BE -- Fine Arts

Kunst in der Krise [Art in Crisis]. Maike Bruhns. Hamburg: Dölling und Gablitz. 28 cm. (set in slipcase). ISBN 3-933374-93-6: EUR 74.00 [02-1-082]

Vol. 1. Hamburger Kunst im “Dritten Reich” [Art in Hamburg during the Third Reich]. 2001. 660 p. ill. ISBN 3-933374-94-4: EUR 49.80
Vol. 2. Künstlerlexikon Hamburg 1933–1945: verfehmt, verfolgt, verschollen, vergessen [Encyclopedia of Artists in Hamburg, 1933–1945: Ostracized, Persecuted, Lost, Forgotten]. 2001. 454 p. ill. ISBN 3-933374-95-2: EUR 34.90

This work with its vague title is actually two quite different volumes combined together. The first volume deals almost exclusively with a study of fine arts in Hamburg during the Third Reich (in 11 chapters and a detailed appendix); the second volume is a biographical encyclopedia. Although volume 2 is entitled Künstlerlexikon Hamburg 1933–1945, the author explains in the introduction that she listed only those artists persecuted during Third Reich. Entries for 212 artists contain birth and death dates, photograph of the artist, field of art, listing of exhibitions, citations of articles, and catalogs of the work, among other information. A five-page list of the most important group exhibitions between 1912 and 1999 is also included. Bruhns should consider writing a supplemental volume covering artists who flourished under the National Socialist regime or at least were fellow travellers. [sh/msc]

Künstlerinnen in Württemberg: zur Geschichte des Württembergischen Malerinnen-Vereins und des Bundes Bildender Künstlerinnen Württembergs [Women Artists in Württemberg: On the History of the Württemberg Women Painters Society and the Association of Women Visual Artists of Württemberg]. Edith Neumann. 2 vols. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1999. 360 and 426 p. ill. 24 cm. (Veröffentlichungen des Archivs der Stadt Stuttgart, 81). Also Diss., Stuttgart Univ., 1998, under the title: Zwischen staatlicher Künstlerinnenförderung und kooperativer Selbstorganisation. ISBN 3-608-94192-4: EUR 46.00. (Archiv der Stadt Stuttgart, Silberburgstr. 191, D-70178 Stuttgart, fax [49 711] 216 4456, e-mail: stadtarchiv@stuttgart.de) [02-1-083]

Works about women artists have proliferated in recent years, and this trend has made it possible for a specialized work such as this two-volume dissertation about women artists in the German state of Württemberg to emerge from the closed realm of academia into the public eye. As the subtitle indicates, the work presents a history of the organization that has fostered and united women artists in Württemberg since the 18th century. The study traces the beginnings of state-sponsored art education for women in Württemberg to the formation in 1893 of a professional organization for women artists (the Malerinnen-Verein), then documents the history of the society until 1945, its renewal after 1945 as the Bund Bildender Künstlerinnen, its reorganization in 1961, and its development to the present day. Drawn from source materials held in the archives of the city of Stuttgart, which tend to focus on outstanding individual artists, Neumann’s history, too, presents a series of individual biographies. Volume 2 may be of particular interest to students of art history, because here the biographical material of volume 1 is reworked into a more lexicon-like format. However, the work is not fully satisfactory for reference purposes: it offers neither an alphabetical listing of individual artists nor a complete listing of art works by artist’s name. The author has contributed valuable and groundbreaking scholarship, but her publication functions better as a monograph and source book of regional art history than as a reference work. [ak/akb]

Künstlergruppen im östlichen und südlichen Europa seit 1900: ein Handbuch [Artist Groups in Eastern and Southern Europe Since 1900: A Handbook]. Ed. Christoph Wilhelmi. Stuttgart: Hauswedell, 2001. xii, 616 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-7762-1101-6: EUR 149.00 [02-1-084]

