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During World War II, the relations between art and war can be articulated around two main issues. First, art (and, more generally, culture) found itself at the centre of an ideological war. Second, during World War II, many artists found themselves in the most difficult conditions (in an occupied country, in internment camps, in death camps) and their works are a testimony to a powerful "urge to create." Such creative impulse can be interpreted as the expression of self-preservation, a survival instinct in critical times.
Throughout history, most representations of war depict military achievements and often show significant battle scenes. However, in the 19th century a “turn” in the visual representation of war became noticeable. Artists started to show the disastrous aspects of war, instead of its glorified events and protagonists.Such a perspective is best exemplified by Francisco Goya’s series, The Disasters of War (1810-1820, first published in 1863), and Otto Dix’s portfolio, Der Krieg (published in 1924).
The 19th (nineteenth) century was a century that began on January 1, 1801, and ended on December 31, 1900. It is often used interchangeably with the 1800s, though the start and end dates differ by a year.
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker. He is considered the most important Spanish artist of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and throughout his long career was a commentator and chronicler of his era. Immensely successful in his lifetime, Goya is often referred to as both the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. He was also one of the great contemporary portraitists.
The Disasters of War is a series of 82 prints created between 1810 and 1820 by the Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco Goya (1746–1828). Although Goya did not make known his intention when creating the plates, art historians view them as a visual protest against the violence of the 1808 Dos de Mayo Uprising, the subsequent Peninsular War of 1808–14 and the setbacks to the liberal cause following the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814. During the conflicts between Napoleon's French Empire and Spain, Goya retained his position as first court painter to the Spanish crown and continued to produce portraits of the Spanish and French rulers. Although deeply affected by the war, he kept private his thoughts on the art he produced in response to the conflict and its aftermath. He was in poor health and almost deaf when, at 62, he began work on the prints. They were not published until 1863, 35 years after his death. It is likely that only then was it considered politically safe to distribute a sequence of artworks criticising both the French and restored Bourbons. In total over a thousand sets have been printed, though later ones are of lower quality, and most print room collections have at least some of the set.
During World War II, both traditions are present. For instance, Paul Nash’s Battle of Britain (1941) represents a scene of aerial combat between British and German fighters over the English channel. On the other hand, André Fougeron’s Street of Paris (1943) focuses on the impact of war and occupation on civilians.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Paul Nash was a British surrealist painter and war artist, as well as a photographer, writer and designer of applied art. Nash was among the most important landscape artists of the first half of the twentieth century. He played a key role in the development of Modernism in English art.
The year 1941 in art involved some significant events and new works.
In totalitarian regimes (especially in Hitler’s Germany), the control of art and other cultural expressions was an integral part of the establishment of power. It reflects totalitarianism’s aim to control every single aspect of society and the individuals’ lives. However, art and culture had a special importance because they have the power to influence people, and they embody the identity of a nation, a community, a group of people.
In Nazi Germany, Hitler's cultural politic was twofold. The first step was a “cultural cleansing”. German culture and society were said to be in decline because forces of decadence had taken over and corrupted it (it is the idea of the “enemy within”).[ citation needed ] The cultural cleansing was to be accompanied by a “rebirth” of German culture and society (Hitler had grand plans for several museums), which involved an exaltation of the “true spirit” of the German people in art.[ citation needed ] This officially sanctioned art was conservative and figurative, heavily inspired by Greco-Roman art. It was often grandiose and sentimental. In terms of contents, this art should represent and convey the regime's ideals.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
The Führermuseum, also referred to as the Linz art gallery, was an unrealized art museum within a cultural complex planned by Adolf Hitler for his hometown, the Austrian city of Linz, near his birthplace of Braunau. Its purpose was to display a selection of the art bought, confiscated or stolen by the Nazis from throughout Europe during World War II. The cultural district was to be part of an overall plan to recreate Linz, turning it into a cultural capital of Nazi Germany and one of the greatest art centers of Europe, overshadowing Vienna, for which Hitler had a personal distaste. He wanted to make the city more beautiful than Budapest, so it would be the most beautiful on the Danube River, as well as an industrial powerhouse and a hub of trade; the museum was planned to be one of the greatest in Europe.
