The Collective will be holding a meeting open to any students interesting in joining the group. We will be discussing the possibility of taking a trip to visit the Crocker Museum in Sacramento, as well as be given a guest presentation by the Museum of Northern California Art (MONCA). Please join us!
The meeting will be held Friday October 12th from 4-5 p.m. in Ayres 201.
What relationship did the Nazis have to modern art? Was there any art – modern or conventional – produced during the Third Reich? Who collaborated with the Nazis and who did not? Were modernists exempt from making ethical choices because the Nazis simply rejected their modern aesthetics? When and why was some modernism labeled ‘degenerate art”?
These are only some of the many questions that are and need to be asked when we deal with the history of the Third Reich.
In this seminar I will outline how modern artists collaborated with Nazism and how this interaction reveals important aspects of modernism as well as the political regime and its cultural bureaucracy. A racist regime with a pedantic bureaucracy created an environment in which artistic ambitions could expand beyond the wildest dreams.
Neal Ascherson’s verdict that: “… The Nazi decision to declare war on the Modern movement was a disaster. But a decision to sanctify it would have been, in the end, far worse…” needs to be carefully examined – and modified. Modernist aesthetics and Nazi politics left us uncomfortable and complex legacies that we need to examine over and over.
From the 1890s to 1914, Italian politics became more turbulent. Sulphur miners struck in Sicily. In 1900 the government introduced martial law to put down strikes in northern Italy. Revolutionary socialists and anarchist organized demonstrations and on the right, a new bellicose nationalism demanded an Italian empire and great power politics. In 1909, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876 to 1944) startled the world with the Manifesto of Futurism, in which he declared that “Art [...] can be nothing but violence, cruelty, and injustice.”
Futurism stands out in art history, because it combined revolutionary changes in the arts with manifestos to change the whole of society. It belonged to those movements between 1900 and 1914 that declared revolt and revolution as the main task and goal of art: to break down the artistic and aesthetic traditions. Art was seen as a weapon and means of war. Art was the most important device to make a new society with a new man. Futurists preached the glories of modern technologies. They worshiped the machine and exalted speed. They preached the need for war to purify society and they provided much intellectual and artistic support for the rise of Mussolini and Fascism after the First World War.
We are having our inaugural event, starting the semester with a bang. The Collective is pleased to welcome Dr. Jonathan Steinberg and Dr. Marion Kant to CSU, Chico on Friday, September 14th in Ayres 120 at 6:30 PM for two lectures regarding Late 19th and Early 20th Century History and Degenerate Art.
Please join us for this interactive talk with our distinguished guests.
Each talk will be approximately 30 minutes followed by a question / answer session.