Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Out of the Ashes: Art Stolen by Nazis Rediscovered

It’s a sad fact of human history that the leadership regime most obsessed with art belonged to that of the Nazis. From Adolf Hitler the frustrated painter to obsessive collectors such as Herman Goering and Joseph Goebbels (who knew enough to step aside when Hitler lusted after an object), the Nazi power circles thought about art and its effect on their country’s culture continually, more often to art’s detriment than to its benefit. Exhibit A of the detrimental effects of that cultural concern is that dark episode in modern art history—the infamous Entartete Kunst (“Degenerate Art”) exhibition of 1937 that defined for Germans what was and what wasn’t acceptable art. Some of those “degenerate” works and the artists that made them escaped Nazi clutches, while much of that condemned art seemed lost to posterity in the same conflagration that consumed the Nazis themselves. A recent discovery, however, adds a small, but happy coda to the tragic symphony of the Nazis destructive love of art. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Out of the Ashes."

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