In 1937 in Munich, two simultaneous events demonstrated the Nazis’ views about art. One exhibition displayed art that should be eliminated (“The Degenerate Art Exhibition”), while the other promoted, by contrast, the official aesthetic (“The Great German Art Exhibition”).
The Degenerate Art Exhibition was an art exhibition organized by Adolf Ziegler and the Nazi Party in Munich from 19 July to 30 November 1937. The exhibition presented 650 works of art, confiscated from German museums, and was staged in counterpoint to the concurrent Great German Art Exhibition. The day before the exhibition started, Hitler delivered a speech declaring "merciless war" on cultural disintegration, attacking "chatterboxes, dilettantes and art swindlers". Degenerate art was defined as works that "insult German feeling, or destroy or confuse natural form or simply reveal an absence of adequate manual and artistic skill". One million people attended the exhibition in its first six weeks. A U.S. critic commented "there are probably plenty of people—art lovers—in Boston, who will side with Hitler in this particular purge".
In Europe, other totalitarian regimes adopted a similar stance on art and encouraged or imposed an official aesthetic, which was a form of Realism. Here Realism refers to a representational, mimetic style, and not to an art deprived of idealization. Such style was anchored in a prestigious tradition – popular, easy to understand, and thus practical for propaganda aims.[ citation needed ]
It was clear in Stalin’s Soviet Union, where diversity in the arts was proscribed and “Socialist Realism” was instituted as the official style. Modern art was banned as being decadent, bourgeois and elitist.[ citation needed ] The comparison of sculptures placed by national pavilions during the 1937 International Exhibition in Paris is revealing. The exhibition was dominated by the confrontation between Germany and the Soviet Union, with their imposing pavilions facing each other. On one side, Josef Thorak’s sculptures were displayed by the German pavilion’s entrance. And on the other, Vera Mukhina’s sculpture, Worker and Kolkhoz Woman , was placed on top of the Soviet pavilion.
The term “degenerate” was used in connection with the idea that modern artists and their art were compromising the purity of the German race. They were presented as elements of “racial impurity,” “parasites,” causing a deterioration of German society.[ citation needed ] These decadent and “degenerate” forces had to be eradicated. Cultural actors who were labelled “un-German” by the regime were persecuted: they were fired from their teaching positions, artworks were removed from museums, books were burnt.[ citation needed ] All artists who did not fall in line with the party's ideology (above all Jewish and Communist artists) were “un-German.”
The Degenerate Art Exhibition (Munich, 19 July-30 Nov. 1937) was made out of works confiscated in German museums. The works were placed in unflattering ways, with derogatory comments and slogans painted around them (“Nature as seen by sick minds”, “Deliberate sabotage of national defense”...). The aim was to convince visitors that modern art was an attack on the German people. Mostly, these works of art were Expressionist, abstract or made by Jewish and Leftist artists. The exhibition was displayed in several German and Austrian cities. Subsequently, most of the artworks were either destroyed or sold.
Modern art could not fall in line with the Nazi values and taste for several reasons:
France was occupied by Nazi Germany from 22 June 1940 until early May 1945. An occupying power endeavours to normalise life as far as is possible since this optimises the maintenance of order and minimises the costs of occupation. The Germans decreed that life, including artistic life should resume as before (the war). There were exceptions. Jews were targeted, and their art collections confiscated. Some of this consisted of modern, degenerate art which was partly destroyed, although some was sold on the international art market. Masterpieces of European art were taken from these collectors and French museums and were sent to Germany.Known political opponents were also excluded and overtly political art was forbidden.
During the rise of Nazism, some artists had expressed their opposition. Following the establishment of the Third Reich, modern artists and those of Jewish ancestry were classed as degenerate. Any Jewish artists, or artists who were known opponents to the regime, were liable to imprisonment unless they conformed with the authorities’ view of what was "acceptable" in art. These artists were all in danger. Among those who chose to stay in Germany, some retreated into an “inner exile”, or “inner emigration"(“Innere Emigration”).
Artists had the choice of collaborating or resisting. But most people in such a predicament will normally find a middle way. Resistance was dangerous and unlikely to escape fierce punishment and while collaboration offered an easier path principled objection to it was a strong deterrent to many if not most. The other options were withdrawal, finding refuge abroad or, for many, to take the pragmatic course by simply continuing to work within the new restrictions. Hence artistic life and expression appeared light, carefree and frivolous, but was also lively.
