Karl Konrad Friedrich Bauer (1868–1942) was a German artist, print-maker and poet. He was an expert draftsmanship, and in the early 20th century he found a good deal of success as an illustrator and portrait artist. Because of his traditional style, he was more than welcome to continue working in the arts when the National Socialists came to power, even receiving the Goethe Medal for Art and Science. Before he died during a visit to Munich in 1942, Karl completed a number of portraits of Adolf Hitler, as well as leaders and heroes of the Third Reich, which have been compiled by NS Europa.
NEW YORK — Another presidential advisory committee is breaking up.
Actor Kal Penn, artist Chuck Close and the entire membership of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities have announced their resignation. A letter dated Friday, and signed by 16 of 17 committee members, cited the “false equivalence” of US President Donald Trump’s comments about last weekend’s “Unite the Right” gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump has blamed “many sides” for the demonstrations that left an anti-racism activist dead.
The White House said Trump had already decided against renewing the advisory committee for budgetary reasons.
“Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions,” the letter reads. “Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values. Your values are not American values. We must be better than this. We are better than this. If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too.”
The only member whose name did not appear was Broadway director George C. Wolfe. Representatives for Wolfe at Creative Arts Agency said Friday that he was also resigning and that his name would be added to the letter, which seemed to contain a hidden political message beyond the ones stated openly. The first initials of the letter’s six main paragraphs spell out “r-e-s-i-s-t.”
“Earlier this month it was decided that President Trump will not renew the executive order for the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), which expires later this year,” the White House said in a statement attributed to an unnamed spokesperson. “While the committee has done good work in the past, in its current form it simply is not a responsible way to spend American tax dollars.”
The statement said the committee “merely redirects funding” from federal cultural agencies that report directly to the president, Congress and taxpayers.
“These cultural agencies do tremendous work and they will continue to engage in these important projects,” the statement said.
Earlier this week, two business advisory councils were disbanded as members left in protest.
Friday’s exodus heightened the arts world’s contentious relationship with Trump. The president struggled to find entertainers, many of whom backed Hillary Clinton in 2016, to perform at his inaugural gala, and Kennedy Center honorees for lifetime achievement have already said they will not attend the White House reception in December.
As president, Trump has also recommended defunding the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.
The arts and humanities committee was established in 1982 under President Ronald Reagan and, with the first lady serving as honorary chair, works with both government and private agencies in promoting the arts through such programs as Turnaround Arts and Save America’s Treasures. Others signing the resignation letter included Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri; and Vicki Kennedy, widow of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. All were appointed by President Barack Obama.
Ferdinand Liebermann (1883–1941), the son of a toy manufacturer, was a German sculptor. He studied at the Munich School of Arts and Crafts and the Art Academy.
After taking study trips to Rome and Paris, he opened a studio in 1910 in Munich. In the same year he received the Great Austrian Golden State Medal for a small bronze sculpture. Several exhibitions followed. He became one of the most important designers for the porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal AG. Liebermann’s work-spectrum encompasses bronze sculpturing, monumental sculpturing and memorials. In 1926 he received the professor title for monumental and portrait sculpturing in Munich.
After 1933, Liebermann produced at the orders of the Nazi party 32 busts of Hitler (all 1½ life size), one of which was a commission from the city of Munich for the city hall. In appreciation he was made city councillor of the Capital of the Movement, the ‘Haupstadt der Bewegung’. Liebermann’s Führerbust was displayed at the XIX Venice Biennale 1934 (‘Cancelliere del Reich Adolf Hitler’) and also at the GDKs of 1937, 1938 and in the Münchener Kunstausttellungen 1934, 1940 and 1941. It is said that the busts designed by Liebermann were favoured by the German leader over all the others.
His sculpture ‘L’Abbandoro’ (‘Abandoned’) was displayed at the XIV Biennale 1924 in Venice; ‘Erhebung’ (‘Elevatione’ or ‘Elevation’) was displayed at the XIX Venice Biennale 1934 and later again at the GDK 1937, room 9. In 1938 his bronze ‘Abwehr’ (‘Defence’ or ‘Ripulso’) was displayed at the XXI Venice Biennale. Liebermann also completed a bronze bust of Hitler’s half-niece Geli Raubal, who had shot herself in Hitler’s apartment in 1931. From this bust Hitler had numerous copies made for display in his residences.
