Degenerate Art

Degenerate art is the English translation of the German “entartete Kunst”, a term adopted by the German Nazi regime to describe virtually all modern art (Modernist art includes Dada, Cubism, Expressionism, Fauvism, Surrealism, Impressionism, etc.). Degenerate art was banned if it was considered by the Nazis to be Jewish, Bolshevik, or otherwise not conducive to German values. In Munich of 1937 the Nazis staged an exhibition of degenerate art which was extremely well attended, drawing in more than 2,000,000 attendees. This exhibition indented to fan the flames of discontent among German citizens after having viewed such unacceptable works. Eventually the Nazi authorities confiscated more than 17,000 works of art from German museums, all of which were meticulously inventoried and assigned a registry number [1]. Avant-garde German artists would be branded both enemies of the state and a threat to German culture, and many went into exile. Those considered degenerate artists included such notable artists as Vincent van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, even Picasso.


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