The German artist John Heartfield (who had been part of Dada Berlin) is an example of an artist who expressed opposition. While Hitler's popularity was growing in Germany, he consistently produced photomontages that denounced the future dictator and his party. Most of them were published in Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung [AIZ, Workers' Illustrated Newspaper], and a lot of them appeared on the cover. His artworks were like visual weapons against Nazism, a counter-power. In them, he subverted Hitler's figure and Nazi symbols. Through powerful visual juxtapositions, he revealed Nazism manipulations and contradictions, and showed the truth about them. As soon as Hitler came to power in 1933, Heartfield had to flee, finding refuge first in Prague and then in the UK.[ citation needed ]
Otto Dix had been labelled as a “degenerate” artist. His works were removed from museums, he was fired from his teaching position, and he was forbidden to create anything political as well as to exhibit. He moved to the countryside and painted landscapes for the duration of the war.[ citation needed ]
Many artists chose to leave Germany. But their exile did not secure their position in the art world abroad. Their personal and artistic security depended on the laws and attitude of the country of exile. Some sought collaboration with others in exile, forming groups to exhibit, such as the Free German League of Culture founded in 1938 in London.One of their goals was to show that German culture and art were not to be equated with the cultural expressions sanctioned and produced by the Nazi regime.
Other artists went their own way, independently, often choosing apolitical subjects and sometimes refusing to participate in political events.They considered art as a completely autonomous activity that should not be submitted to a political cause. On the contrary, someone like Oskar Kokoschka, who had until then rejected the idea that art should be useful and serve a cause, got involved in these groups when he emigrated to London in 1938. He created a series of political allegories, i.e. paintings in which he made comments on war politics.
Once the war had commenced, everyone of Austro-German extraction was considered to be a security risk in Britain and became an enemy alien. They were interned in 1940, in camps on the Isle of Man. In Britain, however, there was considerable concern that many who had opposed the Nazi regime and escaped with their lives were now in detention in poor conditions. This led to a form of re-classification that led to many early releases in 1940, and by 1942 most of the internees had been released.[ citation needed ]
Inside the camps, some of the inmates were artists, musicians, and other intelligentsia, and they rebuilt as much cultural life as they could within the constraints of their imprisonment: the giving of lectures and concerts and the creation of artworks from materials like charcoal from burnt twigs, dyes from plants and the use of lino and newspaper. They also received materials from the artistic community in Britain.[ citation needed ]
Heinz Kiwitz went into exile in 1937 after his release from imprisonment in Kemna and Börgermoor concentration camps. Max Ernst exiled to the United States in 1941.[ citation needed ]
In France, Austro-German citizens also became “enemy aliens” at the outbreak of war and were sent in internment camps. The Camp des Milles, near Aix-en-Provence, where German artists such as Max Ernst and Hans Bellmer were imprisoned, was famous for its artistic life.[ citation needed ] As France was invaded, the situation of exiled German artists got more complicated and dangerous. They risked deportation, forced labour and extermination in the case of Jewish artists, both in occupied France and in the Vichy Republic. Most chose to emigrate further while others went into hiding.[ citation needed ]
In the US, citizens of Japanese extraction also faced internment in very poor living conditions and with little sympathy for their plight throughout the period of hostilities and beyond.
Those who wished to overtly oppose the Nazis in their art either worked abroad (for example, André Masson) or clandestinely, as part of the resistance movement (such as André Fougeron). In the public space, resistance took on more symbolic forms. A group known as 'Jeunes peintres de tradition française' exhibited in Paris for the first time in 1941. The works they produced during the period were characterised by semi-abstract art and bright colours, which they considered as a form of resistance to the Nazis.Other supposedly non-political works were ambiguous – they observed the hardships of life in France without apportioning blame. Picasso, who had stayed in Paris, painted but refused to exhibit. He did not paint the war or anything openly political, but he said that the war was in his pictures.