At the Great German Art Exhibitions Ferdinand Liebermann was represented with 16 works, among them the two Hitler busts, the relief ‘Wille’ (design for the Freikorps-monument), a bust of Riechsleiter Alfred Rosenberg, Reichsleiter Amann and two ‘Kampf’ sculptures.
In 1941, the year of his death, he created the massive sculpture for the Freikorpsdenkmal (‘Freikorps monument’) in Munich. This monument was dedicated to the Freikorps, a post-World War I right-wing organization. It was also named: ‘Das Denkmal für die Befreier Münchens von den kommunistischen Horden’ (‘Memorial for the liberators of Munich from the communist hordes’). On May 3rd, 1942 it was erected at a busy traffic intersection, the Giesinger Hill (Munich), which was the site of a May 1919 battle between the Freikorps and local communists. The monumental stone structure was composed of a twenty-four foot high relief of a naked male figure strangling a snake symbolizing degeneration and decline. The Freikorps memorial itself was removed after the war, but its concrete base can still be seen today on Ichostraße. A smaller version of the sculpture with the name ‘Wille’ (Will) was displayed in the GDK 1940, room 7. In the possession of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen are the following works: ‘Eva’ (GDK 1939 room 35), ‘Abwehr’, ‘In Erwartung’, Frisches Lachen’, ‘Paolo’, ‘Rhythmus’ and ‘Knabe auf einem Waller reitend’. A copy of ‘Eva’ in bronze (72 cm high) was displayed at the exhibition ‘Kunst im 3. Reich, Dokumente der Unterwerfung’; the exhibition, instigated by the Frankfurter Kunstverein, was held from 1974 to 1975 in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Ludwigshafen and Wuppertal.
A swastika was found spray-painted on the exterior of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design building on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem on Thursday morning.
According to Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu, this is the second time in two weeks that swastikas were found on the Mount Scopus campus, which houses both the Bezalel Academy and the Hebrew University.
The first one was found on July 26, on the door of a bathroom stall alongside a Star of David and an equals sign, so as to equate Jews with Nazis. The NGO also said a similar swastika was found on campus in February, however, according to the university, this has yet to be confirmed.
The Bezalel Academy confirmed a swastika was found on Thursday, adding that it removed it.
Swastika vandalism at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Dudi Eitsufin)Swastika vandalism at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Dudi Eitsufin)
Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu, said: “A reality in which two swastikas are discovered in the span of two weeks at a university campus in Israel’s capital is very troubling and dangerous.”
Peleg said the political atmosphere at the Hebrew University may have contributed to the vandalism, and cited a lecture by political science professor Ofer Cassif where he equated certain Israeli laws to laws passed by Nazi Germany. The lecture was recorded and soon leaked to the public. “It is no wonder that such a thing could occur when there are professors in the Hebrew University who liken IDF soldiers to Nazis and Israeli laws to laws of the Third Reich,” Peleg said.
“Unfortunately, many of the anti-Israel incidents that occur on campuses are bolstered by professors. This incident further illustrates the need for an academic code of ethics.”
Swastika vandalism at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Dudi Eitsufin)Swastika vandalism at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Dudi Eitsufin)
The Hebrew University said in a statement: “On July 26, a swastika was found painted inside the grounds of the Hebrew University. The offending symbol was removed and the incident is under investigation by the university’s security branch. Until the full investigation is concluded, speculation about causes or connections behind the offending symbols is premature and irresponsible.
“The university views the drawing of offensive symbols very seriously and has zero tolerance for expressions of incitement on campus. The university espouses pluralism and freedom of expression, while upholding the law and safeguarding human dignity.”
My first inadvertent glimpse of the depraved “art” of dick-pic photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946 – 1989, selfie) occurred while Googling images using the search term “Sausalito,” a quaint seaside community across the bay from San Francisco.
While scrolling the first page of postcard-style scenery, I was unwittingly subjected to a stylized black-and-white photo of a hooded man urinating into another man’s mouth. The source of the scatalogical image, titled “Jim and Tom, Sausalito” (1977), is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) website. I would’ve guessed it was some hardcore fetish porn magazine for homosexuals.
I’m not going to force this filth on you the way Google and LACMA subversively forced it on me – and probably countless others. If you want to see what I’m talking about, simply click here.
Though I studied photography for a couple years in college, Mapplethorpe was an unknown name to me. (I wish it still were.) A cursory glance at his work revealed a collection of slick black-and-white photos of homosexual acts of grotesque degeneracy. A brief bio stated that, unsurprisingly, he died AIDS — a fitting end, I thought, and good riddance to bad rubbish.
