Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hans Thoma: Hitler’s Favorite Artist?

You can’t pick your fans. If you could, nobody would pick Adolf Hitler. The frustrated painter turned Führer and genocidist enjoyed any art that embodied in some form for him the “blood and soil” values of German racial superiority rooted in close ties between the people and the land. Canonical German artists such as Albrect Durer, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and Johannes Vermeer (Dutch being close enough to Deutsche) met with Hitler’s approval, but among more modern artists, the Nazis deemed them mostly “Degenerate Art.” Among a few more modern yet traditional German artists, painter Hans Thoma, perhaps the most popular painter among the German people at the turn of the 20th century, suited Hitler’s taste, too.  Hans Thoma: “The German People’s Favorite Painter,” which runs through September 29, 2013 at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, aims to wash away any stains of guilt by association and restore while reevaluating Thoma’s place in German and general art history. The Thoma show exemplifies not only the writing and rewriting of art history specifically, but also serves as a telling microcosm of Germany’s overall struggle with its tragic past. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Hans Thoma: Hitler’s Favorite Artist?"

[Many thanks to the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, for providing me with the image above and other press materials related to the exhibition Hans Thoma: “The German People’s Favorite Painter,” which runs through September 29, 2013.]
[Many thanks and love, too, to Tatjana, Kyle, Maksim, and Weston for guiding us around Frankfurt, Berlin, and the rest of Germany.]


Hels said...

I don't know the name Hans Thoma, but I will examine his works. Thank you.

I was very interested in the Grosse Deutsche Kunstaus­stel­lung/Great German art exhibition, held in Munich in 1938. Since it was set up to feature officially sponsored, Hilter-approved Her­oic Art, I thought that might be a great way of seeing art Hitler admired.

The curators did the best they could the first time around, but Hitler was horrified with the rubbish they had selected. He demanded it be done again, from scratch. Their second selections were accepted by Hitler, perhaps reluctantly.

Hels said...

Another thought.

Hitler didn't necessarily like German artists, just because they were enthusiastic members of the Nazi Party. When Emil Nolde's work was officially condemned by the Nazi regime as deg­en­er­ate, his paintings were removed from public museums! Nolde was devastated.

Thanks for the link