Modern art became the bearer of liberal values, as opposed to the reactionary artistic preferences of the totalitarian regimes. Artistic choices embodied different positions in the ongoing ideological battle. Placing Alberto Sánchez Pérez's abstract sculpture,The Spanish people have a path that leads to a star (1937), at the entrance of the pavilion of the Spanish Republic was a political statement. So was commissioning modern artists to create works of art for this pavilion. Pablo Picasso showed two works: a pair of etchings entitled The Dream and Lie of Franco , 1937, and his monumental painting, Guernica, 1937. Joan Miró painted a huge mural entitled Catalan Peasant in Revolt (aka The Reaper, destroyed), and he did a poster entitled “Aidez l’Espagne” (Help Spain), meant to support the Republicans’ cause. The American artist Alexander Calder created the abstract sculpture Mercury Fountain (1937). The involvement of a non-Spanish artist was also an important statement in an era dominated by the rise of nationalism, both in democratic and totalitarian regimes.
Even in democracies, voices called for a return to a more representational style. For instance, some criticized the central place given to Picasso's Guernica because it was not explicit enough in its denunciation and was too complex.They would have preferred that the focus be placed on paintings such as Horacio Ferrer’s Madrid 1937 (Black Planes), from 1937. Its “message” was much clearer and – as a consequence – it functioned better as a political statement.
When they wanted to support the democratic cause and protest against Fascism and dictators, artists were often encouraged to put aside their modernist style and express themselves in a more realist (i.e. representational) style. For instance, Josep Renau, the Republican Government's director general of Fine Arts, said in 1937: “The poster maker, as an artist, knows a disciplined freedom, a freedom conditioned by objective demands, external to his individual will. Thus for the poster artist the simple question of expressing his own sensibility and emotion is neither legitimate nor practically realizable, if not in the service of an objective goal.” And the French author, Louis Aragon, declared in 1936: “For artists as for every person who feels like a spokesperson for a new humanity, the Spanish flames and blood put Realism on the agenda. ” In other words, the artist's political engagement required a submission of the work's artistic aspects to the expression of the political content.
The series The Year of Peril, created in 1942 by the American artist Thomas Hart Benton, illustrates how the boundary between art and propaganda can be blurred by such a stance. Produced as a reaction to the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese army in 1941, the series portrayed the threat posed to the U.S. by Nazism and Fascism in an expressive but representational style. The message is clearly and powerfully delivered. These images were massively reproduced and disseminated in order to contribute to raise support for the U.S. involvement in World War II.[ citation needed ]
Thus, there can be troubling affinities between Allied politically-engaged art and fascist and totalitarian art when in both cases art and artists are used to create “persuasive images”, i.e. visual propaganda. Such a conception of political art was problematic for many modern artists as modernism was precisely defined by its autonomy from anything non-artistic. For some, absolute artistic freedom – and thus freedom from the requirement of having a clear, stable, and easily decipherable meaning – should have been what symbolised the liberal and progressive values and spirit of democracies.
Britain was also subject to political differences during the 1930s but did not suffer repression nor civil war as elsewhere, and could enter World War II with a justifiable sense of defending freedom and democracy. Art had similarly followed the free expression at the heart of modernism, but political appropriation was already sought [as in the left-wing Artists’ International Association founded in 1933]. With the outbreak of war came official recognition of art's use as propaganda. However, in Britain, political promotion did not include the persecution of artistic freedom in general.[ citation needed ]
In 1939, the War Artists Advisory Committee (WAAC) was founded under the aegis of the British Ministry of Information, with the remit to list and select artists qualified to record the war and pursue other war purposes. Artists were thought to have special skills useful to a country at war: they could interpret and express the essence of wartime experiences and create images that promoted the country's culture and values. Not the least of these was artists’ freedom to choose the subjects and style of their art.[ citation needed ] A significant influence was the choice of Sir Kenneth Clark as instigator and director of WAAC, as he believed that the first duty of an artist was to produce good works of art that would bring international renown. And he believed the second duty was to produce images through which a country presents itself to the world, and a record of war more expressive than a camera may give.[ citation needed ] Important to this was the exhibition of Britain at War at Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1941 (22 May to 2 September).[ citation needed ]
This initiative also provided support for British artists when the world seemed to be sinking into barbarism. But it was not without intentions and constraints, and some works were rejected or censored. Accurate representations were required and abstract art, as it did not deliver a clear message, was avoided. Some depictions could be too realistic and were censored because they revealed sensitive information or would have scared people – and maintaining the nation's morale was vital. No foreign artists were admitted to the programme, a great sorrow to many who had fled to Britain from persecution elsewhere.[ citation needed ]
Despite these restrictions, the work commissioned was illustrative, non-bombastic, and often of great distinction thanks to established artists such as Paul Nash, John Piper, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and Stanley Spencer.