Although Mapplethorpe is long dead, his perverted work won’t be buried. In fact, it’s being promoted.
‘Look at the Pictures’
In 2016, HBO premiered its original 90-minute documentary on Mapplethorpe called “Look at the Pictures.” Curious about the narrative HBO employed to justify this so-called “art,” I decided to watch it. Plus, after producing photography old-school style for 10 years and digital for 10, I understand intimately the complex aspects of the medium. Even when not enthralled with the subject matter, I can still appreciate the challenges and enjoy learning about technique.
That was not the case with this flick, because it was not about a photographer or photography. It’s a story about a morally bankrupt man who hated photography. He didn’t study it. He never even bothered to learn to process film or make prints. His interest was in fame, wealth and being viewed as an “artist,” and he exploited everyone and everything around him – even himself — in order to obtain that goal.
The following links provide a shortlist of Mapplethorpe’s depraved work: S&M, black mass, fisting, pissing into a glass, penises, rectums, satanism and awkwardly posednaked children. If you Google Mapplethorpe, you’ll also find, oddly enough, that he photographed flowers and celebrities. I won’t be displaying any of Mapplethorpe’s garbage on this website. Frankly, I don’t even like writing about him, but New Nationalist contributors believe it’s important to raise awareness about cultural rot and the weaponization of art.
According to HBO, the Mapplethorpe Foundation donated his massive collection of self-produced pornography to J. Paul Getty Museum and LACMA in 2011. The 120,000 images fill five vaults at The Getty. Its value was placed at $38 million (estate value est. $228 million). Both museums concurrently exhibit his work as “twin retrospectives,” though the museums’ curators admittedly “have trouble making a case for this.”
HBO goes on to describe Mapplethorpe’s work as one of the great controversies of the ‘90s and the artist himself as “demonized by conservative politicians.” Then we are shown his early life as a boy in middle-class America. He’s described in interviews as a “fuck up,” a thief and a “devilish guy” who was raised a Catholic.
At Pratt College, he dropped acid and used other drugs. His roommate said Mapplethorpe laced his cigarette with LSD and, as a result, completely lost his memory. He said Mapplethorpe was always trying to find a way to stand out from the rest and was often seen wearing a black top hat and black cape around campus. He also adopted a small monkey that would ride on his shoulder.
As a final project at Pratt, students were required to make a musical instrument out of bone. And what fortunate timing for Mapplethorpe when his monkey “suddenly died.” So he chopped off his head, boiled it and turned it in for his project, his roommate recalls.
Around this time, Mapplethorpe began his lifelong relationship with Patti Smith, a sexually androgynous woman who also was aspiring artist without any notable ability. They were described as a good couple because they were “respective of each other’s magic.”
After college, they lived together at an art colony in Chelsea – or rather, they lived like pigs and called it “art.” Mapplethorpe worked as a call boy (male prostitute) and stole gay porn magazines from which he would make “art” collages. He also got into fetish toys that he would craft into “art sculpture” – if that’s what you want to call a dildo protruding from a pair of leather pants.
Eventually, he begin shooting his own dick pics with a Polaroid camera and incorporating the snaps with his porno paper-doll cutouts. Voila! An “artist” was born! (puh-leez) Apparently, punk-rock poet girlfriend Patti didn’t care about Robert’s bisexual tendencies. The two were trying to make the social scene in Chelsea, and whatever it took to do so was encouraged. So Mapplethorpe collected boyfriends who were published models.
One male model/lover introduced him to Sam Wagstaff, an art collector and curator from a well-to-do, well-connected New York family. Wagstaff, who had a Polish wife, was also a closet homosexual. He and Mapplethorpe had a 15-year affair. Wagstaff provided Mapplethorpe with his resources (money, access to New York’s art world and celebrities), and Mapplethorpe provided Wagstaff with extreme sex and drugs. Suddenly Mapplethorpe was able to acquire high-end equipment, a real studio and staff to print and promote his work. With Wagstaff’s help, he had showings, recognition and eventual sales. For favorable reviews, Mapplethorpe would charm and sexually seduce art critics.
In time, Patti coaxed Mapplethorpe into photographing celebrities in order to diversify his portfolio’s “sex stuff.” He photographed Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brooke Shields, Sigourney Weaver, Susan Sarandon, Isabella Rossellini, Grace Jones, Deborah Harry, Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel, Truman Capote, Susan Sontag, Carolina Herrera and Andy Warhol, among others. Warhol was said to have despised Mapplethorpe, and Mapplethorpe was jealous of the prices Warhol could command for his work.
