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12 - Cultural Migration: Artists and Visual Representation Between Americans and Germans During the 1930s and 1940s

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2013

David E. Barclay
Affiliation:
Kalamazoo College, Michigan
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Summary

On the day I lost my passport I discovered, at the age of fifty-eight, that losing one's native land implies more than parting with a circumscribed area of soil.

-Stephan Zweig, 1943

Propaganda is something entirely different from art. . . . you'd better keep in touch with the popular “illustrators.” . . . they really reach the “beloved” masses. . . . I'm rather sceptical, we can do very little about [fascism]. Don't overrate the meaning of our “outmoded” profession.

-George Grosz, 1936

The theme of this volume is expansive enough that it can describe a plethora of historical interactions between the old world and the new. America's long relationship with Germany turned problematic once Hitler assumed power in 1933. The severe economic depression, growing militarism, the troubling tales by exiles, all shaped American visions of Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. Recently, the art historian M. Kay Flavell wrote of a

continuing need to trace the continuities and discontinuities between artists . . . in exile and the cultural traditions from which they came. We need to consider how far works produced in a new cultural setting may still be conceived as a contribution to that other tradition, at the same time as they also seek to represent the new environment.

Type
Chapter
Information
Transatlantic Images and Perceptions
Germany and America since 1776
, pp. 265 - 284
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1997

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