Degenerate Art

On This Day…. Degenerate Art Exhibition

Hitler’s revenge for rejection by the art world backfired big time.

In 1937 the Degenerate Art Exhibition, organised by the Nazi party opened in Munich.  The idea behind the exhibition was to showcase modern art as a symptom of illness and evilness., staged in counterpoint to the Great German Art Exhibition. The day before the exhibition opened, Hitler gave a speech in which he declared a “merciless war” on cultural disintegration, attacking “chatterboxes, dilettantes and art swindlers”.  The labelling of art as degenerate was to identify works that insulted the German ideal however his plan didn’t work out quite as intended as the Art Exhibition attracted more than a million visitors, which was three times more than the officially sanctioned Great German Art Exhibition.

The Degenerate Art Exhibition included 650 paintings, sculptures and prints by 112 artists, primarily German.  Artists included Kirchner, Metzinger, Klee, Picasso, Gleizes, Mondrian, Chagall and Kandinsky.  A large number of works were not displayed, as the exhibition focused on German works.

The BBC has an artrcle by Lucy Burns that worth a read

Also worth checking out the Guardian article –


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