But critics weren’t enamored with his non-“sex stuff” and labeled it pedestrian and “retrograde.”
Nonetheless, even after achieving a measure of success, Mapplethorpe continued to frequent New York’s underground, low-rent, homosexual night clubs known for orgies, S&M and scatological fetishes. As a routine, he would pick up a man, bring him back to his home studio, have sex with him, photograph him and show him the door.
He eventually developed a preference for black men, and it was said that later in life he slept with them and photographed them almost exclusively. He also befriended a homosexual former priest and exorcist. The two probably meshed well given that Mapplethorpe was a self-professed hardcore Luciferian.
“Satan to him was a convivial playmate,” the exorcist told HBO – but the cable network chose not to address this aspect of his life. Rather, references to devil worship and Satanism were delivered as tidbits of color offered by interviewees in this biography that elevates perversion to an art form. And not only did HBO choose not to explore Mapplethorpe’s satanic side, it completely ignored some of the even more despicable aspects of his life – if you can imagine such a thing.
David Berkowitz, The Process Church, a Snuff Film and an Unsolved Murder
Mapplethorpe has been tied by multiple sources to the “Son of Sam” serial killer David Berkowitz, The Process Church (a satanic cult offshoot of the Church of Scientology that gained fame for its ties to the Manson family) and the unsolved murder of photographer Ronald Sisman.
The story goes like this: On Halloween eve in 1981, police responded to reports of gunfire at an apartment in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. When they arrived at the third-floor duplex, police discovered the slayed bodies of Smith College student Elizabeth Platzman, 20, and photographer Ronald Sisman, 39.
Both victims had been beaten severely and shot once in the back of their heads at close range, the police said. The apartment had been ransacked. …
Mr. Sisman operated two photography businesses at that address. The apartment’s furnishings had been torn apart, apparently by the killer or killers in a search for something, the spokesman said. All identification had been removed from the bodies of Miss Platzman and Mr. Sisman, he added.
Police are investigating the possibility that robbery was the motive for the double homicide. Authorities also raised the possibility that Mr. Sisman may have known his murderer, since there was no sign of forcible entry to the apartment.
According to various witness interviews, reports, books and authors, Berkowitz’s last murder in 1977 was allegedly filmed. Years after his killings, Berkowitz admitted to being a member of The Process Church. He said 12 members of the cult – and specifically the Carr family and son Sam Carr — was involved in some of the “Son of Sam” killings for which he took responsibility.
In the final Sam attack, the victims were selected because they were parked under a street light, which created optimal conditions for filming. Three people in a van a few feet away made a video recording, a snuff film of the attack, for sale underground, Terry reported.
A convicted bank robber named Jesse Turner, who once lived with Smith and Mapplethorpe, told Terry that Mapplethorpe knew about this tape. In fact, Turner said, Mapplethorpe asked him to arrange the killing of Ronald Sisman, the man who had the tape, which was filmed at the Process’ request. Sisman was murdered in 1981, and the two hit men recovered five snuff films from Sisman’s apartment, including the Son of Sam tape.
Turner said he was a good friend of Michael Carr, who supposedly pulled the trigger in the seventh of the eight Son of Sam shootings. About halfway into the killings, Turner told Terry that he learned “the Process was behind Son of Sam. They called it one of their ‘Apocalyptic Trials,’ which meant a major display of public violence.”
But enough about Mapplethorpe, who’s now just a worm-eaten corpse. What matters today, right now, is messaging.
In the ‘90s, there was some political push back to Mapplethorpe’s work by the conservative wing in Washington, D.C. and in particular Senator Jesse Helms, the American Family Association and Citizens for Community Values on the grounds of obscenity. A museum ended up in court for exhibiting Mapplethorpe’s photos, and the museum won. [A thorough yet Pervert Justice Warrior-biased article on the case may be viewed here.]
After that, Mapplethorpe’s bogus “art” seemed to disappear from public view until around 2014, which marked the 25th anniversary of his death. What opportune timing for a retrospective, just as the media unleashed an unprecedented wave of homosexual and transgender propaganda on the American public in a manner similar to post-WWI Berlin [see this video starting at minute 1:12:00].
On a denotative level, Mapplethorpe’s art represents sexual exploitation in its rawest form regardless of orientation. Then and now, certain groups within society that want to normalize human exploitation will employ “art” such as Mapplethorpe’s as a vehicle to bring about cultural and moral decay.
