"Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937" is the first major museum exhibition in the United States in over twenty years devoted to the infamous display of modern art officially condemned by the Nazis. In the 1930s, the National Socialists adopted the term ""degenerate"" for their campaign against modern art. They seized thousands of works from museums and collections throughout Germany. A selection of these were works put on display in Munich in July 1937. The show subsequently traveled for three years throughout Germany and Austria. Millions of people were said to have seen it, making it the most popular traveling show ever assembled.
This exhibition opens by comparing works that were included in the government sponsored "Great German Art Exhibition", comprised of artwork approved by the Nazis to the infamous show in Munich. An adjacent gallery address the complex careers of Ernst Barlach and Emil Nolde, artists who were initially approved by some Nazi officials and later judged "degenerate".
One major gallery examines the city of Dresden as an important art center in Germany. The German Expressionist artists' group Brücke was founded here in 1905. The Nazis staged what they termed "exhibitions of shame", which served as precursors to the "Degenerate Art" show, one of which was held in Dresden.
The Bauhaus was also a target of the Nazis and the school was shuttered for good in 1933. Key faculty of the Bauhaus were targets and many fled the country. The final gallery addresses the theme of exile and emigration as many artists chose or were forced to flee Germany.
This application features audio interviews with the exhibition’s curator, Dr. Olaf Peters, and commentary from the Director of the Neue Galerie New York, Renée Price.
Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937 is on view at:
Neue Galerie New York 1048 Fifth Avenue at 86th Street, New York, NY 10028 March 13 – June 30, 2014