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Film Gallery: Nazi Germany 1937 Browse

1937 Munich exhibition of Degenerate Art

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In Munich, Julien Bryan documented the spirited Nazi assault on modern art when he visited the infamous and popular Entartete Kunst [Degenerate Art] exhibition. This exhibition featured over 650 paintings, sculptures, prints, and books which had been confiscated from German public museums, including the works of some important 20th century artists like Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Emil Nolde, Georg Grosz, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. The pieces were chaotically hung with accompanying criticism and derisive text, in order to clarify to the German people what type of art was considered unacceptable. Afterwards, many works were sorted out for sale and sold at auction. Some were acquired by museums, and others by private collectors. Certain pieces were appropriated by Nazi officials and some were burned. Josef Goebbels ordered a more thorough scouring of German art collections after the exhibition, bringing the total number of modern works seized by the Nazis to over 16,000.

Find out more about this film footage in the online Film and Video catalog