On a connotative level, there’s a dangerous message here, especially for aspiring photographers and artists. The message is that success is not about God-given talent or the inherent artistic value of thoughtful work. Rather, to be revered and successful, one must constantly find new ways to lower the bar. One must be willing to exploit everyone and everything around them — even if it means killing your pet monkey and prostituting yourself to homosexuals.
But most importantly, it encourages struggling young artists to find sugar daddies or mommies with wealth and social connections, and to let that elite figure sexually exploit them in exchange for access to their capital and connections. What sad social commentary, truly. One wonders how many Mapplethorpe wannabees are loose upon the land.
It should noted that during the Cold War, the CIA used modern art as a weapon. Starting in the ’50s, the agency secretly funded and flaunted modern artists such as Pollock and de Kooning to a global audience as proof of America’s creative and intellectual freedom, as opposed to communist Russia’s ideological constraints. In this light, the question begs: Is it possible that the CIA is running the same type of program with post-modern art to juxtapose Islamist values and perhaps even inflame Muslim rage toward the West? It’s something to think about, certainly.
In close, it should also be noted that the “Look at the Pictures” — a not-for-prime-time documentary that should be (at minimum) rated NC-17 — received the Prime Time Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special. It was produced and directed by filmmakers Randy Barbato and Fenton Baily, whose film and television production roster includes “Party Monster,” “Inside Deep Throat,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “The Secret Rulers of the World.”
In the collapse of Germany after the war the economic decline had been generally felt, the political decline had been denied by many, the cultural decline had not even been observed by the majority of the people. It was an age of phrases and catchwords: in the economic sphere the hard facts of misery and unemployment deprived these phrases of their force: in the political sphere such phrases as ‘international solidarity’ had more success and veiled from the German people the extent of the political collapse. But in the long run the failure of the parliamentary democratic form of government, copied from the west – a west which, regardless of this democratic form, still continued to extort from Germany whatever there remained to extort – defeated the phrase-mongers. Far more lasting was the effect of these phrases in the cultural field where they resulted in a complete confusion concerning the essential character of culture. Here the influence of the Jews was paramount and through their control of the press they were able to intimidate those who wanted to champion ‘the normal sound intelligence and instinct of men’. Art was said to be ‘an international experience’ and thus all comprehension of its intimate association with a people was stifled: it was said that there was no such thing as the art of a people or, better, of a race: there was only the art of a certain period. Thus it was not Greeks who created the art of Greece, Romans the art of Rome, etc. – in each art a particular period had found its expression. Art is a ‘time-conditioned phenomenon’. So today there is not a German or a French art, but a ‘modern art’. This is to reduce art to the level of fashions in dress, with the motto ‘Every year something fresh’ – Impressionism, Futurism, Cubism, perhaps also Dadaism. These newly created art phrases would be comic if they were not tragic.
The result was uncertainty in the judgements passed on art and the silencing of those who might otherwise have protested against this cultural Bolshevism [Kulturbolschewismus], while the press continued to poison our sound appreciation of art. And, just as in fashions one must wear ‘modern’ clothes whether they are beautiful or not, so the great masters of the past were decried. But true art is, and remains, eternal: it does not follow the law of the season’s fashions; its effect is that of a revelation arising from the depths of the essential character of a people which successive generations may inherit. But those who do not create for eternity do not readily talk of eternities: they seek to dim the radiance of these giants who reach out of the past into the future in order that contemporaries may discover their own tiny flames. These facile daubers in art are but the products of a day: yesterday – non-existent; today – modern; tomorrow – out-of-date. The Jewish discovery that art was just a matter of period was for them a godsend: theirs could be the art of the present time. Theirs was a small art – small in form and substance – and at the same time intolerant of the masters of the past and the rivals of the present. There was a conspiracy of incapacity and mediocrity against better work from any age. The nouveaux riches, having no judgements of their own in artistic matters, accepted these artists at their own valuation. It was an added attraction that these works of art were difficult to understand and on that account very costly: no one wished to admit lack of comprehension or inadequate resources! But, if one does not oneself understand, probably one’s neighbour will not either, and he will admire one’s comprehension of obscurity.
