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Otto Pankok woodcut of a Sinti woman

Object | Accession Number: 1994.10.5

Woodcut portrait of a Sinti woman created by Otto Pankok, a German artist persecuted by the Nazi regime. In the 1920s, he was part of the avant garde Junge Rheinland group with Otto Dix, Gert Wollheim, Karl Schwesig, and Adolf Uzarski. Around 1930, Pankok became fascinated by the itinerant life led by Roma and Sinti, and exhibited his first series of portraits in 1932 at the Dusseldorf Kunsthalle. Under the Nazi regime which came to power in 1933, art and culture had to serve to promote national socialist ideology. Modern art was denounced as a tool of the international Jewish conspiracy. In 1933, some works from Pankok's Passion Cycle, which reimagined the Passion of Christ in a national socialist state, with Communists, Jews, Roma, and artists as the pure and good, and the Gestapo and other Nazis as the evil and fallen. It was soon shut down by the government. In 1935, Pankok was investigated by the Gestapo. After a book of the Passion Cycle was published in 1936, Pankok was designated a degenerate artist and forbidden to work as an artist. His works were removed from museums and one of his Sinti lithographs, Hoto II, was included in the 1937 Entartete Kunst [Degenerate Art] exhibition. In spite of this, Pankok continued working in secret to create artwork depicting Communists, Jews, Roma, and others who suffered under the Nazi regime. After the war, he again was a professor at the Art Academy in Dusseldorf.

Artwork Title
creation:  1948
issue:  1960
creation: Dusseldorf (Germany)
issue: Wesel (Germany)
Object Type
Portraits (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Eva Pankok
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:22:24
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