Friends event | Director's Lecture
Art and culture have a part in wider conflicts about territory, taste and on occasion, about national identity. In the febrile political atmosphere of the Weimar Republic in Germany, art became politicised. The accession to power of the Nazis in 1933 accelerated attacks on modern art. At first, not all modern artists were vilified. Eventually an accepted style of neo-classicism led to much of modern German art being removed from museums, confiscated from their collections, sold for foreign currency or destroyed.
The notorious ‛Entartete Kunst’ (‛degenerate art’) exhibitions of 1937 onwards drew huge crowds. The after-effects of this tumultuous period in German culture reverberate to this day, with restitution to former collections and owners an ethical, political, legal and financial issue.
Lecture by Sean Rainbird, Director, National Gallery of Ireland. This year is the 80th anniversary of the first ‛degenerate art’ exhibition, which opened in Munich in 1937.