For this ‘modern art’ National Socialism desires to substitute a ‘German’ art and an eternal art. This House of German Art is designed for the art of the German people, not for an international art. The people in the flux of phenomena are the one constant point. It is that which is abiding and permanent and therefore art as the expression of the essential character of the abiding people must be an eternal monument, itself abiding and permanent; there can therefore be no standard of yesterday and today, of modern or un-modern; there can be only the standard of ‘valueless’ or ‘valuable’, of ‘eternal’ or ‘transitory’. Therefore, in speaking of ‘German art’, I shall see the standard for that art in the German people, in its character and life, in its feeling, its emotions and its development.
From the history of the development of our people we know that it is composed of a number of more or less distinct races, which in the course of millennia through the formative influence of a certain outstanding racial kernel produced that mixture that we see before us in our people today. This force – which formed the people in time past and which still today continues that formative activity – lies in the same Aryan branch of mankind that we recognise not only as the support of our own civilisation but of the earlier civilisations of the ancient world.
The way in which our people was composed has produced the variety in our own cultural development but, as we look upon the final result of this process, we cannot but wish for an art that may correspond to the increasing homogeneity of our racial composition, and thus present in itself the characteristics of unity and homogeneity. Many attempts have been made through the centuries to define what ‘to be German’ really means. I would not seek to give an explanation in the first instance. I would rather state a law – a law previously expressed by a great German: ‘To be German is to be clear’, and that means that to be German is to be logical and true. It is this spirit that has always lived in our people, which has inspired painters, sculptors, architects, thinkers, poets, and above all our musicians. When on 6 June 1931 the Crystal Palace [Glaspalast] was burned down, there perished with it an immortal treasure of German art. The artists were called Romantics and yet they were but the finest representatives of that German search for the real and true character of our people, for an honest and decent expression of this law of life divined by our people. For it was not only their choice of subject that was decisive but the clear and simple mode of rendering these sentiments. Many of their original works are lost, we possess only copies or reproductions, but the works of these masters are removed by a great gulf from the pitiable products of our modern so-called ‘creative artists’. These masters felt themselves to be Germans, and consequently they created works that should be valued as long as there should be a German people to appreciate them. But these modern works we should also preserve as documents illustrating the depths of that decline into which the people had fallen. The Exhibition of ‘Degenerate Art’ [Entartete Kunst] is intended as a useful lesson.
During the long years in which I planned the formation of a new Reich I gave much thought to the tasks which would await us in the cultural cleansing of the people’s life: there was to be a cultural renaissance as well as a political and economic reform. I was convinced that peoples who have been trodden underfoot by the whole world of their day have all the greater duty consciously to assert their own value before their oppressors, and there is no prouder proof of the highest rights of a people to its own life than immortal cultural achievements. I was therefore always determined that, if fate should one day give us power, I should discuss these matters with no-one else but would come to my own decisions, for it is not given to all to have an understanding for tasks as great as these. Amongst the plans which floated before my mind both during the war and after the collapse was the idea of building a great new exhibition palace in Munich; and many years ago I thought of the place where the building now stands. In 1931 I feared that I should be anticipated and that the ‘men of November’ would erect an exhibition building. Plans were indeed produced for an edifice that might well have served for a railway station or a swimming bath. But, when we came to power in 1933, the plan had not been executed: the erection of the building was left to the Third Reich. And the building is so unique, so individual that it cannot be compared with anything else: it is a true monument for this city and more than that – for German art… It represents a turning point, the first of the new buildings that will take their place amongst the immortal achievements of German artistic life.
But the House is not enough: it must house an exhibition and, if now I venture to speak of art, I can claim a title to do so from the contribution that I myself have made to the restoration of German art. For our modern German state, which I with my associates have created, has alone brought into existence the conditions for a new and vigorous flowering of art. It is not Bolshevik art collectors or their henchmen who have laid the foundations, for we have provided vast sums for the encouragement of art and have set before art itself great, new tasks. In politics, as in German artistic life, we are determined to make a clean sweep of empty phrases. Ability is the necessary qualification if an artist wishes his work to be exhibited here. People have attempted to recommend modern art by saying that it is the expression of a new age but art does not create a new age, it is the general life of peoples that fashions itself anew and often looks for a new expression… A new epoch is not created by littérateurs but by warriors, those who really fashion and lead the peoples and thus make history… It is either impudent effrontery or an almost inconceivable stupidity to exhibit to people today works that might have been made by a man of the Stone Age perhaps ten or twenty thousand years ago. They talk of primitive art but they forget that it is not the function of art to retreat backwards from the development of a people: its sole function must be to symbolise that living development.
