Dr. Wendy Salmond
In post-World War II Germany, the city of Berlin was left in ruin after six years of war. A nation ripped apart both physically and at its governmental core was finally freed from Nazi fascism in 1945, and the German people were finally able to reconstruct their culture. Born out of years of strict regulation of the German art world, a new type of art was put on display. Focusing specifically on gallery culture in Berlin in the post-war years, one can see how twelve years of classically influenced Nazi art gave way to a push towards the avant-garde. The people of Berlin no longer cared to see the carefully curated “Aryan” art of the Third Reich; instead, the leaders of Berlin's reemerging gallery culture were driven to feature the art previously deemed "degenerate". The Galerie Gerd Rosen was created with this goal in mind, and featured exhibitions that displayed modern art that was banned during the years of Hitler’s power. Armed with artistic freedom, artists such as Hannah Hoch and Hans Uhlmann showed their works here. My project explores the cultural impact of the Galerie Gerd Rosen’s activities in the period between 1945 and the start of major tensions between the Soviets and Allies in 1950. This was a time of artistic exploration in Berlin, when the city’s galleries replaced the Nazi ideals that had haunted the nation for so many years with exhibitions that promoted freedom of expression in the arts.
Fessler, Brooke, "Freed from Fascism: Berlin's Gallery Culture in the Aftermath of World War II" (2017). Student Research Day Abstracts and Posters. 245.