The title (German for "Degenerate Art") of a 1937 exhibition of contemporary artworks, sponsored by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. It was akin to an elaborate book-burning, for within two years, many works were, in fact, burned (others were sold). It was as much about anti-semitism, anti-Communism, and the muzzling of dissent as it was about "taste". Time and learned reflection sort out the good, the bad, and the ugly of art. Don't let politicians do it.

According to my high school history teacher, this exhibit was held simultaneously with a showing of Nazi-approved art (magic realist pictures of Valkyries, I'm guessing) in a gallery across the street. Guess which one was better attended?

The way in which the artwork was displayed at "Entartete Kunst" was completely derogatory toward the art. Some rooms were crowded with hundreds of paintings right next to each other. Some paintings were slashed, covered with anti-semitic slogans, or even hung upside-down. The paintings were looted from museums, homes, and synagogues. They were chosen based on their subject matter, their authors, or even just because they looked disturbing.

Not only did this show have a higher attendance than its Aryan counterpart, it was also talked about and remained highly popular with the German populace for a few years. The show had a recurrence but the party leaders reallized that people were getting the wrong message so they shut it down. Its a similar notion to showing a kid something he or she can't have and then taking it away.

And then here the names as mentioned by the Nazis:

  • Ernst Barlach
  • Willi Baumeister
  • Max Beckmann
  • Karl Brendel
  • Marc Chagall
  • Otto Dix
  • Max Ernst
  • Otto Freundlich
  • George Grosz
  • Hans Grundig
  • Richard Haizmann
  • Erich Heckel
  • Eugen Hoffmann
  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
  • Paul Klee
  • Paul Kleinschmidt
  • Oskar Kokoschka
  • Rolf Kurth
  • Max Liebermann
  • Ludwig Meidner
  • Jean Metzinger
  • Johannes Molzahn
  • Wilhelm Morgner
  • Emil Nolde
  • Felix Nussbaum
  • Franz Radziwill
  • Oskar Schlemmer
  • Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
  • Kurt Schwitters
  • Friedrich Skade
  • Christoph Voll
Actors, Directors
  • Elisabeth Bergner
  • Kurt Gerron
  • Therese Giehse
  • Peter Lorre
  • Max Reinhardt
  • Conrad Veidt
  • Otto Wallburg
Authors/Poets Composers/Musicians

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