TIAMSA Member News: Rembrandt and the NS Regime / Kunstpropaganda und Marktmacht: Rembrandt im Nationalsozialismus; lecture by Dorothee Wimmer (Forum Kunst und Markt / online, in German)

How could Rembrandt, a Dutch painter, etcher, draughtsman, collector and entrepreneur of the 17th century, be declared Germany’s “most national” artist around 1900, the “educator of the German people” and in National Socialism even a “true Aryan and Germanic, […] though he occasionally took his models from the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam?” And why did museum directors dare to object at the “First Conference of German Museum Directors” in 1937 when Rembrandt was supposed to be declared a “degenerate ghetto artist“, only a few months after the confiscation of contemporary artworks in German museum collections? How did Adolf Hitler enter into this? The National Socialist dictator revered Rembrandt as a god-blessed, heroic, “Aryan” model of genius, even though he knew about the “Jewish” contexts of the artist’s works. 

This lecture outlines the ideological appropriation of Rembrandt in National Socialism and focuses on the dynamics between market power and art propaganda.

Dorothee Wimmer is the director of the Forum Kunst und Markt / Centre for Art Market Studies (fokum.org) which she founded in 2012, together with Bénédicte Savoy and Johannes Nathan, at the Technische Universität Berlin and co-publisher of the Journal for Art Market Studies. After studying art history, Romance studies, history, and German philology in Freiburg i. Br., Paris, and Berlin, she earned her PhD on the idea of man in the 1960s in French art, literature, and philosophy at the Freie Universität Berlin. From 2011 to 2017, she chaired the Richard-Schöne-Society für Museumsgeschichte. In 2015, she was awarded a Library Research Grant at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, and in 2017, she was part of the DAAD German-French academic exchange program held in cooperation with the Maison des Sciences de l’ Homme. Her research and publications focus on the tensions and dynamics between art, politics, law and economics

Link: https://youtu.be/OQh9ZQx7Yzs
Forum Kunst und Markt: https://www.fokum.org