This work is the second volume of a planned three-volume handbook (although there is no inclusive title) of artist groups in Europe. The first volume, Künstlergruppen in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz seit 1900: ein Handbuch (Stuttgart, 1996), which covered the German-speaking countries of Europe, was reviewed in RREA 2:184. Like that one, this volume is limited to artist groups that are non-professional and not state-sponsored. Covered, in alphabetical order, are artist groups from 17 countries, of which only Italy and Greece are from outside the former communist bloc. Italy, Russia, and Poland have the largest number of entries, a combined total of 196 out of the 329 groups listed. The detailed entries include date and place of a group’s founding, prominent members, alternative names (including translated and transliterated names), goals, associate members (usually foreigners), and publications. Literary references seem to be primarily to monographs;given the large number of hard-to-acquire titles involved, it would be useful if the work had a detailed bibliography of these kinds of publications. The work’s introduction contains contributions on the artistic-political situation of the respective countries. The third, concluding title, will cover other countries of northern, western, and southwestern Europe. [sh/ga]

Kunst-und Kulturdenkmale im Ostalbkreis [Art Works and Cultural Monuments of the Ostalb Region]. Konrad A. Theiss. 2d rev. and expanded ed. Aalen: Theiss, 2000. 427 p. ill. 18 cm. ISBN 3-8062-1542-1: EUR 22.90 [02-1-085]

. Ingrid Helber. Stuttgart: Theiss, 2001. 324 p. ill. 18 cm. (Zollernalb-Profile, B, 1). ISBN 3-8062-1526-X: EUR 14.90 [02-1-086]

Kunst- und Kulturdenkmale im Landkreis Rastatt und in Baden-Baden [Art Works and Cultural Monuments of the Rastatt Region and in Baden-Baden]. Clemens Kieser. Stuttgart: Theiss, 2002. 360 p. ill. 18 cm. ISBN 3-8062-1599-5: EUR 14.90 [02-1-087]

The Theiss publishing house specializes in popular and scholarly works relating to archaeology in Germany, and studies of the various regions of the large, culturally rich southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg. Since 2000, Theiss has been updating its Kunst- und Kulturdenkmale... series. Previously published works in the series include volumes about the district of Ludwigsburg (1986) and the cities of Heilbronn and Pforzheim (both 1991). The Ostalb volume is a revision of an earlier (1986) edition, whereas the other two volumes are completely new. Their format is relatively consistent: an introduction to the cultural history of the region is followed by an alphabetical listing of current place names, along with descriptions of the attractions to be found in each. The volumes are well illustrated, with black/ white and color photographs making up 70% of the total page number in the first volume, and 50% and 40% respectively in the other two. The Theiss series could be recommended to libraries with patrons having a special interest in German culture and history, although comparable works already exist. Those familiar with the Dehio series, Baden-Württemberg (volume 1, see IFB 95-3-406; volume 2, see RREA 3:164), will probably prefer the latter to the Theiss series. Volume 2 of Reclams Kunstführer Deutschland (1979), a one-volume guide to the “art works and museums” of Baden-Württemberg, is more compact but less current than the Theiss series. [sh/akb]

Das grosse Comic-Lexikon: von Asterix und Akira über Donald Duck und Dan Dare bis Superman und Yps; die Welt der Bildergeschichten, ihre Zeichner & Autoren, Magazine & Figuren; ausserdem: ein Gespräch mit dem deutschen Comic-Künstler Jamiri; im Anhang: ein ausführliches Register der Conventions, Magazine, Verlage, Clubs & Einrichtungen und Shops [The Comprehensive Comics Handbook: From Asterix and Akira to Donald Duck and Dan Dare to Superman and Yps. The World of Comics, Illustrators and Authors, Magazines and People. In Addition: A Conversation with the German Comics Illustrator Jamiri. With an Appendix: A Complete Index of Conventions, Magazines, Publishers, Clubs, Services, and Shops]. Marcel Feige. Berlin: Lexikon-Imprint-Verlag, 2001. 599 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 3-89602-285-7: EUR 22.90 [02-1-088]

Handbooks about comics are relatively easy to come by, with France playing a leading role in their publication (see RREA 3:98–106 and RREA 6:165–167). By comparison, the German output in this field is much more modest. Other than the continually expanding Lexikon der Comics, made up of loose-leaf pages, the next most recent comics handbook published in Germany is a translation from the Italian. In that respect, one can only welcome the publication of Das grosse Comic-Lexikon. Although it has an international scope—which is a given, considering the preponderance of translations on the German comics market—it places special emphasis on comics of German origin and the German comics scene in general. People (authors/illustrators) and titles of comics series and albums make up the greatest part of the work, in that order, followed by comic characters and, in some cases, articles on genres, comics fairs, prices, styles, and publishers. Often the literature cited at the end of articles tends to be minimal, although at other times the lists of titles are overwhelming. Useful features include a short history of the comic strip, an index of original titles, a list of relevant addresses, and a short bibliography of German-language monographs about comics. [sh/akb]

