Art as politics : the Nazi elite's quest for the political and material control of art / by Jonathan George Petropoulos.
This study examines the National Socialist leaders' interest in art, both in their official capacities as policy-makers and in the private sphere. The conclusion drawn is that the sub-leaders, taking their lead from Adolf Hitler, devoted extraordinary attention to the determination and execution of the government's aesthetic programs, and that this concern was complemented by the formation of large personal collections. The first section of the dissertation is devoted to their behavior in the official sphere. Organized chronologically, the topics covered include: the genesis of the cultural bureaucracy; the debate over modern art; the "degenerate" art campaign; confiscations of artworks owned by Jews; plundering operations in Poland, the Baltic states and the South Tyrol; looting during war; and the contraction of the cultural bureaucracy as part of "total war" measures. The second section details the art collections amassed by the Nazi leaders. After a description of the artworks in their possession and their means of acquisition, subsequent chapters explore the implications for their ideology and world view; the symbolic import of collecting and gift-giving; and the importance of artworks (amongst other luxury items) in their conception of social hierarchies. Based upon extensive archival research conducted in Germany, France and the United States, this interdisciplinary study incorporates material from the fields of art history, sociology and anthropology. Moreover, it aims to supercede previous journalistic treatments of art collecting in the Third Reich by providing precise documentation and a more rigorous scholarly analysis.
Record last modified: 2018-05-22 11:46:00
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