I watched the movie The Woman in Gold, it centred on a portrait painted by the artist Klimt. It was such an amazing story, interwoven with so many different elements. It was about art, the holocaust, justice and so much more. In the movie there was a scene where mention was made of how the work of Klimt would be deemed degenerate art by the Nazi Government. In reality, the Nazis actually appropriated much of his work, erasing the subject matter and renaming the work to suit their own world view. They also destroyed some. Klimt had already passed away, dying in 1918. I personally like to think he would have preferred to have his work hung in the Degenerate or Exhibitions of Shame. The Nazis removed over 20,000 works from state owned museums, according to MoMA. Further to this, in 1937 the Nazis exhibited 740 works selected for exhibition in the show titled Degenerate Art.
If you haven’t watched the movie, I highly recommend it 🙂 The real name of the portrait is, Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer. The same evening I grabbed one of the library books the kids and I got out and began to read. It’s called Tell Us a Story Papa Chagall. Firstly let me say that I had never come across Chagall as an artist. I didn’t even realise the book was about art at all. I read the story and was enchanted by the illustrations and reproductions of his works througout. Inside the back cover of the book I read all about Marc Chagall and his life. So interesting. I learned that the Nazis seized 59 of his paintings and, you guessed it, showed them in the degenerate art exhibition! Talk about connections! I love learning. xo