History of Art and Architecture

HAA 1455 Art in the Third Reich and Memorializations of the Holocaust

This course examines national socialist art and the fate of modernism under Hitler in the years between 1933 and 1945. As we will explore, Hitler's regime enlisted the arts and architecture, through party rallies, art exhibitions, building programs, and film, in enforcing its dictatorial policies on everything from the extermination of the Jews to sexuality and the war effort. We shall also consider the impact of the purge of modern art under Hitler on the work of such noted modernists as Otto Dix and Kthe Kollwitz, who chose to remain in Germany, and on the art of those who fled into exile, among them John Heartfield, George Grosz, and Max Beckmann. The final weeks of the course will consider critical issues involved in recent--and invariably controversial--attempts in museum building, sculpture, and site-specific installations to memorialize the Holocaust and examine Germany's Nazi past.