This comment was written by HAVC 135B on 28 Jul 2016.

HAVC 135B : German Art 1905-1945

In what ways did race, class, and social issues influence both traditional (academic) and non-traditional (experimental) artworks?

Race, class, and social issues influenced both traditional and non-traditional artworks in a time when critics like Pecht, wanted to see art that actually reflected contemporary life with accuracy, unlike academic art, that failed to show contemporary realities. Therefore, artists such as Max Liebermann, Theodor Esser, and Adolph Menzel, who brought about the use of light-color paintings, began to produce artworks that focused on the lower class and their working conditions. Since these non-traditional artworks depicted the harsh working conditions of the labor workers, middle class and upper class people were repulsed with the art that depicted the German people as unclean. The upper class feared that this Socialist movement was affecting German art and also their reputation through these depictions of contemporary realities. In regards to race, non-traditional works such as Liebermann's painting of Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple received harsh criticism because it depicted a Jewish scene. Those that were against this painting argued that it portrays an inaccurate depiction of Jews since this painting did not portray the stereotypes of Jewish people that German people were so accustomed to seeing.

Andrea Diaz

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