Grundriß der abendländischen Kunstgeschichte [Outline of the History of Western Art]. Founded by Leonie von Wilckens, continued by Dagmar and Paul von Naredi-Rainer. 3d rev. and expanded ed. Stuttgart: Kröner, 2000. xvi, 638 p. 18 cm. (Kröners Taschenausgabe, 373). ISBN 3-520-37302-5: EUR 29.70 [02-2-345]

First published in 1967, Wilckens’ Outline now appears in its third edition, expanded from 511 to 638 pages. It retains its familiar appearance: in a world of glossy, overly stylized introductions to art history, its inventory-like presentation (no illustrations) is intentionally ascetic. That’s a good thing: not just out of nostalgia, but for the sake of the subject. One won’t find a better little book to give quick, unpretentious access to the most important information about the main works of western art. It keeps dates straight, connections clear, and leads the eye to the details that matter.

Many of Wilckens’ terse entries from the first edition remain, along with the organization by period, genre, topography, and artist, with its advantages and disadvantages. The latter are compensated for by new, more detailed indexes to buildings, art works, and artists; the bibliography has been substantially enlarged. Other additions reflect further artistic forms (e.g., photography and video) and, of special interest to American readers, the expansion of coverage to the United States.

Altogether, the growth and—in the best sense—development of the work guarantee that “Wilckens” remains as it has always been: a handy resource for students of art history, and a must for art history reference libraries. [ak/dss]

10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei: von der Antike bis zum Beginn der Moderne [10,000 Masterworks of Painting: From Antiquity to the Dawn of the Modern Age]. Selected by Ines Borchart. Berlin: Yorck Projekt, 2001. 11 CD-ROMs + catalog (ca. 150 p. chiefly ill. 21 cm.). ISBN 3-936122-10-5: EUR 49.90 (Gesellschaft für Bildarchivierung, Yorckstr. 59, D-10965 Berlin, e-mail: info@yorckproject.de) [02-2-359]

The title, together with the price, calls to mind some sort of bargain-basement or late-night television offer, but the technology of digitization combined with the public domain status of most of the images makes the availability of so much for so little quite possible. Even better, there is an accompanying wealth of searchable information. Each painting comes with data (title, artist, medium, location, etc.) that can be viewed with the painting or retrieved from a database. The images are also available in three different sizes and levels of resolution; both copying and printing out are possible. The print catalog provides use instructions and research pointers, as well as an offline overview of the collection. The collection’s emphasis is on European masterworks housed in major museums, as befits the apparent target market of this resource: undergraduate art history students. [ak/gw]

Prestel-Lexikon der Fotografen: von den Anfängen 1839 bis zur Gegenwart; mit Glossar [Prestel Biographical Dictionary of Photographers: From the Earliest in 1839, until the Present Day]. Ed. Reinhold Mißelbeck. München: Prestel, 2002. 287 p. ill. 28 cm. ISBN 3-7913-2529-9: EUR 59.00 [02-2-360]

This biographical dictionary was conceived by the recently deceased curator of photography at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Reinhold Mißelbeck, and executed with the help of 38 contributors. It contains short biographical articles for over 800 important photographers from the 19th and 20th centuries; the entries include brief comments about the photographers’ careers, their stylistic evolution, and principal works. The accompanying bibliographies are quite short, sometimes containing only one title, and very few book-length treatments are included, which detracts from the work’s general usefulness. Small black-and-white photographs and full-page color and black-and-white reproductions present typical examples of the photographers’ works. The criteria for inclusion become foggy and perhaps less selective the closer one comes to the present time, and there are inconsistencies among some articles when referring to biographical “facts” concerning the same person. One hopes that future editions will not only clean up these editorial problems, but will also include more information about photography associations and collections and more extensive bibliographies, especially with more monographic-length works. [sh/ldb]

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Last update: March 6, 2006 [BG]
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