not bad art; it was just labeled that by the German government. In 1937, an exhibition of over six hundred works labeled Degenerate Art opened in Munich, Germany, right next door to an exhibit of its opposite, Great German Art. The purpose of Degenerate Art was to showcase art with subjects and styles that disobeyed Adolf Hitler’s standards of art, which targeted most modern, avant-garde art that seemingly attacked the purity of the German people. Hitler understood that art was going to play a large role in building his ideal nation, as culture is a major cornerstone in any lasting society. That being said, modern movements, such as Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, and Dadaism, made up most of the Degenerate Art exhibit because it was a perceived as a threat to German morality. In addition to artistic movements, iconic figures, such as Christ, are found in Degenerate Art. Research has failed to provide an exact reason why images of Christ had been put on display to be ridiculed, but one could assume that the power that Christ had on people threatened Adolf Hitler’s power. Some of the subjects that Hitler saw as Great German Art were works that displayed peasants engaged in their labors, women as mothers, landscapes of Germany, soldiers, workers, and not to forget, images of Germany’s beloved leader. The Degenerate Art exhibition was constructed to parallel an exhibition of Great German Art, which opened at the same time. However, with over two million visitors, the Degenerate Art exhibition nearly quadrupled the number of attendance of its opposite. Due to the outstanding numbers in attendance, the exhibits then became mobile and traveled to various locations throughout Germany. Once the ex...

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Levi, Neil. “’Judge for Yourself!’ –The ‘Degenerate Art’ Exhibition as Political Spectacle,”
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Nolde, Emil. The Crucifixion (detail of panel from the Life of Christ polyptych), oil on
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Werckmeister, O.K. “Hitler the Artist,” Critical Inquiry 23, no. 2 (1997): 270-297.

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