Thursday, November 13, 2008

Degenerate Art

Degenerate art is the English translation of the German entartete Kunst, a term adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany to describe virtually all modern art. Such art was banned on the grounds that it was un-German or Jewish Bolshevist in nature, and those identified as degenerate artists were subjected to sanctions. These included being dismissed from teaching positions, being forbidden to exhibit or to sell their art, and in some cases being forbidden to produce art entirely.

Degenerate Art was also the title of an exhibition, mounted by the Nazis in the Haus der Kunst in Munich which opened on July 191937, consisting ofmodernist artworks chaotically hung and accompanied by text labels deriding the art. Designed to inflame public opinion against modernism, the exhibition subsequently traveled to several other cities in Germany and Austria.

While modern styles of art were prohibited, the Nazis promoted paintings and sculptures that were narrowly traditional in manner and that exalted the "blood and soil" values of racial puritymilitarism, and obedience. Similarly, music was expected to be tonal and free of jazz influence; films and plays were censored.

[for the rest of this article, see