By Joan L. Clinefelter
Whereas we regularly take into consideration proficient artists fleeing the clutches of the Nazi regime--forced out or sickened via the strictures put upon them--we not often ponder these artists who willingly stayed in the back of. this can be the 1st finished therapy of the German artwork Society, a bunch of artists, authors and right-wing activists who actively embraced Nazism. Theses artists have generally been disregarded as a lunatic fringe, however the writer argues that they have been in reality instrumental in scuffling with modernist paintings in safeguard of what they considered as the German cultural culture. Drawing on formerly ignored archival fabric, Clinefelter unearths cultural continuities that stretch from the Wilhelmine Empire during the Weimar Republic into the 3rd Reich and elucidates how theses artists promoted Nazi tradition "from below."
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Extra info for Artists for the Reich: Culture and Race from Weimar to Nazi Germany
75 However, despite (or indeed because of) such harsh criticism, the German Art Society believed it had scored a real success. For its members, the exhibit symbolized the increasing vigor of the German Art Society in 1929. By the time of the First Exhibition of Pure German Art, the German Art Society had begun to forge organizational ties with völkisch organizations. Its vision of German art and its critique of modernism appealed to a variety of anti-modernists ranging from nationalists to völkisch adherents and National Socialists.
Yet to Feistel-Rohmeder, Guhr’s paintings glowed with the power of the old masters; he was ‘a visionary and poet of the German people’ who called for cultural regeneration. 6 The ‘liberal press’, supposedly dominated by the Jews, had no interest in promoting art which faithfully represented the essence of the Germanic character. 8 To defend their interests, she decided to create an organization that would promote German art and artists. But as even the Society’s founding myth of Guhr’s struggle reveals, the battle was about more than just style.
Using her father’s 1916 plan to create a völkisch support system for artists, she invited a small circle of friends to found the German Art Society. The Society’s two major objectives were to establish an art journal and host exhibitions of pure German art. 30 Four men attended the Society’s founding meeting, hosted by Feistel-Rohmeder in her home: Georg Beutel, an archivist; the teacher Richard Krause; and the painters Walter Witting and Reinhold Rehm. 31 With these initial members, Feistel-Rohmeder established a pattern she followed throughout her career.
Artists for the Reich: Culture and Race from Weimar to Nazi Germany by Joan L. Clinefelter