The new age of today is at work on a new human type. Men and women are to be healthier and stronger. There is a new feeling of life, a new joy in life. Never was humanity in its external appearance and in its frame of mind nearer to the ancient world than it is today… This, my good prehistoric art stutterers, is the type of the new age, but what do you manufacture? Malformed cripples and cretins, women who inspire only disgust, men who are more like wild beasts, children who, were they alive, would have to be seen as cursed by God.
And let no one tell me that this is how these artists see things. From the pictures sent in for exhibition it is clear that the eye of some men portrays things otherwise than as they are, that there really are men who on principle feel meadows to be blue, the heavens green, clouds sulphur-yellow, or, as perhaps they prefer to say, ‘experience’ them thus. I need not ask whether they really do see or feel things in this way, but in the name of the German people I have only to prevent these miserable unfortunates, who clearly suffer from defects of vision, from attempting violently to persuade contemporaries by their chatter that these faults of observation are indeed realities or from presenting them as ‘art’. There are only two possibilities here. Either these ‘artists’ really do see things in this way and believe in what they represent. Then one has only to ask how the defect in vision arose, and if it is hereditary the Minister for the Interior will have to see to it that so ghastly a defect of vision shall not be allowed to perpetuate itself. Or if they do not believe in the reality of such impressions but seek on other grounds to burden the nation with this humbug, then it is a matter for a criminal court. There is no place for such works in this building. The industry of architects and workmen has not been employed to house canvases daubed over in five hours, the painters being assured that the boldness of the pricing could not fail to produce its effect, that the canvas would be hailed as the most brilliant lightning creation of a genius. No, they can be left to cackle over each other’s eggs!
The artist does not create for the artist. He creates for the people, and we shall see to it that the people in future will be called on to judge his art. No one must say that the people have no understanding for a really valuable enrichment of its cultural life. Before the critics did justice to the genius of a Richard Wagner, he had the people on his side, whereas the people have had nothing to do with so-called ‘modern art’. The people have regarded this art as the outcome of an impudent and shameless arrogance or of a simply deplorable lack of skill. It has felt that this art stammer, these achievements, which might have been produced by untalented children of eight to ten years old, could never be considered an expression of our own times or of the German future. When we know today that the development of millions of years, compressed into a few decades, repeats itself in every individual, then this art, we realise, is not ‘modern’. It is on the contrary extremely ‘archaic’, far older probably than the Stone Age. The people in passing through these galleries will recognise in me its own spokesman and counsellor. It will draw a sigh of relief and gladly express its agreement with this purification of art. And that is decisive: an art that cannot count on the readiest and most intimate agreement of the great mass of the people, an art which must rely upon the support of small cliques, is intolerable. Such an art only tries to confuse, instead of gladly reinforcing, the sure and healthy instinct of a people. The artist cannot stand aloof from his people. This exhibition is only a beginning, but the end of Germany’s artistic stultification has begun. Now is the opportunity for youth to start its industrious apprenticeship, and when a sacred conscientiousness has at last come into its own, then I have no doubt that the Almighty from the mass of these decent creators of art will once more raise up individuals to the eternal starry Heaven of the imperishable God-favoured artists of the great periods. We believe that especially today, when in so many spheres the highest individual achievements are being manifested, in art also the highest value of personality will once again assert itself.
Adolf Hitler’s favorite artists and artwork, promoted throughout National Socialist Germany and shunned by the jews for decades, are now on fire, with art collectors in America and Europe paying more than $150,000.
“The major auction houses won’t touch these artists due to their acceptance by and collaboration with the Nazis,” said Maryland auctioneer Bill Panagopulos. But, he added, “ there’s a market here.”
Marius Martens, a Dutch art dealer, said art from Karl Walther or sculptor Georg Kolbe, whom Hitler liked and whose work he displayed in Third Reich buildings, has finally caught the eye of collectors because the World War II period is now popular.
“This is only the beginning,” Martens said, adding that he has received death threats for selling the artwork. Panagopulos said he is already planning a sale of the works.
The popularity of Hitler’s favorite artists sprang to life in just the last 12 months. “Last year, the market was awakened by the sale of a painting by Karl Walther for 23,000 euro. It was an extremely scarce piece as it once hung in the New Chancellery of Adolf Hitler.” he said.
“It seems now that this was not a one-off occasion. Recently works of other artists popular in the Third Reich have been sold for considerable prices,” he added.
“Almost 70 years after World War II, more and more people see this art from a purely historical perspective. Although the art works originate from an extremely tragic period, they should not be hidden or destroyed. This is an opinion shared by several museums, seeing the rising number of exhibitions of this art and the number of visitors,” said Martens.
