By Joan L. Clinefelter

ISBN-10: 1845202015

ISBN-13: 9781845202019

Whereas we frequently take into consideration proficient artists fleeing the clutches of the Nazi regime--forced out or sickened by means of the strictures put upon them--we hardly contemplate these artists who willingly stayed in the back of. this is often the 1st entire therapy of the German paintings Society, a bunch of artists, authors and right-wing activists who actively embraced Nazism. Theses artists have mostly been brushed off as a lunatic fringe, however the writer argues that they have been in reality instrumental in combating modernist artwork in protection of what they considered as the German cultural culture. Drawing on formerly ignored archival fabric, Clinefelter unearths cultural continuities that reach from the Wilhelmine Empire in the course of the Weimar Republic into the 3rd Reich and elucidates how theses artists promoted Nazi tradition "from below."

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But Feistel-Rohmeder’s gender was also beneficial. She was an older woman who had already raised her child and had a husband to provide a steady income. This was a supreme advantage for her and for the German Art Society she served. She could afford to be a full-time, unpaid employee for the organization. She was for all intents and purposes the Society’s mother. But she was a mother who favored sons over daughters. Feistel-Rohmeder never used the Society to agitate for educational or professional reforms that would provide women greater access to artistic careers.

32 Hopf’s multiple affiliations with nationalist/völkisch organizations made – 29 – Artists for the Reich him especially valuable to the German Art Society and accounts for his position as its first chairman. The statutes of the German Art Society made clear the importance of members’ organizational and social contacts by creating two classes of members. Regular members served the Society as practitioners of the German style of art. Honorary members supported the Society’s mission financially or used their social status and official positions to aid the organization.

These men ‘fronted’ the organization while Feistel-Rohmeder worked behind the scenes. This was a most useful tactic on several counts. The men had professional prestige and position that she, as a woman and a minor artistic talent, did not. Feistel-Rohmeder relied on their status and organizational affiliations in order to advance the Society’s artists. Indeed, had Feistel-Rohmeder headed the organization it is likely that her gender would have tarnished the German – 22 – Bettina Feistel-Rohmeder Art Society’s prospects because it could have been regarded as ‘only’ a woman’s group.

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Artists for the Reich: Culture and Race from Weimar to Nazi Germany by Joan L. Clinefelter


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