Griffelkunst under National Socialism (since 2019)

Research project in cooperation with the Griffelkunst-Vereinigung Hamburg e.V. · Seilerstraße 42 · 20359 Hamburg

In the so-called Washington Declaration (1998), numerous nations have joined forces to advance the process of coming to terms with the National Socialist regime in terms of art and cultural policy and thus to make room in particular for questions of restitution of art and cultural assets confiscated as a result of persecution. Since then, a far-reaching, art-political as well as art-historical debate has taken place on the time-political methods of negotiation concerning the art of the first half of the 20th century and in particular Classical Modernism. Exhibition strategies for recognised and “degenerate” art, confiscations in museums, as well as the art trade during National Socialism represent some important positions in the course of art historical work in the contemporary political context of this subject area. This also includes exhibition activities as well as an attempt to reconstruct the remaining possibilities of art associations during the Nazi dictatorship.

Between 1933 and 1945, the Griffelkunst-Vereinigung Hamburg e.V. published 786 prints by various artists. The published works as well as the selection of the artists’ personalities provide information on today’s art historical and political questions about the historical circumstances and contemporary political developments surrounding the art of the Griffel during the National Socialist era in Germany. The starting point are questions about the role of the Griffelkunst-Vereinigung in the context of Nazi art policy, the choice and edition of artistic positions as well as the (art) historical findings that can be identified from them.