Degenerate Art Nazis vs Mapplethorpe Exhibition ~ Art Law History
A FREE POSTER GOES WITH THIS PRODUCT, LOCATED HERE:
This is a powerpoint presentation about the Degenerate Artist Movement in Nazi Germany, implemented by Goebbels and Hitler. After thoroughly covering this topic then the obscenity trial for the Mapplethorpe exhibition is presented. Then the two exhibitions are compared and contrasted along with the legal rights artists had in both situations. This is a combination of subject areas including history, law, and art.
To best assess this presentation, download the preview, which contains 12 actual slides. The thumbnails show another 4 slides. This listing contains text excerpts, below. In all, there are 87 slides.
The font developed by the German Bauhaus school is used in the presentation. It is a lower case font. The Nazis closed this excellent art school.
1) Degenerate Art was a modern art exhibition, held by the Nazis in Munich in 1937. It was hung haphazardly and labeled with derogatory remarks so as to inflame the German people against modernism. This exhibition toured other cities in Germany and Austria. slides 1 and 3 already showed some of this art work.
2) As dictator, Hitler chose an art form and then gave his art form the force of law.
hitler chose classical Greek and Roman art as the new German art and racial ideal.
hitler decreed that Modern art was an aesthetic assault by the Jews against the German spirit.
thus, distorted art must be the symptom of an inferior race.
anti-Semitism was thus coupled with controlling cultural choice.
by combining the two, the Nazis got public support for both anti-semitism and non-modern art.
the Master race idea, as a racially pure aryan race, seeped into everything Nazi, including what had previously been matters of personal aesthetic taste.
3) by 1933 hitler was engrossed in cleansing his culture.
there were book burnings; the firing of artists and musicians from teaching positions; and replacement of museum curators by those who disavowed modern art.
in 1933 the excellent Bauhaus art school closed for good.
the Reich Culture Chamber was established with Goebbels in charge.
Sub-chambers were formed for the individual arts.
these sub groups consisted of "racially pure" artists supportive of the Nazis.
Goebbels announced the new policy: "In future only those who are members of a chamber are allowed to be productive in our cultural life. Membership is open only to those who fulfill the entrance condition. In this way all unwanted and damaging elements have been excluded.”
4) there were thus two legal problems presented by the mapplethorpe exhibit:
1) concerned the cincinnati, ohio art gallery and its director, both criminally prosecuted for displaying an obscene show in the city. this went to jury trial and obscenity was not proven. the work had substantial artistic merit which met the Supreme court’s test for not being obscene. so there was an acquittal. this was a huge victory for artists, galleries, museums, and first amendment supporters.
2) could government money be used for art work which many americans found offensive? this was an entirely different question. this did not affect one’s right to display art but instead affected what might be disqualifying aspects to receiving government grant money for one’s art. the first amendment was not at issue with this problem. ultimately, the amendment Helms wanted to pass into law did not pass but there was a compromise reached about some restrictions being placed on NEA funding procedures.
5) there is a considerable difference in the legal rights for artists between nazi germany and the united states of america. we are going to break these rights down so as to fully understand those differences.
~the right to seize the artist’s work as the government’s property~
a totalitarian regime (nazis) can seize the artist’s property without any duty to pay for it. any trumped up reason should suffice.
america’s constitution requires that any seizure by government of private property must have due process of law (show in legal proceedings that there is a public purpose for seizure) and the payment of just compensation to the owner.