He added that as the World War II generation dies off, their period becomes history. “The driver is time. Just like no well-thinking human being bought a portrait of Napoleon in 1820, short after he destroyed Europe,” said Martins. “In the coming 10 years everybody who lived in the war will die: this means that living-past will change into history.”
Panagopulos said, however, that the growing popularity among collectors of art from Hitler’s favorites does not mean that Third Reich art is hot — yet.
(JTA) — The family of a Jewish woman who sold a valuable painting under duress while fleeing the Nazis can sue a museum in Madrid for its return, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the family of Lilly Cassirer may sue the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid for the 1897 painting “Rue Saint-Honoré, Après-midi, Effet de Pluie,” a Paris street scene by Camille Pissarro, which is valued at at least $40 million.
The painting has been on display in the museum since 1992.
In 2005, Cassirer’s grandson Claude sued for restitution of the painting, which his German-born grandmother sold in 1939 to an art dealer for the equivalent of $360 as she was fleeing her homeland from the Nazis. Cassirer’s father-in-law, Julius, had purchased the painting from the painter.
The painting was acquired by Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza in 1976 and has been displayed in Madrid since the museum opened in late 1992, after the Baron gave his collection to the Spanish government; he died in 2002. The painting was insured for over $10 million.
Judge John Walter of the Los Angeles District Court of California ruled in June 2015 that that Spanish law applied in the case, and the law did not require the painting’s return since it is not known whether the museum knew it was stolen when it acquired the painting. The ruling came after a decade-long dispute over ownership.
The case has been returned to Walter and the Los Angeles District Court.
Cassirerreportedly did not know that the artwork remained in existence when she accepted a payment for it from the German government in 1958. She did not waive her rights to the art, either.
Germans considered high art to be of critical importance for the folk, so even while the world war raged on, there was a great deal of realistic artwork produced to represent the struggle. It appears that these paintings were done for reasons beyond just propaganda, as these works were not just posters extolling the virtues of soldierly struggle. While these is virtue, heroism, and determination found in the war art, the brutality of battle is also depicted, though not done with graphic gore.
BERN, Switzerland — A Swiss museum on Friday showed off pieces from a spectacular Nazi-era art hoard it inherited from a German recluse, in the run-up to the first exhibit of the controversial collection.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Bern unveiled a selection of the nearly 200 pieces set to go on display on November 2 for its exhibit “Degenerate Art, Confiscated and Sold”.
Among the works showed off to the media Friday were pieces by important German painters Otto Dix, and Franz Marc and Otto Mueller.
The works are part of a vast trove of works left behind by art collector Cornelius Gurlitt, who died in 2014 at the age of 81.
When Gurlitt died, he named the Bern museum as the sole heir to hundreds of works found in his cluttered Munich apartment, including pieces by the likes of Cezanne, Beckmann, Holbein, Delacroix and Munch.
Gurlitt, described in media reports as an eccentric recluse, hid the paintings, drawings and sketches in his Munich home for decades and another 239 works at a house he owned in Salzburg, Austria.
Gurlitt’s father was one of four art dealers during the Third Reich tasked by the Nazis with selling art stolen from Jews or confiscated as “degenerate” works.
Although German authorities discovered the collection during a tax probe in 2012, they kept it under wraps for more than a year until it came to light in a magazine article.
Gurlitt struck an agreement with the German government in April 2014 stipulating that any works that were plundered by the Nazis would be returned to their rightful owners and the Bern museum said it would honour that wish.
Heirs of collectors stripped of their assets by the Nazis, many of whom would later be killed in the death camps, have, however, complained that restitution has been woefully slow in coming.
Gurlitt’s decision to leave his trove to the Bern museum sparked a lengthy legal battle, which ended last December when a Munich court rejected his cousin Ute Werner’s challenge to his will.
She had staked a claim to the collection, arguing that Gurlitt was not mentally fit to stipulate what would happen to the art.
The Bern exhibit will not include any of the plundered works, but will be mainly made up of works considered by the Nazis to be “degenerated art” and sequestered in German museums.
Most of the pieces are on paper, including important works within the symbolism, expressionism, constructivism and new objectivity movements.
But the exhibit in Switzerland will run in parallel with a second display from the collection at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, Germany, which will focus on “Nazi Art Theft and its Consequences”.
Once those two exhibits have run their course by early March 2018, the Bonn exhibition will go on display in Bern, the museum said.