Many works of art and images were created by detainees in ghettos and in concentration and extermination camps. They form a large body of images. Most of them were small and fragile, many were destroyed and lost. The large majority of these images were created clandestinely because such a creative activity was often forbidden and could have resulted in a death sentence. Yet, many inmates found materials and transgressed the rules in order to create.[ citation needed ]
Their motives for doing so were multiple but they all seem to have been linked to a survival instinct and self-preservation. [ citation needed ]Art could be a distraction and an escape from the horrors of the present. Distancing oneself (by depicting imaginary scenes or by taking on the role of the observer) was a way to keep some sanity. Doing drawings could also be a way to barter and thus to increase one's chances of survival in the camp or ghetto. Moreover, by creating visual artefacts there was the hope of creating something that would survive to one's death and would live on to testify to one's existence. Some seemed to have been animated by a documentary spirit: recording what was happening to them for people beyond the fence. Finally, such a creative urge was a form of cultural resistance. When their persecutors were trying to eradicate every bit of their humanity, artistic creation and testimony were ways to reclaim it, to preserve and cultivate it.
In terms of subject matters, the images created in concentration and extermination camps are characterised by their determination to enhance the detainees’ dignity and individuality. [ citation needed ]This is probably the most visible in the numerous portraits that were done. Whereas the Nazi extermination machine aimed at dehumanising the internees, creating “faceless” beings, clandestine artists would give them back their individuality. In this body of works, depictions of atrocities are not so frequent, which suggests that they might have been intentionally avoided. Rather, it is after the liberation, in the art of survivors that the most brutal and abominable aspects of concentration and extermination camps found a visual expression.
In the face of such horrors, some artists were confronted with ethical problems and felt that representation had reached a limit. Thus, since the liberation of the camps, artists who have wanted to express the Holocaust in their art have often chosen abstraction or symbolism, thus avoided any explicit representations. A few went as far as to suggest that art itself – and not simply representational art – had reached a limit because creating an aesthetic object about the Holocaust would be, in itself, unethical, morally reprehensible.
Degenerate art was a term adopted in the 1920s by the Nazi Party in Germany to describe modern art. During the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, German modernist art, including many works of internationally renowned artists, was removed from state owned museums and banned in Nazi Germany on the grounds that such art was an "insult to German feeling", un-German, Jewish, or Communist in nature. Those identified as degenerate artists were subjected to sanctions that included being dismissed from teaching positions, being forbidden to exhibit or to sell their art, and in some cases being forbidden to produce art.
Karl August Leopold Böhm was an Austrian conductor. He was best known for his performances of the music of Mozart, Wagner and Richard Strauss.
Degenerate music was a label applied in the 1930s by the Nazi government in Germany to certain forms of music that it considered to be harmful or decadent. The Nazi government's concern for degenerate music was a part of its larger and more well-known campaign against degenerate art. In both cases, the government attempted to isolate, discredit, discourage, or ban the works. Even though the Nazis wanted to discredit Jewish artists because of their race, they also wanted to have a better reason. The excuse was that some music was “anti-German” and that was why some songs needed to be banned. The certainty of this philosophy was contrasted by the inability to say what counted as “anti-German”. Many people, like Goebbels, could not point to what was German music and what had a “Jewish influence”. Goebbels, who was not a musician nor had any expertise in the subject, said “all music was not suited for everyone"
Felix Nussbaum was a German-Jewish surrealist painter. Nussbaum’s artwork gives a rare glimpse into the essence of one individual among the victims of the Holocaust.
Adolf Ziegler was a German painter and politician. He was tasked by the Nazi Party to oversee the purging of what the Nazi Party described as "degenerate art", by most of the German modern artists. He was Hitler's favourite painter.
