BE - Fine Arts

Große Deutsche Kunstausstellung München 1937-1944: Verzeichnis der Künstler in zwei Bänden = The Artists in the Great German Art Exhibition Munich 1937 to 1944 = Les artistes de la Grande Exposition de l‘Art Allemand à Munich 1937 à 1944. Robert Thoms. Berlin: Neuhaus. 24 cm. [13-1]
Vol. 1. Maler und Graphiker [Painters and Graphic Artists]. 2010. 191 p. ISBN 978-3-937294-01-8: EUR 39.90.
Vol. 2. Bildhauer [Sculptors]. 2011. 129 p. ISBN 978-3-937294-02-5: EUR 39.90

This is an alphabetical catalog of all the artists whose works featured in the Great German Art Exhibitions held in Nazi Germany between 1937 and 1944. Starting in 1933 Munich was officially designated “The Crucible of The Movement,” and in 1937 Adolf Hitler personally opened the first of these seven exhibitions at Munich’s Haus der Kunst.

[Ed. note: For more works on the topic of Munich in the National Socialist period, see the footnotes in the original German IFB review of this work, contained in the section Die neuesten Rezensionen, found in IFB 20 (http://IFB.bsz-bw.de/index.jsp).]

Basic information is provided on each artist (name, place of residence, year in which works were exhibited, number of works exhibited); some miscellaneous supporting documentation is included in each volume, as well. Volume 1 lists 1,834 painters and graphic artists; volume 2 lists 704 sculptors.

This still useful catalog, a cumulative index to the artists and their works, has already been superseded by an internet database (http://www.gdk-research.de/db/apsisa.dll/ete) created at the Münchner Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte [Munich Central Institute for Art History], which not only provides detailed descriptions of the artworks exhibited (including information on materials, techniques, and purchase histories), but also includes images of the majority of the exhibited works. Conceivably, the print catalog might be used in conjunction with the database: the catalog provides a convenient listing of the exhibiting artists; the database contains a wealth of information on the individual artworks. [sh/cjm]

Caspar David Friedrich: Glaubensbild und Bildkritik [Caspar David Friedrich: Theology and Image Criticism]. Johannes Grave. Zürich: Diaphanes, 2011. 153 p. ill. 19 cm. ISBN 978-3-03734-165-0: EUR 19.90 [12-2]

This collection of essays by the current director of the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte [German Forum for Art History] in Paris might easily be mistaken for a series of case studies on paintings by Caspar David Friedrich. In fact, the volume presents a sustained critical thesis: Friedrich’s works can be interpreted as a “Protestant theory of the image.” With reference to such major paintings as Der Mönch am Meer [The Monk by the Sea], Die Abtei im Eichwald [The Abbey in the Oak Forest], and Die Kathedrale [The Cathedral], the author makes a case for Friedrich’s works as Protestant critiques of aesthetic models and conventions prevailing in his time. As such, this volume is likely to be of interest not only to Friedrich specialists, but also to art theorists more generally. [mdk/cjm]

Illustrated Glossary on Stone Deterioration Patterns: English-German Version = Illustriertes Glossar der Verwitterungsformen von Naturstein. Ed. ICOMOS-ISCS. Petersberg: Imhof; Paris: ICOMOS, 2010. 78 p. ill. 30 cm. (Monuments and sites, 15). ISBN 978-3-86568-667-1 (Imhof): EUR 19.95 [12-1]

Glossaries of technical terms have an unfortunate tendency to expand into bloated, hard-to-use monstrosities. This specimen, on the other hand, strikes a nice balance between practicality and a scientific degree of comprehensiveness. It is the German translation of Anson Cartwright’s Glossaire illustré sur les forms d’altération de la pierre (Paris, 2008), an English-French glossary. The German version was prepared by Rolf Snethlage, Stefan Simon, and Kurt Heinrichs, all experts in the field of stone conservation who were involved in the creation of the original glossary. This ensures that the German terms in the work do in fact correspond to their English equivalents and minimizes any possibility of misunderstandings in the realm of practical application.

The volume is organized in eight sections. An introduction gives an overview of earlier glossaries and explains the work’s structure. The captions of the following six sections are: Basic concepts; Cracks and deformations; Peeling; Types of material loss; Discoloration and deposits; Biological colonization. Definitions are concise and are accompanied by helpful illustrations. Explanations of a particular type of damage include terminology found in other glossaries, which will hopefully contribute to an increased standardization of terms at the international level. The explanations also include information on how to distinguish properly between types of damage that might be confused with each other on the basis of their visible appearance.

