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5 0715 01051209 5 







1 he notion of Utopia exists in every culture, cap- 
turing shared dreams and common goals. Meaning 
paradoxically both "no place" and "a good place," 
utopia also challenges humanity to bring this dream into 
existence. If all the arts offer a realm of fantasy where 
Utopian ideals can be embodied and shared, then architec- 
ture is especially captivating, in part because it provides 
the communal spaces of cultural identity— meeting rooms, 
religious structures, and government buildings— and pre- 
sents the opportunity to conceive and build a new environ- 
ment for humanity. 

This volume was prepared in conjunction with the 
exhibition Expressionist Utopias: Paradise, Metropolis, 
Architectural Fantasy, organized by the Los Angeles 
County Museum of Art. The exhibition explores how the 
optimistic and forward-looking themes of utopia and 
fantasy sustained faith among artists and architects in the 
power of art to shape a better world during the tumultuous 
era surrounding World War I in Germany. When the 
construction of buildings there became nearly impossible, 
paper became the medium of the unbridled imagination. 
At the center of this activity were the "utopian architects" 
of the Working Council for Art and the Crystal Chain, 
whose architectural inventions ranged from ideal agrarian 
communities to futuristic worlds dependent on miraculous 
advances in technology for their creation or discovery. 
The exhibition's curator, Timothy O. Benson, presents the 
diverse manifestations of the utopia metaphor in its pro- 
gression throughout Expressionism from arcadian to man- 
made Utopias using selections from the realms of paradise, 
metropolis, architectural fantasy, anti-utopia, and film 
and stage. 

In his introductory essay in this volume Benson argues 
that the imagery of Utopia in early modernism was trans- 
formed from a nostalgic paradise "discovered" in nature 
to a condition that could be "constructed" in culture. 
Reinhold Heller examines the Dresden Brucke artists' 
integration of art and life in both nature and the studio 
using paradisiacal imagery of the nude. David Frisby shows 
how Expressionist art became a responsive embodiment 
of the disunified experience of the metropolis, leading to 
a utopian vision of the future imbedded in the fragmentary 
present. Iain Boyd Whyte sees the Romantic heritage 
of the sublime expanding from its association with nature 
to become identified with the processes and products of 

continued on..,h,qck flap 

Cxprcssionist Utop 





expressionist Utopias 


Timothy O. Benson 

With contributions by 
David Frisby 

Reinhold Heller 
Anton Kaes 

Iain Boyd Whyte 


Hannah Hoch 

Raum fiir cin Kabarett, 


(Room for a cabaret) 

Cat. no. 01 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art 
October 21, 1993-January 2, 1994 

Published by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90036. 

Distributed by University of Washington Press, P.O. Box 50096, 
Seattle, Washington 98145-5096. 

Copyright © 1993 by Museum Associates, Los Angeles County 
Museum of Art. All rights reserved. No part of the contents of 
this book may be reproduced without the written permission of 
the publisher. 

This book was published in conjunction with the exhibition 
Expressionist Utopias: Paradise, Metropolis, Architectural Fantasy, 
which was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and 
made possible by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, 
the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Federal Republic 
of Germany, the Harry and Yvonne Lenart Charitable Foundation, 
and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

Edited by Karen Jacobson 

Designed by Robin Weiss 

Text composed in Electra and Bank Gothic by On Line Typography, 

San Francisco 

Display type composed in Koch Antiqua on a Macintosh Ilex 

Printed byTypecraft, Inc., Pasadena, California 


Carl Krayl 

Kosmischer Ban, c. 1919-20 

(Cosmic building) 

Cat. no. 125 



Oskar Schlemmer 

Utopia: Dokumente der 

Wirklichkeit, 1921 

(Utopia: Documents of reality) 

Cat. no. 190 

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data 

Benson, Timothy O., 1950- 

Expressionist Utopias : paradise, metropolis, architectural fantasy / 
Timothy O. Benson ; with contributions by David Frisby . . . [et al.]. 
p. cm. 

Published in conjunction with an exhibition held at the Los 
Angeles County Museum of Art Oct. 21 1993-Jan. 2, 1994. 

Includes bibliographical references and index. 

ISBN 0-295-97324-2 (hardbound : University of Washington 

1. Expressionism (Art) — Germany — Exhibitions. 2. Art, 
German — Exhibitions. 3. Art, Modern — 20th century — Germany — 
Exhibitions. I. Frisby, David. II. Los Angeles County Museum of 
Art. III. Title. 
N6868.5.E9B46 1993 

709'-43'o7479493 — dc20 







6 Foreword 
8 Introduction 

1 2 Fantasy and Functionality: The Fate of Utopia 
Timothy O. Benson 

56 Plates: Paradise 

62 Bridge to Utopia: The Briicke as Utopian Experiment 
Reinhold Heller 

84 Plates: Metropolis 

88 Social Theory, the Metropolis, and Expressionism 
David Frisby 

1 12 Plates: Architectural Fantasy 

118 The Expressionist Sublime 
Jain Boyd Whyte 

138 Plates: Film and Stage 

146 Metropolis: City, Cinema, Modernity 
Anton Kaes 

166 Plates: Anti-Utopia 

1 7 1 Catalogue of the Exhibition 

261 Appendix: Essays, Articles, Manifestos, 
Letters, and Other Writings 

307 Selected Bibliography 

315 Acknowledgments 

318 Lenders to the Exhibition 

319 Photo Credits 

320 Index 



expressionist Utopias: Paradise, Metropolis, Architectural Fantasy presents an 
often overlooked aspect of German Expressionist art. In the first decades of 
this century Expressionist artists and architects produced images of a new- 
architecture and of planned cities where harmonious and just social conditions 
prevailed. They created these visionary prints, drawings, and watercolors in 
the recognition that their efforts for the betterment of the world must begin with changes 
within themselves, their art, and existing social institutions. However unrealizable these 
projects may have been, they suggested a more humane vision of what might be accom- 
plished, from which we can still draw inspiration as we approach the next millennium. 

This exhibition continues the important commitment to the German cultural heritage 
made by the museum over the past decade. In 1987 the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for 
German Expressionist Studies was opened, and the two-volume scholarly catalogue Ger- 
man Expressionist Prints and Drawings: The Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German 
Expressionist Studies was published. The museum has examined various aspects of 
Expressionism in the exhibitions German Expressionist Sculpture, German Expressionism 
1Q15-1Q25: The Second Generation, The Apocalyptic Landscapes ofLudwig Meidner, 
and "Degenerate Art": The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany. 

Organized by Timothy Benson, associate curator of the Rifkind Study Center, the 
present exhibition benefited immensely from the center's holdings and from the resource 
collections and visiting scholars program of the Getty Center for the History of Art and 
the Humanities. Several of the Getty scholars have been involved in this project since its 
inception, among them Anton Kaes and Iain Boyd Whyte, who contributed essays to 
this volume. 

Nor would this exhibition— with its catalogue, educational programs, and other related 
events— have been possible without the generous support of the National Endowment for 
the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support was received 
from the Federal Republic of Germany, and we are grateful to Dr. Cornell Metternich, 
consul general; Dr. Stefan Schliiter, deputy consul; and his predecessor, Tius Fischer, for 
their efforts in securing this funding. We are also grateful to the Harry and Yvonne Lenart 
Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their support. Finally 
we are especially indebted to the many lenders of often fragile materials who are listed on 
page 318; without their generosity this project would scarcely have been possible. 



Los Angeles County Museum of Art 

Hermann Finsterlin 
Geomctrische Durch- 
dringungen, 1922-23 
(Geometric penetrations) 
Cat. no. 33 



onjoiningthe words Expressionist and utopia produces a conundrum, as 
I neither term easily lends itself to definition. While Utopia is a vital ingre- 
dient of nearly all social ideologies— be they political, religious, ethical, or 
aesthetic — it is not so much a fixed ideal as a mediation between the ideal 
| and the real, a means of propelling thought forward, of helping it tran- 
scend what already is. As an embodiment or vision of what might be, utopia defines itself 
through opposition to its historical context, thereby gaining a strong social resonance. 
Like human aspiration or artistic creativity, it depends for its survival on being protean, 
on defiantly eluding the containment of fixed or exhaustive definitions. 

While Expressionism is also difficult to define, most historians agree that it was less an 
artistic or literary style than a socially dynamic cultural movement driven by the forward- 
looking ideology of modernism. Running its course in Germany between roughly 1905 
and 1920, with echoes lingering into the 1920s, Expressionism offers a historical frame 
through which we may follow the changing manifestations of utopia within a modernist 
movement. Thus, while Expressionist Utopias: Paradise, Metropolis, Architectural Fan- 
tasy attempts to trace these embodiments of an alternative, potential reality, it also seeks 
to define the broader role of the metaphor of utopia within the ideology of modernism. 

During the tumultuous period between the turn of the century and the dawn of the 
Weimar era, Germany endured extreme social disjunction brought on by galloping indus- 
trialization, the horrific world war that such industrialization made possible, and the social 
and economic instability that followed. The architectural fantasies at the center of this 
exhibition represent a response to these conditions, expressing the faith among artists and 
architects in the power of aesthetic activity to shape a better world. The Utopian architects 
of the Glaserne Kette (Crystal chain), a group assembled by Bruno Taut in 1919, attempted 
to restore the image of a humanity at home in the cosmos through architectural invention. 
With sources ranging from the religious tradition of the Apocalypse to the secular hymns 
of a new pantheism, their fantasies also embodied an elemental search for universal rhythms 
and structural principles in images such as idealized agrarian communities and futuristic 
worlds dependent on miraculous advances in technology for their creation or discovery. 

These visionary works, which had reverberations in architecture throughout the 
Weimar era, cannot be understood without considering prewar Expressionist antecedents, 
especially the portrayals of a natural paradise by the artists of the Dresden Briicke (Bridge) 
and the Munich Blaue Reiter (Blue rider). Expressionist architectural fantasies also 
responded to the urban phase of early Expressionism, centered in Berlin just prior to 
World War I. The man-made metropolis was ambivalently viewed as both a "second 
nature" and an antipode to the natural paradise. While the architects' fantasies were often 
unbuildable, they succeeded in transforming the earlier Expressionists' expectations of 

Wenzel Hablik 
Untitled, 1909 
Cat. no. 55 


Wassily Kandinsky 
Postkarte fiir die Bauhaus- 
Ausstcllung, 1923 
(Postcard for the Bauhaus 
Cat. no. 104 

a rediscovered natural paradise into the promise of a constructed cultural Utopia, thus 
preparing the way for the pragmatism that entered art and architecture in the rgaos. 

As social stability returned with the dawn of the Weimar era, an ironic anti-utopian 
attitude took hold among the members of the Glaserne Kette and their avant-garde associ- 
ates (including some of the Berlin Dadaists). In the "machine aesthetic" that grew out of 
this reaction, cultural criticism was conjoined with a functionalism that supplanted the 
more rhapsodic aspects of the Utopians' earlier musings. This turn toward pragmatism and 
incipient Constructivism was also reflected in the Bauhaus aesthetic and related Gesamt- 
kunstwerk (total work of art) stage productions, yet nostalgic and exotic variations of Uto- 
pia continued to flourish in the mass medium of film. 

The exhibition is grouped into five interrelated sections representative of the roughly 
chronological progression from arcadian to man-made Utopias: Paradise, Metropolis, 
Architectural Fantasy, Anti-Utopia, and Film and Stage. Correspondingly in the catalogue 
my introductory essay on the Utopia metaphor as an essential, if protean, component of 
modernist ideology is followed by Reinhold Heller's examination of how the Briicke artists 
sought to integrate art and life, using paradise imagery of the nude in both nature and the 
studio to help create an alternative community. Abhorring Enlightenment rationalism 
and empiricism, the Expressionists evoked Romantic pantheism in their pursuit of the 


sublime. Despite the decline of the landscape genre and the rejection of traditional reli- 
gious imagery, art became the principal arena for the revelatory enactment of Utopian 
visions. Through art, as David Frisby shows, Expressionist Utopias could be situated even 
in the contradictory context of the metropolis, that phenomenon of industrialization 
that enticed and repelled a generation attuning itself to the conditions of modernity. 
Drawing parallels between Expressionist depictions of the metropolis and the sociological 
writings of Ferdinand Tonnies, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, and others, Frisby shows how 
art could embody a Utopian vision of the future imbedded in the fragmentary present. 

Similarly, in his interrogation and rejection of the received view of Expressionist 
architecture as an isolated and irrational interlude in the forward march of modern func- 
tionalism, Iain Boyd Whyte shows how the sublime, associated with nature during the 
Romantic period, became linked with the processes and products of industrialization, 
including the great cities it made possible. In its confrontation with the unportrayable, the 
sublime was joined with the concept of Utopia, both in grand architectural schemes and 
in morally conceived alternative communities. The fate of Utopia, as Anton Kaes suggests 
in his discussion of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, was balanced precariously between the pro- 
gressive and dangerously repressive tendencies of modernism. Drawing on ideas developed 
by the Utopian architects during the 1910s, Metropolis evoked the spectacle of the ration- 
alized secular world of high capitalism in its complex relationship with religion, irrationality, 
and spirituality, remnants of an earlier era. Kaes examines the film's controversial recon- 
ciliation of these two worlds in terms of the contradictory nature of modernity. 

As much as any modernist movement, Expressionism was held together by an elastic 
web of social exchange in which issues were discussed in letters, articles, manifestos, and 
books. The Appendix of this volume presents an overview of this exchange, including a 
sampling of the Glaserne Kette's Utopian correspondence. To aid the reader in understand- 
ing this interaction and the careers of the participants, the Catalogue of the Exhibition 
includes biographies of the artists and architects whose work is represented. 

Despite their diversity, the many manifestations of the Expressionist revival of Utopia 
examined in this exhibition responded to the same dilemma: Could a transcendent artistic 
experience lead to an actual Utopia, or was it merely an escape from social constraints 
and economic realities that would first have to be resolved before a Utopia could even be 
imagined? Ernst Bloch came to the conclusion that art derives its essential validity from 
its ability both to confront reality critically and to propose an alternative vision. Through 
this utopian function of affirmation and negation, art can inform humanity about the 
future in terms entirely of the present, offering a glimpse of destiny rooted in the imme- 
diacy of aesthetic experience. 


Associate Curator 

Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies 


fantasy and Functionality: 
1 he Tate o\ Utopia 














his passage from architect Bruno Taut's book Die Auflosung der Stddte (The 
dissolution of the cities, 1920; see fig. 1) appears amid crystalline and spiral 
forms like an oracle of creation. An illustrated prophecy of a peaceful human- 
ity living in harmony with nature, Die Auflosung der Stddte embodies the 
urgent hopes of a generation of German artists, architects, and literati who, 
having survived a catastrophic decade of war and revolution, now seemed on the threshold 
of a prosperous reconstruction promised by the Weimar era. In Germany— as in Russia, 
where Wassily Kandinsky in 1920 called for "the building of an international house of 
art," to be called "The Great Utopia"-— architecture had become a captivating metaphor 
for a socialist political and cultural transformation. 

In Berlin during the political turmoil of early 1919, Taut and architect Walter Gropius 
organized an exhibition of "unknown architects" in order to draw creative minds into 
the rebuilding effort. In the exhibition pamphlet Taut declared: "We call upon all those 
who believe in the future. All strong longing for the future is architecture in the making. 
One day there will be a world-view, and then there will also be its sign, its crystal — 
architecture. " 3 The exhibition took place under the auspices of the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst 
(Working council for art), an organization of artists, writers, and architects in Berlin 
that— like the Novembergruppe (November group), the Rat geistiger Arbeiter (Council of 
intellectual workers), and similar groups — modeled itself on the revolutionary soldiers' 
and sailors' Soviets that sprang up during the fall of Kaiser Wilhelm lis regime in Novem- 
ber 1918. Full of grand ambitions, the group advocated the abolition of the academies and 
destruction of old monuments in favor of the nationalization of the theaters, the unifica- 
tion of the arts, and the building of a new community based on collaboration between the 
intelligentsia and the proletariat (see Appendix). Just as the building of cathedrals provided 
a social and economic locus during the Middle Ages, architecture would help restore 
social order in the modern era. As Gropius exhorted, "Let us together will, think out, cre- 
ate the new idea of architecture. . . the creative conception of the cathedral of the future." 4 

Gropius's and Taut's heady idealism became increasingly untenable, however, in the 
face of the hardships imposed on a defeated Germany by the June 1919 Treaty of Versailles. 
Following the brutal suppression of the left-wing Spartacists by the coalition socialist gov- 
ernment earlier that year, members of the avant-garde who had once viewed themselves 
as seers leading the way to the future became disillusioned. 5 Expressionism seemed 
moribund even to some of its staunchest past supporters. 6 

By 1920 this increasingly critical self-appraisal within the avant-garde was apparent 
in the ironic comment Taut added to the title page of Die Auflosung der Stddte: "Nur eine 
Utopie und eine kleine Unterhaltung" (only a Utopia and a little diversion). In German, 
as in English, utopia has negative as well as positive connotations, often associated with 

K^_ **~ J)A^ CLUCK «U*.*=->. ?--!.--*. 

Wir - alia . W"-'" =5 »rUt>en - n«J 

3au e ni 

3jt ►,;, 

Jit »>,U •> 

r«Ken^ au.6 devrv 7>c$ 

Bruno Taut 

Kann man das Glilck zeicknen? 


(Can one draw happiness?) 

Illustration from Die 

Auflosung der Stadte, p. 30 

See cat. no. 234 


impracticality, an "idea without real foundations," a "disappointment," or merely a 
"dream of the future." 7 Originating in 1516 in Sir Thomas Mores dialogue on the strengths 
and weaknesses of a perfect society, the term Utopia also encompasses anti-utopia and 
thus can serve as an invigorating ideological battleground and a resilient, flexible meta- 
phor for humanity's hopes for social, artistic, and spiritual renewal. 8 More contrived the 
name of the imaginary island of his perfect state with deliberate ambiguity and humor: the 
Greek ou, meaning "not," and topos, meaning "a place," also suggests eutopia, "a good 
place."'' Here lay the challenge of making perfection real. Yet what Utopia (and its inesca- 
pable antipode, anti-utopia) means is inseparable from how and when it means, that is, 
from the way a given culture finds an image of its desired destiny. 

Following antecedents ranging from Plato and the Old Testament prophets to Saint 
Augustine and Girolamo Savonarola, More introduced an ironic genre that seemed to 
anticipate the chorus of mocking anti-utopian parodies that swiftly succeeded it. With the 
French Revolution this genre was extended in social and political thought to embrace a 
concept of historical development. Now displaced into the future, Utopia was linked to the 
present by governing principles: for the Utopian socialists Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, 
and Etienne Cabet, an inherently good code de la nature; for Robert Owen, a rationalist 
social model based on moral conduct; for Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, a Hegelian 
pattern of dialectical development. Throughout its subsequent evolution— the anarchists 
Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, and Max Stirner being most significant for the Ger- 
man Expressionists— Utopia could not avoid contact with concrete reality. 

If the social circumstances in which Taut and his colleagues developed their Utopian 
visions were unprecedented, their quest for an authentic experience "in the true present," 
from which they might project a Utopian future, was deeply rooted in Expressionist ideol- 
ogy. Thus they were indebted less to earlier architecture than to the turn-of-the-century 
enthusiasm in Germany for a return to nature and a cultivation of pure, subjective experi- 
ence. Eschewing the rationalism and empiricism that they associated with industrializa- 
tion, artists around 1900 hoped to find in nature signatures or traces of forces that might 
reshape the world for the betterment of humanity. Consequently they spoke more of Ceist 
(spirit), Fiihlen (feeling), and Wollen (will) — literary critic Kurt Pinthus's trinity— than of 
the Utopia they might produce. 10 While sharing the reform spirit of the populist Wander- 
vogel (founded in 1901) and Jugendbewegung (Youth movement, founded in 1906) 
groups, the avant-garde was more interested in the German mystical tradition of Meister 
Eckhart (1260/62-1327?) and Jakob Bohme (1575-1624), as well as in non-Western and 
esoteric religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, theosophy, and Rosicrucianism. 
Espousing at the same time anarchist political views, they formed groups such as Gustav 
Landauer's Neue Gemeinschaft (New society, founded in 1900) and Sozialistischer Bund 
(Socialist group, founded in 1908), and Erich Muhsam's Gruppe Anarchist (Anarchist 
group, founded with Landauer in 1908). " 

Although they adopted the revolutionary rhetoric of Bakunin, Kropotkin, Stirner, and 
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, most artists and intellectuals did not share the practical concerns 
of contemporary political movements and the materialist Marxian tenets that the German 
Socialists, for example, had endorsed with their adoption of the Erfurt program in 1891. 
Preferring artistic inspiration and philosophical absolutes, German artists and writers 
could overcome their social alienation and political despair only through dreams of a uni- 
fied ethical, political, and aesthetic revolution. A neo-Kantian revival in German aca- 
demic circles at the turn of the century offered a doctrine of sovereign power vested in the 



Heinrich Vogeler 

Die sieben Schalcn des Zorns 

(Offenbarung Johannis) , 1918 

(The Seven Bowls of Wrath 

[Revelation to John]) 

Cat. no. 217 

imagination (Einbildungskraft), which not only could shape perception and conscious- 
ness but also was believed capable of changing the world. 12 

The artists and writers who were published in the leading Expressionist journals Der 
Sturm (The storm), Die Aktion (Action), and Die weissen Blatter (The white papers) 
shared this missionary belief in the power of the creative will. A favorite Utopian metaphor 
was der neue Mensch (the new man) in whom Geist— meaning inspired intellect or spirit, 
a variant of neo-Kantian "critical consciousness"— reaches its purest form. 13 Masculine- 
gendered in German thought, Geist, embodied in the new man, manifested the highest 
potential for human creativity in defiance of the "outer" world of materialist forces and 
inert matter (given, by contrast, the feminine gender). ' 4 

In tandem with the new man, the Expressionists desired an art of "the new form," in 
which the creative will might function analogously and, as the philosopher Ernst Bloch 
speculated in Die weissen Blatter, furnish preutopian suggestions. 1? Kurt Hiller insisted 
that "just copying down the existing" was "counterrevolutionary," while a subjective art 
might embody the revolutionary in its very confrontation with reality. As Theodor Adorno 
later said of Utopia, "By concretizing itself as something false, it always points at the same 
time to what should be"; that is, "the true thing defines itself via the false thing."' 6 


The early Expressionists' quest for a Utopian future began in a nostalgic return to the past, 
as much an attempt to find a lost paradise as to build a new world. They shared the ideals 
expressed in a motto of the Wandervogel — " the beautiful earth and human becoming are 
for the Wandervogel everything" 1 "— while following Friedrich Nietzsche's dictum: "The 
domestication (the culture) of man does not go deep — where it does it at once becomes 
degeneration. . . . The savage. . . is a return to nature — and in a certain sense his recovery, 

B E N 5 O N 

Erich Heckel 
Badende amTeich, 1912 
(Bathers at the pond) 
Cat. no. 82 


Oskar Kokoschka 

Das Madchen Li and ich, 


(The girl Li and I) 

Cat. no. 121 

his cure from culture."' 8 Their escape from the rigidity of Wilhelmine culture assumed 
what Oskar Pfister, writing in 1920, called a "stage of transition," during which "the road 
to progress is possible only through the detour of such a regression." 19 This notion of an 
Vbergang (going over) by means of an Untergang (going under) is explicit in the passage 
from Nietzsche's Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus spoke Zarathustra, 1883), supposedly 
invoked by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff as the source for the name of the group he formed in 
1905 with Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, his fellow architecture 
students at the technical college in Dresden: "What is great in man is that he is a bridge 
and not a goal: what can be loved in man is that he is a going-over and a going-under." 20 

The Briicke's manifesto emphasized freedom from the cultural establishment and cele- 
brated a communal association around the natural form-giving force, or "will," which 
would lead the way to the future (see Appendix). These ideas were embodied in the group's 
idealized portrayals of nude figures in nature in a style derived from Postimpressionism 
and devoid of the trappings of classical mythology and the historicism of the academic 
tradition. Carrying on the age-old tradition equating beauty, nudity, and truth, Heckel's 
Badende am Teich (Bathers at the pond, 1912; fig. 3) transforms the rustic environs of the 
Moritzburg Ponds, near Dresden, into a primordial, timeless setting in which progress is 
abstracted as pure vital force. The celebration of the nude and youth as emblems of natu- 
ral regeneration was common in Jugendstil periodicals (including Pan, Jugend [Youth], 
and D/e Schonheit [Beauty]) and was put into practice by adherents of Freikorperkultur 
(nudism) and Bodenreform (land reform) as a radical, albeit often politically conservative, 
escape from modern civilization into the purity of nature. 21 Kirchner's presentation of 
sexually mixed groups of nudes in his Mit Schilf werfende Badende (Bathers tossing reeds, 
1910; fig. 79), however, defied the gender segregation practiced in most nudist colonies, 
while his eroticism offended bourgeois morality.- 2 He extolled the nude as nothing less 
than "the foundation of all pictorial art," and the Briicke artists adopted the nude as a 
symbol, situating themselves socially and historically as a spiritual and Utopian alternative. z3 

Sexuality was regarded as a subversive force throughout the movement. The Dionysian 



view of sexual love as a means of transcendence was espoused in Stanislaw Przybyszewski's 
writings in Der Sturm and played a role in the festivities of Stefan George's circle in 
Munich, as may be reflected in Kandinsky s Garden of Love series (see fig. 70). 24 By con- 
trast Viennese artist Oskar Kokoschka savored longing in the idyllic paradise of Das 
Mddchen Li und ich (The girl Li and I, 1906-8; fig. 4) in his book Die trdumenden 
Knaben (The dreaming boys). 

The Expressionists' natural paradise was conceived as a source of spiritual renewal pro- 
viding clues to a spontaneous artistic formal language, Harking back to German Roman- 
ticism, the idea that pure form alone could transcend imitation and reveal the forces 
operating behind nature was voiced in the Jugendstil periodicals." 5 Friedrich von Schiller's 

ich gteife in den see und 
taucne in dcinen haaren 
wie ein versonnener bin 
ich in dcrlicbcallcs wesens 
und wicder ficl ich nicder 
und ttaumte 

zuvielhitze ubcrkam mich 
in der nacht da in den wal- 
dern die paarende schlangc 
ihre haut strcicht unicr dem 
heiBen stem und der wasscr- 
hirsch reibt sein gehorn 
an den zimmtstauden als 
ich den moschus des tieres 
roch in alien niedrigen 

es ist fremd um mich jt- 
mand sollte antwortcn/ 
allcs lauft nach scinen a* 
gencn flhrten/ und die 
singenden mucken ubeo 
zittern die schreic/ 
werdenkt grinsende gotter- 
gesichterund fragt den sing- 
sang der zauberer und alt- 
manner/ wenn sie die boot- 
fahrer beglciten wclchc 
frauen holen/ 
und ich war ein kriechend 
ding/ als ich die tiere suchte 
und mich iu ihnen hielt' 
klcincr/ was wolltest du 
hinter den alien als du die 
gottzaubercr aufsuchtcst 
und ich war ein taumelnder' 
als ich mein fleisch et* 

und ein allestiebcnder als 
ich mit einem madchen 

dieses buch wurde geschrie- 
ben und gezeichnet von 
Oskar Kokoschka verlegt 
von der wiener werkstatte/ 
gcdruckt in den offizinen 
Bergcr und Cbwala 1908 

notion of the landscape as a vehicle for indefinite sensations evoked through formal com- 
position, for example, was conveyed in Pan, where a new art of "harmonic melody" was 
described in which "lines and colors" could be "metaphysically more effective" than rep- 
resentation. z6 As the Expressionist apologist Paul Fechter wrote in 1914: "Appearance is 
subordinate to the will to form [Ausdruckswillen] . . . . Nature yields its hitherto governing 
role to the human soul, to the artist." 27 Behind the nostalgic portrayal of paradise lay the 
pursuit of genesis and a fascination with origination, especially in the unconscious. Her- 
mann Obrist, whose school Kirchner attended in 1903-4, devoted his book of pedagogical 
essays on art and architecture, Neue Moglichkeiten in der bildenden Kunst (New possibil- 
ities in the visual arts, 1903), to the proposition that "we must again become what earlier 
humans were: creative," recommending that we do "everything unconscious and natural." 28 

The Briicke artists cultivated the unconscious in the "spontaneous" technomorphic 
processes of making woodcuts where "natural" qualities might be found. 2Q In Heckel's 

a e n b a n 


Erich Heckel 

Kniende am Stein, 1913 

(Woman kneeling near a rock) 

Cat. no. 84 


Franz Marc 

Zaubriger Moment: Blatt 2 1 

des "Skizzenbuchs aus dem 

Felde," 1915 

(Magical moment: Page 21 

from "Sketchbook from the 


Cat. no. 132 


Johannes Molzahn 
Sternendrohnen, 1919 
(Roar of the stars) 
Cat. no. 157 

Kniende am Stem (Woman kneeling near a rock, 1913; fig. 5) and Badende am Teich, for 
example, accidental marks resulting from the physical process of gouging and splintering 
the wood surface are mingled with autographic tracings and descriptive signs. Seeking 
contact with the formative forces of nature, the Expressionists participated in what the 
sociologist and cultural critic Georg Simmel envisioned as a struggle between "unformed 
life" and "cultural forms"— for him the essential crisis of modern culture. 30 As it gradually 
departed from natural appearances, the Expressionist paradise became more emphatically 
embodied in cultural signs representing change. 

A program for the symbolic representation of a coming spiritual age was launched by the 
Munich Blaue Reiter (Blue rider) group, founded by Kandinsky and Franz Marc in 191 1. 
According to Marc, their goal was "to create out of their work symbols for their own time, 
symbols that belong on the altars of a future spiritual religion, symbols behind which the 
technical heritage cannot be seen." The means to the Utopian "Great Spiritual Epoch" 
were spelled out by Kandinsky in his essay "Uber die Formfrage" (On the problem of 
form) as "two roads" through art to the future: "The Great Abstraction" and "The Great 
Realism." Like Alexej von Jawlensky, Marianne von Werefkin, and others in his circle, 
Kandinsky was deeply interested in the Symbolists (especially Arnold Bocklin and Maurice 
Maeterlinck) and in Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy. 5I 

Kandinsky articulated a theory of abstract art as a universal language of spiritual revela- 
tion in Uber das Geistige in der Kunst (Concerning the spiritual in art, 1912), an essential 
chapter of which won the admiration of Bruno Taut when it appeared in Der Sturm. 3: 
Kandinsky s Parodies (Paradise, 1911-12; fig. 70) shows how his progression toward 
abstraction began in a "method" of veiling imagery derived from Maeterlinck's poetry, so 



that "the object is not itself seen" but "exercises a direct impression on the soul." 35 As is 
also evident in the works of Marc and Johannes Molzahn (see figs. 6, 7), Kandinsky was 
moving toward the creation within his art of a "spiritual atmosphere" for humanity 's 
"tragic collision between matter and spirit," where "displacement" and "instability" would 
offer a "precognition of the path of Truth." 54 Drawn to the gloom of Maeterlinck's poetry 
and the apocalyptic disintegration in Blaue Reiter colleague Alfred Kubin's illustrated anti- 
utopian novel Die andere Seite (The other side, 1909), he created an apocalyptic yet 
immaterial atmosphere in which his progressively abstracted grammar of form and color 
seems to generate a space continuous in all directions, denying the subject-object antith- 
esis. 35 He believed that historical progress was governed by "the operation of law," wherein 
destiny is determined by "the abstract spirit." 56 Moreover, "like the work of nature, the 
work of art is subordinated to the same law, that of construction," which reaches an 
advanced stage in the portfolio Kleine Welten (Small worlds, 1922; see fig. 8) and in 
Frohlicher Aufstieg (Joyful ascension, 1923; fig. 9). 57 

Motivated by "the mystical inner construction, which is the great problem of our gen- 
eration," 38 Marc sought to present an image continually in the process of becoming in his 
pantheistic GeburfderPferde (The birth of horses, 1913; fig. 10). For Marc the Naturbild 
(image of nature) had to be destroyed in order "to show the powerful laws that are at work 
behind the beautiful appearances." While believing that "nature is everywhere, in us and 
outside us," he also saw art as autonomous, calling it "the most audacious removal from 
nature and 'naturalness,' the bridge into the realm of the spirit" and "something that is not 
entirely nature." 59 As Kandinsky said of one of Marc's paintings, "The natural impossibility 
of a red horse demands a correspondingly unnatural milieu in which this horse is placed." 40 

i E N S D N 

Paul Klee was in Munich in the autumn of 191 1 and became closely associated with the 
newly formed Blaue Reiter. He was influenced by Kandinsky's prophetic proto-Constructivist 
"Malerei als reine Kunst" (Painting as pure art) throughout the decade, as can be seen in 
his "Creative Credo" (1920), in which he contends that "art is an analogy of creation." 41 
Klee saw himself continuing the Romantic tradition of Caspar David Friedrich, Philipp 
Otto Runge, and the physician, philosopher, and landscape painter Carl Gustav Caruso- 
Influenced by Goethe's scientific endeavors, Cams saw nature as a text written by God 
to be "translated" by art and science. 4 ' Klee's Zahlenbaumlandschaft (Number-tree land- 
scape, 1919; fig. 11) embodies this view of the world as a hieroglyph and art as the lost 
medieval theoria, the totality of truth, beauty, and spirit. For Klee, "art does not repro- 
duce what is visible, instead, it makes visible." 44 

Wassily Kandinsky 
Kleme Welten X, 1922 
(Small worlds X) 
Cat. no. 102 


Wassily Kandinsky 
Frohlicher Aufstieg, 1923 
(Joyful ascension) 
Cat. no. 103 

The Expressionists had taken the path that their Romantic predecessors had established 
in landscape, which led inevitably toward abstraction. The Romantics yearned for what 
Friedrich Schlegel called an "infinite unity" with the cosmos, wherein no duality would 
remain; mind and matter would be one. But if, as Novalis wrote, "all that is visible rests on 
an invisible foundation," then the landscape exists, as Friedrich Schelling said, only "in 
the eye of the beholder." Attaining Goethe's "silent feeling of the sublime [Erhaben] . . . 
solitude, absence, seclusion" meant the pursuit of a vanishing canvas, or what one scholar 
has called an "art without a subject." 45 

Although Friedrich created an idealized nature of the sort admired by Rainer Maria 
Rilke, he usually retained a mediating human presence. 46 Heckel and Schmidt- Rottluff, 
by contrast, allowed the self to be absorbed in the form-giving forces of nature in the 
ambiguous forms of Sonnenaufgang (Sunrise, 1914; fig. 12) and Bucht im Mondschein 
(Bay in moonlight, i9r_i; fig. 13). As critic Paul Westheim affirmed, landscape was no 
longer relevant to modern art in the same way that it had been to realism and Impression- 
ism. The new landscape "possibly says nothing about how a piece of the world appears; 


Franz Marc 

Geburt der Pferde, 1013 
(The birth of horses) 
Cat. no. 131 


Paul Klee 

Zahlenbaumlandschaft, ioig 
(Number-tree landscape) 
Cat. no. 1 16 

i? '>"■ <k 

■Nil 1 '■;■ \Ul. 



'4 ' 

-i /,.!' 


! 1? fJfSm/\ 

■ ■ 

B E N S O N 





3 I G CITY Wh 



but [speaks] through something entirely immediate: Through its functional values it possi- 
bly speaks of angst and terror, of want and craving, of joy and goodness, of sublimity and 
eternity. If Munch, Nolde, Kirchner, Heckel, Meidner, and many others still paint land- 
scapes, then it has to do most essentially with these." 47 Westheim's emphasis on emotions 
driven by the desire for unity and totality is very much like Simmel's explanation of 
"mood" [Stimmung] as experienced in the immediacy of seeing and feeling, correspond- 
ing with the "inner quality" of nature. For Simmel everything called culture consists 
of a series of self-sufficient images created, or "made," in the dynamic forming process of 
life and the unifying force of the soul [See/e]. 48 

Perhaps more than any of the other Expressionists' landscapes, Heckel's show how all 
but the last vestiges of referentiality could vanish into subjectively formed images in 
an autonomous art. His Sonnenaufgang, with its disk set against calm sky and water, has 
been seen as imparting a mood of hope. 4q In his Kniende am Stein signs of the physical 
process of cutting the block blend into the crystalline evocation of the sky and chalk cliffs 
of the Baltic coastline near Osterholz. The huge rock, a feature at which Heckel marveled, 
is reminiscent of Friedrich's wilderness altars. 

Representation is virtually engulfed by autonomous organic forms that seem to estab- 
lish their own compositional rules in Schmidt-Rottluff 's Bucht in Mondschein. By aban- 
doning halftones in favor of forceful contrasts, rejecting illusionist perspective, and 
creating absolute, nonobjective forms, he advanced the Expressionist landscape toward its 
final departure from its Romantic antecedents. The irregular forms of the shoreline are 
constructed through regularized procedures and a limited vocabulary of similar shapes, 
all approximating rather than describing a visual reality. According to Carl Einstein, the 
true experience of art is attained by creating an "equation" (Gleichung) or "equivalent" 
(Aquivalent). Schmidt-Rottluff s forms allow mass to be absorbed into flatter equivalents 
as they take on autonomous qualities, becoming increasingly arbitrary and following the 
organic, constructive principles of composition, thus affirming Einstein's claim that 
perception is not passive, but the "creation of concrete organisms." 50 


During the urban phase of Expressionism, beginning in Berlin during the early 1910s, 
a Utopian vision was articulated by the artists and literati who frequented cafes such as the 
Cafe des Westens and the Romanische Cafe, contributed to Der Sturm and Die Aktion, 
and formed literary associations such as Hiller's Neue Club (New club). Change would 
come from within an avant-garde "utopian synod of intellectuals," as Hiller titled a lecture 
given at a meeting of the Neue Club in 1910. 52 

Having originated Expressionism in the provinces, artists were gradually drawn into the 
cosmopolitan milieu. Kirchner, Schmidt-Rottluff, and Heckel arrived in Berlin in late 
191 1 at the urging of Max Pechstein, who had lived there since 1908. Former Briicke 
member Emil Nolde was spending his winters in Berlin, while Kokoschka arrived in 1910 
as the principal artist for Der Sturm, mounting his first solo exhibition at Paul Cassirer's 
gallery. Many contemporary art trends, such as Futurism and Cubism, were not repre- 
sented at the modern art galleries owned by Cassirer, Fritz Gurlitt, and I. B. Neumann, 
finding a venue only with the opening of Herwarth Walden's Sturm gallery in 1910. The 
New Secession, founded by Pechstein and Georg Tappert in the same year, offered an 
exhibition venue for the Briicke and more than twenty other artists who had been rejected 
by the Impressionist-oriented Berlin Secession. 


Erich Heckel 
Sonnenaufgang, 1914 
Cat. no. 86 


Karl Schmidt-Rottluff 

Bucht im Mondschein, 1914 

(Bay in moonlight) 

Cat. no. 194 





George Grosz 
Vorstadt, 1915-16 
Cat. no. 49 


Wilhelrn Pliinnecke 
Untitled (factory), 1919 
Cat. no. 174 

Just as they had sought spiritual and artistic renewal in nature, the Expressionists con- 
tinued their search for paradise in the city. Even prior to moving to Berlin, the Briicke 
artists had begun to portray the Dresden suburbs (see fig. 76) as well as Hamburg harbor 
and other urban prospects, regarding them as just as much a part of the landscape as the 
rural scenes at Dangast, Fehmarn, and Nidden. They used painterly means derived from 
Vincent van Gogh and Henri Matisse to discover what architect August Endell called 
"the beauty of the city as nature."" With Peter Behrens, Hermann Mathesius, and Bruno 
Paul, Endell was part of a circle of Berlin architects who were bringing a new function- 
alism into building design based on their experiences in the Werkbund in Munich. 
Endell's appreciation of the beauty of the metropolis marked a significant departure from 
the prevailing view among more traditional architects and critics, who regarded the rapidly- 
expanding German capital as an affront to natural beauty. Walther Rathenau, for exam- 
ple, disdainfully dismissed Berlin as a "Chicago on the Spree." The influential critic Karl 
Scheffler derided it as "the capital . . . of all modern ugliness." 54 

Yet there was already a growing appreciation for the city in German Impressionist circles. 
In his introductory essay for a portfolio of lithographic views of the Berlin suburbs by 
German Impressionist Rudolf Grossmann, novelist Georg Hermann discerned an essen- 
tially new kind of urban beauty. So extraordinary was "the rare essence of the metropolis" 
that it "exists beyond all laws known to earth." Hermann's cosmic Weltstadt (world city) 
superseded both the prosaic eighteenth-century Konig- or Residenzstadt (royal city) and 
the industrialized nineteenth-century Biirgerstadt of officialdom and the bourgeoisie: 
"Nature departs with its old [laws] and the city comes with its new laws." 55 Grossmann, 
Meidner, Schmidt-Rottluff, and later George Grosz (see fig. 14) and Wilhelrn Pliinnecke 
(see figs. 15, 92) shared Hermann's delight in how the surrounding countryside was 


2 S 

arbitrarily cut up by the tentacles of the new infrastructures of transportation, commu- 
nication, and housing for a mushrooming population. 

As the Expressionists became more interested in the contrast between the artificial and 
the natural, they abandoned the panoramic suburban "landscape" in favor of the move- 
ment and intensity of urban streets. In this they were inspired by the works of Umberto 
Boccioni and the Italian Futurists, which were exhibited at the Sturm gallery in 1912, and 
bv the Futurist manifestos then appearing in Der Sturm. Meidner called for a sensual 
immersion in the urban spectacle: "Let's paint what is close to us, our city world [Stadt- 
Welt]\ the wild streets." 56 His fusion of the words city and world captures the singular surg- 
ing cosmos of his hallucinatory "apocalyptic" cityscapes, where people and houses seem 
to disintegrate into tilting faceted planes and cascading rhythms (see fig. 16). Kirchner's 
Frauen am Potsdamer Platz (Women at Potsdamer Platz, 1914-15; fig. 17), Carlo Menses 
Strasse mit Fahnen (Street with flags, 1913; fig. 89), and Otto Moller's Berliner Expression 
(undated; fig. 19) further convey the transitoriness of Endell's "street as living being," 
where the movement of vehicles and masses of people produce "mere appearances," 


Ludwig Meidner 

Strasse in Wilmersdorf, 101; 

(Street in Wilmersdorf) 

Cat. no. 134 

Ernst Ludvvig Kirchner 
Frauen am Potsdamer Platz, 


(Women at Potsdamer Platz) 
Cat. no. 1 11 


Ernst Ludvvig Kirchner 

Potsdamer Platz (Berlin Street 


Colored chalk 

25V2 x 19 in. (64.8 x 48.3 cm) 

Courtesy of the Busch- 

Reisinger Museum, Harvard 

University Art Museums, 

Association Fund 


Otto Moller 
Berliner Expression 
(Berlin expression) 
Cat. no. 153 


"autonomous organizations," not of "inner connections" but of outward forms. Having 
studied Immanuel Kant's philosophy and Theodor Lipps's empathy theory, Endell situated 
the beauty of the city in the instantaneity of the present: "Seeing as such is pleasurable." 57 
Yet while he called for an autonomous art devoid of allegory, rhetoric, or historical refer- 
ence, his admiration for French Impressionism was not shared by Kirchner, Meidner, 
and Mense. ' 8 Meidner repudiated "the dissolving of contours" and the "vagueness and 
fuzziness of Impressionism" in his endeavor to convey the street as a "bombardment of 
whizzing rows of windows, of screeching lights between vehicles of all kinds and a thou- 
sand jumping spheres, scraps of human beings, advertising signs, and shapeless color." 59 

Urban Expressionism corresponds to the mode of perception imposed on the individual 
by the conditions of the city as expounded upon by Simmel, the influential sociologist 
whose lectures attracted Ernst Bloch, Julius Meier-Graefe, and Georg Lukacs. In his essay 
"Die Grossstadte und das Geistesleben" (The metropolis and mental life, 1903), Simmel 
presented the psychological character of the urban individual as defined by an "intensifica- 
tion of nervous stimulation" so extreme that brutally assaulted nerves exhaust "their last 
reserves of strength." 60 The individual creates "an organ protecting him against. . . his 
external environment," using rational calculation tied to the external aspects of "practical 
life," such as the quantification of social exchange through the money economy (the sub- 
ject of his earlier book Die Philosophic des Geldes [The philosophy of money, 1900]) and 
the coordination of simultaneous events in precisely measured time. The clocks in Moller's 
Berliner Expression and Menses Strasse mit Fahnen may allude to the "strictest punctu- 
ality" without which "the whole structure would break down into an inextricable chaos." 6 ' 

Simmel recognized the immense burden imposed on the spatial and temporal dimen- 
sions of the imagination by rationality and functionality, which relegated the individual to 
what the Expressionist playwright Ludwig Rubiner called an "island existence." Hiller, 
agreeing with Simmel, sought to regain a lost universal and harmonious "totality" of the 
objective and subjective faculties not through a Rousseauian return to a simple, "natural" 
existence, nor through the intellect, but rather through a subjective absorption of lost 
qualitative experiences. 62 If, in the words of Expressionist poet Franz Werfel, "the world 
begins in man," then the task of envisioning a Utopia meant situating the self and finding 
a shared formal language in which hopes and aspirations could be expressed. 6 ' 

The task of urban Expressionism was to regain "those irrational, instinctive, sovereign 
traits and impulses" that Simmel believed metropolitan life excluded. Kirchner recog- 
nized that "any objective [pictorial] construction is futile, since a passing taxi, a bright or 
dark evening dress transforms the entire laboriously achieved construction." 64 Avoiding 
"an exact reconstruction" of his impressions, he began his Fiinf Kokotten (Five tarts, 1914- 
15; fig. 93) and Frauen am Potsdamer Platz with spontaneous notations made "directly from 
nature" — what he later called "hieroglyphs"— which he regularized and abstracted until 
they served the constructive principles of composition (see fig. 18). 65 The steep perspec- 
tive, distortion of scale, and disjointed suggestions of buildings in the woodcut Potsdamer 
Platz disorient the viewer, conveying a disunified and decentered experience of the self. 
To be sure, the portrayal of the exploitative, dehumanizing institution of prostitution, 
which the metropolis and its money economy make possible, functions as an anti-utopian 
critique. Yet Kirchner also presents humanity affirmatively, as a vital and instinctual pres- 
ence "belonging" in its surroundings. His eroticized relocation of the paradise imagery of 
the Briicke to an urban setting affords the sense of community essential for a utopia. 66 

A more overtly negative view of the metropolis as a new Babylon is conveyed in the 

3 E N 5 O N 


Paul Gangolf 

Seiltdnzerin, c. 1922 

(Tightrope walker) 

Cat. no. 36 


George Grosz 

Strasse, 1915-16 


Cat. no. 51 

Otto Dix 
Elektrische, 1920 
Cat. no. 15 

darkened city of Paul Gangolf s Seiltanzerin (Tightrope walker, c. 1922; fig. 20) and 
Strassenszene (Street scene, 1925; fig. 100) as well as in the urban jungle of Grosz's Strasse 
(Street, 1915-16; fig. 21). 6y Grosz's collagelike, jumbled compositions, like Otto Dix's 
Elektrische (Streetcar, 1920; fig. 22), suggest the fragmentary mode of urban conscious- 
ness conveyed by the staccato rhythms of the "simultaneous" poetry of August Stramm 
and Jacob van Hoddis. These artists and poets present heterogeneous arrays of images and 
use discontinuity as a formal principle, thus satisfying an essential prerequisite for any 
modern Utopian construct: defining the collective norms of perception and consciousness 
as those of the modern psyche in its urban setting. 6S Just as Simmel believed that the 
individual, given greater independence by the anonymity of urban existence, was able to 
project the self "temporally and spatially," 69 Expressionist writers such as Einstein, neo- 
Kantian philosopher Salomo Friedlander, Otto Gross, and Franz Jung found affirmative 
value in the dissolution of the individual into the apparent disorder of the world. Einstein's 
novel Bebuquin; oder, Die Dilettanten des Wunders (Bebuquin; or, the dilettantes of 
wonder, 1912) portrays the mind as fragmented and capable of attaining unity only as part 
of a communal vision. 70 Friedlander extols the "new man," or "universal world-person," 
as the vessel of "magic," "utopia," "the perpetual motion machine," and "inexhaustible 
power" — an Erdkaiser (earth-emperor) of "presentism," who, as "the synthesis of the 
world," is an "eternal present." 71 

In the indifference attained in the immediacy of the present, moreover, lay potentially 
constructive principles. Whereas Simmel saw individuality created through "differentiation" 
of the individual and his products, Friedlander stated in his Schopferische Indifferenz 
(Creative indifference, 1918) that even willful acts were "automatic, like mechanisms," so 



that all culture was the result of "creative indifference." 71 As the Dadaists later recognized, 
the machine metaphor provided an ironic distance from which one could launch a social 
critique (see figs. 57, 171). Meanwhile a far greater disruption occurred as the world the 
Expressionists knew came to an end with the outbreak of war in August 1914. 


Behrens's statement, accompanied by a drawing of a gleaming domed building of monu- 
mental proportions, reflects the fervor with which architects embraced the task of rebuild- 
ing as a vanquished Germany emerged from the war (see fig. 23). 7B The broadside "Fur 
das neue Deutschland" (For the new Germany; see Appendix) was circulated during the 
election of delegates to the Weimar assembly in January 1919, a period of euphoria within 
the avant-garde. 74 The Arbeitsrat fur Kunst had gone even further in its chiliastic espousal 
of architecture as "the direct carrier of spiritual forces, molder of the sensibilities of the 
general public" in Taut's "Architektur-Programm" (Program for architecture; see Appen- 
dix). Its call for the dissolution of the boundaries between architecture, painting, and 
sculpture was conveyed in a bold woodcut, probably by Arbeitsrat member Pechstein (fig. 
25), presenting personifications of the three arts erecting a building against a background 
of stars and abstract shapes suggesting the cosmic forces of creation. The arts would be the 
mediators of the "complete revolution in the spiritual realm [that] will create this architec- 
ture." 75 Enthusiasm for architecture predominates in the responses of some twenty-eight 
artists, patrons, and critics to a questionnaire seeking a "common basis" among the 
Arbeitsrat members during the spring of 1919 (see Appendix). Obrist's response is rhap- 
sodic: "[Utopia] is, in fact, the only thing that survives. Let us then live in Utopia, let us 








Peter Behrens 

JANUARY 13, 19 19 


Fiirdas neue Deutschland, 


(For the new Germany) 

Cat. no. 227 


Peter Behrens 

Cover for Das Plakat, 1920 

Cat. no. 6 


Fair das neue Deutschland 



.o^.mw.U ... 










•— ~'-r.r' — t rrr 
































iBKJl -— -«3i* ,B *" 


Hi I1 192© 

urna ihu&iuis 



Attributed to Max Pechstein 
Cover for Arbeitsrat fiir Kunst 
Berlin, lgig 
Cat. no. 172 


Lvonel Feininger 
Kathcdrale, iqiq 
Cat. no. 23 


Gerhard Marcks 

Landschaft mit 

Turmarchitekturen, 1919 

(Landscape with tower 


Cat. no. 13; 




Hermann Finsterlin 
Traum aus Glas, 1920 
(Glass dream) 
Cat. no. 26 

fabricate plans, castles in Spain." 76 Cesar Klein describes a coastal city of "gigantic silos" 
and "enormous double archways," with a central town hall — a "sculptural creation" with 
grottos, fountains, and pavilions. 

Divisive political events pushed these Utopian visions ever farther from realization. The 
murders of radical socialists Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, the repression of 
Berlin street demonstrations, and the deaths of Landauer and socialist leader Kurt Eisner 
in connection with the military suppression of the Bavarian Socialist Councils Republic 
were among the events of early 19 rg causing Gropius, Taut, and critic Adolf Behne to seek 
radical alternatives to both party politics and the traditional institutions of museums, 
academies, and building commissions. The Arbeitsrat fur Kunst rallied around the notion 
of an architectural project that would function somewhat like the medieval Bauhiitte, or 
lodge, where an enlightened "conspiratorial brotherhood" would work directly with prole- 
tarian craftsmen to create a spiritually uplifting environment based around a Volkshaus 
(people's house). 77 The image of such a "cathedral of socialism" would soon become 
closely associated with the Bauhaus (see fig. 26), the school of art and design whose direc- 
torship Gropius assumed in lQig. yS With no prospects for realizing such a grandiose 
scheme, Gropius and Taut instead organized the Ausstellung fur unbckanntc Architekten 
(Exhibition of unknown architects) in April 1919 at the most progressive gallery in Berlin, 
I. B. Neumann's Graphisches Kabinett, located on the decidedly unproletarian 

An uncompromising stance against functionalism was conveyed both in the pamphlet 
that served as the exhibition catalogue and in many of the architectural fantasies on dis- 
play (see Appendix), most living up to Gropius's exhortation to "build in imagination 
[Phantasie], unconcerned about technical difficulties." If, as Behne declared, "utopian [is] 




Jefim Golyscheff 
Untitled, 1918 
Cat. no. 38 


Paul Gosch 

Untitled (fantasy architecture), 

c. rg2i 

Cat. no. 42 

the idea of a collaborative effort by architects, sculptors, and painters to erect great models 
pointing to the future," 79 then the exhibition succeeded in its inclusion of fantasies by the 
sculptor Gerhard Marcks (see fig. 27) and theater sets by Klein, as well as paintings and 
sculpture. And if, as Gropius insisted, the exhibition was to present "watersheds between 
dream and reality," 80 then the doughlike organic forms of painter Hermann Finsterlin's 
Traum aus Glas (Glass dream, 1920; fig. 28) and Jefim Golyscheff s crystalline labyrinths 
(see fig. 29) were among the "sensations of the exhibition." 8 ' Golyscheff's drawings had 
been solicited by Gropius as "ultimate examples of what we want: Utopia," and his works gar- 
nered critical praise for their use of "glass and reinforced concrete, the favored materials of 
the modern architectural poets." 82 Although some were dismissed by critics as "architectural 
fantasy without architecture," most of the works in the exhibition were appreciated as 
uninhibited fantasies, 83 among the most successful, childlike images by Paul Gosch 
which belied his architectural training (see fig. 30). 



Not unexpectedly, given the Expressionists' devotion to the sublime and the pantheistic 
attitudes of Romanticism, 84 their Utopian fantasies were assumed to be in harmony with 
the formative forces of nature as manifested in the unconscious. One critic observed that 
Golyscheff's environments went beyond the anthropomorphic to the unconscious. 8 ' 
Finsterlin generated architectural forms through unconscious, undirected scribbling, 
which he then refined (see figs. 32, 33), a gestural technique also used by architects Erich 
Mendelsohn and Bruno Taut. Although not represented in the exhibition, Mendelsohn 
was one of the members of the Arbeitsrat who actually brought a building to completion. 
His Einsteinturm (Einstein tower, 1919-21; figs. 36, 37) demonstrated the elastic proper- 
ties of new materials. Sketches related to the project were exhibited at Paul Cassirer's 
gallery in late 1919. 86 

Jefim Golyscheff 
Untitled, 1918 
Cat. no. 39 


Hermann Finsterlin 


(Architectural sketches) 

Cat. no. 35 


Hermann Finsterlin 

Crundriss, Serie 17/, Blatt 7, 

c. 1922 

(Ground plan, series III, 

sheet 7) 

Cat. no. 29 



H III/'' '/' 

i i,ir '^ 


1 ■■■■"'*•* te 

3/ i ■ " ^ IT: 


Bruno Taut 

Bewegungsspiel furs 

Weimar <?r Bauhaus, 1919 

(Exercise for the Weimar 


Cat. no. 206 


Erich Mendelsohn 
Einsteinturm: Drei Skizzen- 
bldtter mil je einer Perspektive 
(von Nordwesten und 
Nordosten) in verschiedenen 
Fassungen, 1920 
(Einstein tower: Three sketches 
with one perspective each 
[from northwest and northeast] 
in different versions) 
Cat. no. 143 


Erich Mendelsohn 

Skizze fur ein Bahnhofsgebaude- 

Perspektive, 1914 

(Sketch for a railroad station — 


Cat. no. 140 


Erich Mendelsohn 

Einsteinturm, Potsdam, 





Wenzel Hablik, who inscribed such statements as "trust only in nature and respect her 3 8 

laws" 87 and "triumph of the laws of nature" (see fig. 38) across his crystalline fantasies, Wenzel Hablik 

Festbauten: "Triumpf dcr 

had treated architecture as a creation of nature a decade earlier in his portfolio ot twenty Gesetze in der Natur! 


etchings entitled Schaffende Krafte (Creative forces, 1909; see fig. 39). His representa- (Festival buildings: "Triumph 

tions of thrusting geological formations, cresting waves, and billowing clouds of air and 

° b a Cat. no. 59 

mist producing crystal caverns and castles hark back to the Romantic image of the 
Bergkristall (mountain crystal). 88 Hablik studied at the Vienna school of applied arts 
around the turn of the century, and his works reflect the Jugendstil conception of archi- 
tectural forms as conveyors of significance and emotion, as well as his fascination with 
crystals (see fig. 40). 

Crystalline castles nestled in the mountains also appeared in the 1904 book Architektur- 
Skizzen (Architectural sketches) by Hermann Billing, teacher of Hans Luckhardt and 
Max Taut (Bruno Taut's brother [see fig. 43]). The crystal remained a popular metaphor 
for the unity of material nature and the immaterial spirit among Expressionist artists and 
writers, partly as a result of the writings of the influential monist philosopher and Dar- 
winian biologist Ernst Haeckel, whose Kristallseelen (Crystal souls) was published in 
1917. 8<5 Wilhelm Worringer believed that "transcendental art sets out with the aim of de- 
organicising the organic ... in the world of the inorganic. This led . . . to rigid lines, to 
inert crystalline form." 90 A dominant motif in the works of Carl Krayl, Moriz Melzer, and 
Rudolf Schwarz (see figs. 117, 41, 42), crystalline forms linger on in Hablik's 1925 Museum 
im Hochgebirge (Museum in the high mountains; fig. 44) from the portfolio Cyklus 
Architektur— Utopie (Architectural cycle— Utopia) and appeared throughout the few built 
examples of Expressionist architecture, for example, Bruno Taut's seminal Glashaus 
(Glass house; see figs. 120, 121) for the 1914 Werkbund exhibition in Cologne and 
Gropius's monument to the March dead (see figs. 45, 46). 91 Taut's Glashaus combined the 
basic elements of his earlier paintings (nature, water, cosmos) and emphasized light, air, 
water, and, above all, glass, for Behne the "most bodiless, most elementary, most flexible 
material." 92 The inert crystalline "topos" of the Romantic Bergkristall, where "sublime, 
profound silence" venerates the cosmos, was described in a short prose piece by poet Paul 
Scheerbart included in Taut's Utopian book Die Stadtkrone (The city-crown, 1919) and 
reflected in Taut's Alpine Architektur (Alpine architecture, 1919; see figs. 113, 114)." 

Nature was also evoked in Finsterlin's organic "form play," based on the natural forma- 
tions of caves, bones, sand dunes, and plants (see fig. 132). The use of organic forms had 
prewar antecedents in the work of Henry van de Velde and in Rudolf Steiner's Goetheanum 
of 1913 (see fig. 47). Steiner, who was not trained as an architect, profoundly influenced 
several of the Expressionists, including Finsterlin, Hablik, and Kandinsky, through his 
occult world view of anthroposophy. His architecture was derived from his many spheres 
of activity (including mathematics, literature, and philosophy) and the principle of 
"organic development," which affects linear movement, sculptural form, and the meta- 
morphosis of form. 94 

In mid-1919, after the unknown architects exhibition, political stability began to 
return with the enactment of a Weimar constitution that left many of the conservative 
forces in power. This brought an end to chiliastic expectations for social change within the 
avant-garde. 95 Yet none of the ambitions of the Arbeitsrat had been realized; nor were 
there financial resources for building. Hoping to keep the ambitions of the "imaginary 
architects" alive, Taut formed a pseudo-Masonic secret society of a select group of twelve 
members (see Appendix). The playwright and poet Alfred Brust, who had not been an 



Wenzel Hablik 
Untitled, 1909 
Cat. no. 57 


Wenzel Hablik 


(Crystal castle) 

Cat. no. 52 

Arbeitsrat member, also joined and provided the name Glaserne Kette (Crystal chain), 
using glass as a metaphor of transcendence and alluding to the members' exchange of 
ideas through written correspondence. Because the Glaserne Kette participants resided 
throughout Germany, they circulated essays, drawings, designs, and letters, often as pho- 
tostat or carbon copies. These rudimentary forms of printmaking could produce exquisite 
results (see fig. 48). All the participants used pseudonyms— Taut was Glas (glass); Luck- 
hardt, Zacken (spikes); Krayl, Anfang (beginning); Finsterlin, Prometh (Prometheus); and 
Gropius, Mass (measure or proportion)— which lent an occult aura to the proceedings, 
especially when the aliases appeared in the periodical Friihlicht (Daybreak). These pub- 
lications, however, were the result of strategic decisions; as Taut proclaimed: "We must 
guard the bud carefully. Therefore no great 'actions.' Only occasional publications." 96 
From Taut's first letter the group was imbued with the Nietzschean idea of a select 
humanity, the self-elected community espoused earlier by Landauer. They would "do all 
the hard groundwork . . . [for] those who will come after us." 97 While projects ranging from 
Hablik's collaborative Bible-like book to a jointly produced spectacular fairy-tale film 
spanning two thousand years were proposed, qS the main unifying ambition remained a 
large-scale architectural project, "the Idea," a building "of such dimensions that it could 
be achieved only by an army of workers fired by the joy of creation" (see Appendix). This 
project would be a "monument to the new law" and the belief prevailed, especially in 
the writings of Hablik and Taut (see fig. 175), that entrusting it to the laws of nature would 
guarantee that technology would be found to resolve any technical difficulties. One of 
Hablik's drawings of this time is inscribed "Provoke the engineers, and they'll create wonders 
for you. Trust only in nature and respect her laws," while another bears the inscription 
"Technical things are never impossible as long as they are based on the laws of nature. The 
laws of nature were also once Utopian." 99 Similarly Taut's cult of science combined "reli- 
gious interpretation, astronomy, and astrology" since "technology is only a slave." 100 

*■■ ^ 


pciff*t!io£Ci«.. "ft* Itbrf. iq • 


Moriz Melzer 
Untitled (abstract 
composition), c. ioig 
Cat. no. 138 


Rudolf Schwarz 
Gloria, c. 1020 
Cat. no. igg 


Max Taut 

Betonhallen, c. 1919 
(Concrete halls) 
Cat. no. 213 




Wenzel Hablik 

Museum im Hochgebirge, 1925 

(Museum in the high 


Cat. no. 68 

The Glaseme Kette's activities culminated in Neues Bauen (New building), an exhibi- 
tion of drawings held in May 1920 under the auspices of the Arbeitsrat at Neumann's 
Graphisches Kabinett. An accompanying pamphlet entitled Rufzum Bauen (see Appen- 
dix) included Behne's essay rejecting current plans for low-income housing (architects 
should devote themselves to the "higher duty of building the house of the future") and the 
text of Bruno Taut's Der Weltbaumeister (The universal master builder, 1920; see figs. 
122, 123 and Appendix), an "architectural drama for symphonic music" conveying the 
idea of a cosmic force shaping nature and architectural form. ,Q1 The synesthetic theme 
was continued in architect Hans Scharoun's "Gedanken zum Theaterraum" (Thoughts on 
theatrical space; see Appendix), while Hans Hansen expanded on Taut's "city-crown" idea 
of a Utopian community dispersed around a central building (see Appendix). Scheerbart's 
influence was apparent in a proto-Constructivist tendency emerging among the Utopian 
architects. 102 His 1914 Glasarchitektur (Glass architecture) is quoted in Behne's essay: "Our 
culture is to a certain extent the product of our architecture. If we want our culture to rise to 
a higher level, we are obliged, for better or worse, to change our architecture." 103 

Taut had earlier located the principles for such a transformation in Expressionist paint- 
ing. In a 1914 article in Der Sturm, entitled "Eine Notwendigkeit" (A necessity; see 
Appendix), he found in the "purely synthetic and abstract" paintings of Kandinsky, Marc, 
Robert Delaunay, and Alexander Archipenko not only a synthesis of painting, sculpture, 
and architecture but also a constructive approach: "On every side there is talk of the con- 
struction of images." A "structural intensity" would be realized in the glass, iron, and con- 
crete of the new architecture: "The edifice of ideal architecture that the new art already 
represents must manifest itself in a visible building. And it is a necessity that this happen." 

A decided shift toward pragmatism and functionality had begun throughout the Ger- 
man avant-garde by 1920, when even Taut was engaged in plans for a housing estate at 
Ruhland. The term Utopia was now becoming a liability, leading him to state in one of the 



last Glaserne Kette letters: "Long live Utopia! . . . Hurrah! ... In a word, I no longer want 
to draw Utopias 'in principio,' but absolutely palpable Utopias that 'stand with both feet on 
the ground'" (see Appendix). This pragmatism marks a rejection of the illustration of Uto- 
pias in favor of an aesthetic of embodiment, the testing of an epochal "locating" or reifica- 
tion of the "no place." Transcending literary genres and historicist concepts, utopia was 
now taking on the epistemological, rather than nostalgic, purpose of discovering and 
embodying knowledge. Fragmentary traces or signatures could offer clues for the realiza- 
tion of a Utopian future, even if, as thinkers from Kant to Jean-Francois Lyotard have 
claimed, the impossibility of realizing a utopia in art leads back to an awareness of the 
sublime. 104 

As the writings of Ernst Bloch demonstrate, the fates of utopia and the avant-garde had 
become intertwined. Social conditions in Germany in the late 1910s had placed avant- 
garde artists and writers in an uncomfortable position between Politischen (political activ- 
ists who viewed art about future conditions as escapist) and Geistigen (artists and literati, 
often of mystical inclination, who sought to get beyond both materialism and the "blood- 
less intellect," but whose elitism could blind them to social realities). '° 5 With both camps 
having fallen short of their goals, the credibility of the avant-garde as seers guiding a 
"movement" was at stake. Bloch was a well-read intellectual who had trained as a musi- 
cian, studied sociology under Simmel (with Georg Lukacs), and had subscribed to the 
Marxist view that social conditions were defined by the material conditions of the present . 
He espoused a solution that combined mystical and material concerns in Geist der Utopie 
(Spirit of utopia, 1918; see Appendix) and "Uber das noch nicht bewusste Wissen" (On 


Walter Gropius 
Grabdenkmal der 
Marzgefallenen, 1923 
(Grave monument to the 
March dead, Weimar) 
Cat. no. 47 


Walter Gropius 
Grabdenkmal der Marz- 
gefallenen, Weimar, 1022 


Rudolf Steiner 
Goetheanum, Dornach, 
Switzerland, 1913 

4 8 

Wenzel Hablik 

Sicdlungsanlage einer Familie, 

c. 1920 

(Family housing plan) 

Cat. no. 62 


Jefim Golyscheff 

lp'crioum. c. 1918 

Watercolor, ink, and collage 

7 7 /sx io 5 /tin. (20.0 x 27.3 cm) 

Arturo Schwarz collection. 






Marscliall 0. 
Dadasoph Raoul Hnu 
leurdada Julin Hearlfie 

Katalog / Preis 1,70 Mk. 

Ausstellung und Verkauf dadaistischer Erzeugnisse 

■uuEiusneH n "a^lini^H P"" sJaiMuawiuej uapua^iajja* |un|suuai ujamas ui sap i< 

■uaBo|Ja(\ uapuaMmis jap jaqoua6aE [ebj he^ubaa s|e ipsu;w aH^Wqsp jap ipis iBtai osiy iuuisur) uap 19 
pun |i9nujujnp aip iijeu W*U aipS'.S'EpEP j ap P"" amiunq jnu meuas BiiiiinaasnE Jap uu.c, jap 'Bunuiaqstiy j 

jauBao a|E>y.pEJ jap V=', ipsuay auasnsippep j 


(ohn Heartfield and 
George Grosz 
Leben und Treiben m 
Universal-City, um 1 2 
Uhr 5 Mittags, c. 1919 
(Life and times in universal 
city at five past noon) 
Cat. no. 79 

preconscious knowledge, 1919; see Appendix). Artists, he believed, could convey a "not- 
yet-conscious" foretaste of a "still unknown, inchoate Utopia" in harmony with the forces 
of nature in the immediacy of aesthetic experience. lo6 jMthough far more incomplete and 
fragmentary than nostalgic projections of the future, such clues to a utopia were far more 
securely validated in the authenticity of being. 107 The raison d'etre of art was regained in 
its function as the embodiment of a subjective knowledge of future perfection. 

The Dadaists, and some of the Arbeitsrat members associated with them, soon took a 
similar functionalist approach while embracing the fragmentary conditions of modernity. 
Beginning where the Cubist collage and objet trouve left off, they developed the new 
medium of photomontage (see figs. 137, 167). For them, asforBloch, the heterogeneous 
residue of the surrounding culture still held mystical value, ,o8 at the same time affording a 
critical means of disrupting the syntax and cohesiveness of established culture. The Dada- 
ists critiqued the Expressionists' Utopias in heterotopias, to borrow Michel Foucault's word 
for "counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites . . . that can 
be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted." 109 

Utopian visions of a great German architecture were parodied in Johannes Baader's 
assemblage Das grosse Plasto-Dio-Dada-Drama (The great plasto-dio-Dada-drama, 1920; 
see fig. 177), a "Dadaist monumental architecture" accompanied by a satirical manifesto 
(see Appendix), which was shown at the Ersfe internationale Dada-Messe (First interna- 
tional Dada fair; see fig. 50) in Berlin in 1920. The collage technique lent itself to a 
deconstructive appraisal of Utopian aspirations in Golyscheff's l.p'erioum (c. 1918; fig. 49), 
which presents the optimistic }a\ clipped from the cover of the 1919 publication }a\ 
Stimmen des Arbeitsrates fiir Kunst in Berlin (Yes! Voices of the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst in 
Berlin) amid other bits of cultural debris: clippings from Dada publications, a photograph 
of street marchers, an ink box wrapper, a button, and paper currency. But there were con- 
structive principles to be found in this fragmentary and disjunctive world as well. Just as 
nature uses simple elements to build complex structures, Golyscheff, Raoul Hausmann, 
Krayl, Taut, and Schwarz (see figs. 51, 52) all deliberately constructed architectonic 
images from a reductive, elemental vocabulary. Hausmann generated concrete poetry 
from the disorder of chance (his poem "Ip'erioum" appears in Golyscheff's collage), while 
Baader derived imaginary architectural schemes from random forms (see fig. 53). "° Like- 
wise the combination of play and elemental structuring in children's use of building blocks 



Raoul Hausmann 
Abstrakte Bildidec (Andruck 
aus den "Dadaco"), 1919 
(Abstract picture idea [Dadaco 
Cat. no. 74 


Carl Krayl 

Einen Licht Grass aus 

meinem Sternenhaus, 1920 

(Light greetings from 

my star house) 

Cat. no. 124 


Johannes Baader 

Architcktur fiir Svoboda 

(Andruck aus dem "Dadaco"), 


(Architecture for Svoboda 

[Dadaco proof]) 

Cat. no. 4 

inspired Taut's Dandanah, the Fairy Palace (1919; fig. 54), Finsterlin's Das Stilspiel 1921 
(The style game, 1921, 1922; fig. 55), and his highly systematic Didym-Durchdnngungen 
geometrischer Kbrper (Didym-penetrations of geometric bodies, 1922-23; fig. 56). "' 

In an ironic combination of the fragmentary and the functional, the machine metaphor 
became popular around 1920 as a critique of Utopian perfection. Thought processes became 
mechanical calculations in Hausmann's Elasticum (1920; fig. 171) and Mechanischer 
Kopf: Der Geist unserer Zeit (Mechanical head: The spirit of our time, c. 1921; fig. 161), 
and even nature was taken over by the machine in Hannah Hoch's Mechanischer Garten 
(Mechanical garden, 1920; fig. 57). This critique of functionalist perfection harks back to 
Scheerbart's influential book Das Perpetuum Mobile (The perpetual motion machine, 
1910), in which the machine is a metaphor for an ironic, dysfunctional utopia that never 
comes about, despite the determined fantasy and invention of the narrator-protagonist. 
Molzahn blended the pantheistic cosmic forms of his earlier Schopfung (Creation, 1917; 
fig. 69) into the world of mechanical processes in his portfolio Zeit-Taster: Eine kleine 
Kollektion utopisch-phantastischer Maschinen und Apparate (Time-feeler: A small collec- 
tion of Utopian fantastic machines and apparatuses, 1921; see figs. 58, 170). Despite its par- 
ody of utopianism, the "role" of Dadaism, by Hausmann's own declaration, had a familiar 
Utopian ring: Dadaism was "a form of transition," using "the concrete" and "satire" to get 
beyond the "sea of new form" and "cathedral style" in which Expressionism had become 
grounded. " n No longer the apocalyptic transformation of Heinrich Vogeler's Die sieben 
Schalen des Zorns (Offenbarung Johannis) (The Seven Bowls of Wrath [Revelation to 
John], 1918; fig. 2), " 3 the path to the future was to be discerned in the efficient function- 
ing of processes created and set in motion by humans in collaboration with natural laws 
and principles. The "technician . . . the designer of machines . . . the scientific experimen- 
ter" of Hausmann's "Lob des Konventionellen" (In praise of the conventional; see Appen- 

% - 



1 n 



Ms ■ :■■: 



>-' llNeN LiCH 



"lli<l U v f 

~- Xw«i 



Bruno Taut 

Dandanah, The Fairy Palace, 


Cat. no. 207 



dix) and his watercolor Die Ingenieure (The engineers, 1920; fig. 59) immerses himself in 
the immediacy of the present to decipher the clues to the future and construct a new world. 

Despite the new pragmatism and the concurrent "end of Expressionism" being decreed 
by its former defenders around 1920, architectural Utopias continued to thrive in film and 
on the stage, both art forms having come late to Expressionism. With the arrival of Oskar 
Schlemmer and Lothar Schreyer at the Bauhaus in 1921, a revival of autonomous art as 
the setting for Utopian visions was provided by the Bauhaus stage. Recognizing the emphasis 
on architecture throughout the Bauhaus, Schlemmer commented: "Because of our eco- 
nomic depression we may possibly not be able to build for a long time. There are no great 
assignments for the Utopian fantasies of the moderns. There is space for this in the illu- 
sionary world of the theater."" 4 

At a time when Taut was attempting to realize his Glanzwelt (glistening world) of the 
imagination on the stage,"' Schlemmer was presenting a new totality of humanity, space, 
abstraction, and movement in his Triadisches Ballett (Triadic ballet). In 1926 Bauhaus stu- 
dent Andor Weininger produced his Meehanische Biihnen-Revue (Mechanical stage revue; 
see fig. 140), a Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) in which light, sound, and motion are 
blended. Such experiments continued throughout the 1920s, leading to Roman Clemens's 
"Russisches": Biihnenbild zum "Spiel aus Form, Farbe, Licht und Ton" ("Russian": Stage 
design for "Play of form, color, light, and sound"; fig. 141), Kandinsky's designs for Modest 
Mussorgski's Pictures at an Exhibition (see fig. 143). and Arnold Schoenberg's design for 
his musical drama Die gliickliche Hand (The fortunate hand; see fig. 60), which departs 
even further from theatrical convention toward a total synesthesia of light and sound. 

The film medium afforded an imaginary realm in which the fantasies of several of the 
Expressionist architects reached fruition. Hans Poelzig, whose baroque tendencies had 
earlier been seen in his revamping of the Grosses Schauspielhaus in Berlin (see figs. 61 , 
62), also created the grottolike Jewish ghetto in Paul Wegener's Der Golem (The golem, 
1920). By contrast neither his ambitious project for the Salzburg Festspielhaus nor his plan 
for a way chapel were realized (see figs. 63, 64). Grand set designs such as those of Erich 
Kettelhut for Fritz Lang's film Metropolis were the only possible realization of the Expres- 
sionist architects' dreams of urban skyscrapers (see figs. 138, 151). 


Hermann Finsterlin 
Das Stilspiel iQ2i. 1922 
(The style game, 1921) 
Cat. no. 30 


Hermann Finsterlin 


geometrischer Korper, 1922-23 

(Didym-penetrations of 

geometric bodies) 

Cat. no. 32 


We have seen how the concept of Utopia is both paradoxical and productive in its inherent 
challenge to make from the imaginary "no place" an actual "good place." Utopia func- 
tioned within modernism as a continuous, constructive means of self-critical renewal, an 
enactment of the central tenet of the avant-garde: creative artistic endeavors can embody 
hope and prepare the way for better conditions for humanity. The quest for utopia had 
a corresponding conservative side, rooted in religious, philosophic, and literary traditions 
that were being challenged by the new social and cultural conditions of modernity. Clues 
to a utopia depended on a distanced and autonomous nature or art, both assumed to be 
fully experienced only in aesthetic contemplation. Conditions of modernization 
threatened this distance, especially the heterogeneous and fragmentary experience of the 
metropolis. The increasing social dislocation and the commodification of cultural 
exchange so well described by Simmel endangered the essential mission of an avant-garde 
that saw itself as based in historical progress and embodying the future in works of art. 




Hannah Hoch 
Meehanischer Garten, lgzo 
(Mechanical garden) 
Cat. no. 88 


Johannes Molzahn 
Zeit-Taster: Eine kleine 
Kollektwn utopisch- 
phantastischer Maschinen 
und Apparate, 1921 
(Time-feeler: A small 
collection of Utopian fantastic 
machines and apparatuses) 
Cat. no. 158 

With unprecedented resilience, however, Utopian visions reconciled the increasing 
hegemony of the present and the growing rejection of the "no place" of the future, coun- 
tering a disjunctive reality with principles of building and structuring derived from art and 
nature, and eventually accommodating that reality with a resolute pragmatism. Ironically 
this reaction against the Utopias of the past was both the salvation of the avant-garde and 
the death knell for the fantasies that had sustained its mission during modernism's darkest 
days. A better world could no longer be sought in the timeless and placeless realms imag- 
ined in the Glaserne Kette correspondence but instead would be built, for better or worse, 
in the modern industrialized culture of the Weimar era. As events unfolding into our time 
have brought a clearer recognition of what was at stake, we may begin to hear the resound- 
ing truth in these words from Behne's review of the unknown architects exhibition: "A 
utopia is ... no laughing matter."" 6 


1 9 2 1 


• ** i= a ^ _ja.. ~i e^K a t -c a « i 

Raoul Hausmann 
Die lngcnieure, 1020 
(The engineers) 
Watercolor on paper 
i3 7 /8xg ! /i6in. (35.2 x 23.7 cm) 
Arturo Schwarz collection, 



Arnold Schoenberg 
Szenenentwurf filr "Die 
gliickliche Hand": 2. Bild: 
(Sketch for "The fortunate 
hand": Scene 2, "The source 
of light") 
Cat. no. iq6 


Karl Hubbuch 

Probe im Grossen 

Schauspielhaus, 1922 

(Rehearsal in the Grosses 


Cat. no. 93 


Hans Poelzig 

Grosses Schauspielhaus, 

Berlin, 1919 


1. Bruno Taut, Die Auflbsung 
der Stddte: oder. Die Erde, eine 
gute Wohnung (Hagen: Folk- 
wang, 1920), p. 30 (translation 
by Iain Boyd Whyte); for a 
complete translation, see Dis- 
solution of the Cities, in F. 
Borsi and G. K. Konig, Archi- 
tettura dell'espressionismo 
(Genoa: Vitali e Ghianda, 
1967), p. 288. 

2. Wassily Kandinsky, "The 
Great Utopia," in Kandinsky: 
Complete Writings on Art, ed. 
Kenneth C. Lindsay and Peter 
Vergo, vol. 1 (Boston: G. K, 
Hall, 1982), pp. 444-48. 

3. Walter Gropius, in 
Ausstellung filr unbchanntc 
Architekten, exh. cat. (Berlin: 
Graphisches Kabinett I. B. 
Neumann, 1919), unpaginated; 
translated in Ulrich Conrads, 
ed., Programs and Manifestoes 
on Twentieth-Century Archi- 
tecture, trans. Michael Bullock 
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 1971), 
P. 47- 

4. Ibid., p. 46. 

5. Although the term avant- 
garde was not widely used 

in Germany at this time, it is, 
as Theda Shapiro has stated, 
"the only accurate generic term 
available" for the self-proclaimed 
"foreseers" of modernism (see 
Painters and Politics: The Euro- 
pean Avant-Garde and Society, 
1900—1925 [New York: Elsevier, 
1976], pp. xiv-xv). For a thor- 

ough history of German avant- 
garde institutions and their 
political involvement at the 
end of World War I, see Joan 
Weinstein, The End of Expres- 
sionism: Art and the November 
Revolution in Germany, 1918- 
1919 (Chicago: University of 
Chicago Press, 1990). 

6. For example, Wilhelm Wor- 
ringer, Iwan Goll, and Paul 
Hatvani; see Paul Raabe, ed., 
Expressionismus: Der Kampf 
urn eine literarische Bewegung 
(Zurich: Arche, 1987), pp. 

7. Wolfgang Miiller, ed.. 
Duden Bedeutungsworterbuch 
(Mannheim: Bibliographisches 
Institut, 1985), s.v. "Utopie." 

8. Ruth Levitas, The Concept 
of Utopia (Syracuse: Syracuse 
University Press, 1990), p. 3. 
On anti-utopia, see Hans 
Ulrich Seeber, "Bemerkungen 
zum Begriff 'Gegenutopie,'" in 
Klaus L. Berghahn and Hans 
Ulrich Seeber, eds. , Lirer- 
ansehe Utopien von Morus bis 
zur Gegenwart (Konigstein: 
Athenaum, 1983), pp. 163-71. 

9. See Oxford English Diction- 
ary, s.v. "utopia," "eutopia"; 
Levitas, Concept of Utopia, p. 
2; Frank E. Manuel and Fritzie 
P. Manuel, Utopian Thought in 
the Western World (Cambridge, 
Mass.: Belknap, 1979), p. 1. 

10. Kurt Pinthus, "Zur jiing- 
sten Dichtung," Die weissen 
Blatter 2 (December 1915): 
1502-10; see also Barbara 
Drygulski Wright, "Expres- 
sionist Utopia: The Pursuit of 
Objectless Politics," Ph.D. 
diss., University of California, 
Berkeley, 1977, p. 17. 

11. See Roy F Allen, Literary 
Life in German Expressionism 
and the Berlin Circles (Gop- 
pingen: Kiimmerle, 1974); 
Walter Fahnders, Anarchismus 
und Literatur: Ein vergessenes 
Kapitcl deutschcr Literatur- 
geschichte zwischen 1S90 und 
1910 (Stuttgart: Metzler, 
1987), PP- 171-87. 

12. Iain Boyd Whyte, "The 
Politics of Expressionist Archi- 
tecture," Architectural Asso- 
ciation Quarterly 12, no. 3 
(1980): 11-17; see a ' s0 Barbara 
Drygulski Wright, "Sublime 
Ambition: Art, Politics, and 
Ethical Idealism in the Cul- 
tural Journals of German 
Expressionism," in Passion and 
Rebellion: The Expressionist 
Heritage, ed. Stephen Eric 
Bronner and Douglas Kellner 
(New York: Universe Books, 
1983), pp. 82-112. 

13. Although "der neue Mensch" 
could be rendered as "the new 
human being," the translation 
"the new man" more accurately 
reflects the gendered attitudes 
of the Expressionist generation; 

for a discussion of this complex 
issue, see Barbara Drygulski 
Wright, '"New Man,' Eternal 
Woman: Expressionist Re- 
sponses to German Feminism," 
German Quarterly 40 (Fall 
1987): 587. 

14. Paul Hatvani, "Versuch 
tiber den Expressionismus," 
Die Aktion 7, nos. 11-12 
(1917): cols. 146-50. 

15. Walter H. Sokel, The 
Writer in Extremis: Expression- 
ism in Twentieth-Century 
German Literature (Stanford, 
Calif.: Stanford University 
Press, 1959), p. 227; Ernst 
Bloch, "Uber das noch nicht 
bewusste Wissen," Die weissen 
Blatter 6 (August 1919): 365. 

16. Kurt Hiller, "Philosophy 
des Ziels," Das ZicI 1 (1916): 
193; Ernst Bloch, The Utopian 
Function of Art and Literature 
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988), 
p. 12. 

17. Quoted in Corona 
Hepp, Avantgarde: Moderne 
Kunst, Kulturkritik und 
Reformbewegungcn nach der 
jahrhundcrtwendc (Munich: 
Deutscher Taschenbuch 
Verlag, 1987), p. 22. 

18. Quoted in Jill Lloyd, 
"Primitivism and Modernity; 
An Expressionist Dilemma," in 
German Art in the Twentieth 
Century: Painting and Sculp- 
ture, 1905-1Q85. exh. cat. 
(Munich: Prestel.1985), p. 110. 



19. Oskar Pfister, Expression- 
ism in Art: Its Psychological 
and Biological Basis (1920), p. 
195; quoted in Donald Gordon, 
"German Expressionism," in 
"Primitivism" in Twentieth- 
Century Art: Affinity of the 
Tribal and the Modern, exh. 
cat., ed. William Rubin (New 
York: Museum of Modern Art, 
1984), vol. 2, p. 369. 

20. Friedrich Nietzsche, Also 
sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch 
fur alle und Kemen (Frankfurt: 
Insel, 1982), p. 16; see also 
Staatliche Museen, Expres- 
sionisten: Die Avantgarde in 
Deutschland, 1905-1920, exh. 
cat. (East Berlin: Henschel, 
1986), pp. 28-29, where it is 
suggested that Schmidt- 
Rottluff might have thought 
of the term spontaneously. 

21. See Harald Szeemann, ed., 
Monte Veritd — Berg der Wahr- 
heit: Lokale Anthropologic als 
Beitrag zur Wiederentdeckung 
einer neuzeitlichen sakralen 
Topographic, exh. cat. (Zurich: 
Kunsthaus Zurich, 1978); Jill 
Lloyd, "The Briicke Bathers: 
Back to Nature," in German 
Expressionism: Primitivism 
and Modernity (New Haven, 
Conn.: Yale University Press, 
1991), pp. 102-29. 

22. Lloyd, "Briicke Bathers," 

p. 112; on Kirchner's progression 
from the erotic to symbolic 
"nature imagery," see "Die 

Gestaltung des Verhaltnisses 
zur Frau," in E. L. Kirchner: 
Druckgraphik, 1905-1936, 
exh. cat. (Hamburg: Kunst- 
verein, 1978), pp. 66-74. 

23. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 
Chronik KG Briicke (1913). 
When "passive" memberships 
in the Briicke were offered in 
1906 as a means of cultivating 
an otherwise absent sympa- 
thetic audience, membership 
privileges for the twelve-mark 
annual fee included the remark- 
able Jahresmappc, an annual 
portfolio of original prints. 
Nearly half the twenty-six 
prints that make up the seven 
Jahresmappen feature nudes. 

24. Stanislaw Przybyszewski, 
"Das Geschlecht," parts 1, 2, 
Der Sturm 6, nos. 31, 32 
(1910): 521; see Rose-Carol 
Washton Long, "Kandinsky's 
Vision of Utopia as a Garden of 
Love," Art Journal 43 (Spring 
1983): 50-60. 

25. On the Briicke artists' inter- 
est in Jugendstil, see Frances 
Carey and Antony Griffiths, 
The Print in Germany, 1880— 
1933: The Age of Expression- 
ism, exh. cat. (London: British 
Museum, 1984), p. 29;Zdenek 
Felix, ed., Erich Heckel, 1883- 
1970: Gemdlde, Aquarelle, 
Zeichnungen und Graphih, 
exh. cat. (Munich: Haus der 
Kunst, 1983), pp. 43-44- 

26. Friedrich von Schiller, 
"Uber Matthissons Gedichte," 
in Werke: Nationalausgabe, 
vol. 22 (Weimar: Bohlau, 
1958), p. 273; A. H. Schmitz, 
quoted in Leopold Reidemeis- 
ter, "Die 'Briicke' im Spiegel 
der Zeitschriftenkritik," 
Briicke-Archiv, no. 1 (1967): 
41. See Alice Kuzniar, "The 
Vanishing Canvas: Notes on 
German Romantic Landscape 
Aesthetics," German Studies 
Review 11 (October 1988): 361. 

27. Paul Fechter, Der Expres- 
sionismus (Munich: R. Piper, 
1920), p. 22; see also Donald 
Gordon, Expressionism: Art 
and Idea (New Haven, Conn.: 
Yale University Press, 1987), 
pp. 176-77- 

28. Lloyd, German Expression- 
ism, p. 5; Hermann Obrist, 
hleue Moglichkeiten in der 
bildenden Kunst: Essays (Leip- 
zig: Eugen Diederichs, 1903), 
pp. 96-97- 

29. Jill Lloyd discusses how 
these words were being used to 
describe tribal art in 1903; see 
"Primitivism and Modernity," 
p. 106, n. 6. 

30. Georg Simmel, The Con- 
flict in Modern Culture and 
Other Essays, ed. and trans. 
K. Peter Etzkorn (New York: 
Teachers College Press, 1968), 
pp. 17. 25. 

31. Franz Marc, "The 'Sav- 
ages' of Germany," in The 
Blaue Reiter Almanac, ed. 
Klaus Lankheit (New York: 
Viking, 1974), p. 64 (originally 
published as "Die 'Wilden' 
Deutschlands," in Der blaue 
Reiter [Munich: Piper, 1912], 
pp. 5-7); Wassily Kandinsky, 
"On the Problem of Form," in 
Theories of Modern Art, ed. 
Hershel Chipp (Berkeley and 
Los Angeles: University of Cal- 
ifornia Press, 1971), pp. 159- 
60 (originally published as 
"Uber die Formfrage," in Der 
blaue Reiter, pp. 74-100); for 
an example of Kandinsky's 
admiration of the European 
symbolists as well as various 
Russian authors, see "Whither 
the 'New' Art?" (1911), in 
Kandinsky: Complete Writings 
on Art, vol. 1, pp. 98-104. 

32. Wassily Kandinsky, Con- 
cerning the Spiritual in Art, 
trans. M. T H. Sadler (New 
York: Dover, 1977); originally 
published as Uber das Geistige 
in der Kunst (Munich: R. 
Piper, 1911); see Rose-Carol 
Washton Long, "Expression- 
ism, Abstraction, and the 
Search for Utopia in Ger- 
many," The Spiritual in Art: 
Abstract Painting, 1890-1985, 
exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Los 
Angeles County Museum of 
Art, 1986), p. 206. 

m i\ miM% ■■■■ ^-Jtr'-^ * ^d^R^M^ll 


6 3 

Hans Poelzig 

Festspielhaus Salzburg, erste 

Fassung: Zuschauerraum, 


(Salzburg festival hall, first 

version: Auditorium) 

Cat. no. 177 


Hans Poelzig 

Model! fur eine Wegkapelle, 


(Model for a way chapel) 
Cat. no. 179 




33. Kandinsky, Concerning 
the Spiritual, p. 15; see also 
Rose-Carol Washton Long, 
"Kandinsky's Abstract Style: 
The Veiling of Apocalyptic 
Folk Imagery," Art Journal 34 
(Spring 1975): 217-28. 

34. Kandinsky, Concerning the 
Spiritual, p. 14; idem, "Whither 
the 'New Art,'" p. 103. 

35. Kandinsky, Concerning the 
Spiritual, p. 14; see Donald 

R. Benson, "Kandinsky's 
Dramatic Reconstruction 
of Pictorial Space," Annals 
of Scholarship 4 (Fall 1986): 

36. Wassily Kandinsky, "Sec- 
ond Exhibition of the Editors 
of the Blaue Reiter" (1912), in 
Complete Writings, vol. 1, 

p. 228; idem, "On the Ques- 
tion of Form," in Lankheit, 
Blaue Reiter Almanac, p. 14Q. 

37. Wassily Kandinsky, "Mal- 
erei als reine Kunst," Der 
Sturm 4, no. 178-79 (1913): 
98-99; translated in Complete 
Writings, vol. 1, p. 350. 

38. Franz Marc, "Spiritual 
Treasures," in Lankheit, Blaue 
Reiter Almanac, p. 59. 

39. Franz Marc, "Die 
konstruktiven Ideen der neuen 
Malerei," Pan 2 (21 March 
1912): 527-31; idem, "Die 
neue Malerei," Pan 2 (7 March 
1912): 468-71. Both articles 
are reprinted in Klaus Lank- 
heit, ed., Franz Marc: 
Schriften (Cologne: DuMont, 
1978), pp. 108, 104. 

40. Quoted in Ulrich Finke, 
German Painting from Roman- 
ticism to Expressionism (Lon- 
don: Thames and Hudson, 
1974), p. 19S. 

41. Klee mentions Kandinsky's 
"Malerei als reine Kunst" m 

a diary entry of 24 September 
1918 (see Richard Sheppard, 
"Kandinsky's Early Aesthetic 
Theory," Journal of European 
Studies 5 [1975]: 19-40); Paul 
Klee, "Creative Credo," in 
Werner Schmalenbach, Paul 
Klee: The Diisseldorf Collec- 
tion (Munich: Prestel, 1986), 
p. 24; for another translation, 
see Victor H. Miesel, ed., 
Voices of German Expression- 
ism (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: 
Prentice-Hall, 1970), p. 87; 

Klee's essay was untitled when 
it was first published in Kasimir 
Edschmid, Schbpferische Kon- 
fession. Tribune des Kunst und 
Zeit, no. 13 (Berlin: E. Reiss, 
1920), pp. 28-40. 

42. Schmalenbach, Paul Klee, 

p. 24. 

43. Rainer Piepmeier, 
"Das Ende der asthetischen 
Kategorie 'Landschaft,'" 
Westfdlische Forschungen: 
Mitteilungen des Provin- 
zialinstitutes fiir westfdlische 
Landes- und Volksforschung 
des Landesverbandes 
Westfalen-Lippe 30 (1980): 23. 

44. Klee, "Creative Credo," in 
Miesel, Voices, p. 83. 

45. Novalis, "Studien zur 
bildenden Kunst," in Schriften: 
Die Werke Friednch von Har- 
denbergs, ed. Paul Kluckhohn 
and Richard Samuel, vol. 2, 
Das philosophische Werk I 
(Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 
i960), p. 650; Friedrich Wil- 
helm Joseph Schelling, Philos- 
ophic der Kunst (Darmstadt: 
Wissenschaftliche Buchgesell- 
schaft, 1966), p. 138. See also 
Kuzniar, "The Vanishing 

46. Rainer Maria Rilke, Samt- 
Hche Werke, ed. Ruth Sieber- 
Rilke (Wiesbaden: Insel, 
1955-66), vol. 5, p. 520. In his 
1902 essay on landscape, Rilke 
recommended that the artist 
not paint "an impression" or a 
"human interpretation," for 
nature was "as foreign to man 
as the unexplored forest of an 
undiscovered island." A corre- 
sponding art must be "almost 
hostile. . . in order to give our 
existence new meaning." 

47. Paul Westheim, "Die 
Landschaft," Das Kunstblatt, 
no. 1 (January 1920): 7, 17-18. 

48. Georg Simmel, "Philoso- 
phie der Landschaft," in 
Brucke und Tiir: Essays des 
Philosophen zur Geschichtc, 
Religion, Kunst und Gesell- 
schaft, ed. Michael Landmann 
(Stuttgart: K. F Koehler, 
1957). P- 140. 

49 Leopold Reidemeister, 
"Der friihe Holzschnitt Erich 
Heckels," in Erich Heckel, 
1883-1970: Der friihe Holz- 
schnitt, exh. cat. (Berlin: 
Brucke Museum, 1983), p. 10. 

50. Carl Einstein, Negerplastik 
(Leipzig: Verlag der Weissen 
Blatter, 1915), p. xx; idem, 
"Totalitat," Die Aktion 4, no. 
16 (1914): col. 346. 

51. Ludwig Meidner, "An 
Introduction to Painting Big 
Cities," in Miesel, Voices, 

p. 111; originally published as 
"Anleitung zum Malen von 
Grossstadtbildern," in "Das 
neue Programm," Kunst und 
Kiinstler 12 (March 1914): 

52. Hiller's lecture "L'topische 
Synode der Geister" was 
announced on the program for 
the Neopathetisches Cabaret, 
sponsored by Der Neue Club 
on 9 November 1910; repro- 
duced in Nina Schneider, 
Georg Heym: Der Stddte 
Schultern knacken: Bildcr, 
Texte, Dokumente (Zurich: 
Arche, 1987), p. 70. 

53. August Endell, Die Schbn- 
hcit der grossen Stadt (Stutt- 
gart: Strecker und Schroder, 
1908), p. 31. The work of van 
Gogh had been presented at 
the Salon Richter in Dresden 
in 1908 and in a large exhibi- 
tion at Paul Cassirer's gallery in 
Berlin in 1910. Matisse was 
exhibited at Cassirer's at the 
end of 1908. 

54. [Walther Rathenau], "Die 
schonste Stadt der Welt," Die 
Zukunft 26 (1899); reprinted in 
Impressionen (Leipzig, 1902), 
pp. 137-63; see also Lothar 
Muller, "The Beauty of the 
Metropolis: Toward an Aes- 
thetic LIrbanism in Turn-of- 
the-Century Berlin," in Berlin: 
Culture and Metropolis, ed. 
Charles W. Haxthausen and 
Heidrun Suhr (Minneapolis: 
University of Minnesota Press, 
1990), pp. 39-40; Karl Schef- 
fler, Berlin: Ein Stadtschicksal 
(Berlin: Erich Reiss, 1910), 

p. 200. 

55. Georg Hermann, in Rudolf 
Grossmann, Um Berlin 
(Berlin: Paul Cassirer, 1912); 
reprinted in Pan 2, no. 2 
(1911-12): 1101-6. 

56. Meidner, "Introduction to 
Painting Big Cities," p. 114. 

57. Endell, Schonheit, pp. 65, 

67, 37- 

58. On Endell's theory of 
vision, see Muller, "Beauty of 
the Metropolis," pp. 37-57. 

59. Meidner, "Introduction to 
Painting Big Cities," p. 111. 

60. Georg Simmel, "The 
Metropolis and Mental Life," 
in The Sociology of Georg Sim- 
mel, ed. Kurt H. Wolff, trans. 
Hans Gerth (Glencoe, 111.: 
Free Press, 1950), pp. 410, 414; 
originally published as "Die 
Grossstadte und das Geistes- 
leben," in Die Grossstadt, 
special issue of Jahrbuch der 
Gehe-Stiftung zu Dresden 9 
(1903): 185-206. 

61. Simmel, "Metropolis and 
Mental Life," pp. 410, 412. 

62. Ludwig Rubiner, 
"Uff . . . die Psychoanalyse," 
Die Aktion 3, no. 23 (1913), 
cols. 565-68; Kurt Hiller, 
"Uber Kultur" (1909), in Die 
Weisheit der Langcweile: Eine 
Zeit- und Streitschrift, vol. 1 
(Leipzig: Kurt Wolff, 1913), 
p. 49ff.; discussed in Allen, 
Literary Life, pp. 192-96. 

63. Quoted in Westheim, "Die 
Landschaft," p. 7. 

64. Simmel, "Metropolis and 
Mental Life," p. 413; Ernst 
Ludwig Kirchner, "Die Arbeit 
E. L. Kirchners," in Eberhard 
W Kornfeld. Ernsf Ludwig 
Kirchner: Nachzeichnung 
seines Lebens (Bern: Kornfeld, 
1 979)> P- 34 1 ; translated in 
Charles W. Haxthausen, '"A 
New Beauty': Ernst Ludwig 
Kirchner's Images of Berlin," 
in Haxthausen and Suhr, Ber- 
lin, pp. 66-67. 

65. Kirchner discusses the role 
of hieroglyphs in his graphic 
techniques in [Louis de Mar- 
salle], "Uber Kirchners 
Graphik," Genius 3, no. 2 
(1921): 250-63; translated in 
Miesel, Voices, p. 26. 

66. See Rosalyn Deutsche, 
"Alienation in Berlin: 
Kirchner's Street Scenes," Art 
in America 71 (January 1983): 
64—72; for an interpretation of 
Kirchner's eroticization of the 
city, see Haxthausen, "New 
Beauty," pp. 58-94. 

67. See Hanne Bergius, "Ber- 
lin als Hure Babylon," in Die 
Metropole: lndustriekultur 
in Berlin im 20. Jahrhundert, 



ed. Jochen Boberg, Tilman 
Fichter, and Eckhart Gillen, 
Industriekultur deutscher 
Stadte und Regionen (Munich: 
C. H. Beck, 1986), pp. 102-19. 

68. Silvio Vietta, "Gross- 
stadtwahrnehmung und ihre 
literarische Darstellung: 
Expressionistischer Reihungs- 
stil und Collage," Deutsche 
Vierteljahrsschrift fur Liter- 
aturwissenschaft und Geistes- 
geschiehte 48 (May 1974): 

69. Simmel, "Metropolis and 
Mental Life," p. 419. 

70. Carl Einstein, Bebuqum, 
oder, Die Dilcttanten des 
Wunders (Berlin: Verlag der 
Wochenschrift "Die Aktion," 

71. Salomo Friedlander, 
"Absolutismus," Der Sturm 4 
(January 1914): 162; idem, 
"Prasentismus: Rede des 
Erdkaisers an die Menschen," 
DerSturm 3, no. 144-45 
(1913): 253-54. Friedlander 
had graduated from the Uni- 
versity of Jena in 1902 with a 
dissertation on Schopenhauer 
and Kant's Critique of Pure 

72. Simmel, "Metropolis and 
Mental Life," p. 420; Salomo 
Friedlander, Schopferische 
Indifferenz (Munich: Miiller, 
1918), pp. xxi, xxiii. The book 
was begun in 1912 (see Eber- 
hard Roters, "Big-City Expres- 
sionism: Berlin and German 
Expressionism," in Expression- 
ism: A German Intuition, 
1905-1920, exh. cat. [New 
York: Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum, 1980], p. 245). 

73. The drawing may be attrib- 
uted to Behrens on the basis 

of its similarity to his cover for 
a 1920 issue of Das Plakat 

(see fig. 24). 

74. The largest winners were 
the Social Democratic Party, 
with 163 of the 421 seats at 
stake at the constitutional con- 
vention; the Catholic Center 
Party, with 89 seats; and the 
Democratic Party, with 75 seats. 
The Independent Socialists, to 
which many artists owed their 
allegiance, won only 22 seats, 
while the Communists boy- 
cotted the elections altogether. 

75. Bruno Taut, "A Programme 
for Architecture," in Conrads, 
Programs and Manifestoes, 

p. 41. 

76. Ulrich Conrads and Hans 
G. Sperlich, The Architecture 
of Fantasy: Utopian Building 
and Planning in Modern 
Times, ed. and trans. Chris- 
tiane C. Collins and George R. 
Collins (New York: Praeger, 
1962), p. 139. 

77. Gropius's ideas, presented 
in an address on 22 March 
1919, survive in the Bauhaus- 
Archiv in Berlin; see Iain Boyd 
Whyte, ed. and trans.. The 
Crystal Chain Letters: Archi- 
tectural Fantasies by Bruno 
Taut and His Circle (Cam- 
bridge: MIT Press, 1985), p. 2. 
On Gropius's position and his 
role in the internal dynamics of 
the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst, see 
Weinstein, End of Expression- 
ism, pp. 66-67; Iain Boyd 
Whyte, Bruno Taut and the 
Architecture of Activism (Cam- 
bridge: Cambridge University 
Press, 1982), pp. 123-30. 

78. At the time of Gropius's 
contract negotiations in early 
1919, the school was emerging 
as the successor to the school 
of fine art and the school of 
applied arts in Weimar. The 
name Bauhaus was adopted 
later that year. 

79. Adolf Behne, "Zur Ein- 
fuhrung in die Ausstellung 
'Fur unbekannte Architekten,'" 
in Sozialistische Monatshefte 
25 (28 April 1919): 422-23; 
reprinted in Manfred Schlos- 
ser, ed., Arbeitsrat filr Kunst, 
Berlin, 1918-1921, exh. cat. 
(Berlin: Akademie der Ktinste, 
1980), pp. 92-93. 

80. Schlosser, Arbeitsrat fur 
Kunst, p. 90; translated in 
Conrads, Programs and Man- 
ifestoes, p. 46. 

81. Kurt Gerstenberg, "Revo- 
lution in der Architektur," 
Der Cicerone 11 (May 1919): 
255-57; reprinted in Schlosser, 
Arbeitsrat fur Kunst, pp. 94-95. 

82. Joan Ockman, "Reinvent- 
ing Jefim Golyscheff: Lives 

of a Minor Modernist," Assem- 
blage 1 1 (April 1990): 75; John 
Schikowski, "Architektur- 
traume," Vorwdrts, 29 March 
1919; translated in Whyte, 
Bruno Taut, p. 137. 

83. Paul Westheim, "Archi- 
tektonische Phantasien," 
Frankfurter Zeitung, 30 April 
1919; reprinted in Schlosser, 
Arbeitsrat fur Kunst , pp. 93- 
94; Gerstenberg, "Revolution 
in der Architektur," in Schlos- 
ser, Arbeitsrat fur Kunst. 

84. On the romantic theory of 
the imagination, see August 

K. Wiedmann, Romantic Roots 
in Modern Art: Romanticism 
and Expressionism, a Study in 
Comparative Aesthetics (Old 
Woking, England: Gresham 
Books, 1979), pp. looff. 

85. Gerstenberg, "Revolution 

in der Architektur" in Schlosser, 
Arbeitsrat fur Kunst, pp. 94-95. 

86. Dennis Sharp, Modern 
Architecture and Expres- 
sionism (New York: George 
Braziller, 1967), p. 113. 

87. Whyte, Letters, ill. p. 30. 

88. Eugene Santomasso, 
"Wenzel Hablik: The 'Schaf- 
fende Krafte' Folio and Its 
Relationship to Expressionist 
Aims and Ideals," Architectural 
Association Quarterly 12, no. 3 
(1980): 25-38. 

89. Hermann Billing, 
Architektur-Skizzen (Stuttgart, 
1904); see Wolfgang Pehnt, 
Expressionist Architecture in 
Drawings (New York: Van Nos- 
trand Reinhold, 19S5), ill. p. 9; 
Ernst Haeckel, Kristallseelen: 
Studien iiber das anorganische 
Leben (Leipzig: Alfred Kroner, 

90. Wilhelm Worringer, 
Abstraction and Empathy, 
trans. Michael Bullock (New 
York: International Universities 
Press, 1967), pp. 133-34; orig- 
inally published as Abstraktion 
und Einfuhlung: Ein Beitrag 
zur Stilpsychologie (Munich: 
R. Piper, 1911); see also Roland 
Marz, "Das Kristallinische 

im deutschen Expressionismus: 
Feininger, Klee und andere," 
Bildendc Kunst, no. 3 (1987): 
111-12; Regine Prange, Das 
Kristalline als Kunstsymbol: 
Bruno Taut und Paul Klee 
(Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 
1991), p. 2gff. 

91. Other examples include 
Wassili Luckhardt and Rudolf 
Selling's advertising sign on 
the Anus in Berlin (1922-23) 
and the Lunapark structures 
Albulabahn (1920) and Der 
glaserne See (The glass sea, 
1921); see Whyte, Bruno Taut, 
pp. 218-20. 

92. Adolf Behne, "Gedanken 
iiber Kunst und Zweck, dem 
Glashaus gewidmet," Kunst- 
gewerbeblatt, n.s., 27 (October 
1915): 4; translated and dis- 
cussed by Rosemarie Haag 



Bletter, in "The Interpretation 
of the Glass Dream: Expres- 
sionist Architecture and the 
History of the Crystal Meta- 
phor," Journal of the Society of 
Architectural Historians 40 
(March 1981): 34. The rela- 
tionship of Taut's early paint- 
ing to his entire oeuvre is 
discussed in Manfred Speidel, 
"Farbe und Licht: Zum 
malerischen Werk von Bruno 
Taut / Colour and Light: On 
Bruno Taut's Oeuvre as a 
Painter," Daidalos, no. 45 (15 
September 1992): 117-35. 

93. Paul Scheerbart "Das 
neue Leben: Architektonische 
Apokalypse," in Bruno 
Taut, Die Stadthrone (Jena: 
Eugen Diederichs, 1919), 

pp. 9-15; on the crystal 
"topos," see Prange, Das 
Kristalline, p. 345. 

94. As discussed by Kenneth 
Bayes in Sharp, Modern Archi- 
tecture, p. 149. 

95. The Weimar constitution 
was ratified on 31 July 1919, 
becoming law on 11 August. 

96. Bruno Taut, letter of 27 
December 1919, in Whyte, 
Letters, p. 28. 

97. Ibid., pp. 19, 154. 

98. See Bruno Taut's letter of 
8 July 1920 and his undated 
letter "The Shoes of Fortune" 
and Hablik's response of 22 
July 1920 (ibid., pp. 118-22, 

99. Ibid., p. 30; for inscription 
on Hablik's ink drawing 
Flicgende Siedlung (Flying set- 
tlement, 1907-14), see Wenzel 
Hablik: Attraverso I'espres- 
sionismo I Wenzel Hablik: 
Expressionismus und Utopie, 
exh. cat. (Florence: Museo 
Mediceo, Palazzo Medici Ric- 
cardi, 1989), ill. p. 55; trans- 
lated in Anthony Tischhauser, 

"Wenzel Hablik: Crystal Uto- 
pias," Architectural Association 
Quarterly 12, no. 3 (1980): 20. 

100. Taut, Dissolution of the 
Cities, p. 2S3; idem, Alpine 
Architecture, in Borsi and 
Kbnig, Architcttura dell' 
espressionismo, p. 267; origi- 
nally published as Alpine 
Architektur (Hagen: Folkwang, 

101. Ruf zum Bauen (Berlin: 
Wasmuth, 1920); reprinted in 
Schlosser, Arbeitsrat fur 
Kunst, pp. 77-80. 

102. As is argued by Rosemarie 
Haag Bletter, in "Paul Scheer- 
bart's Architectural Fantasies," 
Journal of the Society of Archi- 
tectural Historians 34 (May 
1975): 83-97. 

103. Paul Scheerbart, Glass 
Architecture (published in the 
same volume with Bruno Taut, 
Alpine Architecture), ed. 
Dennis Sharp, trans. James 
Palmer (New York: Praeger, 
1972), p. 41; originally pub- 
lished as Glasarchitektur (Ber- 
lin: Verlag "Der Sturm," 1914). 

104. See Jean-Francois 
Lyotard, "Complexity and the 
Sublime" ICA Documents 4: 
Postmodernism (London: Insti- 
tute for Contemporary Art, 
1986), pp. 10-1 1: for a discus- 
sion of these tendencies in rela- 
tion to Expressionism, see 
Jochen Schulte-Sasse, "Carl 
Einstein; or. The Postmodern 
Transformation of Modern- 
ism," Modernity and the Text: 
Revisions of German Modern- 
ism, ed. Andreas Huyssen and 
David Bathrick (New York: 
Columbia University Press, 
1989), pp. 36-59. 

105. Michael Stark, Fur und 
wider den Expressionismus: 
Die Entstehung der Intellek- 
tuellcndebatte in der deutschen 
Literaturgeschichte (Stuttgart: 
Metzler, 1982), p. 29. 

106. Bloch, "Uber das noch 
nicht bewusste Wissen," 

p. 365; on Bloch's eventual 
philosophical reconciliation 
of humanity and nature, see 
Peter J. Brenner, "Aspekte und 
Probleme der neueren Uto- 
piediskussion in der Philoso- 
phic," in Utopieforschung: 
Interdisziplinare Studien zur 
neuzeitlichen Utopie, vol. 1, 
ed. Wilhelm Vosskamp (Stutt- 
gart: Metzler, 1982), p. 14. 

107. See Fredric Jameson, 
"Ernst Bloch and the Future," 
in Marxism and Form (Prince- 
ton, N. J.: Princeton University 
Press, 1971), pp. 116—59. 

108. See Timothy O. Benson, 
"Mysticism, Materialism, and 
the Machine in Berlin Dada," 
Arr Journal 46 (Spring 1987): 

109. Michel Foucault, "Of 
Other Spaces," Diacritics 16 
(Spring 1986): 24. 

110. Hausmann's poem appears 
in its entirety in Der Dada, no. 
1 (June 1919): 2, from which 
Golyscheff clipped it. 

111. Other modern artists and 
architects, including Klee 
and Frank Lloyd Wright, have 
expressed their indebtedness 
to childhood experiences with 
building blocks (see Bonnie 
Yochelson, "Paul Klee and 
Architecture," Marsyas 20 
[1979-80]: 61-70). 

112. Raoul Hausmann, 
"Objektive Betrachtung der 
Rolle des Dadaismus," Der 
Kunsttopf no. 4 (October 
1920): 62-68; reprinted in 
Raoul Hausmann, Bilanz der 
Feierlichkeit: Texte bis 1933. 
ed. Michael Erlhoff, vol. 1 
(Munich: Text und Kritik, 
1982), pp. 108-13. 

113. For a discussion of 
Vogeler's cosmic theory, see 
Heinrich Wiegand Petzet, Von 
Worpswede nach Moskau: Hein- 
rich Vogeler, ein Kiinstler 
zwischen den Zeiten (Cologne: 
DuMont, 1977), pp. 138-39. 

114. Oskar Schlemmer, letter 
of 14 June 1921 to Otto Meyer 
Amden, in Dirk Scheper, Oskar 
Schlemmer: Das tnadische 
Ballett und die Bauhausbuhne, 
Schriftenreihe der Akademie 
der Kiinste, no. 20 (Berlin: 
Akademie der Kiinste, 1988), 

p. 32. 

115. Bruno Taut, "Zum neuen 
Theaterbau," Das hohe Ufer 1 
(August 1919): 204-8. In 1920 
Taut proposed a performance 
of his Weltbaumeister in 
Darmstadt, which, however, 
never materialized. In 1921 he 
created the stage designs for a 
performance of Schiller's Die 
Jungfrau ron Orleans at the 
Deutsches Theater in Berlin 
(see Whyte, Bruno Taut, 

pp. 209-12). 

116. Behne, "Zur Einfiihrung," 
in Schlosser, Arbeitsrat fur 
Kunst, pp. 92-93. 

6 5 

Erich Heckel 
Stchcndes Kind, 1910 
(Standing child) 
Cat. no. 80 


Franz Marc 

Versohnung, 1912 


Cat. no. 130 


Wassily Kandinskv 

Orientalisches, 191 


Cat. no. 100 


Erich Heckel 
Parksee, 1914 
(Lake in a park) 
Cat. no. 85 


Johannes Molzahn 

Schopfung, 1917 


Cat. no. 154 


Wassily Kandinsky 

Parodies, 1911-12 


Cat. no. 101 


' K^! 




to^'^A a 




E \ -Jh 


naif* ^Sb 


^fi* i ^S 


-''. ;: : . 

Heinrich Campendonk 
Adam und Eva, c. 1925 
(Adam and Eve) 
Cat. no. 12 


Otto Mueller 

Adam und Eva, 1920-23 

(Adam and Eve) 

Cat. no. 167 


Max Beckmann 
Adam und Eva, 1917 
(Adam and Eve) 
Cat. no. 5 


Richard Seewald 
Paradies, 1914 
Cat. no. 204 












bridge to Utopia: 
1 he Drticke as Utopian 


n its brief founding manifesto of 1905 (see Appendix), the Dresden Expression- 
ist artists' group Brticke (Bridge)- projected a vision of an ideal future, one in 
which established powers would be supplanted by youth. In shared values of 
youth, community would be found. Youth and its art would represent "freedom 
of movement," intellectual as well as physical, so as to permit "direct and 
authentic" expression of those unconscious or subconscious forces and desires in which 
artistic productivity resides. Authenticity, freedom, and youth were the hallmarks of 
a new age, not only of artists but also of their admirers, who would form the nucleus of 
a transformed humanity. The Briicke would be its initial attempt at realization, an 
experiment in an alternative communal life-style conceived by artists. 

Other than the sparse testimony of the manifesto, the Briicke provided no texts that for- 
mulated a Utopian society, a vision of an ideal communal future. Nor is there evidence 
such as books in the artists' libraries which suggests direct contact with the Utopian visions 
recorded by numerous authors since Plato and Sir Thomas More. Neither the noun utopia 
nor the adjective Utopian appears in the public pronouncements or private correspondence 
of the artists. Similarly, insofar as Utopian desires demand political action to approach ful- 
fillment, the Briicke artists, like most German cultural figures of the time, openly joined 
no organized political or social movement, supported no political part}' or organization, 
and remained outside the actualities of German political life prior to the conflagration of 
World War 1. 3 If we seek to identify the group's Utopian convictions, it must be through 
a kind of archaeological investigation into the life and milieu of the organization and its 
functions, which extracts Utopia from the artists' portrayals of their experiences and 
visions. Prints, drawings, paintings, and sculptures, as well as the practices of the artists 
themselves, are the texts and traces of the Briicke's Utopian vision, its "dream of a true and 
just ordering of life." 4 

The Briicke's Utopian engagement was not directed at society at large, but at art, cul- 
ture, and the lives of artists, at the realms of Geist— the spirit, soul, and imagination — not 
at pragmatic Macht, or power. Like all attempts to realize utopia, the Briicke's was rooted 
in opposition to established society and its institutions. The group projected a hoped-for 
future, a counterimage of a transformed and perfected reality rooted in community and 
friendship, but it provided no systematic map or blueprint, only enticing, albeit sketchy 
associations and implications that must be retrieved through critical interpretation. 


In his Chronik KG Briicke (Chronicle of the artists' group Briicke, 1913; see fig. 75), 
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner recalled how he, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, and Fritz 
Bleyl had come together some ten years earlier, informally at first, then, after 1905, as a 

Im Jahre 1902 lernten sich die Maler Bleyl 
und Kirchner in Dresden kennen. Durch 
seinen Bruder, einen Freund von Kirchner, 
kam Heckel hinzu. Heckel brachte Schmidt - 
Rottluff mit, den er von Chemnitz her kannte. 
In Kirchners Atelier kam man zum Arbeiten 
zusammen. Man hatte hier die Moglichkeit, 
den Akt, die Grundlage aller bildenden Kunst, 
in freier Natiirlichkeit zu studieren. Aus dem 
Zeichnen auf dieser Grundlage ergab sich das 
alien gemeinsame Geftihl, aus dem Leben die 
Anregung zum Sehaffen zu nehmen und sich dem Erlebnis unterzu- 
ordnen, In einem Buch "Odi profanum" zeichneten und schrieben die 
einzelnen nebeneinander ihre Ideen nieder und verglichen dadurch ihre 
Eigenart. So wuchsen sie ganz von selbst zu einer Gruppe zusammen, 
die den Namen "Briicke" erhielt. Einer regte den andern an. Kirchner 
brachte den Holzschnitt aus Siiddeutschland mit, den er, durch die alten 
Schnitte in Niirnberg angeregt, wieder aufgenommen hatte. Heckel 
schnitzte wieder Holzfiguren; Kirchner bereieherte diese Technik in den 
seinen durch die Bemalung und suchte in Stein und Zinnguss den 
Rhythmus der geschlossenen Form. Schmidt - 
Rottluff machte die ersten Lithos auf dem 
Stein. Die erste Ausstellmig der Gruppe fand 
in eigenen Raumen in Dresden statt; sie fand 
keine Anerkennung. Dresden gab aber durch die 
landschaftlichen Reize und seine alte Kultur 
viele Anregung. Hier fand "Briicke" auch die 
ersten kunstgeschichtlichen Stiitzpunkte in 
Cranach.Beham und andern deutschenMeistern 
des Mittelalters. Bei Gelegenheit einer Aus- 
stellung von Amiet in Dresden wurde dieser 


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 

Page from Chromk KG Briicke 

(1913) with two woodcuts by 


The Los Angeles County 

Museum of Art. 

The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German 

Expressionist Studies 




Karl Schmidt-Rottluff 

Berliner Strasse in Dresden, 


Cat. no. 193 

formally registered artists' organization that modestly identified its purpose as "the 
arrangement of modern art exhibitions": 5 

They met in Kirchner's studio to work together. Here there existed the oppor- 
tunity to study the nude, the foundation of all pictorial art, in free and natural 
motion. From our drawings . . . there developed the communal sense that we 
should derive the inspiration for our work from life itself and should submit our- 
selves to its direct experience. . . . Each individual drew and wrote down his 
ideas next to those of the others, and in this comparative way they discovered 
what they had in common. Thus, naturally and without force, they developed 
into a group, which received the name Brucke. Each inspired the other. 6 

What Kirchner described in his mixed first- and third-person narrative was the sponta- 
neous, unhampered evolution of mutually supportive individuals into a consciously 
cohesive group, a community of friends united by shared concerns. As each member 
contributed to the common goal, the artists melded into a new collective that operated as 
an evolving, experimental alternative to the ossified system of artistic production and 
support that existed in Dresden and throughout the German Empire. 

The Brucke was formed as a means of coalescing opposition to "established older 
powers" (see Appendix). These powers are readily identifiable as the interlinked organiza- 


tions of the academies, their allied art schools, and the Kunstgenossenschaft (art union). 7 
Founded in 1856 as a pan-German professional organization, the state-supported Allge- 
meine deutsche Kunstgenossenschaft (General German art union) and its local branches 
(known as Kunstverein or Kiinstlerverein, art or artists' associations), which consolidated 
their power during the late nineteenth century, essentially served as a union and licensing 
organization, granting professional recognition to individuals as artists. Its members 
worked as instructors at the art academies, and it sponsored collective exhibitions for its 
membership, thus controlling access to the marketplace as well as to the very profession of 
artist. With artistic values rooted in the past, committed to the preservation of accepted 
standards and to the maintenance of commercial privilege, the academies and Kunst- 
genossenschaft were an institutionalized obstacle to innovation, originality, and indepen- 
dence. They forced young artists into their mold or effectively destroyed them. For 
reform-oriented artists such as the members of the Briicke, there was no accommodation. 

Well before the Briicke s formal founding in 1905, artists repeatedly rebelled against 
the powerful art institutions of German-speaking Europe, most notably against the acad- 
emies before the emergence of the Kunstgenossenschaft. As early as 1796, in a pioneering 
proclamation of artistic independence, the painter Asmus Jakob Carstens passionately 
announced, "I belong, not to the Berlin academy, but to humanity." He demanded the 
freedom to develop his talent according to his own convictions and to choose his own pro- 
totypes, free from the academy's control: "I never promised to place myself at the service 
of the academy as a lifelong serf."' 8 Similar sentiments were later voiced by the Viennese 
painter Ferdinand Georg Waldmiiller, who also complained about the debilitating effects 
of the academic straitjacket: "Freedom is the essence, the soul of art. True artists can be 
formed only by instruction that is free from every imposed style, free from all pedantry in 
its formal aspects, free from all bureaucratic supervision, free from all demands from 
the state. ... It is a fact of history that the spirit of art withered with the emergence of 
academic study." 9 

On June 7, 1905, Erich Heckel rented an empty butcher's shop in Dresden's Friedrich- 
stadt section, at Berliner Strasse 60, to function as the Briicke s communal studio, where 
together the artists could develop their skills and their art free from the discipline of the 
academy, using nonprofessional models (see fig. 76). The models at the academy and the 
technical college in Dresden, where Bleyl, Heckel, and Kirchner had studied architec- 
ture, assumed standardized poses often derived from antique and Renaissance statuary 
and held the poses for long periods of time to permit detailed drawing. The Briicke 's 
untutored models, in contrast, posed informally, constantly changing their positions. As 
Bleyl recalled: 

Since the drawing after the nude practiced at the technical college was too aca- 
demically conceived, it failed to satisfy us, and we decided to sponsor classes for 
sketching the nude on our own. For this, a gracefully lithe model made herself 
available for us, a pretty girl with a friendly and compliant nature and with a 
wonderfully symmetrical build, with her body just at the brink of maturity. She 
had the wonderfully melodious name of Isabella. Without any sign of effort — 
and she never tired of this— she was able to surprise and enchant us with ever 
new, unselfconsciously natural nude poses. Only a quarter hour was allowed 
for any one pose. That necessitated quick comprehension and rapid execution of 
a few courageous lines, and after two hours' work we were quite exhausted. But 
then we all sat together with Isabella in merry company and drank a cup of tea. '° 


Freedom from the academy marked a first step toward the realization of the Briicke's Uto- 
pian desires, as it had for earlier artists. 

The major component of the Briicke's Utopian demands — the dream of absolute 
freedom, independence, and autonomy for art as well as artists— was a reformulation of 
Waldmiiller's and Carstens's demands for emancipation from the existing system of artistic 
production and consumption. When Carstens and Waldmuller rejected externally 
imposed instruction and prototypes as inimical to the emergence of an authentic art, they 
spoke as individuals and as mature artists, perhaps struggling, but with established careers 
and reputations. The Briicke artists, in contrast, acted communally and were at the very 
beginning of their artistic careers. As they began to develop their painting skills autodidac- 
tically, they put into practice earlier demands for the free development of artists outside 
the imposed discipline of the academies. By rejecting already established styles and 
methods, they sought to retain the spontaneity of their naive vision, to develop their nat- 
ural perception rather than submit to imposed artifice, and thereby to gain access to the 
truth of what they saw. They began, according to Kirchner's Chronik, without pre- 
conceived notions of artistic style and vocabulary and sought to develop their art through 
shared experience and observation, working side by side as journeymen, guided only by 
nature and their responses to it. The truth and innocence of nature, both in terms of what 
they depicted— "natural" models unhampered by fashion or tradition— and how they 
worked — "natural" artists unhampered by academic discipline or limiting prototypes — 
functioned as a Utopian moral principle, a manifestation of artistic and existential freedom. 

"In 1903 Briicke organized into a cooperative association in order to forge a path for the 
strivings of the new German art," the group proclaimed in 1910 in a brief statement of its 
history and ideals. ' ' The emphasis on communal and cooperative existence was a constant 
in the Briicke's proclamations, from the 1905 Programm to Kirchner's 1913 Chronik, and 
was reflected in the group's 1908 exhibition poster. Like the group's ideal of freedom and 
autonomy, this Utopian sense of equality and interdependence, this belief that a new com- 
munity would emerge through shared experience founded in shared needs and shared 
natures, followed nineteenth-century models. 

The first and most noted of these prototypical fraternities was the group of six young 
painters — Johann Conrad Hottinger, Johann Friedrich Overbeck, Franz Pforr, Josef Sut- 
ter, Ludwig Vogel, and Josef Wintergerst— who joined together in 1809 as the Lukasbund 
(League of Saint Luke) in formal recognition of the communal identity that had emerged 
after they first met in 1808 at the Vienna academy. As would later be true for the Briicke, 
opposition to academic teaching and contemporary art practice united them: "Slavish 
study at the academies leads nowhere. . . . One learns to paint a remarkable fold of drapery, 
to draw a figure properly, learns perspective, architecture, in short everything learnable, 
and yet no true painter emerges. There is one thing missing in all newer paintings, although 
it may well be that it is considered only incidental — heart, soul, feeling!" 12 Communal 
interaction would give rise to a new shared identity: 

On July 10th of last year [1809] we celebrated our first anniversary with an 
evening meal. During this, we discussed the current state of art, we all felt 
intensely how low it had sunk, and almost simultaneously we all offered to do 
whatever we could for its restoration. We grasped each other's hands and a bond 
was formed that, we hope, shall remain firm. We also agreed as far as possible 
to present every painting that we completed to the collected membership; if. 


after a nonpartisan examination, it was found to be worthy, then it should be 
marked with our sign. This consists of a small label on which Saint Luke 
is depicted. 1 ' 

Individual was subsumed into community, which withdrew from the turmoil of the mun- 
dane world. The artists adopted a monastic life devoted to art, avoided the temptations of 
societv and possessions, and moved from Vienna to Rome, where the}' lived and worked 
together in the secularized monastery of San Isidoro (and received the name by which 
they are best known, the Nazarenes). 14 

Patterns of Utopian social critique, especially the formation of an alternative commu- 
nity in opposition to established society, the rejection of contemporary art practices, and 
the establishment of mutually agreed upon "natural" standards for interactive work as 
a means of renewing art: the ideas that we associate with the Briicke were first espoused 
by the Nazarenes and were later adapted by other artists' groups during the nineteenth 
century, notably the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in London in 1848. ' 5 Although the Pre- 
Raphaelites set out to emulate the Nazarenes' neoreligious art, in dramatic contrast to 
the Briicke's secular orientation, they did provide a prototype for the Dresden artists. Like 
the Briicke, the Pre-Raphaelites lived in a modern metropolis, a center of capitalist indus- 
try and commerce. They too chose to remain in that urban environment, to address its 
middle-class audiences and patrons, even to allow its presence and life to enter their 
imagery from time to time, though always in the guise of a moralizing critique. And just 
as the Briicke published programs, catalogues, annual print portfolios, and posters, 
thereby making its aesthetic and work known to a wider public, the London artists recog- 
nized the modern need for propaganda, extending the reach of their reform efforts by 
issuing the illustrated periodical The Germ in 1849-50. 

Although the Pre-Raphaelites' practices mirror aspects of the Briicke's efforts at Utopian 
reform and the linked desire for natural artistic expression (for example, the belief that 
"a kindred simplicity should regulate our ambition . . . [along with the insistence on] the 
naive traits of frank expression and unaffected grace"' 6 ), the English artists did not seek to 
function as an alternative to existing art institutions. Participation in the Royal Academy's 
annual exhibitions marked their activity, as did the effort to overcome negative response 
by enlisting the partisan pen and voice of John Ruskin in letters to newspapers, critical 
essays, and public lectures. Nonetheless their model of formally organizing for the pur- 
pose of mutual support and the development of a communal art vocabulary inspired later 
artists to plan similar experiments, as when Vincent van Gogh in 1888 imagined a 
"Studio of the South" in Aries, where he, Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, and other Post- 
Impressionist artists could live and work together. Indeed this desire to flee the major 
urban and industrial centers in order to recover a more "authentic" human existence, 
which was shared by many artists in the late nineteenth century, owes much to the Pre- 
Raphaelites' effort to revive medieval and Elizabethan art and life in their paintings, 
thereby proposing an idyllic Utopian alternative to the blight of contemporary London, 
Liverpool, or Manchester. 

The idea of projecting a Utopian past into the present was taken a step further by 
William Morris, whose anti-industrial arts and crafts movement attempted to regain for 
labor the nobility and freedom, the satisfying linkage of producer and product, that he 
associated with the medieval economy. A description of the Morris and Company textile 
workshop at Merton Abbey in Surrey in 1891, well removed from metropolitan England, 
calls forth an arcadian vision of beauty and harmony: 



Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's 
studio in Dresden, 1910 
Photograph by Kirchner 

A garden with an age-old wall, verdant meadows and shady trees at the edge of 
a clear brook. Within it, the work sheds, stretched out and with low roofs, and 
a mill wheel that slowly turns in a circle. Long strips of patterned cotton cloth 
wash gently in the water- dense strands of glowing yarns, fresh from their 
indigo bath, play in the winds. Dyers and printers glide around silently. Within 
the house there are neither steam-powered machines nor mass production. A 
few hand looms for silk and woolen cloths, looms for knotting rugs and Gobelin 
tapestries, a room for printing patterns on cloth, the. dyers' rooms, and the stu- 
dio for glass painting. Over it all, an air as if from a past age, an atmosphere of 
peace, even of leisure, in which the worker is not hounded to death but can 
pause for breath and also enjoy some of the beauty of our earth. That was Mcr- 
ton Abbey. 1? 

The wistful account of Merton Abbey's peaceful, Utopian world is taken from an early 
German history of the European arts and crafts movement, written as the Briicke was 
being founded. The history was an effort to link Morris's arcadian counterreality to the 
ideology of social democracy, to nineteenth-century Utopian socialism, and to Karl Marx's 
demand that Utopian yearning be transformed into systematic science and concrete reality, 
into praxis. lS The Briicke's Utopian experiment has a certain kinship with such Social 
Democratic histories of reform in the applied arts, sharing their advocacy of truth to 
nature as a foundation for artistic practice and their interest in efforts to create an alter- 
native culture of artists and artisans whose work would be "good in the sense of the 
employed material and the technical execution." 19 

Morris's dream of an art-generated scientific communist Utopia, described in his vision- 
ary novel News from Nowhere (1891), was applied in a less systematic fashion by other 
German proponents of an alternative society. Focusing on his condemnations of the cap- 
italist city, on the "disgraceful contrast" that existed "between the fields where beasts live 
and the streets where men live,"- these reformers linked his praise of the value of 
craftsmanship in premodern society with the virulent antiurbanism of Julius Langbehn 
and other prophets of "cultural despair." 21 During the 1890s a number of Utopian commu- 
nities were established in Germany. These idyllic garden communes, with paradisiacal 
names such as Eden and Monte Verita, were formed outside Germany's despised, rapidly 
expanding cities as "blossoming oas[es] in the midst of the capitalist desert and its ugli- 
ness, corruption, and bodily degeneration ... a first fully ripened fruit of liberal social- 
ism. " :: As their vegetarian settlers tilled the communallv owned land, harvested the fruits 



of ecologically cultivated orchards, and sold home-grown foods for support, these self- 
sufficient land reform communes provided a Utopian alternative to both capitalism and 
Marxist socialism, a romantic-agrarian "third way," in which the individual would be lib- 
erated as community was created. The vices of a materialistic modern society would find 
no welcome in these settlements: "Eden is the first and only 'dry' community in Germany. 
Alcohol sale is not permitted. In Eden no butcher shop, no tobacco shop, no pornography, 
no modern cinema, no nightclubs, no betting parlors, no gambling clubs are allowed to 
open. . . . Prostitution and sexuallv transmitted diseases are unknown in Eden." : > 

Less drastic in their conception and regulation than the Utopian garden settlements, 
largely rejecting their asceticism but indisputably related to them, were the numerous 
artists' colonies that German artists founded in fishing and farming villages. Imitating the 
painters of the Barbizon school as well as William Morris, these artists added another 
dimension to the confusing, amorphous, and ungrounded ideological complex of the third 
way. Thus a young writer who participated in Munich's alienated literary and artistic 

bohemia of the 1890s recorded: "We, a small group of poets and artists, wanted to move 
to [the medieval town of] Visby on the Swedish island Gotland, in order to write poems, 
paint, print books, and weave tapestries." The settlement would be organized according to 
"purely aesthetic principles." 14 In these sheltered agrarian communities, far removed from 
profit-oriented urban society, producing the furnishings and decorations as well as the shelter 
and nourishment their colonies needed, artists sought to translate their visions of social 
and artistic reform into reality and to rediscover a primordial unity with nature. Artworks, 
artists, community, environment, and nature were fused into a Utopian Gesamtkunst- 
werk, an integrated work of art employing its human members as its constructive medium. 

In the village of Worpswede, amid the peat bogs and moors north of Bremen, the 
painters Hans am Ende, Fritz Mackensen, Otto Modersohn, Fritz Overbeck, Carl Vinnen, 



Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 

Mit Schilf werfende Badende, 


(Bathers tossing reeds) 

Cat. no. log 

and Heinrich Vogeler joined together as the Kiinstlervereinigung Worpswede (Worpswede 
artists' alliance) in 1895. The artists lived and painted together, designing and construct- 
ing their own houses and furnishings in the manner of Morris's arts and crafts designs. In 
their Utopian withdrawal from urban existence and in their embrace of northern Germany's 
landscape — the "truth" of nature that contrasted with the "falseness" of the city— they 
hoped to create a new art, an idyllic vision inspired by the land and soil. Worpswede's art- 
ists were repeatedly awarded gold medals at art exhibitions and received consistent critical 
praise for the "profound truth" of their work. "This is not simply a copying of what might 
be found to appeal externally," one critic wrote, "but a becoming one with surrounding 
nature, an organic emergence of the artwork from the spirit of the land and the people." 25 
For young German artists such as the members of the Brlicke, Worpswede's communal 
rejection of urban art institutions could not but function as an example to be emulated in 
other cooperative ventures. 

Artists' communities were set up not only in the countryside but within the expanding 
urban milieu of imperial Germany as well. Thus in Darmstadt Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig 
of Hesse-Darmstadt founded the Mathildenhohe artists' colony in 1899 on a hill over- 
looking the old city. A new, enclosed suburban village and exhibition site emerged, a "free 
creative community" that would encourage "joy in work and striving for the ideal" by means 
of "collegial work together"; there would be no hierarchy, no subordination, but total 
freedom and equality for the Darmstadt-Mathildenhohe community. :6 Artists purchased 
subsidized ground on which to build houses and studios whose harmonious Jugendstil 
design would contrast with the surrounding urban landscape, with its lack of unity and 
planning and its functional, commercial, utilitarian, and historicist structures. A Utopian 
alternative to the modern city, a "beautiful city," would be set up right next to it: 


We must build a city, an entire city! . . . In the entire layout and down to the 
smallest detail everything will be controlled by the same spirit. The streets and 
the gardens and the palaces and the huts and the tables and the chairs and the 
lights and the spoons will be expressions of the same sensibility. But in the cen- 
ter, like a temple in a sacred grove, will be the House of Work, at one and the 
same time a studio for artists and a workshop for the craftsmen, where now the 
artist shall always be close to the calming, orderly process of the craft, and 
the craftsman shall always be close to the liberating and purifying presence 
of art, until such a time as artist and worker fuse into a single personality! 27 

A life and environment of beauty, with no discord to disrupt the communal life and 
activity of the artists and craftsmen: this was the ideal that the Mathildenhohe artists' 
colony strove for in its effort to reform by means of example, by means of actualized 
Utopian prototype. 

Without outside sponsorship, lacking the resources of Worpswede or Mathildenhohe or 
the large and devoted membership of Eden, the Briicke artists nonetheless approximated 
some of their efforts. If the}- could not shape the external environment of Dresden, they 
could determine the internal form of the studio at Berliner Strasse 60. Even if Kirchner's 
pronouncements about his own leadership are problematic, and clearly contrary to the 
sense of fraternity and equality that guided the Briicke s formation, his Chronik records the 
artists' efforts to shape an environment that corresponded to their concept of an anti- 
bourgeois utopia and art: "Heckel and Kirchner attempted to bring the new painting into 
harmony with an interior space. Kirchner equipped his rooms with wall paintings and 
tapestries, on which Heckel worked too." 2S Decorations employing their new Expressionist 
vocabulary brought their art into their environment, thereby incorporating life itself into 
a new totality of artistic vision (see fig. 77). The artists also made their own utensils and 
furnishings, frequently emulating the non-European, "natural" forms of African and 
Oceanic furnishings and sculpture and also applying the concept of the Jugendstil 
Gesamfkunstwerk that the Mathildenhohe artists' colony propagated. 

The division between high and applied art, one of the hallmarks of postmedieval 
European culture, was erased. Entry into the Briicke 's studio signified entry into a world 
removed from the early twentieth-century proletarian and industrial surroundings of 
Dresden-Friedrichstadt, from the middle-class world of the artists' origins and patrons, 
and from the world of official exhibitions and academic studios. It provided an antithetical 
"other" to the life and civilization of Germany, a realm of artistic freedom and invention, 
a temporary Utopian retreat and counterreality. 


In establishing and furnishing their Dresden studio, the Briicke artists translated their art 
into Utopian praxis. The murals and tapestries in the studio as well as the other paintings, 
sculptures, drawings, and prints produced by the artists made visible and extended the 
group's vision of utopia. The Utopia of an artist's life, the utopia of the studio, and the 
utopia of the images melded into one another, as Kirchner later recalled: 

The manner of the development of the objects of our external life, from the first 
appliqued tablecloth in the first Dresden studio to the completed harmonic 
space in the Berlin studios of the individual artists, consists of a single uninter- 



rupted, logical process of intensification, which went hand in hand with the 
painterly development of the paintings and graphics and sculptures. The first 
bowl that was carved because it was impossible to buy one that appealed to us 
transferred its plastic form to the surface-oriented form of the paintings, and 
kneaded into personal form, through and through, down to the last stroke, were 
the most varied techniques. The love that the painter felt for the girl [Madchen] 
who was his companion and helper was transferred to the carved figure, 
ennobled itself through its proximity into a painting, and then once more medi- 
ated between a specific form of chair or table and the life habits of the human 
model. In this simple example our manner of producing art can be seen. . . . 
Primary for the artists was free drawing from free people in free natural- 
ness. ... We painted and drew hundreds of sheets of paper each day, interrupted 
by talk and play; painters became models and vice versa. The painters learned 
by means of constant attempts to draw naked boys and girls and young men, 
whom they drew drawing. All the events of the day were made part of memory 
in that way. The studio became a home to the people who were being drawn: 
They learned from the artists, the artists from them. Directly and richly, the 
pictures absorbed life. : ° 

Kirchner's diary, which repeats aspects of his characterization of the Briicke's life and his- 
tory in the 1913 Chronik (and which, like the Chronik, was partially motivated by a desire 
to minimize the role of Pechstein while maximizing his own), describes the foundation of 
an experimental Utopian community of artists. Art, its manifestations and its making, 
influenced all aspects of the men's life and work together, shaping their environment as 
well as their interpersonal contacts and relationships. In art, in the content and structure 
of its imagery, the Briicke's Utopian vision was made manifest; in art life was absorbed, 
transformed, and projected back into life. 

The Briicke's belief that art had the potential to mold and anticipate a future perfected 
humanity is rooted in eighteenth-century German idealism, notably the aesthetics 
of Immanuel Kant and their development by the poet-philosopher Friedrich von Schiller. 
Art, rather than being a secondary or incidental aspect of social and political life, was 
fundamental, as Schiller wrote in 1793, during the French Revolution: "Usefulness and 
practicality are the great idol of our time, which is adored by all powers and which all 
talents should serve. ... I hope to convince you that [art and aesthetics are] alien not so 
much to the needs, but rather only to the taste of our time, and indeed that we are obliged 
precisely to take the path through aesthetics in order to solve the actual political question, 
for it is through beauty that we arrive at freedom." 10 Like the Brticke artists, Schiller made 
freedom the goal of his aesthetic Utopian vision, with art serving as mediator between 
imperfect present and Utopian future. Art, by visualizing an ideal beauty (which neces- 
sarily invokes freedom, since lack of freedom counters the ideal), projects an alternate 
reality. Thus in the imagined imagery of art, a prototype for a Utopian future is consciously 
presented. 31 The image world of the Briicke's paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, and 
furnishings corresponded to the one they attempted to realize in their communal life and 
working methods. 

Linked to the preeminence of freedom in the Briicke's writings and mode of organ- 
ization is the concept of nature, which varies in meaning, referring both to the outdoors, 




Max Pechstein 

Tanzende und Badcndc 

am W'aldteich. igi2 

(Dancers and bathers at 

a forest pond) 

Cat. no. 171 

the landscape, and "uncivilized" settings, and to essence, the fundamental and defining 
aspects of a thing rather than accidental accretions. In both senses nature exists as the 
antithesis to the artifice of civilization, to imposed laws and structures that alter what is 
fundamental or true. Nature is whatever is God-created rather than man-created, and thus 
the more human civilization removed itself from it, the more unnatural, unwholesome, 
and unauthentic humanity became, according to this pattern of thought, with the urban, 
capitalist, industrial civilization of modernity being the ultimate manifestation of this 
process. When Kirchner wrote of how the community of the Brucke evolved without 
force, organically, he argued for the group's "naturalness," its emergence from free and 
natural interaction, in contrast to the imposed regulation of modern civilization and its 
institutions. v ~ 

The Brucke 's yearning for nature in all its ramifications was shared by numerous other 
Germans, mostly members of the educated middle classes and the lower ranks of the 
aristocracy, notably those seeking third-way alternatives. As the most evident and 
imposing artefact of modern civilization, the city was regarded as an anti-utopia through 
which utopia could be defined: 


Erich Heckel 
Ballspiclende, 1912 
(Ball players) 
Cat. no. 83 

Forget the city with its labor and work, its sweat, its fumes and odors and 
afflictions. Forget the high house walls, the stone pavements of the streets, the 
narrow rooms where you forgot how to breathe and broke yourself of the habit of 
looking, of gazing at vitally growing life, at the dome of heaven, at the blue 
horizon of the landscape, at the lush greenness of the meadow, at the colorful 
glory of the flowers. Close your eyes. What do you see? Do you still feel the 
pressure of the ceding in your room, do you still pass through narrow alleys 
between high house walls, with the hard stones beneath your feet? Then wander 
farther away from the city. 33 

The open land, nature unblemished by urban intrusion, provided the antidote to the 
dehumanizing effects of the city, and immersion in nature, even if only temporary, was a 
necessary and hygienic corrective to the "nervous hysteria" of sunless, smoke- and dust- 
filled city life: "In addition to a daily change of air, a weekly one (Sunday excursion), and 
finally a semiannual, or at least annual, extensive change of air must take place. . . . We 
respond with glad approval to school trips to the country during summertime, the conva- 
lescence stations and recovery homes in the mountains, . . . vacation colonies, etc., since 
these will aid many, even if not everyone, in gaining access to the benefits of a change of 
air to restore their health." 34 The Briicke artists' frequent excursions to the countryside 
near Dresden or to the North Sea— even as they steadfastly remained city dwellers, never 
seeking to set up a Worpswede-like rural colony —provided a "change of air." They shared 
the life reform movement's belief in the benefits of fresh air, sunlight, pure water, and 
the land. In the Briicke s Utopia nature was a healer. 55 

"Naturally we worked outdoors a lot, directly before nature," recalled Fritz Bleyl of the 
Briicke s early years, "for example, at the Racknitz Heights or on the shores of the River 
Elbe — as far upstream as Pillnitz-Pirna, downstream as far as the Meissen area — and from 
time to time in the area around Moritzburg." 36 Small towns or landscaped parks, the areas 
Bleyl mentions, were easily reachable by streetcar or train from Dresden and were popular 


destinations for the daylong family excursions that the life reform movement advocated 
(see fig. 78). Similarly Kirchner's Chronik is punctuated by itemizations of the artists' trips 
to various villages and parks, as if they marked major stations in the group's artistic devel- 
opment: "Schmidt-Rottluff went with [Emil Nolde] to Alsen. Later Schmidt-Rottluff and 
Heckel went to Dangast. The brisk air of the North Sea gave rise to a monumental impres- 
sionism. . . . Kirchner and Pechstein went to Gollverode. . . . Heckel and Kirchner went to 
the Moritzburg Ponds. . . . Schmidt-Rottluff worked on perfecting his color rhythm in 
Dangast .... Pechstein joined Heckel in Dangast . . . [then] both of them came to Kirchner 
at Moritzburg." 

Nature healed and re-formed the inhabitants of the urban anti-utopia as they sought to 
give form to their art-driven Utopian vision. The landscape they entered, moreover, was 
the landscape of the city dweller, the landscape of Erholung, of recovery, relaxation, and 
contrast. Nature here was disciplined and cultivated for the inhabitants of Germany's 
spreading metropolises; it was within ready reach to offer its salutary forces to receptive 
visitors. It was not, however, nature in its most dramatic form. The Brticke's sketches and 
paintings of the Dresden years do not depict the picturesque views of rugged mountains 
and valleys that would have been available somewhat farther from Dresden, in the area 
known as Saxon Switzerland; nor do they show the vistas along the shores of the Elbe. 
Rather than portraying the "untouched" nature that might be found in a primeval paradise 
or in the anthropomorphic views of the Romantic painters, they depicted nature that knew 
the presence of humanity, evidenced by village houses and streets, for example. They 
show nature tamed, no longer a threat, but not yet overpowered and despoiled by urban 
expansion. Nestled in gently sloping, verdant hills, mirrored in its peaceful waters, the 
products of human presence are in Utopian harmony with nature. 

Nature is also presented as shelter and as recuperative power in the other major grouping 
of Briicke landscape representations, in which the human presence becomes overt. While 
scenes of workers in fields or travelers along paths were produced, they function as inci- 
dental contrasts to the motif that generally occupied the artists' attention. When Kirchner 
wrote in the Chronik of visiting the Moritzburg Ponds with Heckel and Pechstein during 
the summers of 1909, 1910, and 1911, he noted that their purpose was "to study the nude 
in the open air," and he identified the nude as "the foundation of all pictorial arts." One of 
the artists' goals in establishing their communal studio was to depict the nude and its "free 
and natural motion," an opportunity that the art schools had denied them. In the nude 
resided the concept of freedom and the related concept of nature, the two primary compo- 
nents of the Brticke's Utopian vision. 

The artists' recollections of these summer sojourns, and those of their friends, present 
an idyllic life free from pain and worry. The appearance of an occasional policeman to 
object to the immodesty of naked bathers provided an almost necessary anti-utopian 
counterpoint recalling the limits and rules of society. As Pechstein recounted: 

When we were together in Berlin [in 1910], I agreed with Heckel and Kirchner 
that we three would work at the ponds around Moritzburg, near Dresden. 
We already knew the landscape . . . and we knew that the possibility was there 
to paint the nude undisturbed in open nature. . . . We had to find two or three 
people who were not professional models and thus would reveal to us move- 
ments unhindered by studio discipline. . . . We were also in luck as far as the 
weather was concerned: not a single rainy day. ... We painter fellows would 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 
Spiclende nackte Menschcn 
unter Bitumen, 1910 
(Nudes playing under trees) 
Oil on canvas 
3o 5 /i6 x 35 '/i6 in. 
(77.0 x 89.0cm) 
Bayerische Staatsgemalde- 
sammlungen, Munich 

s 3 

Max Pechstein 

Erlegung des Fcstbratcns. 191 1 
(Killing of the banquet roast) 
Cat. no. 170 



£ZZ£'£Vzz H zr l issnm 






move out early in the mornings, loaded down with our gear, behind us the 
models carrying bags full of stuff to eat and drink. We lived in absolute har- 
mony, worked and bathed. If the counterpoint of a male model was lacking, 
then one of us three would fill the gap. . . . Each of us produced numerous 
sketches, drawings, and pictures. 37 

An account by Gustav Schiefler, the retired Hamburg jurist who became one of the 
Briicke's major benefactors and defenders, written in 1918, likewise transports the trips 
to the Moritzburg Ponds to a realm of artistic perfection: 

For several months they settled with numerous models at one of the ponds in 
the environs of Dresden and spent days there, as much as the climate permit- 
ted, naked in the open air. A small tree-covered island . . . provided a kind of 
campsite, and so apparently they led a life similar to that of some wild primeval 
tribe. What Gauguin had sought in the South Seas, they produced for them- 
selves in immediate proximity to the metropolis. The sketches that were made 
there in endless number are the documents of this original experiment, and 
since everything that the artists learned during the previous years came to 
fruition in them, we find artistic achievements of a high order among them. 
Nonetheless, it was not until the winter months that the final consequences 
were drawn in the reworking of the motifs in paintings.^ 

The Briicke's faith in the nude was linked to their faith in the reformative function of their 
art. The naked women and men absorbing the health-giving rays of the sun represented 
a nudist utopia (see figs. 79, 80, 81). 

Along with the other reform movements that preached a return to nature and the land, 
nudism gained a significant following in Germany, beginning in the 1890s. Nakedness- 
according to one of its most vocal spokesmen, Heinrich Pudor— signified health and vital- 
ity and would preserve youth, eventually leading to immortality. " "Light-air baths" were 
advocated, exposing the body to open air and sunlight, and "light-air-sports-baths" were 
constructed in the cities, so that even within the urban milieu the city-infected bodies of 
the citizens, strictly segregated by gender, could be presented to the regenerative experi- 
ence of movement, light, and air unhindered by the unnatural stricture of clothing. Nude 
beaches, enclosed by wooden fences mandated to be two and a half meters tall and with- 
out knotholes, were established along the North and Baltic seas and near cities, on the 
shores of rivers and wooded ponds, in "naturist colonies," frequently subdivided according 
to various ideological or religious allegiances. 40 The call to "bathe in light, air, and sun" 
was transforming or re-forming at least a small part of the German population into a syn- 
thesized Lichtluftgeschdpf, a creation produced by sunlight and air. 

The Briicke's celebration of the nude body, while certainly an expression of the belief 
that the human figure is the supreme subject of art, was likewise such an effort to recover 
a Utopian "naturalness" that civilization attempted to deny. The painted celebrations of 
bathers at the Moritzburg Ponds, in which figures communed with trees and water or 
interacted in joyful and uninhibited play (see fig. 82), were extensions of the ideal life that 
the Brticke attempted to create, a utopia that emphasized informal human interaction and 
communication, play, and art while filtering out everything else. The images of naked 
women and men walking in the woods, playing with bows and arrows, reclining in ham- 
mocks or on blankets, frolicking among the reeds and bulrushes by the lakes, or making 



8 4 

Otto Mueller 

Knabe zwischen 

Blattpftanzen, igi2 

(Youth seated between 

large plants) 

Cat. no. 165 

sketches, refer to the traditional iconography of the Golden Age but proclaim their mod- 
ernity by means of a style that rejects the retrospective attitudes of traditional Golden Age 
depictions (see figs. 83, 84, 85). Utopia, as the Briicke conceived of it, was rooted in the 
present, and their vision of a life devoid of care and dominated by joy and pleasure was 
addressed to contemporary viewers. 

Although the Briicke's images, like the nudists' celebration of the benefits of light, sun, 
and open air, highlighted the benefits of nature and granted it an empathic subjective 
force, nature and the landscape were in a fundamental sense incidental to the images. The 
natural setting not only acted as a foil and an antidote to the city where the artists lived 
and worked but was also an alternate studio, an extension of the Utopian work environ- 
ment that the artists had created in Dresden. 

Initially the Briicke's Dresden studio, where they invited other artists to join them in 
depicting the nude, functioned as did most teaching studios, with a work space furnished 
with easels and a platform on which a model posed. The two worlds, those of the artist 
and his subject, remained separate, coming together only briefly for tea after the sketching 
session was completed, as Bleyl recalled. As Heckel and Kirchner began to paint scenes on 
the walls and carve studio furnishings, however, the distinction began to dissolve. The 
studio itself became the locus and motif of their independent works, with models viewed 
and depicted specifically in the enhanced studio environment. 

Kirchner recalled in 1923 that the Brticke "theory" of art involved a persistent exploration 
in which a motif was transferred from medium to medium, from painting to sculpture to 
print to furniture in multiple combinations, variations, and directions so that the world of 



the artwork and the world surrounding it were conceptually and visually fused, becoming 
extensions of each other. Utopia became simultaneously no place— an unbeatable site, 
in the sense of Thomas Mores invented Greek word, somewhere between studio and 
painting— and every place, as painted image and three-dimensional environment became 
intertwined. Judging from the paintings and drawings, this process of transformation came 
to completion late in 1909, when the studio setting, with its paintings, tapestries, chairs, 
stools, and couches, began to compete with the figure as the central subject of the artists' 
works (see fig. 86). 41 Chronologically this coincides with the increased focus on bathers 
and other figures in nature, so that the two Utopias— one outdoors, the other indoors— 
merge. In the Briicke's portrayals of models in front of tapestries and wall paintings that 
include landscape settings, moreover, the worlds of nature and the studio cease to be 
distinguishable and again become an ambiguous Utopian site (see fig. 65). It was to the 
studio that the artists and models returned each evening from their daily summer excur- 
sions, and it was in the studio that the paintings that synthesize outdoor impressions 
were produced later in the year, as nature became inhospitable. 41 

The studio offered the model of an alternative society with art and freedom (and sub- 
sumed in freedom, naturalness or nature) as its guiding principles. The images of figures 
in the studio reveal a progressive transformation. Initially the artists followed relatively 
traditional practices in which models were posed— and any held pose, even the fifteen- 
minute ones the Brucke advocated, results in stiffness and artificiality— against a neutral 
background. Setting is insignificant or arbitrary. It is a construct of the picture's own world 
and thus distances itself from the world in which the artist works as well as that of the 


Otto Mueller 

Badende, 1920 


Cat. no. 166 


Ernst Ludvvig Kirchner 

lnterieur I/, 1911 

(Interior II) 


13M6 x 11 '/i in. 

(33.5 x 28.5cm) 

Briicke-Museum, Berlin 


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 

Atelierszene (Bcsucher im 

Atelier), c. iaio-11 

(Studio scene [visitor 

in the studio]) 


i6 5 /i6x i3 9 /i6in. 

(41.5 x 34.5cm) 

Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche 

Museen zu Berlin, 

Preussischer Kulturbesitz 

viewer. The repetition of the studio environment in the paintings, the inclusion of paint- 
ings in the environment, this fluidly dialectical process that Kirchner described, placed 
the figures in an extension of the artist's milieu, so that the world within the painting no 
longer differed from the world outside it. Such an injection of the studio world into the 
paintings and drawings extended further as the models ceased to pose and began to move 
freely, nude or clothed, about the studio (see fig. 87). Scenes of conversations, games, and 
dances alternated with scenes of women reclining, sitting, standing, or bathing, usually 
facing the artist. A greater informality and spontaneity entered the Briicke paintings, 
which as a result functioned as a more appropriate sign of the life the artists sought to rep- 
resent. This informality, moreover, was derived from familiarity, as the models either 
lived in the studio with the artists or spent much of their time there. The world within the 
pictures ceased to be an artificial construct, invented and unfamiliar, and became a sou- 
venir rendition of the mundane bohemian milieu, the Utopian everyday of the studio. 

If Kirchner's recollection is considered, the conceptual fusion between artist, image, 
and milieu was also testimony to the sexual and amorous relationships between the Briicke 
painters and their models. As the artists depicted the women they loved, Kirchner argued, 
their paintings reflected that emotional link. Whether or not this contention is accepted, 
the scenes of naked models interacting with their artist companions, who were themselves 
sometimes naked, or reclining languorously alone are sexually charged. Whereas the nud- 
ist movement argued puritanically that habitual nakedness reduces sexual stimulation and 
saw the body largely in terms of skin, rather than flesh or sexual organs and signs, 43 the 
Briicke saw the human body as a site of pleasure and the celebration of sexuality. Whether 
mature, with heavy breasts and accented pubic hair, or pubescent, with breast buds and 
hairless bodies, the Briicke 's female models displayed a conscious sexuality (see fig. 65). 
The men depicted often responded with rising penises, or this response was suggested by 
the inclusion within the paintings and prints of the scenes of loving couples that prolifer- 
ated on the studio walls. The freedom of Utopia and its celebration of nature were projected 
into and from the bodies of the women and men who inhabited the Briicke 's studio. 44 



There was no predetermined schema according to which the Brticke's artistic Utopia was 
shaped. Its configuration emerged through its evolution after the artists began to sketch 
nudes together in 1903, and it can be recognized only in terms of their interaction and the 
images they produced until they left Dresden for Berlin in 1911. While their concretely 
formed Utopian experiment lacks direct correlation to Utopian texts, the Brticke artists, like 
other visionaries, accented concepts of freedom, nature, and the future, basing their art as 
well as their community on them. 45 But utopia is also elusive. The word Utopia means 
nowhere, and for the Brticke too it was situated in a netherworld somewhere between the 
world of the studio and the world of the images, with the two intermingling into a Utopian 
otherworld, especially in the artists' later nostalgic recollections. The Utopian community 
that was sought in Dresden failed the test of its transplant to Berlin, where the group 
ejected Pechstein for exhibiting independently, substituted Otto Mueller for him, and 
finally splintered apart as Kirchner attempted to chronicle its history in 1912. The Briicke 
artists continued to explore Utopian imagery in their separate studios that emulated the 
decor of the one in Dresden, in depictions of nudes and landscapes and interiors, but the 
community in which it originated ceased to exist. Utopia, even imperfect, was nowhere. 


1. Oscar Wiide, "The Soul of 
Man under Socialism," in 
The Complete Works of Oscar 
Wilde, rev. ed. (London: 
Collins, 1966), p. 35. Wilde's 
essay, originally published 

in 1890, appeared in 1904 in 
German translation in the 
anthology Der Sozialismus und 
die Seele dcs Menschen, Aus 
dem Zuchthaus zu Reading, 
Aesthetisches Manifest, trans. 
Hedwig Lachmann and Gustav 
Landauer (Berlin: K. S. A. 
Juncker, 1904). 

2. Although the group's name 
is generally rendered in 
English-language texts as Die 
Briicke or The Bridge, the use 
of the definite article has no 
precedent in Briicke posters, 
publications, or letters. The 
artists were at all times careful 
to refer to themselves collec- 
tively as Briicke or by their 
more formal, legal title, 
Kunstlergruppe Briicke (Artists' 
group bridge). The difference 
in connotation is significant. 
The name Briicke reflects the 
group's view of itself as a means 
of passage from the present to 
the future. Use of a definite 
article suggests that the group 
regarded itself as the only 
bridge to the future. Its mem- 
bers, however, were receptive 
to various alternatives to 
existing cultural institutions, 

and they made no claim to 
exclusivity in their approach 
to art. See Reinhold Heller, 
introduction to Briicke: Ger- 
man Expressionist Prints from 
the Granvil and Marcia 
Specks Collection, exh. cat. 
(Evanston, 111.: Mary and 
Leigh Block Gallery, North- 
western University, 1988). 

3. Notable exceptions to this 
are Max Pechstein, who 
actively supported the Social 
Democratic Party after World 
War I, and Emil Nolde (insofar 
as his brief membership in the 
Brucke during 1906-7 identi- 
fies him with the group), who 
joined the North Schleswig 
National Socialist Party in 
1920. Significantly, however, 
such demonstrative party alle- 
giance dates to the years after 
i9r8 and does not characterize 
the attitudes of even these two 
artists prior to World War I. 

4. Max Horkheimer, "Anfange 
der biirgerlichen Geschichts- 
philosophie" (1930), in 
Anfange der biirgerlichen 
Geschichtsphilosophie: Hegel 
und das Problem der Meta- 
physik. Montaigne und die 
Funktion der Skepsis (Frank- 
furt: S. Fischer, 1971), p. 9. 

5. Willy Oskar Dressier, ed., 
Kunsthandbuch, vol. r (Berlin: 
E. Wasmuth, 1906), p. 232. 

6. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 
Chronik KG Brucke (1913), as 
translated by Reinhold Heller, 
in Brucke: German Expression- 
ist Prints, p. r6. 

7. Concerning the Kunstgenos- 
senschaft and other artists' 
associations in Germany, see 
Heinrich Dieters, Geschichte 
der Allgemeinen deutschen 
Kunstgenossenschaft (Diissel- 
dorf, r903); Karin Brommen- 
schenkel, "Berliner Kunst- und 
Kiinstlervereine des 19. Jahr- 
hunderts bis zum Weltkrieg," 
Ph.D. diss., Friedrich- 
Wilhelms-Universitat, Berlin, 
1942; Nicolaas Teeuwisse, Worn 
Salon zur Secession: Berliner 
Kunstleben zwischen Tradition 
und Aufbruch zur Modcrne, 
1871-10.00 (Berlin: Deutscher 
Verlag fur Kunstwissenschaft, 

8. Asmus Jakob Carstens to 
Minister Friedrich von 
Heinitz, 20 February 1796, in 
Carl Ludwig Fernow, Leben 
des Kiinstlers Asmus Jakob 
Carstens: Ein Beitrag zur 
Kunstgeschichte des 18. Jahr- 
hunderts (Leipzig: Hartknoch, 
1806), p. 204; for a translation 
of the central paragraph of 
Carstens's frequently cited let- 
ter, see Neo-Classicism and 
Romanticism, 1750-1850, vol. 
1, Enlightenment and Revo- 
lution, ed. Lorenz Eitner, 

Sources and Documents in the 
History of Art Series (Engle- 
wood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice 
Hall, 1970), p. 109. 

9. Ferdinand Georg Wald- 
muller to Freiherr Carl von 
Bruck, after 1860, in Kiinst- 
lerbriefe aus dem neunzehnten 
jahrhundert, comp. Else 
Cassirer (Berlin: Bruno Cas- 
sirer, 1923), p. 263. 

10. Fritz Bleyl, "Erinne- 
rungen." in Lothar Gunther 
Buchheim, Die Kiinstlcr- 
gcmeinschaft Brucke (Felda- 
fing: Buchheim, 1956), p. 38; 
for a slightly different text, 
substantively the same in terms 
of the recollected situation, 
see "Aus den 'Erinnerungen' 
von Fritz Bleyl," in Bildnisse 
der "Brucke"-Kunstler von 
einander, ed. Hans Wentzel 
(Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam, 
1961), pp. 23-29; Hans Wentzel, 
"Fritz Bleyl, Griindungs- 
mitglied der 'Briicke,'" Kunst 

in Hessen und am Mittelrhein, 
no. 8 (1968): 89-105. 

11. Introduction to Katalog zur 
Ausstellung der K.G . "Brucke" 
(Dresden: Galerie Arnold, 
1910), unpaginated. 

12. Letter from Friedrich 
Overbeck to his father, 1808, 
in Margaret Howitt, Friedrich 
Overbeck: Sein Leben und 
Schaffen, vol. 1 (Freiburg: 

Herder'schen Verlagsbuch- 
handlung, 1866), pp. 71-72, 
as cited in Eckart Klessmann, 
Die deutsche Romantik 
(Cologne: DuMont, 1979), 
PP- 53-54- 

13. Franz Pforr to Johann 
David Passavant, 21 March 
1810, in Fritz Herbert Lehr, 
Die Blutezeit romantischer 
Bildkunst: Franz Pforr, der 
Meister des Lukasbunds 
(Marburg: Kunstgeschicht- 
liches Seminar der Universitat 
Marburg, 1924), p. 41; see 
also the translation by Lorenz 
Eitner, pp. 33-34- 

14. For an extensive discussion 
of the League of Saint Luke, 
its artists, and their work, see 
Keith Andrews, The Nazarenes: 
A Brotherhood of German 
Painters (Oxford: Clarendon 
Press, 1964). 

15. For a consideration of the 
link between the Nazarenes 
and the Pre-Raphaelites, see 
William Vaughan, German 
Romanticism and English Art 
(New Haven, Conn.: Yale 
University Press, 1979). 

16. William Holman Hunt, 
Pre-Raphaclitism and the 
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood 
(London: Macmillan, 1905; 
New York: AMS Press, 1967), 
p. 108. 

17. Heinrich Waentig, Wirf- 
schaft und Kunst: Eine Unter- 
suchung iiber Geschichte und 
Theorie der modernen Kunst- 
gewcrbebewegung (Jena: Gustav 
Fischer, 1909), pp. 79-80. 

18. Significantly William 
Morris's Utopian novel News 
from Nowhere; or. An Epoch of 
Rest, Being Some Chapters 
from a Utopian Romance was 
published in German transla- 
tion with a preface by Wilhelm 
Liebknecht, a leader of the 
Marxist Social Democratic 
Party of Germany; the transla- 
tor was his wife, Natalie Reh 

19. Waentig, Wirtschaft und 
Kunst, p. 296. 

20. William Morris, "The 
Lesser Arts," in The Collected 
Works of William Morris, vol. 
12 (London: Longmans, Green 
and Co., 1915), p. 25. 

21. Fritz Stern, The Politics 
of Cultural Despair: A Study 
in the Rise of the Germanic 
Ideology (Berkeley and Los 
Angeles: University of Califor- 
nia Press, 1961). 

22. Franz Oppenheimer, 
Erlebtes, Erstrebtcs, Erreichtes: 
Eebenserinnerungen (Dtissel- 
dorf: J. Melzer, 1964), as cited 
in Gabriele Riedle, "Paradies 
sucht Zukunft," Die Zeit 
(Hamburg), 18 September 
1992, overseas edition, p. 22. 
According to Riedle, the 
Obstbausiedlung Eden 
(orchard settlement Eden), 
founded in 1893, still exists 
today near Oranienburg, north 
of Berlin, with 340 houses and 
fifteen hundred inhabitants. 
Concerning the garden city, 
land reform, and commune 
movements in Germany, see 
also Ulrich Linse, ed., Zuriick, 
Mensch, zur Mutter Erde: 
Landkommunen in Deutsch- 
land, 1890-1933 (Munich: 
Deutscher Taschenbuch 
Verlag, 1983); Kristiana 
Hartmann, Deutsche Garten- 
stadtbewegung: Kulturpolitik 
und Eebensreform (Munich: 
Deutscher Taschenbuch Ver- 
lag, 1976). For a pioneering, 
highly critical analysis of the 
garden city movement, see 
George L. Mosse, "Germanic 
Utopias," in The Crisis of 
German Ideology: Intellectual 
Origins of the Third Reich 
(New York: Grosset and 
Dunlap, 1964; New York: 
Schocken, 1981), pp. 108-25. 

23. Walter Eberding, "35 Jahre 
Obstbausiedlung Eden," in 
Biologische Heilkunst, no. 17 
(1928), cited in Janos Frecot, 
Johann Friedrich Geist, and 
Diethart Kerbs, Fidus, 1S68- 
1948: Zur dsthetischen Praxis 
biirgerlicher Fluchtbewegung 
(Munich: Rogner und Bern- 
hard, 1972), p. 37. 

24. Arthur Holitscher, "Die 
Miinchner Zeit: Erinnerungen," 
in Die neue Rundschau 35 
(March 1924): 390. 

25. Worpswede, eine deutsche 
Kiinstlerkolonie um 1900, 
exh. cat. (Bremen: Kunsthalle 
Bremen, 1980), pp. 83-84. 

26. Darmstddter Tagesblatt , 
21 July 1899, cited by Annette 
Wolde, "Der okonomische 
Hintergrund der Kiinstler- 
kolonie," in Em Dokument 
deutscher Kunst: Darmstadt, 
1901-1976, exh. cat., vol. 5 
(Darmstadt: Mathildenhohe, 
i97 6 -77), P- 49- 

27. Josef Maria Olbrich (1901), 
cited by Eva Huber, "Die 
Darmstadter Kiinstlerkolonie: 
Anspruch und Vervvirklichung 
ihrer kunstlerischen Ziel- 
setzung," in Ein Dokument 
deutscher Kunst, p. 60. 

28. Kirchner, Chronik, p. 16. 
There is disagreement among 
historians of the Briicke as to 
whether it was Kirchner or 
Heckel who first began to make 
wall paintings. Contrary to 
Kirchner's recollection in the 
Chronik, the evidence of 
sketches and photographs sug- 
gests that Heckel may have 
begun wall decorations early in 
1909. Moreover photographs 
thought to have been taken in 
the studio at Berliner Strasse 
60, and dated as early as 1908, 
have recently been shown to 
have been taken in the studio 
at Berliner Strasse 80 after 
November 1909 (see Jill Lloyd, 

German Expressionism: Primi- 
tivism and Modernity [New 
Haven, Conn.: Yale University 
Press, 1991], pp. 23-24). 
While this revised dating of the 
photographs seems probable, 
no absolute evidence for it has 
been found so far. 

29. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 6 
March 1923, in Lothar Grise- 
bach, E. L. Kirchners Davoser 
Tagebuch (Cologne: DuMont, 
1968), p. 78. The word 
Mddchen might also be trans- 
lated as "girlfriend" or possibly 
"young woman." The women 
who were the Briicke painters' 
lovers in Dresden ranged in age 
from the late teens to early 
twenties. The role of women in 
the Briicke's Utopia is discussed 
later in this essay. 

30. Friedrich von Schiller, 
"Uber die asthetische 
Erziehung des Menschen in 
einer Reihe von Briefen," 

in Werke in drei Bdnden, vol. 
2 (Munich: Hanser, 1966), 
P- 447- 

31. "The importance of beauty 
consists for (Schiller] in the 
possibility the aesthetic expe- 
rience affords of a practical 
apprenticeship for the real 
political and social freedom to 
come. In art, consciousness 
prepares itself for a change in 
the world itself and at the same 
time learns to make demands 
on the real world which hasten 
that change: for the experience 
of the imaginary offers (in an 
imaginary mode) that total sat- 
isfaction of the personality and 
of Being in the light of which 
the real world stands con- 
demned, in the light of which 
the Utopian idea, the revolu- 
tionary blueprint, may be con- 
ceived" (Frederic Jameson, 
Marxism and Form: Twentieth- 
Century Dialectical Theories 
of Literature |Princeton, N.J.: 
Princeton University Press, 
197 1 ). P- 90). 



32. While there are numerous 
similarities between the 
implied thought processes of 
the Briicke artists and those of 
such "prophets of cultural 
despair" as Paul Lagarde and 
Julius Langbehn, whose 
thought Fritz Stern has charac- 
terized (see note 20 above), the 
tendency to draw an absolute 
equation that has characterized 
much recent scholarship on 
Expressionism should be 
resisted. Similarly, while the 
Brucke's concepts clearly mani- 
fest the culture-civilization 
antithesis that originated in 
German idealism, their ambiv- 
alence toward "civilization" 
demands to be included in an 
analysis of their thought. 

33. Heinrich Pudor, Kathe- 
chismus der Nackt-Kultur: 
Leitfaden fur Sonncnbader und 
Nacktpfiege (Berlin-Steglitz: 
Kraft und Schonheit, 1906), 

p. 6. 

34. M. Platen, Die neue 
Heilmethodc: Lchrbuch der 
naturgemassen Lebensweise, 
der Gesundheitspftege und der 
naturgemassen Heilweise, vol. 
1 (Berlin, 1913), pp. 442-43. 
cited in "Wir sind nackt und 
nennen uns Du": Von Licht- 
freunden und Sonnenkdmp- 
fern: Eine Gcschichte der 
Freikorperkultur, ed. Michael 
Andritzky and Thomas Rau- 
tenberg (Giessen: Anabas, 
1989), p. 15. 

35. Aspects of the Brucke's 
nature worship are discussed by 
Jill Lloyd, in "The Briicke 
Bathers: Back to Nature," in 
German Expressionism, pp. 
102-29. While her account 
parallels mine in many 
respects, it does not recognize 
the Utopian quality of the 
Brucke's nature ideology. 

36. "Aus den 'Erinnerungen' 
von Fritz Bleyl," p. 25. 

37. Max Pechstein, Erin- 
nerungen, ed. Leopold Reide- 
meister (Wiesbaden: Limes 
Verlag, i960), pp. 41-44. 

38. Gustav Schiefler, "Erich 
Heckels graphisches Werk," 
Das Kunstblatt 2, no. 9 (1918): 

39. Heinrich Pudor, Nackt- 
Kultur, vol. 3, Die Probleme 
des Lebens und der Zeugung 
(Berlin-Steglitz, 1907), cited in 
Andritzky and Rautenberg, 
"Wir sind nackt," p. 19. For a 
brief summary of Pudor's ideol- 
ogy, with an emphasis on his 
radical nationalism and anti- 
Semitism, see Frecot, Geist, 
and Kerbs, Fidus, 1868-1948, 
pp. 48-50. The Brucke's affin- 
ities with nudism are discussed 
extensively in Lloyd, "The 
Briicke Bathers"; the parallel 
was first drawn by Charles S. 
Kessler ("Sun Worship and 
Anxiety: Nature, Nakedness, 
and Nihilism in German Expres- 
sionist Painting," Magazine 

of Art 45 [November 1952]: 

40. For an overview of the 
development of nudism in 
Germany, see Andritzky and 
Rautenberg, "Wir sind nackt." 

41. Basing her dating for the 
studio furnishings on various 
documents in which they are 
either mentioned or, before 
1909, significantly not men- 
tioned, Jill Lloyd argues like- 
wise that the studio decorations 
were produced in 1909 (Ger- 
man Expressionism, p. 23). 

42. Although the Brucke's 
paintings and prints of bathers 
are usually dated to the time 
they depict, i.e., the summer 
months, as if the artists were 
Impressionist plein-air painters, 
evidence suggests that the 

works were actually produced 
from sketches during the winter 
months. The finished works of 
the Briicke depict recollections 
and memories, not a scene in 
the process of being witnessed 
(see Heller, Briicke, pp. 50-51). 

43. Andritzky and Rautenberg, 
"Wir sind nackt," pp. 1S-20. 

44. That this "utopia" was 
conceived and generated for 
and by men, with women 
serving subsidiary roles as 
"companions and helpers," in 
Kirchner's words, is readily 
recognizable. Not only are the 
women depicted largely in 
terms of their relationship to 
men or displaying themselves 
for men, but women were 
never depicted performing the 
"male" act of making art. 
Although some of the Brucke's 
models did make drawings dur- 
ing the sketching sessions, the 
artists never represented them 
doing so or even performing 
such tasks as weaving rugs or 
sewing tapestries for the stu- 
dios. Artistic work and cre- 
ativity, according to the visual 
record of the Brucke's imagery, 
was not "women's work," and 
this would seem to imply a per- 
ception of women as inferior to 
their male counterparts within 
the context of the group's Uto- 
pian vision. 

45. If a comparison must be 
made between the Brucke's per- 
ception of an improved society 
without imposed authority and 
discipline, with a celebration 
of nature and nonmonogamous 
love, with a free communism 
and an individualistic social- 
ism, and with art as the driving 
force behind the emergence of 

utopia, it should be with the 
unsystematic ideas of utopia 
presented in Oscar Wilde's 
essay "The Soul of Man under 
Socialism" (see note 1 above). 
Since the German translation 
of this essay was included in 
the same volume as "The Bal- 
lad of Reading Gaol," for 
which Heckel made a series of 
woodcuts in 1907, it is even 
possible (but not demonstrable) 
that the artists knew this text. 
I am not arguing that Wilde 
influenced the Briicke, how- 
ever, only for kinship between 
his ideas and those that shaped 
the Briicke. 

Marianne Brandt 
VnseTe irritierende 
Grossstadt, 1926 
(Our irritating metropolis) 
Cat. no. 1 1 


Carl Mense 

Strasse mit Fahnen, 1913 

(Street with flags) 

Cat. no. 146 


Ludwig Meidner 
Wannsce Bahnhof. 1913 
(Wannsee train station) 
Cat. no. 135 


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 
Studtbahnbogen, 1915 
(Tramway arch) 
Cat. no. 113 


Wilhelm Plunnecke 

Hduser, Bdume. Menschen. 


(Houses, trees, people) 

Cat. no. 173 



jocial I heory; the /Vletropolis, 
and Cxpressionism 

mn 1863, in his essay "Le peintre de la vie moderne" (The painter of modern 
life), Charles Baudelaire defined modernity as "the transitory, the fleeting, the 
fortuitous, the half of art whose other half is the eternal and the immutable." 1 
The painter of modern life was to focus on the transitory, fleeting, and fortuitous 
dimensions of modern experience, which was viewed by Baudelaire as specifi- 
cally metropolitan. Modernity was both a quality of modern life and a new aesthetic 
object. Subsequent avant-garde movements would share this concern with "the funda- 
mentally new object whose force lies solely in the fact that it is new, regardless of how- 
repulsive and wretched it may be." 2 

According to Baudelaire, the aesthetic representation of "the ephemeral, contingent 
newness of the present" should not capture an eternal element but rather "the age, its 
fashions, its morals, its emotions." The modern painter must grasp the "rapid movement" 
that we find "in trivial life, in the daily metamorphosis of external things." Within "the 
landscapes of the great city — landscapes of stone, caressed by the mist or buffeted by the 
sun," the modern painter must capture "the outward show of life . . . [and] express at once 
the attitude and the gesture of human beings." Like Poe's "Man of the Crowd," the artist of 
modern life must be a "passionate lover of crowds and incognitos," with a capacity to view 
the present, however trivial, anew. The artist as "passionate spectator" must "set up house 
in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of the movement, in the midst of the 
fugitive and the infinite." The act of plunging oneself into "the multiplicity of life" forces 
the artist "to become one flesh with the crowd," to enter into it "as though it were an 
immense reservoir of electrical energy." 3 

But this immersion in the dynamic flux of the metropolitan crowd, in the latest fashions 
as the transitory heraldry of the absolutely new, and this marveling at "the amazing har- 
mony of life in the capital cities" does not exhaust Baudelaire's tasks for the modern 
artist. 4 In his own works — Les fleurs du mal (Flowers of evil) or Le spleen de Paris (Paris 
spleen)— he attempts to capture "the savagery that lurks in the midst of civilization," its 
"living monstrosities," and, not least, the "sickly population which swallows the dust of 
the factories, breathes in particles of cotton, and lets its tissues be permeated by white 
lead, mercury and all the poisons needed for the production of masterpieces." 5 

Baudelaire's delineation of modernity and his call for artists to capture our experience 
of it concentrate upon newness, everyday urban existence, the crowd, and the dynamic 
movement of the metropolis. Aesthetic representations of such experiences of modernity 
must confront the full impact and consequences of modern existence: the problems of rep- 
resenting the discontinuous and disintegrating experience of time as transitory, space as 
indefinite, and causality as replaced by fortuitous or arbitrary constellations. This prob- 
lematization of our modern experience, and the attendant implications for human individ- 


Ernst Ludvvig Kirchner 

FiinfKokotten, 1914-15 

(Five tarts) 

Cat. no. 112 

uality and subjectivity, is evident in all modern aesthetic movements. Each feels itself to 
be modern in a new and different manner and proclaims so in its manifestos. 

All modernist movements have provided aesthetic representations of a "new" object, 
one viewed and experienced in a new manner, and have applied new methods and tech- 
niques to this object. No modernist movement has asserted that it is merely another artis- 
tic style; each is always a radical break with the past, with earlier modes of experience 
and representation. Expressionism too saw itself this way. As Friedrich Huebner insisted, 
"Expressionism is more; it signifies a change of epoch [Zeitwende]." Expressionism, like 
other modernist movements, offers new possibilities; it "believes in the all-possible. It is 
the world view of Utopia. It places human beings once more at the center of creation." 6 

Such a retrospective view of Expressionism as a cultural movement does little, how- 
ever, to illuminate its aesthetic focus. Certainly a crucial site of modernity in Expression- 
ist art is the metropolis. Overstating somewhat, Jost Hermand argues: "Expressionism was, 
from the very outset, a modernistic, avant-garde, metropolitan art. . . . Indeed, Expres- 
sionism was— despite the many tendencies pushing into the biological, mystical, Uto- 
pian, primal— the first real metropolitan art in Germany . . . and thus found its logical 
center in Berlin." 7 Aside from pointing to the significance of other centers (Dresden and 
Munich, among others), one could also elaborate on the diverse nature of Expressionist 
representations of the metropolis. For instance, Reinhold Heller has questioned "whether 
the simple dichotomy of an Expressionist anti-urban versus a non-Expressionist celebra- 
tion of the city is truly viable," suggesting such variations as the panoramic dead city 
(Egon Schiele), the city of animated architecture and deanimated persons (Ludwig 
Meidner), or a "focus on the city's inhabitants while subordinating architectural setting" 
(Ernst Ludwig Kirchner [see fig. 93]). 8 Sharing the Futurists' celebration of the city at 
night, the Expressionists often took darkness as a theme. But equally compelling in many 
Expressionist images is the manner in which the spectator is in the street, in the crowd, in 
the tumult of the metropolis, rather than viewing the city from a distance, from above, 
from outside, as a landscape (see fig. 94). 

Indeed this inclusion of the spectator in the frame of the street— thereby destroying the 
perspective of the flaneur posited by Baudelaire and the very conception of a passive 
spectator— and his or her participation in the dynamic of the metropolis were precisely the 
avowed aims of some Expressionists. As Meidner stated in his 1914 manifesto: "The time 
has come at last to start painting our real homeland, the big city which we all love so 
much. Our feverish hands should race across countless canvases, let them be as large as 
frescoes, sketching the glorious and the fantastic, the monstrous and dramatic — streets, 
railroad stations, factories, and towers." 9 

According to Meidner, the Expressionist's aim is not to paint in the Impressionist or 
Jugendstil manner, but rather to "achieve a deeper insight into reality." In confronting 
metropolitan reality, the artist must address three dimensions of representation: light, 
viewpoint, and the application of the straight line. Whereas Impressionists saw light every- 
where, Expressionists saw "weight, darkness, and static matter." Between the canyons of 
high buildings is "a tumult of light and dark." Furthermore, "light sets everything in space 
into motion. The towers, houses, lanterns appear suspended or swimming in air." The 
viewpoint, rather than perspective, is "the most intense part of the picture and the climax 
of the design." It can be located anywhere but preferably below the middle of the picture. It 
is important that "all things. . . are clear, sharp and unmystical." But while distant objects 
are in perspective, "the houses next to us— we see them with only half an eye— they seem 



I Mm* 


Ludwig Meidner 
Wogende Menge, 1913 
(Surging crowd) 
Cat. no. 136 

to totter and collapse Gables, smokestacks, windows are dark, chaotic masses, fantas- 
tically foreshortened and ambiguous." Opposing both Impressionist and decorative ten- 
dencies, modern artists, as "contemporaries of the engineer . . . see beauty in straight lines 
and geometric forms." The straight line is crucial for portraying cities: "Are not our big city 
landscapes all battlefields filled with mathematical shapes. What triangles, quadrilaterals, 
polygons, and circles rush out at us in the streets." 

Meidner calls upon his younger colleagues to "flood all our exhibitions with big-city 
pictures." 10 Yet it was not only visual artists who demanded a return to the reality and Uto- 
pian potential of the metropolis. In his essay "Rede fur die Zukunft" (A speech for the 
future, 1918), the writer Kurt Pinthus also pleaded for an appreciation of the metropolis: 

The flight from the cities into nature will no longer be preached, for the 
stone-filled city is not the symbol of ugliness and inhumanity, no longer the 
asylum of impoverishment, but as a contrast to the given extended countryside, 
it is formed by human beings, the work of our hands, the raised-up temple of 
community, whose boisterous rhythm unites us. Here there beats in all houses 
and streets the empathic heart of fellow human beings, here the eternally 
moving spirit calls up the deed. ' ' 

Yet not all Expressionist artists responded in equal measure to such calls, and their atti- 
tudes toward the metropolis, like those of others before them, often remained deeply 

Just as the association of German Expressionism with new representations of the metrop- 
olis hides both the extent of preoccupation with nonmetropolitan themes and the diversity 
of responses to the metropolis, so the treatment of the metropolis by German social the- 




George Grosz 
Mondnacht, 1915-16 
(Moonlit night) 
Cat. no. 48 

orists and commentators also reveals an ambivalence and sometimes hostility to urban 
experience. Such responses range from an identification of the metropolis with the most 
negative features of society, through the city as the site and exemplar of an ugly civiliza- 
tion, the city as the potential source of positive aesthetic representations, to the metropolis 
as the necessary site for aesthetic modernisms. Many of these responses to metropolitan 
experience in social theory anticipate and certainly illuminate dimensions of Expression- 
ist representations of the big city. 

At the most general level the oppositions between community and society and culture 
and civilization were already widely disseminated in the decade of Expressionist produc- 
tion, from 1910 to 1920. So too was the positive view of community, culture, creativity, 
and authentic values, and the negative view of society, civilization, conventionality, and 
inauthentic values. Such a juxtaposition found articulate expression in sociologist Ferdinand 
Tonnies's Gemeinschaft und Geselhchaft (Community and society), first published in 1887 
and reprinted many times subsequently. i: There Tonnies — who hated cities, especially 
Berlin — explored the tendency for the emergence of modern society to be associated with 
the destruction of community. He regarded society as "a transitional and superficial phe- 
nomenon." Whereas "community is old, society is new, as a phenomenon and as a name." 
One goes into society "as into a strange country," into a "mechanical aggregate and artefact." 1 
Society is characterized by contractual exchange relations, hostility, and indifference. The 
act of exchange is "performed by individuals who are alien to each other, have nothing in 
common with one another, and confront each other in an essentially antagonistic and 
even hostile manner."' 4 Society thus produces a multiplicity of relations between individ- 
uals who "remain nevertheless independent of one another and devoid of mutual familiar 
relationships."' 5 The dominance of Geselhchaft is accelerated by contemporary processes 
such as urbanization, and the highest form of societal tendencies is the metropolis. 

In contrast all the "creative, formative and contributive activity of human beings" that 
is "akin to art" belongs to community {Gemeinschaft). l5 Decrying modern society's 
rationalization and its degradation of "everything— objects and humans alike — to the 



level of means," Tonnies, in later editions of his work, looked for alternative collective 
structures such as cooperatives (1912) and cooperative production (1922). It is not difficult 
to read into his work the search for a new community, even a nostalgia for lost communal 
social forms as an antidote to the negativity of modern societal processes. This Utopian 
community grounded in authentic social relations could be the site of genuine creativity, 
of "spiritual friendship," itself "a kind of invisible place, a mystical city and gathering, 
vitalized by both an artistic intuition and a creative will." 17 

Similar conceptions of a Utopian community abounded in Expressionist writings. Yet 
the conception of the metropolis as exemplar of an inauthentic society was often associ- 
ated with its recognition as a legitimate source of artistic inspiration. l8 In other words, the 
horror of the moral order of the metropolis could exist side by side with a fascination with 
its aesthetic order, despite its ugliness. Flowers of evil blossom in the metropolis, as 
Baudelaire testified. 

V9dnSo7,5ecfc, T , 


Lyonel Feininger 
Das Tor. igi2 
(The gate) 
Cat. no. 21 




Martel Schw ichtenberg 
Torsdule, c. 1915-18 
(Portal column) 
Cat. no. 202 

Yet those who argued for recognition of the aesthetic attraction of the metropolis had to 
confront not merely the powerful antiurbanist tendencies in German society— be they the 
ideological idylls of a vanished village existence; the various back-to-nature movements; 
or the retreat to moral, artistic, or religious communities in the countryside— but also the 
powerful representation of German cities, and not least Berlin, as fundamentally ugly 
compared with other European cities. Like many of the other urban centers of the Ger- 
man empire, Berlin had experienced massive expansion and extensive industrialization 
following unification in 1871. Its population at unification was more than three-quarters 
of a million, but by 1895 it had reached 1.7 million and, a decade later, stood at more than 
2 million. By 1920 the population of greater Berlin was approaching 4 million, an expan- 
sion fed by mass migrations, particularly from the east. 10 At the same time successive 
phases of building and reconstruction for industrial development and transportation net- 
works within a short period of time created substantial differences in population density, 
in turn heightening inequities, class divisions, and urban impoverishment. 

Berlin's dramatic expansion into a major metropolis, even its elevation to a Weltstadt 
(world city), symbolized by the Berlin Trade Exhibition of 1896, meant that it was a thor- 
oughly modern city. 20 The 1912 Baedeker guide proclaimed: "Though Berlin does not 
compete in antiquity or historical interest with the other great European capitals, its posi- 
tion as the metropolis of the German empire. . . invests it with high importance, in addi- 
tion to its special and characteristic interest as the greatest purely modern city in Europe."- 1 

Berlin's pure modernity was, however, often viewed as purely modern ugliness. The 
author of an anonymous article entitled "Die schonste Stadt der Welt" (The most beauti- 


ful city in the world), published in Die Zukunft (The future) in 1899, ironically contrasted 
London, Paris, and New York with Berlin, "the parvenu of big cities and the big city of 
parvenus." The city's claim to be a metropolis rested on its status as "the factory city that 
no one knows . . . which is perhaps the greatest in the world." Its architecture is charac- 
terized by a chaotic juxtaposition of historicist styles: "One feels oneself to be in a fevered 
dream . . . [in] the major thoroughfares of the west. Here an Assyrian temple structure, 
adjacent a patrician house from Nuremberg, farther along a piece of Versailles, then rem- 
iniscences of Broadway, Italy, Egypt— dreadful premature births of polytechnic beer fan- 
tasies. A thousand misunderstood forms spring out of the walls of these petit bourgeois 
dwellings." And although a city does not necessarily need beautiful buildings if it has the 
advantage of a striking natural setting, when it has none of these it requires "a significant 
and well-planned street perspective." To achieve this would require the "planned destruc- 
tion" of the existing city and the creation (clearly in a manner reminiscent of Baron Hauss- 
mann's reorganization of Paris) of that which Berlin lacks: "air, free prospect, perspective."" 

The essay's author, Walther Rathenau, abandoned such aesthetic reflections for moral 
and quasi-religious ones in later works such as Zur Mechanik des Geistes (On the 
mechanics of the spirit, 1913), reprinted nineteen times by 1925. 

The sites of soullessness are terrifying. The wanderer who approaches the 
metropolis in the twilight from the depths of the country experiences a descent 
into open tracts of misfortune. Once one has stepped through the atmosphere of 
effluence, dwelling blocks open up like dark rows of teeth and close off the 
sky. . . . The spaces behind the glass panes are filled, their inscriptions shimmer- 
ing in white-blue arc light. "Big bar," "hairdressing salon," "candy shop," "boot 
paradise," "cinema," "installment business," "world bazaar" —these are the 
places of consumption. . . . 

This is the nighttime image of those cities that are praised and applauded 
as places of happiness, of longing, of intoxication, of the intellect, that 
depopulate the countryside, that kindle the desire of those excluded to the 
point of criminality.-^ 

There is little doubt that Rathenau's metropolis is Berlin, portrayed in quasi-Expressionist 
rhetoric. Yet it is possible to discern views of the city that run counter to this pessimistic 
image and to the popular negative contrast between Berlin and Vienna, between civiliza- 
tion and culture. Occasionally it was the potential of the modern metropolis that was 
applauded. In EccePoeta (1912) Egon Friedell insists that "we must become Americans" 
in order to become "good Europeans": 

Berlin is a wonderful modern machine hall, a giant electric motor that, with 
incredible precision, speed, and energy, brings forth a wealth of complex 
mechanical products of labor. It is true: this machine at present has no soul. 
The life of Berlin is the life of a cinematograph theater, the life of a virtuoso- 
constructed homme-machine [man-machine] . But that is enough for a start. 
Berlin is in the awkward adolescent years of a coming culture. . . . Berlin's 
examples of tastelessness are at least modern tastelessness, and they are always 
better than the most tasteless unmodern, because in them the possibilities for 
development are located. :4 

q6 frisbv 

Friedell's futurist metaphors of the machine and the electric motor as positive symbols of 
modernity and his reference to the cinema are characteristic of the dynamic interpretation 
of the metropolis that was taken up by the Expressionists. So too is his insistence that 
despite everything the future lies with modernity. 

Four years earlier, in his Die Schonheit der grossen Stadt (The beauty of the big city, 
1908), the artist and architect August Endell likewise argued for a "love of today and 
here," criticizing those who shrink from the present through a return to nature. =5 In partic- 
ular he maintained that despite the deficiencies and ugliness of modern big cities, they 
contain inexhaustible sources of life and, if we view them in a new light, beauty. The sig- 
nificance of Endell's aesthetics of modern urban life lies in his insistence that Utopian 
traces of beauty can be found in the here and now of the metropolis. 

The relationship between the economy and modern culture was investigated by several 
social theorists, including the sociologist and economist Werner Sombart, who examined 
the economic transformation of modern culture. 

The distinctive nature of our technology, the distinctive nature of our social 
communal living, in large valleys of stone and upon hills of stone, glass, and 
iron, have brought about a situation in which between ourselves and living 
nature . . . a mountain of dead masses of material has piled up that has quite 
specifically given our intellectual life its characteristic features. A new cultural 
foundation has thereby been created: the stone pavement; out of it a new 
culture has emerged: asphalt culture. 

This culture creates "a species of human being that leads its life with no genuine affinity 
with living nature. . . a species with pocket watches, umbrellas, rubber shoes, and electric 
light: an artificial species." Even when this urban mass escapes the valleys of stone, it 
"hardly enters into an inner relationship with nature," for the nature it confronts is its own 
creation; the "so-called sense of nature is indeed really a product of the cities." The inter- 
action of mass (of things and people) and change (increasing tempo) creates a leveling 
of cultural qualities, even "a kind of average person," and the insecurity of all external 
conditions of life "has also made the inner core of human beings unstable, restless, and 
hurried." This condition also affects artists and writers since "they receive from outside a 
thousandfold impressions, are so bombarded with stimuli that they too find it increasingly 
difficult to realize their personal, distinctive nature. For example, if our rich, dazzling 
age is not capable of developing a distinctive architectural style, is this not due to the fact 
that a style no longer has the time to establish itself?" 26 

Sombart had earlier developed such themes with respect to the effects of technology on 
culture at the First German Sociological Association Conference in Frankfurt in lcjro. - 7 
They elicited a reply from the sociologist Max Weber, who drew attention to the interac- 
tion among technology, the metropolis, and modern culture. The question, he maintains, 
of whether "modern technology [Technik], in the commonly understood sense of the 
word, stands in some relationship to formal-aesthetic values must be answered ... in the 
affirmative." He defines a relationship between modern technology and aesthetics using 
the example of the metropolis and its world of things: 

Quite specific formal values in our modern artistic culture could indeed 
only be born due to the existence of the modern metropolis . . . with its street- 
cars, subway, electrical and other lighting, shop windows, concert halls and 


restaurants, cafes, smokestacks, masses of stone, and all the wild dance of tones 
and impressions of color, the impressions that have their affect on sexual fan- 
tasy and the experiences of variations in psychic makeup, that affect the hungry 
rabble through all kinds of apparently inexhaustible possibilities of lifestyle 
and happiness. :8 

The objects of metropolitan existence not only provide subject matter for modern artistic 
endeavors but also penetrate the forms of their representation. Although Weber mentions 
Stefan George and Emile Verhaeren in passing, his thesis is more appropriate to an emer- 
gent Expressionist movement, with its emphasis on an objective, disjointed culture of 
metropolitan technology and its attendant "fantasies," "dreams," and "intensive forms 
of intoxication." 

Weber expands upon his thesis with regard to other features of the modern metropolis 
and modern artistic representation: 

I believe that it is quite impossible that certain formal values of modern 
painting could ever have been realized without the . . . absolutely distinctive 
impression made by the modern metropolis, hitherto never offered to human 
eyes before in the whole of history, forceful by day but totally overwhelming by 
night. And since what is visible— and this alone is of concern here — in each 
and every modern metropolis receives its specific quality not from property 
relations and social constellations, but rather primarily from modern technol- 
ogy, so here indeed is a point at which technology purely as such has very 
far-reaching significance for artistic culture. Z9 

The belief in the total autonomy of modern technology, which Weber did not share, is 
a significant dimension of some Expressionist critiques of modern society. The preface to 
Kurt Pinthus's anthology of Expressionist poetry, Menschheitsddmmerung (Twilight of 
humanity, 1919), with its ambiguous title (Ddmmerung refers to both dusk and dawn), 
contains the following assertion: "One feels ever more certainly the impossibility of a 
humanity that has made itself totally dependent upon its own creations, upon its science, 
its technology, statistics, trade and industry, upon a hypertrophied communal order of 
bourgeois and conventional utility." 30 Somewhat less dramatically, Georg Simmel's essay 
"Die Grossstadte und das Geistesleben" (The metropolis and mental life, 1903) com- 
mences: "The deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to 
preserve the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming 
social forces, of historical heritage, of external culture, and of the technique of life. . . . 
An inquiry into the inner meaning of specifically modern life and its products . . . must 
seek to solve the equation which structures like the metropolis set up between the indi- 
vidual and the super-individual contents of life." 31 

Such thematic affinities should not be surprising since, for many of his contemporaries, 
Simmel possessed an instinct for the times that allowed him to anticipate positions that 
were not yet fully articulated. Writing in 1920, Huebner, for instance, names only Nietzsche 
and Simmel as philosophical precursors of Expressionism: "In philosophy Georg Simmel 
prepared the ground for the new mode of thought. . . with his elaboration of the concepts 
of 'form,' 'self,' and 'life.'" 32 Thus Simmel's essay on the metropolis and other analyses of 


Fritz Levy 

Grossstadt, c. 1920 


Cat. no. 126 



Fritz Levy 



the city are relevant to our understanding of the experiential foundations of Expressionist 
representations of the big city. 

For Simmel the metropolis is "not a spatial entity with sociological consequences, but 
a sociological entity that is formed spatially." Human interaction is experienced as differ- 
ent relational ways of filling in space. He highlights a number of spatial forms confronted 
in interaction: the exclusiveness or uniqueness of space (such as districts of cities); bound- 
aries of space (as in spatial framing, the picture frame, the enclosing boundary of darkness); 
the fixing of social forms in space (including the rendezvous— whose significance "lies, 
on the one hand, in the tension between punctuality and the fleeting nature of the occur- 
rence and its spatio-temporal fixing, on the other"— and the individualizing of space, as 
in the numbering of houses); spatial proximity and distance (including the abstraction and 
indifference of the spatially proximate in the metropolis); and finally movement in space 
(the traveler, the stranger, and the dynamic of metropolitan interactions). 33 

The metropolis is not merely the focal point of social differentiation and the complex 
intersection of social networks but is also the location of more indefinite collectivities such 
as crowds. The openness of the city, facilitating the intersection of diverse social strata, 
can be contrasted with the relative isolation and social distance manifested by the "con- 
centrated minority" in the ghetto. The intersection of social groups and individuals in the 
metropolis generates spatial constellations that foster a total indifference to one's fellow 
human beings. The development of boundaries and social distance in the metropolis is of 
fundamental significance in understanding social interaction and patterns of network 
formation in the city. 

Perhaps the most striking dimension of Simmel's analysis of the metropolis lies in his 
examination of the psychological consequences of the endlessly dynamic interaction of 
networks, things, individuals, and images within "the genuine showplace of this culture." 
He elaborates on "the atrophy of individual culture and the hypertrophy of objective cul- 
ture" through the tendency of each to develop a relative autonomy, with objective culture 
possessing a "unity and autonomous self-sufficiency" and subjective culture emerging out 
of "the subjectivism of modern times" and its attendant "dissociation" and "retreat" from 
objective culture. Nowhere is this apparently autonomous objective culture more evident 
than in the metropolis, where individuals are faced with "the rapid and unbroken change 
in external stimuli" that they experience "with every crossing of the street, with the speed 
and diversity of professional and social life" as "the rapid crowding of changing images, 
the sharp discontinuity in the grasp of a single glance, and the unexpectedness of onrushing 
impressions." 34 This experience of modernity as a stream of ever-changing, discontinuous, 
and diverse impressions is depicted in Expressionist streetscapes (see figs. 100, 101, 102). 

The "particularly abstract existence" of the metropolis, however, originates in part 
in the very labyrinth of interactions themselves, which require functionality, precise 
differentiation, intellectuality, exactitude, and calculability. 35 Thus the apparent tumult 
of the metropolis— its myriad abstract interactions and impressions, "the brevity and 
infrequency of meetings which are allotted to each individual," in short, what appears to 
be a chaos of impressions, shocks, and interactions — in fact results from "the calculating 
exactness of practical life" in the metropolis. This allows "the agglomeration of so many 
persons with such differentiated interests" to "intertwine with one another into a many- 
membered organism." 36 

The city's "rapid and unbroken change in external and internal stimuli" results in a 
dramatic "increase in nervous life," in the modern diseases of neurasthenia, agoraphobia, 
and hyperesthesia. The impossibility of otherwise retaining a stable subjectivity in the 


face of the endless shocks of metropolitan existence accounts for the "psychological dis- 
tance" created by the intellect as a defense mechanism. The heightening of intellectual, 
"rational" defense mechanisms is matched by a heightening of emotional responses that 
remain unsatisfied by the "stimulations, interests, fillings in of time and consciousness" 
in the metropolis. 

Simmel points here to the dialectic of subjective and objective culture: we can fully 
realize our subjectivity only in its externalization in objective cultural forms, yet the latter 
cannot fulfill our desires. Hence individuals experience a permanent "feeling of tension, 
expectation and unreleased intense desires," a "secret restlessness" that results in our end- 
less neurotic search for "momentary satisfaction in ever-new stimulations, sensations and 
external activities. . . . We become entangled in the instability and helplessness that mani- 
fests itself as the tumult of the metropolis, as the mania for travelling, as the wild pursuit 
of competition, and as the typical modern disloyalty with regard to taste, style, opinions 
and personal relations." 17 This implies that "the inner barrier between people that is indis- 
pensable for the modern form of life," "the mutual reserve and indifference" are never 
fully effective against the experience of modernity as discontinuity and disintegration of 
time, space, and causality. Hence alienated forms of existence can become the objective 
forms in which we live. 

One such form, epitomizing urban society, is the blase attitude, arising from "the 
rapidly changing and closely compressed contrasting stimulations of the nerves," which 
culminate in "an incapacity to react to new sensations with the appropriate energy." Thus 
where individuals are confronted with a mass of commodities and sensations and where all 
values are reduced to exchange values, the blase individual "experiences all things as 
being of an equally dull and grey hue, as not worth getting excited about." Yet the unre- 
leased desire for amusement and excitement remains, accounting for "the craving today 
for excitement, for extreme impressions, for the greatest speed in their change." 38 The 
metropolis does provide an "immense abundance of machines, products and supra- 
individual organisations" that offer the individual "endless habits, endless distractions 
and endless superficial needs," the "fillings in of time and consciousness." 39 This concen- 
tration of objective culture is dependent on the complex intersection of networks of 
circulation of commodities and individuals. 

The metropolis is thus a center of the reification of a culture of things as the culture of 
human beings. Just as Weber proclaims the quasi autonomy of the technology of urban 
existence, so Simmel insists on the autonomy of the supra-individual objective culture: 
"In highly developed epochs with an advanced division of labor, cultural achievements 
mature and grow together into an autonomous realm." 40 

This increasing autonomy of objective culture provides the foundation for a prevalent 
pessimism with regard to modern culture, namely, "the ever-widening abyss between the 
culture of things and that of human beings." 41 Later Simmel brings together the appar- 
ently autonomous realm of circulation of commodities and individuals and the autonomy 
of the objective culture, declaring: "The 'fetishism' which Marx assigned to economic 
commodities represents only a special case of this general fate of contents of culture. With 
the increase in culture these contents more and more stand under a paradox: . . . originally 
created by subjects. . . in their intermediate form of objectivity . . . they follow an imma- 
nent logic of development. . . impelled not by physical necessities, but by truly cultural 
ones." 41 Similarly, within the cultural sphere itself there is a permanent struggle between 
life and form. Life generates form and struggles against that which it has created, impelled 
by an opposition to "form as such, against the principle of form." 45 



Walter Dexel 
Sternenbriicke, 1919 
(Starry bridge) 
Cat. no. 14 

Simmel gives an instance of this opposition to form in the artistic realm: "Of all the 
hotch-potch of aspirations covered by the general name of Futurism, only the movement 
described as Expressionism seems to stand out with a certain identifiable degree of unity 
and clarity . . . the point of Expressionism is that the artist's inner impulse is perpetuated in 
the work, or to be more precise, as the work, exactly as it is experienced. The intention is 
not to express or contain the impulse in a form imposed upon it by something external, 
either ideal or real." Expressionism relies upon "stimuli from objects in the external 
world" without Impressionism's "need for the identity between the form of the cause and 
that of its effect." And this new art "does not have a meaning by itself." It is "indifferent to 
the traditional standards of beauty or ugliness, which are connected with the primacy of 
form. Life, in its flow, is not determined by a goal but driven by a force." This accounts for 
"the desire for completely abstract art among some sectors of modern youth [which] may 
stem from passion for an immediate and naked expression of self." 44 

Elsewhere Simmel draws attention to an "unmistakable mechanizing, mathematizing 
tendency" in recent years: 

All reconstruction of that which one terms the artist's "calculation"— the pre- 
cise separation of "planes," the schemata of the horizontal and the vertical, the 



Paul Gangolf 
Strasscnszcne, 1025 
(Street scene) 
Cat. no. 37 

triangular and rectangular in composition, the determination ofcontrapposto, 
the theories of the golden section, of the visual arts as "spatial configuration," 
even the theory of complementary colors— all this breaks up the work of art into 
individual moments and elements and thereby strives to "explain" the work of 
art by putting it together again out of these partial regularities and demands. 45 

The modern tendency toward the affirmation of the work of art as it is experienced by 
the artist, eschewing reliance on existing forms, accords with Simmel's insistence that life 
must assert itself continuously against reproduction of existing forms. In part this is a 
struggle of dynamic impulses against static form, spontaneity of expression against repro- 
duced form. For Simmel, "the essence of life is intensification, increase, growth, of pleni- 
tude and power, strength and beauty from within itself— in relation not to any definable 
goal but purely to its own development." 46 

The city is the focal point of both objective culture and reified forms, including the for- 
mal intellectual distance and reserve that its inhabitants adopt as a barrier to immediate life 
impressions. Modern movements struggle against this rigidified objective culture and, in 
the case of Expressionism, seek to give substance to the immediate experience of metropol- 
itan existence. It is the pieces and fragments of "the culture of things as the culture of human 
beings" that the Expressionists sought to represent in their streetscapes and cityscapes. 47 



There is another respect in which Expressionism's aim accords with Simmel's delinea- 
tion of modern metropolitan existence, namely the attempt to represent artistically our 
inner experience of it. In a 1911 essay on Auguste Rodin, Simmel describes modernity as 
"psychologism, the experiencing and interpretation of the world in terms of the reactions 
of our inner life, and indeed as an inner world, the dissolution of fixed contents in the fluid 
element of the soul, from which all that is substantive is filtered and whose forms are 
merely forms of motion.' ' 48 If we substitute subjectivism for psychologism and emphasize 
the shift to inner lived experience (Erlebnis), the destabilizing of content, the prepon- 
derance of fluid forms, and the domination of the fragmentary, then Simmel's delineation 
of metropolitan experience as the exemplar of the experience of modernity again becomes 
strikingly relevant for an understanding of at least some dimensions of Expressionism. 

Finally Simmel illustrates both the ambivalence toward the metropolis and the recogni- 
tion of its Utopian potential characteristic of German Expressionism: "The atrophy of 
individual culture through the hypertrophy of objective culture is one reason for the bitter 
hatred which the preachers of the most extreme individualism, above all Nietzsche, 
harbor against the metropolis. But it is, indeed, also a reason why these preachers are so 
passionately loved in the metropolis and why they appear to the metropolitan person as the 
prophets and saviors of his or her unsatisfied yearnings." 49 But is the metropolis a site for 
the realization of "unsatisfied yearnings"? Simmel maintains that it is the site for the 
development, in often contradictory directions, of two forms of individualism: individual 
independence and the elaboration of individuality. The metropolis provides the arena for 
the struggle between these forms of individualism and for their reconciliation. 

The engagement with Expressionism was continued by two of Simmel's students, Sieg- 
fried Kracauer and Ernst Bloch. 5 ° Whereas Kracauer developed a distinctive interest 
in deciphering the fields of signification in the modern metropolis that went far beyond 
Expressionism (though Expressionism remained a focus of some of his work on film), 
Bloch retained both a lifelong concern with the Utopian possibilities embedded in mod- 
ernity and a style of writing that displaved Expressionist impulses. 

It is in Kracauer's early writings that we find his confrontation with Expressionism. 
Toward the end of World War I and in its immediate aftermath, he produced a series of 
unpublished manuscripts, one of which — "Uber den Expressionismus: Wesen und Sinn 
einer Zeitbewegung" (On Expressionism: Essence and meaning of a movement of the 
times, 1918) 51 — is dedicated to investigating "wherein the essence of this new direction in 
art really lies. What is at issue is not the analysis of individual works but rather the inves- 
tigation of those intellectual structures that make such works possible." 

In order to understand Expressionism, one must have already confronted Impression- 
ism: Impressionism's world is one that "knows no future; it is solely the contemporary 
moment"; typical "for the Impressionist ultimately is still the emphasis upon the basic 
principle of Tart pour l'art' [art for art's sake]." In contrast the Expressionist artist "always 
forcefully retains his or her active self." In relation to external reality Expressionist art 
"does not simply push reality aside but rather (primarily in painting) directly confronts it 
and battles with it. The Expressionist wants absolutely to destroy reality, and his or her 
work should not in the least be suggestive of it." Instead the goal of this new art is "to give 
expression to lived experience (Erlebnis) in its naked actuality as much as possible. " 5 - 

Although Expressionist art is deeply caught up in contemporary life and its phenomena, 

nonetheless "a strong belief in the future and the victorious force of its nature unites the 
Expressionists. The Expressionist does indeed look forward, he never languishes in the 
past. An enemy of the present, an adversary of reality, he strives to overcome both. ... He 
is ready to engage in deeds; his basic attitude is affirmative." This longing for action, this 
waiting for genuine engagement are recurrent themes in Kracauer's early writings along 
with the problematic nature of the contemporary individual. Hence his view that "Expres- 
sionism, in fact, is essentially nothing other than a revolt, a cry of despair of the present- 
day personality, enslaved and condemned to powerlessness. It is above all, in the first 
instance, a cultural movement, in the second, an artistic movement." As for the latter: "A 
terrible danger appears to me bequeathed to Expressionist painting in particular— the 
danger of being unintelligible." 55 

Only two years later we find Kracauer, in "Schicksalswende der Kunst" (Art's turn of 
fate, 1920), declaring that "the Expressionist movement in art, distinctive to our times, is 
ripe for its demise." Whereas today "the experiences it embodies are no longer our expe- 
riences," before World War I Expressionism responded to an "epoch dominated above all 
by the spirit of the natural sciences and the spirit of the capitalist economic system," which 
together created an external reality of life (Lebenswirklichkeit) that was "so objective and 
so secured within itself like no other reality before it." The result was a transformation 
of "the whole human environment" into "a structure of horrifying impersonality." Human 
beings were confronted w'ith "a mechanized nature," with an atomized society locking 
them into "an invisible network of rational and objective-technical relations" devoid of 
fundamental elements of human community. 54 

With the individual condemned to a "God-estranged reality," as if encased in a "brazen 
solid wall," it was "Expressionisms historical merit to have forced a breach in this wall, to 
have reduced it to ruins." Thus even before the war Expressionism did in art that "which 
the great social revolutions of the present set as their task in the realms of real life: the 
destruction of the powers of existence that have hitherto been valid. First of all, Expres- 
sionism unmistakably took up battle against the average reality that surrounded it!" 55 
Its aim was not merely the destruction of constraining forms or even the restoration of 
"differentiated and overrefined individual persons," but rather "the Expressionist artist 
felt and thought of himself or herself to some extent as a primal self (Ur-ich), filled with 
individual experiences of a totally elementary nature— a soul in search of a God," 
with the attendant "ecstatic convulsions." The result was the emergence of a new art: 

Paintings emerge that hardly still refer to the world of our senses. They tran- 
scend our accustomed space and the simultaneity (Gleichzeitigkeit) of appear- 
ances and press fragments of our perceptions into a texture of lines and bodylike 
forms, whose structure is almost exclusively determined by the inner needs of 
the human being transformed into a primal self. Painter and poet endeavor to 
strip existing reality of its power and to reveal it for what it actually is: a decep- 
tive, shadowlike essence, a chaos without soul, without meaning. Here there 
appear things and human beings in an ostensibly known form, but their exter- 
nal form is only an empty mask, which the artist strips off or makes transparent 
so that the true face is revealed beneath. 

The human figures that appear in Expressionist art seem to be typical nighttime figures, 
but they "cast the burning torch into the buildings of our existence and inflame the ghosts 


into revolution. In the schematic personage of the 'father' the whole essence of the out- 
lived epoch often takes on its form, and against him, as the symbol of tradition, the pre- 
server of what exists, there arises the 'son,' prepared to murder." 56 

Kracauer saw Expressionism as having fulfilled its mission of representing, artistically at 
least, the "triumph of the soul over reality," the negation of the empty inner world and the 
awakening of "the need for new world formations." Although Expressionism produced 
new artistic means of expressing and representing reality, what was now required was to go 
beyond Expressionism, to realize "the construction of a new reality in art." Hence the real- 
ization of that which Expressionism proclaimed must be set in motion, the creation of 
a new reality "that no longer permits the advocacy, as does Expressionism, of the concerns 
of an abstract humanity by means of equally abstract types, but rather gives life to the gen- 
eral in the particular, embodying totally the human essence in accordance with its whole 
surging fullness." 57 This search for concretization is one that Kracauer himself engaged 
in, but only from around 1926 onward was it fully manifested in his rich constructions of 
metropolitan modernity that go far beyond the Expressionist impulses that he saw as ripe 
for realization in 1920. 5 ° 

In contrast Ernst Bloch retained a commitment to at least the Utopian impetus of Ger- 
man Expressionism long after its demise. Some of his works, especially Geist der Utopie 
(The spirit of Utopia, 1918; see Appendix), 5Q made a major contribution to the utopianism 
of Expressionism, traces of which can be found in later works such as Erbschaft dieser Zeit 
(Heritage of our times, 1935) and Das prinzip Hoffnung (The principle of hope, 1954) 60 
Indeed, in its mode of presentation, with its "primacy of expression over signification," 
Bloch's whole philosophy is, according to Theodor Adorno, "that of Expressionism. It is 
preserved in the idea of breaking through the encrusted surface of life. Human imme- 
diacy wishes to make itself heard unmediated: Like the Expressionist human subject, 
Bloch's philosophy protests against the reification of the world." 6 ' 

Geist der Utopie is a radical Expressionist assertion of "intellectual renewal," "self- 
confrontation [Selbstbegegnung]" and the development of a conception of Utopia located 
in the here and now. As Arno Miinster suggests, Bloch's notion of Utopia does not presup- 
pose any concretization in a specific sociohistorical context. 6 - It does not presuppose a 
future state of affairs but is located, hidden, waiting to be drawn out, to be expressed now. 
Moreover Bloch not only rejects total Utopian blueprints but also dismisses the notion that 
reality is a homogeneous totality. If it were, its seemingly insignificant Utopian elements 
could never be brought to expression. 

In this respect Bloch's work of this period, despite its affinities with Georg Lukacs's 
Geschichte und Klassenbewusstsein (History and class consciousness, 1923) with regard to 
a romantic anticapitalism and variants of "messianic Marxism" (in Bloch's case, more 
messianism than Marxism), differs in its rejection of totalizations of society, reification, 
and Utopia. For Bloch, "Actuality and Utopia are not opposites, but 'the now' is finally the 
sole concern of Utopia, whether one understands it as the constant demand to throw off 
masks, ideologies, and transit mythologies, or as premonition of the adequation of the 
process that recognizes both the driving tendency and the hidden genuine reality in the 
now." 63 That "now" of Geist der Utopie is one permeated by Expressionism. There and else- 
where is evidence of Bloch's reflections upon the metropolis, its buildings, its architecture. 

An early chapter of Geist der Utopie titled "Die Erzeugung des Ornaments" (The 
creation of the ornament) is dominated by references to the Expressionism of Franz Marc, 
Wassily Kandinsky, Max Pechstein, and Oskar Kokoschka. Each of these artists— whether 


it be "Kandinsky, who has been called the intensive Expressionist; Pechstein, the extensive 
Expressionist; [or] Marc, the great, most subjectivist, and simultaneously most objectivist 
artist of the 'concept' of the thing" — is seeking "to anchor the fleeting element of feeling 
and to embody it purely economically in firm drawing, fixed spatial relations." Today "we 
seek the magical creator who allows us to confront ourselves, to encounter ourselves" in 
a new environment, with a new vision that "travels like a swimmer, like a cyclone through 
that which is there [das Gegebene]." In fact, for this new way of seeing things: 

The cinematograph is the best picture gallery, the substitute for all the great 
general art exhibitions of the world. This should be kept in mind by all those 
who must ask with each Expressionist image what it represents, by what 
means, for instance, to their eye, that is like a mere photographic plate, hell can 
shrink back and resemble a street corner. For already since van Gogh, this has 
evidently changed; we are suddenly involved in things, and precisely this is 
what is painted; it is indeed still a visible tumult, still railings, underpasses, 
iron beams, brick walls, but suddenly all this overlaps in a remarkable manner, 
the discarded cornerstone lights up all at once, and what has been drawn in all 
appearances, that which is incomprehensibly related, that which is lost to us, 
the near, far, Sais-like aspect of the world, emerges in van Gogh's paintings. 

But it is not merely the cityscape that is transformed by Expressionism: "Grass is no longer 
grass, the multifarious disappears, and that which is facelike [das Gesichthafte] is victorious. 
The thing becomes a mask, a concept,' a fetish, a completely deformed, denaturalized 
formula of secret excitements toward a goal, the inner human being and the inside of the 
world move closer. . . . Suddenly I see my eyes, my place, my position: I am myself this 
drawer, and this fish, this kind of fish lying in the drawer." 64 Bloch highlights here the 
intense "materiality of things." 

But it is not only the representation of still life— even in the "new Expressionism," 
which uses "things merely as memory stages of [our] . . . stubborn origins or as punctuation 
marks for keeping or storing their continuous recollection"— that is significant. Still life 
"can be superior to all cultures in its escapism and intensification of small things." 65 The 
"still life" of small things is also that with which we surround ourselves, the ornaments of 
our existence. They are the products of machines: "The machine knew how to make 
everything so lifeless, technical, and subhuman in individual elements, just as the streets 
of western Berlin are in their totality. Its actual goal is the bathroom and toilet, the most 
unquestionable and original achievements of this era. . . . Here the fact that things can be 
washed up reigns." These everyday objects were covered over with ornament and style 
in all their heterogeneity by historicism. And here there exists, "despite all antagonistic, 
malignant, and negative elements that can be read equally from the death of style in the 
mid-nineteenth century, the functional connection of this epidemic of styles with the 
positive forces of Expressionism." 66 

Such "positive forces," however, are contradictory, at least with respect to the tension 
between the functional and the ornamental that exists contemporaneously. For Bloch: 
"The birth of integral technology and the birth of integral expressionism, accurately kept 
apart from each other, arise from the same magic: complete void of ornament on the one 
hand, utmost superabundance of ornamentation on the other, but both are variables of the 
same exodus." Such tensions permeate architectural structures and the inability of func- 
tional form to expand stylistically. In this context, 




Ludwig Meidner 

Untitled (street scene), 1913 

Cat. no. 137 

There will never be any expressionist houses built if one attaches great impor- 
tance to unified form. It is impossible to produce all of the rectangular shiny 
functional forms in an abundantly ornamental way, to break up and cover the 
firm windows, elevators, desks, the telephones with Lehmbruck's, with Archi- 
penko's curves. The only contiguity, and in this instance only a seeming one, 
lies in places for celebrations, in exhibition halls, in the theatre, particularly 
when this space, as it does with Poelzig, shines into the stage itself with the 
separate magic of its semblance. 67 

Later, in Das Prinzip Hoffnung, Bloch was to argue that the architecture of Bruno Taut's 
"House of Heaven" or that of the "pancosmist" Paul Scheerbart "remained fruitless." 
This was because architecture "is and remains a social creation, it cannot blossom at all 
in the hollow space of late capitalism." 68 Nonetheless such fantasies as were sketched 
and sometimes completed, even in the age of functional technology, were the product of 
a remarkable concentrated outburst of fantasy, affirming Bloch's later statement that 
"ornament is the bad conscience of architecture." 69 

In the Expressionist decade and at least until his emigration in 1933, the site of Bloch's 
fantasies remained Berlin. As he stated in 1921, "I do indeed believe that Berlin, the 
forceful, the Utopian, is still of all others my city." 7 ° He had already explored that Utopian 
element in 1916 in the article "Das siidliche Berlin" (Southern Berlin). Berlin was "on the 
way to a new exuberance, in some respects to breaking through the grey life." The city had 
been for a time "seductive, experimental." More than a decade later, in 1928, in "Berlin 
nach zwei Jahren" (Berlin two years later), despite the growing crisis, Bloch could assert 
that "the good element is, as we know, Berlin's dynamism, the journey into unknown 
stretches of heaven. To the citizen the treadmill, when it moves rapidly, appears to be an 
airstrip." Still later, in 1932, in "Berlin aus der Landschaft gesehen" (Berlin viewed from 
the landscape), he explored its contradictory newness, but whereas "other cities are often 
mere specters of a better past, the hollow Berlin is possibly— there is no other choice— the 
specter of a better future." 71 



Paul Klee 

"Berlm dagcgen unsere 
Hochburg buchte jahe 
Verzehnfachung seiner Burger" 
Berlin ah Zcntrum, 1919 
("Berlin, however, our citadel, 
experienced a sudden 
decupling of its citizens"; 
Berlin as center) 
Cat. no. 115 

4<J ir 


In Bloch's major published work of the 1930s, Erbschaft dieser Zeit, the Utopian ele- 
ments of the present become more difficult to detect and to defend, not merely against a 
destructive Nazism but also against ostensibly "progressive" commentators such as Lukacs 
and others. Almost alone within this political discourse, Bloch defends what is valuable in 
"authentic Expressionism" as the "first and most genuine form of non-representational, 
different dream-montage of our times." 72 Originally Expressionism was "image explosion, 
was torn-up surface even starting with the original, namely with the subject which vio- 
lently tore up and cross-connected. Thus this subject of bourgeois-aesthetic opposition . . . 
definitely sought contact with the world. . . . [It] covered the world with war, mounted its 
fragments into grotesque caricatures, mounted into the hollow spaces above all excesses 
and hopes of a substantial kind, archaic and Utopian images." And though Expressionism 
sought to explode reification, it lacked contact with the concrete overcoming of this 

Nonetheless for Bloch the genuine elements of this movement still render cultural 
inheritance problematic, "simply because the Expressionist epoch so completely tore to 
shreds the casual routine, the conventional associations from the past." Its abrupt disloca- 
tions of the surface remain testimony to the negation of reality as homogeneity, as conti- 
nuity, since "reality is never unbroken context. . . but always still — interruption and always 
still fragment." For Bloch, at least in 1938, "the inheritance of Expressionism is not yet 
at an end, because it has not yet been started on at all." 73 Is the same still true today? 





The author acknowledges the 
assistance of the staff of the 
Deutsches Literaturarchiv, 
Marbach, for access to material 
by Siegfried Kracauer, and of 
Dr. Karlheinz Weigand, direc- 
tor of the Ernst-Bloch-Archiv, 
Ludwigshafen, for access to 
material by Ernst Bloch. 

1. Charles Baudelaire, "The 
Painter of Modern Life," in 
The Painter of Modern Life and 
Other Essays, trans, and ed. 
Jonathan Mayne (London: 
Phaidon, 1964), pp. 1-40. 

2. Walter Benjamin, Gesam- 
melte Schriften, vol. 1, pt. 5 
(Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1980), 
p. 1152. 

3. Baudelaire, "Painter of 
Modern Life," pp. 1, 4, 8, 9. 

4. Ibid., p. 11. 

5. Quoted in Walter Benjamin, 
Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric 
Poet in the Era of High Cap- 
italism, trans. Harry Zohn 
(London: New Left Books, 
1973), p. 74. 