The art of the Third Reich was the government-approved art produced in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. Upon becoming dictator in 1933, Adolf Hitler gave his personal artistic preference the force of law to a degree rarely known before.
Nazi plunder, refers to art theft and other items stolen as a result of the organized looting of European countries during the time of the Third Reich by agents acting on behalf of the ruling Nazi Party of Germany. Plundering occurred from 1933 until the end of World War II, particularly by military units known as the Kunstschutz, although most plunder was acquired during the war. In addition to gold, silver and currency, cultural items of great significance were stolen, including paintings, ceramics, books, and religious treasures. Although most of these items were recovered by agents of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, on behalf of the Allies immediately following the war, many are still missing. There is an international effort underway to identify Nazi plunder that still remains unaccounted for, with the aim of ultimately returning the items to the rightful owners, their families or their respective countries.
Gert Heinrich Wollheim was a German painter associated with the New Objectivity, and later an expressionist who worked in United States after 1947.
Otto Pankok was a German painter, printmaker, and sculptor.
Jankel Adler was a Polish painter and printmaker.
Censorship in Nazi Germany was extreme and strictly enforced by the governing Nazi Party, but specifically by Joseph Goebbels and his Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Censorship within Nazi Germany included control of all forms of mass communication, which included newspaper, music, literature, radio, and film. The same body also produced and disseminated their own literature which were solely devoted to furthering Nazi ideas and myths. Anti-semitism lay at the core of their works, including 1940 films such as Jud Süß and The Eternal Jew. The ministry promoted the cult of Adolf Hitler by sponsoring early films such as Triumph of the Will of the 1934 rally and The Victory of Faith made in 1933, and which survives now as a single copy recently discovered in the UK. It was banned by the Nazis owing to the prominent role of Ernst Roehm, who was murdered by Hitler on the Night of the Long Knives in 1934.
Richard Klein (1890–1967) was a German artist, known for his work as a medallist from the start of World War I in 1914, and mainly for his work as a favoured artist of the Nazi regime. Klein was director of the Munich School of Applied Arts and was one of Adolf Hitler's favourite painters.
Dorothy Bohm is a photographer based in London, known for her portraiture, street photography, early adoption of colour, and photography of London and Paris; she is considered one of the doyennes of British photography.
Kunstschutz is the German term for the principle of preserving cultural heritage and artworks during armed conflict, especially during the First World War and Second World War, with the stated aim of protecting the enemy's art and returning after the end of hostilities. It is associated with the image of the "art officer" (Kunstoffizier) or "art expert" (Kunstsachverständiger).
Heinz Kiwitz was a German artist. His woodcuts were in the German Expressionist style. An anti-fascist, he was arrested following the Nazis' seizure of power. He survived imprisonment in Kemna and Börgermoor concentration camps and was released in 1934. He went into exile in 1937, first living in Denmark, then in France, where he again began to fight Nazism. In 1938, he went to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil War, where he apparently perished.
Emy Roeder was a modern German sculptor born in Würzburg, Germany. During the first third of the twentieth century she was one of a number of women that were associated with the German Expressionist movement of Modern art. She was the first woman to achieve Master Student of sculpture as a student at the Berlin Academy In 1937 her work was labeled Degenerate art by the Nazis. After World War II she was arrested in Italy by the Allies because she was a German citizen and then sent to an internment camp. She received the Villa Romana prize in 1936, and was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for her life work in 1960. She died, aged 81, in Mainz.
Large Head was a sculpture made by German artist Otto Freundlich in 1912 and thought to have been destroyed in around 1941. It is now considered to be one of the most important modernist sculptures made in Germany before the First World War.
Christoph Voll was a German sculptor and graphic artist associated with Expressionism. He was a member of the politically active avant-garde group of Dresden artists known as the Dresdner Sezession.
Albert Reuss was a painter and sculptor born in Vienna who fled to England in 1938 following the Anschluss, Adolf Hitler’s annexation of Austria to the German Reich. In the process, Reuss lost many members of his family, and the reputation he had built up as an artist in Vienna. He continued to work as an exiled artist in England, but his style changed dramatically, reflecting the trauma he had suffered. Several provincial galleries in England hold his work, most notably Newlyn Art Gallery in Cornwall, the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere and the Albertina both in Vienna, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel.