BE — Fine Arts

Identity and Image: Refugee Artists from Nazi Germany in Britain (1933-1945). Jutta Vinzent. Weimar: VDG, Verlag und Datenbank für Geisteswissenschaften, 2006. 400 p. ill. 25 cm. (Schriften der Guernica-Gesellschaft, 16). ISBN 978-3-89739-496-4; ISBN 3-89739-496-0: EUR 67.50 [06-1-065]

Until now, the fate of artists who emigrated from Nazi Germany, except for the most prominent, is not well documented. Claus-Dieter Krohn’s Handbuch der deutschsprachigen Emigration 1933-1945 [Handbook of the German-Speaking Emigration, 1933-1945] (see RREA 5:234) remains the basic source on this subject.

Jutta Vincent’s carefully documented reference work deals with approximately 300 refugee artists from Nazi Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia who sought refuge in Great Britain during World War II. The work is divided into three distinct sections that provide biographical and artistic information, reasons for emigration, and membership in artistic organizations. The author has drawn extensively on a wide variety of otherwise obscure or illusive sources, and she has included numerous examples of the artistic creations of these refugees. It would have been useful to learn more about the economic situation that these refugee artists faced in Britain, but overall, this is a well researched, methodologically sound publication. [frh/ldl]

Das große Lexikon der Ornamente: Herkunft, Entwicklung, Bedeutung [The Large Dictionary of Ornaments: Origins, Development, Meaning]. Ed. Edgar Lein. Leipzig: Seeman, 2004. 464 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-86502-085-2: EUR 29.90. [05-1-134]

Intended to update and expand on the work of the prolific professor Franz Sales Meyer, specifically his enormous Ornamentale Formenlehre [Ornamental Morphology] (Leipzig, 1886), revised as the Systematisch geordnetes Handbuch der Ornamentik [Systematically Organized Handbook of Ornament] (Leipzig, 1888), and the oft reprinted and translated Handbuch der Ornamentik [Handbook of Ornament] (Leipzig, 1983, 1986, 1990) this “large” lexicon is actually smaller than its predecessors. It offers about 1,000 brief articles on over 2,000 motifs from early cultures to the present, treating single ornaments, decorated objects, styles, and cultures. Unfortunately only a portion of Meyer’s original images have been reproduced in order to accommodate the addition of small, black-and-white photographs. The limited images, lack of bibliographic references, and superficial quality of many articles make this a disappointment for the target audience. Art historians, conservators, craftspeople, and designers would be better served by the Lexikon der Kunst [Dictionary of Art] (Leipzig, 1987-1994), which offers more substantive and extensive articles with bibliographic references. Amateur artists will find a richer treasure of motifs in Meyer’s original handbook. [sh/ab]

Handbuch Denkmalschutz und Denkmalpflege, einschließlich Archäologie: Recht, fachliche Grundsätze, Verfahren, Finanzierung [Handbook of Monument Preservation and Maintenance, including Archaeology: Law, Principles, Procedures, Financing]. Ed. Dieter J. Martin and Michael Krautzberger for the Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz. 2d ed. München: Beck, 2006. 672 p. 25 cm. ISBN 3-406-55173-4. EUR 58 [06-1-066]

Denkmalpflege für Architekten und Ingenieure: vom Grundwissen zur Gesamtleitung [Monument Maintenance for Architects and Engineers: From Basic Concepts to a Comprehensive Guide]. Ed. Horst Thomas. 2d ed. Köln: Müller, 2004. 237 p. ill. 30 cm. ISBN 3-481-02042-2. EUR 59 [06-1-067]

The Handbuch Denkmalschutz und Denkmalpflege offers a useful and attractive guide to maintenance and preservation of monuments for specialists as well as interested amateurs. Nine topical chapters provide an introduction to the field and its particular concerns, including procedures, authorities and laws, and cost considerations relevant to the care and preservation of all varieties of monuments. A glossary, a directory of organizations and institutions, a thematic bibliography, and an index conclude the work. The Handbuch presents a multifaceted guide to the issues of monument preservation and maintenance. The scholarly character of the work should not dissuade non-specialists from consulting the work, as it conveys a large quantity of information, including both theoretical and practical perspectives, in an easily understandable manner. The Handbuch fills a significant gap in the literature that serves well those concerned with monuments.

Denkmalpflege für Architekten und Ingenieure is targeted specifically to architects and building engineers dealing with monuments and presents the purpose, problems and methods of maintaining monuments. The fifteen chapters of the book, written by nine authors, treat issues ranging from research, registration, evaluation, and analysis, to re-purposing, to legal and tax questions. Scholarly throughout, images, sketches, and plans inform the presentation of the information. As a well-structured and informative resource, this planning guide is suited for all readers and especially building professionals responsible for monuments. [is/dfb]

Kunst-und Kulturdenkmale im Alb-Donau-Kreis und in Ulm [Artistic and Cultural Monuments in the Alb-Danube District and in Ulm]. Thomas Vogel. Ed. Landratsamt Alb-Donau-Kreis and City of Ulm. Stuttgart: Theiss, 2005. 336 p. ill. 18 cm. (Alb und Donau, 45). ISBN 3-8062-1901-X (Buchhandelsausgabe Theiss); ISBN 3-9809955-0-X (Ausgabe Alb-Donau-Kreis): EUR 14.90 [05-1-135]

Kunst-und Kulturdenkmale in Pforzheim und im Enzkreis [Artistic and Cultural Monuments in Pforzheim and the Enz District]. Hermann Diruf and Christoph Timm. Ed. Enzkreis and City of Pforzheim. 2d ed. Stuttgart: Theiss, 2002. 360 p. ill. 18 cm. ISBN 3-8062-1680-0: EUR 14.90 [05-1-136]

Kunst-und Kulturdenkmale in Stadt und Landkreis Heilbronn [Artistic and Cultural Monuments in the City and District of Heilbronn]. Julius Fekete. Photos by Rose Hajdu. 2d ed. Stuttgart: Theiss, 2002. 335 p. ill. 18 cm. ISBN 3-8062-1662-2: EUR 19.90 [05-1-137]

Theiss Publishing began its series of travel guides to historical and cultural monuments in Baden Wurttemberg in 1986, and since 2000, second editions or new volumes have been coming out (see RREA 8:149-151), including the 2005 title on the Alb-Danube District and Ulm. In this volume a substantial introduction to the art history of this area is followed by the guide proper beginning with the city of Ulm. Descriptions of other towns in this district then follow in alphabetical order. The layout of this guide is similar to others in the same series. The information on each city or town includes history, city layout, and significant buildings. This guide contains many high-quality, black-and-white photos (some of the earlier guides also include colored photos), a separate index of museums, and a personal name index. As in other volumes, there is no subject or keyword index. Contemporary and 20th-century architecture is well represented in this guide making it superior in this area to another guide on Baden-Württemberg reviewed in RREA 3:164. It is also much more up-to-date than Reclams Kunstführer Deutschland published in 1979.

The first editions of the volumes on Pforzheim and Heilbronn (both published 1991) were not previously reviewed in RREA. The texts of the second editions have not been revised or expanded much, contrary to the publisher’s claim. However, many of the photos have been changed, and the new editions contain some full-page color illustrations. The volume on Pforzheim contains an expanded section on the Maulbronn monastery. The second edition of the Heilbronn guide no longer contains a map of that city. Both guides are similar in the arrangement of content to the one on Ulm and surrounding areas. These guides draw attention to many towns that one normally would not think of visiting. One can only hope that the publisher will eventually bring out volumes on all cities, towns, and districts in Baden Wurttemberg. [sh/ba]

Kunstdenkmäler in Baden-Württemberg [Artistic Monuments in Baden-Württemberg]. Germaid Ruck. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2006. 287 p. ill. 21 cm. ISBN 3-534-16635-3: EUR 29.90 (EUR 24.90 for members) [05-2-360]

This volume follows the same pattern as other recent titles in this unnumbered but uniformly organized series Kunstdenkmäler in ... Its chapters cover Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical, and to a considerably lesser degree, 19th-century and modern art. Organizing a tour guide by epoch is awkward, especially when some items seem to appear in the wrong chapter, as when the Sepulchral Chapel in Stuttgart-Rotenberg is correctly designated as “Classical” yet opens the chapter on 19th-century and modern art. This volume serves up the same unhappy combination of art history and tour guide as the rest of the series, and the only audience it will serve well is the more undemanding sort of tourist. The art historian, architect or preservationist will turn instead to the two Dehio volumes for Baden-Württemberg (see RREO 95-3-403 and RREA 3:164), which are currently being revised for a new edition. The tourist with any knowledge of art should consider the Kunst- und Kulturdenkmale in ... guidebook series from the Theiss-Verlag, although these are narrower in geographic scope. [sh/rb]

Modern: Architekturbücher aus der Sammlung Marzona = Architecture Books from the Marzona Collection. Ed. Elisabetta Bresciani. Wien: Schlebrügge, 2003. 274 p. ill. 19x24 cm. ISBN 3-85160-031-2: EUR 32 [05-2-361]

This work appeared on the occasion of the exhibition: Wie bauen? Das Buch der Moderne: Architekturpublikationen aus der Sammlung Marzona, [How to Build? The Book of the Modern: Architecture Publications from the Marzona Collection, held at the Architekturzentrum, Vienna, 9 October 2003-2 February 2004]

The collector and patron Edigio Marzona (1944- ) possesses a wide variety of interests. He has assembled one of the most important collections of Bauhaus photographs (see Bauhaus-Fotographie, ed. Roswitha Fricke. Düsseldorf, 1982), bequeathed to the Kunstbibliothek Berlin many important papers about the Paul-Steegeman-Verlag (published in 1994), and donated to the Nationalgalerie Berlin an highly regarded collection on Conceptual Art, Minimalism, and Arte Povera to the State Library of Prussian Cultural Heritage and to the Art Library in Berlin.

This exhibition catalog under review lists 520 publications on Modernist architecture, another of Marzona’s passions. The catalog features an interview with the collector, two scholarly essays, and a bibliography, as well as a few illustrations on a plate inside the book, on the end-papers and on the dust jacket. The Museum of Prussian Cultural Heritage in Berlin has hosted at least two exhibitions from their own Marzona collection, Die Sammlung Marzona in 2003 and Printed Matter in 2005.

The bibliographic entries are listed alphabetically by author or title and are grouped around nine subjects. The illustrations in the books are arranged by year of appearance.

There is no author or title index, however, and the bibliographic details are relatively Spartan and not researched in detail. Sometimes key bibliographic data, such as pagination or edition statement, are missing. It was remiss of the editors to say that the book was compiled according to purely subjective criteria. It focuses on German classics of the 1920s, but also includes a diverse array of other titles. It is of little value as a bibliography, but it is to be recommended as an enticing picture album. [ab/ga]

Bildwörterbuch der Architektur: mit englischem, französischem, italienischem und spanischem Fachglossar [Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture: with English, French, Italian and Spanish Subject Glossaries]. Hans Koepf and Günther Binding. 4th rev. ed. Stuttgart: Kröner, 2005. ix, 677 p. ill. 18 cm. (Kröners Taschenausgabe, 194). ISBN 352019404X: EUR 26 [05-2-362]

First published in 1968, the third (1999) edition of Bildwörterbuch der Architektur (see RREA 5:151) was systematically revised by Günther Binding and expanded with the addition of a glossary of English, French, and Italian terms. The most obvious change in this 4th edition is the addition of Spanish terms and a Spanish-German section to the glossary. Not all of the German terms in the glossary are given equivalents in all of the other languages, and some of these absences are surprising. The source of the foreign terms is not specified, although it could be the dictionary section of the bibliography. The bibliography favors German titles (for example, there are no Italian titles in the dictionary section), which may explain the foreign language terms missing from the glossary. The review for the third edition recommended that libraries and individuals purchase the volume. The recommendation for this title still stands, but given the minor changes to the text and updates to the bibliography, owners of the 3d edition should not feel it necessary to acquire the newest edition unless they have an interest in Spanish vocabulary. [sh/rg]

Kunst-und Kulturdenkmale im Landkreis Böblingen [Artistic and Cultural Monuments in the Böblingen District]. Julius Fekete. Stuttgart: Theiss, 2006. 296, [32] p. ill. maps. 18 cm. ISBN 978-3-8062-1969-2; 3-8062-1969-9. EUR 19.90 [06-2-260]

With this work the publishing house of Theiss in Stuttgart continues its series of cultural guidebooks devoted to the towns and regions of Baden-Württemberg. In most cases, the publication of these volumes has been subsidized by local banks and savings-and-loan associations. For the Böblingen volume, Theiss has been fortunate enough to engage the services of Julius Fekete, an official of the state department of monuments whose brief comprises the Böblingen region.

Published by the Böblingen Administrative District, this guidebook contains descriptions of 61 localities, in an alphabetical sequence. Each entry includes information on the locality’s history, its more or less significant buildings and their associated artworks. The guidebook includes numerous black-and-white photographs and 16 full-color photographs. Appendices include a list of local museums and an index of persons, primarily the artists associated with the artworks described in the entries. It is too bad that the volume lacks simple street plans for the towns described, and that it lacks as well an index that would give access to specific topics or types of buildings.