The six explanatory sections are followed by an index of important concepts and a bibliography, which unfortunately is quite minimal. Aside from that, this is a well-constructed glossary that can be recommended for any library dealing with the conservation and preservation of physical structures. [mki/crc]

Gärten—wie sie im Buche stehen: gartenkunsthistorische Publikationen des 16. bis 20. Jahrhunderts aus dem Bestand der Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Düsseldorf [Gardens—By the Book: Horticultural Arts Publications from the 16th to 20th Century from the Collections of the Düsseldorf University and State Library]. Ed.Irmgard Siebert, Carola Spies and Stefan Schweizer. Düsseldorf: Universitätsund Landesbibliothek, 2011. 207 p. ill. 30 cm. (Schriften der Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Düsseldorf, 42). ISBN 978-3-942412-00-1: EUR 69 [12-4]

[Ed. note: This book is openly available free of charge at: http://digital.ub.uni-duesseldorf. de/ihd/content/pageview/4488617]

This work accompanies an exhibit curated by the editors in collaboration with the Düsseldorf University and State Library and the Institute of Art History at the Heinrich Heine University in that city. Fifty-one selected works are arranged into six categories to illustrate the historical development of horticultural books. Categories include horticulture and horticultural theory, household literature and agricultural theory, architectural theory, garden engravings and designs, early horticultural historiography, and horticulture in urban planning (including “garden cities”).

The titles in this exhibit come mainly from the Ducal Public Library of the Duchy of Jülich-Berg (founded in 1770), the collections of the Düsseldorf Art Academy, and collections bequeathed to the library by its founding director Lambert Krahe (1712- 1790 (see http://digital.ub.uni-duesseldorf.de/ihd/content/titleinfo/4002047). Concise, readable descriptions of the six categories precede each section. Each numbered entry is furnished with a reproduction of the title page as well as other images and descriptions. The discussion of “garden cities” (catalog numbers 46-50, p. 174-188) is of particular interest, with discourse analysis the chosen critical lens, as exemplified in Aus englischen Gartenstädten [From English Garden Cities] (Berlin,1910): it describes the impressions of a 200-person group of Deutsche Gartenstadt-Gesellschaft [German Garden City Society] (DGG) members who toured England. The richly illustrated book was meant to spread the idea of the garden city in Germany. In 1911, the DGG published Die deutsche Gartenstadtbewegung [The German Garden City Movement], a brochure that described the first successful garden cities in Germany, not mentioning that they did not meet utopian expectations.

Other books on historical gardens include a bibliography of pre-1750 books on German gardens (see RREA 13:140) and a work on the theory and practice of caring for historic gardens (see RREA 15/16: 128). [ev/jmw]

Moskau lesen [Reading Moscow]. Karl Schlögel. New, expanded ed. München: Hanser, 2011. 506 p. ill. maps. 22 cm. ISBN 978-3-446-23655-4: EUR 25.90 [11-4]

Far from being a traditional guidebook, Moskau lesen is an engrossing walk through Russia’s capital at the end of the Soviet era. Originally published in 1984, the new edition has been expanded but not revised, which means that much of the original material is now obsolete. The newly added portion of the book, titled “Notices and Observations (1988-2010)”, contains brief sketches of Moscow’s traumatic transformation into a Western city, after a long period of stagnation.

The historical distance constitutes a large part of the book’s charm. The author amply fulfills his promise to write “a guide to the lost city of Moscow-Pompeii”. The dead past is brought to life again through objects of material culture (such as old phone books) and snapshots of the history of old neighborhoods, many of them now changed almost beyond recognition. Especially engrossing is the chapter about the eerie Palace of Unions building (the former house of the Nobility Assembly, later the site of Stalinist show trials and public displays of the bodies of Lenin and Stalin). Other chapters cover monasteries and cemeteries, the Zamoskvorech’e district (which dates to the 15th century), the Metro station VDNKh (????—Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy), antiques stores and bookstores, and railway stations. Some of this information, such as the way the subway functions, can still be of practical use to visitors.

The book concludes with several registers (old and new names, buildings, photos) and a brief bibliography and index. This work is a valuable and in-depth introduction to the history, architecture, and the general spirit of one of Europe’s most fascinating cities. [ks/as]

Malerei am Starnberger See [Painting at Lake Starnberg]. Volker Buchner. 2 vols. Starnberg: GVo-Verlag, 2011. 191 p. 31 cm. ISBN 978-3-00-035726-8 (Vol. 1): EUR 59.90; ISBN 978-3-00-035791-6 (Vol. 2): EUR 59.90 [12-4]

What brings the 954 artists in this collection together is less an artistic movement or school than a geographical location, with landscape painting or a “portrait-in-frontof- landscape” format dominating. (For a glossary of recognized artists groups and their members, see Künstlergruppen in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz seit 1900 [Artist Groups in Germany, Austria and Switzerland since 1900]—RREA 2:184.) Painters featured in the collection are or were active mainly in the 19th and 20th centuries in the Lake Starnberg region, which is close to the artistic community of Munich. Each entry includes name, dates and places of birth and death, and a short summary of the artist’s training and work, with emphasis on time spent at Lake Starnberg. A majority of the over 1,050 paintings reproduced here (mostly in color) are housed in private collections. In addition to the inhabitants of the communities around the lake (who happen to number among the wealthiest in Germany), libraries with regional collections and all large libraries and should own a copy. [sh/rb]

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Last update: November 2013 [RT]
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