The guidebooks in this series are comparable in quality to those produced by the Dehio-Vereinigung (and in some cases more comprehensive) and are more up to date than the guides produced by Reclam. [sh/crc]

Corpus der mittelalterlichen Holzskulptur und Tafelmalerei in Schleswig-Holstein [Catalog of Medieval Wood Sculpture and Panel Painting in Schleswig-Holstein]. Ed. Uwe Albrecht. Kiel: Ludwig. 25 cm. [06-2-261]

Vol. 1. Hansestadt Lübeck, St.-Annen-Museum [Hansa City Lübeck, St. Ann Museum]. Ed. Uwe Albrecht, Jörg Rosenfeld, and Christiane Saumweber. 2005. 661 p. ill. ISBN 3-933598-75-3: EUR 49

Whereas the great German art catalogs—the envy of other countries that do not own such treasures—may be fated to extinction because of high publishing costs, one welcomes the appearance of specialized catalogs devoted to particular genres or techniques, such as the recent publication of the four-volume Glasmalerei des 19. Jahrhunderts [Glass Painting of the 19th Century] (Leipzig, 2001-04) or the above work, dedicated to wood sculpture and wood panel painting in one northern German state, Schleswig-Holstein. The juxtaposition of sculpture and painting may seem unusual at first glance, but the common factor is the use of wood as the primary material, as well as the context, namely altar art.

The complete work will comprise five volumes, the first two devoted to Lübeck and the rest to other areas of Schleswig-Holstein. The corpus of more than 1,400 art works represented originated in the three centuries from ca. 1200 to 1535(the Reformation is the cut-off point). The first volume richly documents 249 objects in the St.-Annen-Museum (Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte der Hansestadt Lübeck [Museum of Art and Art History of the Hanseatic City Lübeck])and includes detailed descriptions of the works and information about their condition, origin, place in art history, and bibliographies. The photographs are exceptionally good, both in terms of quality and quantity. The famous St. Jürgen group, for example, receives six pages of text and six photographs. The project was originally undertaken by the University of Kiel in 1990. Objects were systematically visited, documented, and photographed especially for this project. [sh/akb]

Deutsche jüdische Architekten vor und nach 1933: das Lexikon; 500 Biographien [German Jewish Architects before and after 1933: The Dictionary; 500 Biographies]. Myra Warhaftig. Berlin: Reimer, 2005. 504 p. ill. 31 cm. ISBN 3-496-01326-5: EUR 49 [06-2-263]

This work is one of several in the genre of biographical reference works about Jewish members of professions and their fates under Nazi rule in Germany (e.g., Jüdische Richter am Kammergericht nach 1933: eine Dokumentation [Jewish Judges on the Superior Court after 1933: A Documentation] (see RREA 10:228).

The source of personal names comes from the Reich Cultural Offices Law of 22 September 1933, which required all artistically active individuals to register in one of six cultural offices (Kulturkammer). Architects were required to register with the Office of Fine Arts, and in the process Jews were denied membership. In 1938 the Reich Ministry of Popular Education and Propaganda required the six Offices to provide lists of Jews excluded from membership, from which this biographical dictionary draws its information. Of the 1,657 names registered with the Office of Fine Arts, 175 were successful in fleeing the country, 84 were deported and murdered, and 18 starved to death or committed suicide. Shortly after the Nazi seizure of power, 150 Jewish architects were able to leave the country and thus did not register with the Office.

The 500 biographies conceal many more names, chiefly because so many architects worked in partnership with others. The articles vary in detail, from just a few lines with basic data from the Cultural Offices Law and often without birth or death years, to long articles made possible by documents from domestic and foreign archives. A number of architectural periodicals and other publications from the early 20th century, as well as secondary works, are evaluated and cited in footnotes. There are numerous illustrations — portraits, personal photographs, and dated photos of preserved and perished buildings.

Only a very few German Jewish architects found their way back to Germany after 1945. Most settled in Palestine (78) England (42), the United States (29), and 13 other countries. Especially important is the chapter “German Jewish Architects and the Modern,” which discusses their influence in three Weimar Republic-era associations: the Werkbund, the Bauhaus, and the Ring—a group of progressive architects founded in 1925. While Myra Wahrhaftig’s work is groundbreaking, there still remain gaps in the documentation of the life and work of German Jewish architects. The Gesellschaft zur Erforschung des Lebens und Wirkens Deutschsprachiger Jüdischer Architekten [Society for Research into the Life and Work of German-Speaking Jewish Architects—http://www.juedische-architekten.de/index.htm] is a leading actor in the preservation of their buildings through guided tours, publications, and exhibitions. [sh/ga]

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Last update: October 2010 [LC]
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