6. Friedrich M. Huebner, "Der 
Expressionismus in Deutsch- 
land" (1920), in Expression- 
ismus: Der Kampf um eine 
literarische Bewegung, ed. Paul 
Raabe (Munich: Deutscher 
Taschenbuch Verlag, 1965), 

p. 136. The volume is a valu- 
able source of documentation 
on Expressionism. 

7. Jost Hermand, "Das Bild der 
'grossen Stadt' in Expression- 
ismus," in Die Unwirklichkeit 
derStddte, ed. Klaus R. Scherpe 
(Reinbek: Rowohlt, 1988), 

p. 66. On literary Expression- 
ism and the metropolis, see 
Silvio Vietta and Hans-Georg 
Kemper, Expressionismus 
(Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 

8. Reinhold Heller, "The City 
Is Dark': Conceptions of Urban 
Landscape and Life in Expres- 
sionist Painting and Architec- 
ture," in Expressionism 
Reconsidered, ed. Gertrud 
Bauer Pickar and Karl Eugene 
Webb (Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 
1979), p. 45; see also Christoph 
Brockhaus, "Die ambivalente 
Faszination der Grossstadter- 
fahrung in der deutschen 

Kunst des Expressionismus," in 
Expressionismus: Sozialer 
Wandel und kunstlerische 
Erfahrung, ed. Horst Meixner 
and Silvio Vietta (Munich: 
Wilhelm Fink, 1982), pp. 

9. Ludwig Meidner, "An Intro- 
duction to Painting Big Cities," 
in Voices of German Expres- 
sionism, ed. Victor H. Miesel 
(Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: 
Prentice-Hall, 1970), pp. 111- 
15; originally published as 
"Anleitung zum Malen von 
Grossstadtbilder," in "Das 
neue Programm," Kunst und 
Kiinstler 12 (March 1914): 
299-314. The contrast with 
Impressionism could be 
extended beyond representa- 
tion to social organization. 
Writing in 1917, Karl Scheffler 
argued that "expression- 
ism . . . cannot really make use 
of this intimate group [the Ber- 
lin Secession], The spirit that 
has captured our young artists 
and dominates them more 
every day rejects limits and 
boundaries, it seeks a direct 
link to the masses, it strives 

for breadth, universality, 
loudness — its essence is demo- 
cratic, not patrician" (quoted in 
Peter Paret, The Berlin Secession 
[Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap, 
1980], p. 233). 

10. For a discussion of Meidner's 
text, see Heinz Bruggemann, 
"Grossstadt und neues Sehen," 
in Ludwig Meidner: Zeichner, 
Maler, Literat, ed. Gerda 
Breuer and Ines Wagemann, 
vol. 1 (Stuttgart: Hatje, 1991), 
pp. 48-56. For a more detailed 
examination, see Gerhard 
Leistner, Idee und Wirklichkeit: 
Gehalt und Bedeutung des 
urbancn Expressionismus in 
Deutschland, dargestellt am 
Werk Ludwig Meidners (New 
York: Peter Lang, 1986). More 
generally, on changes in per- 
ception, see Christoph Asen- 
dorf, Strome und Strahlen 
(Giessen: Anabas, 1989). 

11. Kurt Pinthus, "Rede fur die 
Zukunft," in Der Aktivismus, 
1915-1920, ed. Wolfgang 
Rothe (Munich: DTV, 1969), 
pp. 116-33, es P P '3 1 - 

12. Ferdinand Tonnies, Ge- 
meinschaft und Gesellschaft 
(Leipzig: Fues's Verlag, 1887); 
translated by Charles P. Loomis, 
under the title Community and 
Association (London: Rout- 
ledge, 1955). On representations 
of the city, see Andrew Lees, 
dries Perceived (Manchester: 
Manchester University Press, 
1985); Anthony Sutcliffe, ed., 
Metropolis, 1890-1940 (Lon- 
don: Mansell, 1984), esp. pt. 2. 

13. Ferdinand Tonnies, "Zur 
Einleitung in der Soziologie," 
Zeitschrift fur Philosophic und 
philosophische Kritik, no. 115 

(1899): 248. 

14. Ibid., p. 242. 

15. Tonnies, Community and 
Association, p. 87. 

16. Ibid., pp. 95—96. 

17. Quoted in Harry Lieber- 
sohn, Fate and Utopia in Ger- 
man Sociology, 1870-1923 
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988), 
p. 36. 

18. For example, see Donald E. 
Gordon, Expressionism: Art and 
Idea (New Haven, Conn.: Yale 
University Press, 1987), p. 136. 
On the sexual— and sexist- 
representations of "decay and 
degeneracy" in Expressionist 
and later portrayals of the city, 
see Beth I. Lewis, "Lustmord: 
Inside the Windows of the 
Metropolis," in Berlin: Culture 
and Metropolis, ed. Charles 

W. Haxthausen and Heidrun 
Suhr (Minneapolis: University 
of Minnesota Press, 1990), 
pp. 111-40. 

19. Figures cited in Haxthausen 
and Suhr, Berlin, p. xxii, n. 13; 
for a detailed discussion of 
German urbanization, see 
Jtirgen Reulecke, Geschichte 
der Urbanisierung in Deutsch- 
land (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 

20. The Berlin Trade Exhibition 
of 1896 is discussed by, among 
others, Georg Simmel ("Berliner- 
Gewerbe-Ausstellung," Die 
Zeit [Vienna] 8 [25 July 1896]; 
translated by Sam Whimster as 
"The Berlin Trade Exhibition," 
Theory, Culture, and Society 8, 
no. 3 [1991]: 119-24)- 

21. Karl Baedeker, Berlin and 
Its Environs, 5th ed. (Leipzig: 
K. Baedeker, 1912), p. v. 

22. [Walther Rathenau], "Die 
schonste Stadt der Welt," Die 
Zukunft 26 (1899}: 37, 40, 41. 
For a fuller discussion of this 
article and of August Endell, 
see Lothar Muller, "The 
Beauty of the Metropolis: 
Toward an Aesthetic Urbanism 
in Turn-of-the-Century Ber- 
lin," in Haxthausen and Suhr, 
Berlin, pp. 37-57. The notion 
that Berlin and other cities 
were developing without a 
structure was widespread. Karl 
Scheffler saw the city as "an 
unnaturally extended, formless 
city economy" (Die Architektur 
der Grossstadt [Berlin: Bruno 
Cassirer, 1913], p. 21). 

23. Walther Rathenau, Zur 
Mechanik des Geistes (Berlin: 
S. Fischer, 1913), pp. 40-41. 

24. Egon Friedell, Ecce Poefd 
(Berlin: S. Fischer, 1912), 

p. 260. 

25. August Endell, Die 
Schbnhcit der grossen Stadt 
(Stuttgart: Strecker und 
Schroder, 1908; Berlin: 
Archibook, 1984), p. 34. 

26. Werner Sombart, Die 
deutsche Volkswirtschaft im 
neunzehnten Jahrhundert, 3d 
ed. (Berlin: G. Bondi, 1913), 
pp. 415. 416. 419, 420. 

27. Werner Sombart, "Technik 
und Kultur," in Verhandlungcn 
des Ersten deutschen Sozi- 
ologentages, 1910 (Tubingen: 
Mohr, 1911), pp. 80-97; on 
Expressionist literary responses 
to technology, see also Karl- 
heinz Daniels, "Expression- 
ismus und Technik," in Technik 
in der Literatur, ed. Harro 
Segeberg (Frankfurt: Suhr- 
kamp, 1987), pp. 351—86. 

28. Max Weber, "Diskus- 
sionsrede zu W Sombarts Vor- 
trag iiber Technik und Kultur," 
in Gesammelte Aufsdtze zur 
Soziologie und Socialpolitik 
(Tubingen: Mohr, 1988), p. 453; 
on Weber, see Sam Whimster, 
"The Secular Ethic and the 
Culture of Modernism," in Max 
Weber: Rationality and Mod- 
ernity, eds. Sam Whimster and 
Scott Lash (London: Allen and 
Unvvin, 1987), pp. 259-90. 

29. Weber, "Diskussionsrede," 
PP- 453-54- 

30. Kurt Pinthus, ed., Mensch- 
heitsddmmerung: Symphonic 
jiingster Dichtung (Berlin: 
Ernst Rowohlt, 1920), p. 26. 

31. Georg Simmel, "The 
Metropolis and Mental Life," 
in The Sociology of Georg 
Simmel, ed. Kurt H. Wolff, 
trans. Hans Gerth (Glencoe, 
111.: Free Press, 1950), p. 409; 
originally published as "Die 
Grossstadte und das Geistes- 
leben," in Die Grossstadt, 
special issue of Jahrbuch der 
Gehe-Stiftung zu Dresden 9 
(1903): 185-206. 

32. Huebner, "Expression- 
ismus in Deutschland," p. 139. 

33. See Georg Simmel, "Sozi- 
ologie des Raumes," Jahrbuch 
fur Gesetzgebung, Verwaltung 
und Volkswirtschaft 27 (1903): 
27-71; for an English transla- 
tion, see Simmel on Culture, 
ed. Mike Featherstone and 
David Frisby (forthcoming); see 
also idem, "Uber raumliche 
Projektionen sozialer Formen," 
Zeitschrift fiir Sozialwissen- 
schaft 6 (1903): 287-302. This 
discussion relies upon David 
Frisby, Simmel and Since (Lon- 
don: Routledge, 1992), pt. 2. 
Simmel's relevance for the 
interpretation of metropolitan 
art and architecture has been 
noted, for instance, by Man- 
fredo Tafuri: "Simmel's consid- 
erations on the great metropolis . . 
contained in mice the problems 
that were to be at the center of 
concern of the historical avant- 
garde movements" (Architecture 
and Utopia [Cambridge: MIT 
Press, 1976], pp. 88-89; see 
also Michael Muller, Schoner 
Schein [Frankfurt: Athenaum, 
1987], esp. p. 29ff. ). 

34. Simmel, "Metropolis and 
Mental Life," pp. 410, 422. 
The constellation of city, 
abstraction, and money econ- 
omy was to receive a conser- 
vative interpretation in Oswald 
Spengler's highly popular 
volumes. Spengler's interpre- 
tation of the metropolis owes 
not a little to Simmel's themes 
(see Der Vntergang des 
Abcndlandes, vol. 2 [Munich: 
Beck, 1923], esp. pp. 101-31). 

35. G. Simmel, The Philosophy 
of Money, 2d ed., trans. Tom 
Bottomore and David Frisby 
(London: Routledge, 1990), 
esp. chap. 6. 

36. Simmel, "Metropolis and 
Mental Life," p. 412. 

37. Simmel, Philosophy of 
Money, p. 484. 

38. Ibid., pp. 256, 257. In 
"The Metropolis and Mental 
Life," Simmel equates the 
blase attitude with "a faithful 
subjective reflection of a com- 
pletely internalized money 
economy. ... All things float 
with equal specific gravity in 
the constantly moving stream 
of money. All things lie on the 
same level." Commenting on 
this passage, Manfredo Tafuri 
writes: "The objects all floating 
on the same plane, with the 
same specific gravity, in the 
constant movement of the 
money economy: does it not 
seem that we are reading here a 
literary comment on a Schwit- 
ters Merzbild? . . . The problem 
was, in fact, how to render 
active the intensification of 
nervous stimulation . . . how to 
absorb the shock provoked by 
the metropolis by transforming 

it into a new principle of 
dynamic development; how to 
'utilize' to the limit the anguish 
which 'indifference to value' 
continually provokes and 
nourishes in the metropolitan 
experience" (Architecture and 
Utopia, pp. 88-89). 

39. Simmel, Philosophy 0/ 
Money, p. 483; idem, "Metrop- 
olis and Mental Life," p. 422 
(amended translation). 

40. Georg Simmel, "Vom 
Wesen der Kultur," in Briicke 
und Tiir: Essays des Philoso- 
phen zur Geschichte , Religion, 
Kunst und Gesellschaft, ed. 
Michael Landmann (Stuttgart: 
K. F. Koehler, 1957), p. 94 

41. Georg Simmel, "Die 
Zukunft unserer Kultur," in 
Briicke undTiir, p. 95. 

42. Georg Simmel, "On the 
Concept and Tragedy of Cul- 
ture," in The Conflict in Mod- 
ern Culture and Other Essays, 
ed. and trans. K. Peter Etzkorn 
(New York: Teachers College 
Press, 1968), p. 42. 

43. Georg Simmel, "The Con- 
flict in Modern Culture," in 
Conflict in Modern Culture, 

p. 12. 

44. Ibid., pp. 15-16, 18. 

45. Georg Simmel, "L'art pour 
l'art," in Zur Philosophic 

der Kunst (Potsdam; Gustav 
Kiepenheuer, 1922), p. 79. 

46. Quoted in Peter Lawrence, 
ed., Georg Simmel: Sociologist 
and European, trans. D. E. 
Jenkinson et al. (New York: 
Barnes and Noble, 1976), 

p. 228. 

47. Georg Simmel, "Philosophic 
der Landschaft," in Briicke 
und Tiir, p. 141. 

48. Georg Simmel, "Rodin," 
in Philosophische Kultur, 3d 
ed. (Potsdam: Gustav 
Kiepenheuer, 1923), pp. 179- 
97, esp. p. 196. 

49. Simmel, "Metropolis and 
Mental Life," p. 422. 

50. On Kracauer, see Inka 
Mulder, Siegfried Kracauer 
(Stuttgart: Metzler, 1985); 
Frisby, Fragments of Modern- 
ity, chap. 3; Michael Kessler 
and Thomas Y. Levin, eds., 
Siegfried Kracauer (Tubingen: 
Stauffenburg, 1990). On 
Bloch, see Peter Zudeick, Der 
Hintern des Teufels: Ernst 
Bloch: Leben und Werk (Moos: 
Elster, 1987). 

51. Siegfried Kracauer, "Uber 
den Expressionismus: Wesen 
und Sinn einer Zeit- 
bewegung," Siegfried Kracauer 
Nachlass, Deutsches Liter- 
aturarchiv, Marbach. 

52. Ibid., pp. 18, 36. 

53. Ibid., pp. 46, 72, 77. 

54. Siegfried Kracauer, 
"Schicksalswende der Kunst" 
(1920), in Schriften 5. 1 
(Aufsatze 1915-1926), ed. 
Inka Mulder-Bach (Frankfurt: 
Suhrkamp, 1990), pp. 72, 73. 
The crisis in Expressionism 
around 1920 is also com- 
mented on by, among others, 
Kracauer's younger friend 
Theodor Adorno (see Theodor 
Wiesengrund, "Expression- 
ismus und kiinstlerische 
Wahrhaftigkeit," Die neuc 
Schaubiihne 2 [1920]: 233-36). 

55. Kracauer, "Schicksalswende 
der Kunst," p. 74. 

56. Ibid., p. 75. For a more 
specific analysis of Expression- 
ism by Kracauer, see his "Max 
Beckmann," Die Rheinlande 


31 (July 1921): 93-96, in 
which he draws attention to 
Beckmann's depiction of "the 
thousand horrors of the street," 
"the wild chaos that unfolds 
itself between swaying build- 
ings in streets and squares" 
(P- 95)- 

57. Ibid., p. 78. 

58. See Frisby, Fragments of 
Modernity, chap. 3; Mulder, 
Siegfried Kracauer. 

59. Ernst Bloch, Geist der 
Utopie (Munich: Duncker und 
Humblot, 1918). The second 
edition was published in 1923. 
The original was written 
between April 1915 and May 
1917. There are significant 
differences in the two texts. 
Most references here are to the 
1918 edition. Peter Zudeick 
has summarized the Expres- 
sionist content of this volume 
as follows: "In 'Geist der Uto- 
pie' Bloch played through the 
whole repertoire of the Expres- 
sionist sense of life, and he was 
master of this keyboard like 
hardly anyone else: critique of 
bourgeois society, mendacity, 
mediocrity, the constraint of 
bourgeois moral conceptions, 
anti-intellectualism, the mech- 
anization and commercializa- 
tion of society, the emptiness 
and anomic nature of human 
relationships, and out of all 
these things the longing for a 
new humanity, a new relig- 
iosity, a fraternal-socialistic 
future society" (Der Hintern 
des Teufels, pp. 66-67). 

60. Ernst Bloch, Erbschaft 
dieser Zeit (Zurich: Oprecht 
und Helbling, 1935); translated 

by Neville and Stephen Plaice 
under the title Heritage of 
Our Times (Berkeley and Los 
Angeles: University of Cali- 
fornia Press, 1991); idem. 
Das Prinzip Hoffnung, 3 vols., 
rev. ed. (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 
1959); translated by Neville 
Plaice, Stephen Plaice, and 
Paul Knight under the title 
The Principle of Hope, 3 vols. 
(Oxford: Blackvvell, 1986). 

61. Theodor W. Adorno, 
"Blochs Spuren," Noten zur 
Literatur, vol. 2 (Frankfurt: 
Suhrkamp, 1961), pp. 144- 

62. Arno Miinster, Utopie, 
Messianismus und Apokalypse 
im Fruhwerk von Ernst Bloch 
(Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1982), 
p. 126. 

63. Quoted in Wayne Hudson, 
The Marxist Philosophy of 
Ernst Bloch (New York: St. 
Martin's Press, 1982), p. 40. 

64. Bloch, Geist der Utopie, 
pp. 44, 50-51; on Blochs the- 
ory of ornament, see Gerard 
Raulet, Natur und Ornament 
(Darmstadt: Luchterhand, 
1987), pp. 63-121. 

65. Ernst Bloch, The Utopian 
Function of Art and Literature: 
Selected Essays, trans. Jack 
Zipes and Frank Mecklenburg 
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 1988), 
p. 101. This volume contains 

a translation of "Die Erzeugung 
des Ornaments" from the sec- 
ond edition of Geist der 

66. Bloch, Geist der Utopie, 
pp. 21, 22-23. 

67. Bloch, Utopian Function 
of Art and Literature, pp. 82, 

68. Bloch, Principle of Hope, 
vol. 2, p. 737. Somewhat iron- 
ically Walter Benjamin, more 
critical of Expressionism, 
refers to Taut's Alpine Archi- 
tektur as "a well-ventilated 
Utopia." More significantly 
Benjamin sees Scheerbart's 
plea for glass architecture as 

a plea for an architectural 
material that leaves no traces: 
"Things made from glass have 
no 'aura.' Glass is everywhere 
the enemy of secrets. It is 
also the enemy of possession" 
("Erfahrung und Armut," 
Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 2, 
pt. 1., pp. 213-19). 

69. Ernst Bloch, "Architektur 
und Utopie" (Alpbach, 1972), 

70. Quoted in Zudeick, Hintern 
des Teufels, p. 95. 

71. Ernst Bloch, "Das siidliche 
Berlin," Zeit-Echo, no. 15 
(1915-16): 235-38 (part of this 
text is incorporated into Geisf 
der Utopie, pp. 303-4); idem, 
"Berlin nach zwei Jahren," Die 
Weltbuhne 24 (3 January 1928): 
32-33; idem, "Berlin aus der 
Landschaft gesehen," Frank- 
furter Zeitung, 7 July 1932. 

72. Bloch, Heritage of Our 
Times, p. 204. The "dream- 
montage" is most often associ- 
ated with Surrealism, which 
proved a major influence upon 
Walter Benjamin, despite 

his subsequent critical regard 
for it. Bloch too saw its 
possibilities, especially in the 
improvised revue form of 
Benjamin's Einbahnstrasse 

(One-way street, 1928), with 
its emphasis on the fragmen- 
tary. What Bloch found absent 
was the "concrete intention": 
"Even one-way streets have a 
destination." On Bloch's own 
fragmentary Spuren, see Klaus 
L. Berghahn, "A View through 
the Red Window: Ernst Bloch's 
Spuren," in Modernity and the 
Text: Revisions of German Mod- 
ernism, ed. Andreas Huyssen 
and David Bathrick (New York: 
Columbia University Press, 
1989), pp. 200-215. 

73. Bloch, Heritage of Our 
Times, pp. 204-5, 240, 250, 


■1914 - KB*f -" - 


Hermann Finsterlin 
Architektur — Kathcdrale des 
Lichts, Serie IV, Blatt 4 
(Architecture — cathedral of 
light, series IV, sheet 4) 
Cat. no. 34 



Freitragende Konstruktion, 


(Self-supporting construction) 

Cat. no. 67 


Hermann Finsterlin 

Drei geometrische Phantasien, 


(Three geometric fantasies) 

Cat. no. 31 


Erich Mendelsohn 

Architekturphantasie — 

Perspektive, 1914 

(Architectural fantasy — 


Cat. no. 139 


Carl Krayl 

Vision, 1920 


Cat. no. 125 

rail Jims! 

Rudolf Schwarz 
Kyrieeleison (Studie), c. 1920 
(Study for Kyrie Eleison) 
Cat. no. 200 


Rudolf Schwarz 
Sanktus, c. 1920 
Cat. no. 201 


Ottheinrich Strohmeyer 
Das Kreuz im Krcise, 1920 
(The cross in the circle) 
Cat. no. 205 

Vlastislav Hofman 
Projekt eines Fnedhofs 
bei Prag, 1912 
(Project for a cemetery 
near Prague) 
Cat. no. 92 

1 12 

Paul Gosch 

Untitled (fantasy architecture), 
c. 1919 
Cat. no. 40 


1 he Expressionist jublime 

letween 1914 and 1920 German Expressionism produced some of the most pow- 
erful Utopian images in twentieth-century architecture. The most influential 
J and archetypal of these images are the series of drawings entitled Alpine Archi- 
tektur (Alpine architecture; see figs. 113, 114), produced by the architect Bruno 
Taut toward the end of World War I and published in book form in 1919. Taut's 
visionary images of glass cathedrals set high in the Alps and of cosmic constructions of 
colored glass speeding through the eternal night were conceived both as a protest against 
the insanity of the war and as a pointer to a better society, which would devote its energies 
to peace and understanding rather than self-destruction. 

In common with Expressionist writing and painting, the visionary architecture of 
the Expressionist years has generally been explained in reactive terms, with the Utopian 
visions defined as positive alternatives to negative aspects of German society as it had 
evolved following unification in 1871. The dreams of a new society and a new morality, 
to be embodied in a revolutionary architecture of light and color, were contrasted with 
the dystopian realities of contemporary Germany. It is a simple tale of good against bad, of 
architect dreamers against the forces of repression. Through well-practiced repetition 
these repressive forces align themselves in convenient ranks, braced for the historians 
disapproval. They include the population explosion, rapid urban expansion in nineteenth- 
century Germany, and the resulting human degradation, illness, and mortality experi- 
enced by the overcrowded urban proletariat. The villains behind this scenario were the 
ruthless bankers and capitalist entrepreneurs, who themselves were looked down on by an 
aristocracy whose values and interests were inseparable from those of the Prussian military 
machine. Over this chaos of conflict and tension ruled a philistine monarchy that favored 
classicist kitsch and neo-Baroque bombast over the "truths" of the incipient modern 
movement. The scene is thus set for generational conflict between father and son, class 
conflict between the bourgeois and the proletarian, and cultural conflict between 
academician and pupil, professor and student. Fleeing from social repression, sexual 
hypocrisy, and cultural ennui, the artists and intellectuals reacted with a primal scream 
on the model of Edvard Munch, retreating into a private world of subjective fantasy 
and messianic speculation about a new and better society. 

The historical data support this account. Conditions in the speculative housing blocks 
were appalling, infant mortality and prostitution were rampant, and the bourgeoisie was 
notably prosperous and self-satisfied. Moreover the apocalyptic prognoses offered around 
1913 by painters such as Ludwig Meidner took on an awesome reality with the terrible 
losses and ultimate defeat of the German army in World War I, the collapse of monarchi- 
cal government in November 1918, and the ensuing political unrest, which culminated 
in ferocious street fighting between communists and nationalists in the early months of 

.) j'\vio taiLhcuiS i^lW TW^.- 



/ ; ; 



>eCe \-toC'<—»- f., ivo Sic (,„.b.(t ■6<«** w-o 3<e 


Bruno Taut 


Kristallhaus in den Bergen, 




(Crystal house in the 

ajtkfo,,.!" JlS^o 


« cC™= ,5 Coir 

Illustration from Alpine 


Architektur, p. 3 

See cat. no. 232 

\ ' 



'-3' "••' '"!''■ 

* l.-<s WP-.l..i G.jw..<- :.. 

«£^*^ A«3 


Bruno Taut 

Das Baugebiet, vom Monte 
Generoso gesehen, lgio 
(The building site seen 
from Monte Rosa) 
Illustration from Alpine 
Architektur, p. 17 
See cat. no. 232 

lQig- Against this background of military defeat and civil disorder, it is inevitable that the 
Expressionist interlude should be seen as a utopian escape from a mendacious reality. 

This view has also informed the standard histories of twentieth-century architecture, in 
which the Expressionist contribution was invariably portrayed as an escapist, irrational 
interlude, a strange aberration in the steady progress toward functional modernism, 
explicable only in terms of the historical conditions of the moment. Nikolaus Pevsner, for 
example, called the Expressionists "ineffectual deviationists," and Sigfried Giedion 
insisted that "the Expressionist influence could not be healthy or perform any service for 
architecture." 1 While more recent scholarship has revised these damning judgments, 2 the 
reactive image of Expressionist architecture as a deviation from the modernist mainstream 
has exerted a lasting negative influence. Yet the reactive view fails on three counts. First, 
it does nothing to explain why Expressionist architecture took on the particular forms 
that it did, nor does it explain the aesthetic strategies employed, either wittingly or unwit- 
tingly, by the architects in framing their Utopias. Second, it cuts off the Expressionist 
visionaries from their historical antecedents by interpreting their work as a unique reaction 
to a specific set of historical circumstances. Third, it isolates Expressionism as an irra- 
tionalist outburst, unrelated to any larger philosophical patterns or systems. 

Looking back, however, with the perspective of seventy-five years, it becomes clear that 
many of the philosophical and aesthetic preoccupations of the Expressionist generation 
had been anticipated a century earlier in the emotive engagement with nature that charac- 
terized the work of German Romantic writers such as Ludwig Tieck and Novalis or of the 
painter Caspar David Friedrich (see fig. 115). The Romantic notion of beauty as a mani- 
festation of a universal totality beyond human comprehension is perfectly captured in one 
of Novalis's "Blutenstaub" Fragments: "Fantasy sets the coming world either in the heights 
or in the depths, or in metempsychosis to ourselves. We dream of journeys through the 
cosmos; but is the cosmos not in us? We do not know the depths of our soul. The secret 
path leads inward. Eternity, with its worlds of past and future, exists either within our- 
selves or not at all." 3 To the Romantic mind nature in her most extreme manifestations 
offered moral and metaphysical insights into the human spirit. Creative engagement with 
the magnitude and power of natural phenomena offered the chance to link the individual 
soul and the universal spirit. This discourse, conducted in the language of the unpor- 
trayable and unrepresentable, echoed the philosophical investigations into the nature and 
qualities of the sublime pursued in the late eighteenth century by Edmund Burke and 
Immanuel Kant. The comparable use of sublime imagery in nineteenth-century Roman- 
ticism and twentieth-century Expressionism should not be ascribed to conscious imita- 
tion: the Expressionist visionaries and Utopians did not keep Kant under their drawing 
boards. There was, however, in the first decade of this century a climate of ideas that was 
sympathetic to the aesthetic concerns and artistic production of Romanticism. Friedrich, 
for example, emerged as the undisputed star of the centenary exhibition held at the 
Nationalgalerie in Berlin in 1906, which launched a reappraisal of Romantic painting. 
Similarly the neo-Kantian movement that had originated in the 1860s blossomed around 
1910. While it is highly unlikely that the artists or architects would have read the Kantian 
studies of Paul Gerhard Natorp, Wilhelm Windelband, or the young Ernst Cassirer, 
the broader intellectual climate of the first decade of this century was clearly receptive 
to Kantian echoes. As the painter Franz Marc wrote in 1915, "Kant looked far ahead, 
beyond the nineteenth century into the new age." 4 

Marc's contention finds support in recent studies of the sublime, which has been hailed 



Caspar David Friedrich 
Germany, 1774-1S40 
DasEismeer, 1823-24 
(The sea of ice) 
Oil on canvas 
38V16 x 50 in. 
(96.7 x 127.0cm) 
Hamburger Kunsthalle 

by Jean-Francois Lyotard as key to the understanding of twentieth-century art. "It is in the 
aesthetic of the sublime," he wrote in 1982, "that modern art (including literature) finds 
its impetus and the logic of the avant-gardes finds its axioms." In Lyotard's formulation the 
sentiment of the sublime is experienced "when the imagination fails to present an object 
which might, in principle, come to match a concept. . . . We can conceive the infinitely 
great, the infinitely powerful, but every presentation of an object destined to 'make visible' 
this absolute greatness or power appears to us painfully inadequate." 5 

The sublime therefore operates in the no-man's-land between intuition and reason, at 
the point where one's instinctive ability to comprehend the scale of an object breaks down. 
In an article on the imagination written in 1712, which anticipated the eighteenth- 
century fascination with the sublime, Joseph Addison noted that: 

The understanding, indeed, opens an infinite space on every side of us, but the 
imagination, after a few faint efforts, is immediately at a stand, and finds her- 
self swallowed up in the immensity of the void that surrounds it: Our reason 
can pursue a particle of matter through an infinite variety of divisions, but the 
fancy soon loses sight of it, and feels in it self a kind of chasm, that wants to be 
filled with matter of a more sensible bulk. We can neither widen, nor contract 
the faculty to the dimensions of either extreme. The object is too big for our 
capacity, when we would comprehend the circumference of the world, and 
dwindles into nothing, when we endeavour after the idea of an atom. 6 

Taken up by Kant as the Grenze der Einbildungskraft, the limit of our powers of imagina- 
tion, this gap between the realms of reason and imagination has the potential to engender 
both fear and creativity. Confronted by the enormity or the minuteness of the object 
and the void of incomprehension, the observer experiences fear, which is then superseded 
by pleasure as new rational criteria are summoned to explain and contain that which 
had previously been beyond comprehension. In the process the power of imagination is 
extended to encompass new conceptions of space and time, and the power of reason 
generates visions of the world that extend to the limits of fiction. In thus confronting the 
abyss of incomprehension, the observer gains a heightened understanding of human 
potential and of the power of human rationality to overcome the chaos of creation and the 
intractability of nature. 

As Kant makes clear, the sublime exists not in the observed object itself but in the 
response of the observer. Nevertheless certain phenomena are more likely to provoke 
sublime reactions than others, and Kant himself offers a list of likely candidates: 


Hans Scharoun 
"Glashausproblem ," 1920 
(Glass house problem) 
Cat. no. 1S4 

1 17 

Carl Krayl 

Kosmischer Bau, c. 1919-20 

(Cosmic building) 

Cat. no. 123 

i (lCit^. Jsrlt/J- (U±Z. . 

Bold, overhanging, and, as it were, threatening rocks, thunderclouds piled 
up the vault of heaven, borne along with flashes and peals, volcanoes in all 
their violence of destruction, hurricanes leaving desolation in their track, 
the boundless ocean rising with rebellious force, the high waterfall of some 
mighty river, and the like, make our power of resistance of trifling moment in 
comparison with their might. But provided our position is secure, their aspect 
is all the more attractive for its fearfulness; and we readily call these objects 
sublime, because they raise the forces of the soul above the heights of the vulgar 
commonplace, and discover within us a power of resistance of quite another 
kind, which gives us courage to be able to measure ourselves against the seem- 
ing omnipotence of nature. 7 

The sublime resides in our reaction to the abyss or the raging storm and in the attempt 
to master our fear through the redefinition of our rational perspectives. Aesthetic judgment 
is thus akin to moral judgment, and the wilderness of creation is given order by the inter- 
vention of free, rational man. 

As the instrument that makes possible the victory of reason over nature or chaos, the 
sublime has always carried with it extra-aesthetic dimensions — social and political — that 
carry with them both the prospect of new perspectives and the dangers of authoritarian- 
ism. These dimensions can be sensed particularly strongly in the German word for the 



sublime, das Erhabene, with its echoes of Erhebung (elevation) and Erbauung (in its orig- 
inal sense of building up, uplifting, or edifying). Writing in the mid-nineteenth century, 
the German aesthetician Theodor Vischer stressed the positive and constructive aspect of 
the sublime response to nature: "We feel ourselves elevated because we identify ourselves 
with the powers of nature, ascribing their vast impact to ourselves, because our fantasy 
rests on the wings of the storm as we roar into the heights and wander into the depths of 
infinity. Thus we ourselves expand into a boundless natural power." 8 The notion of a sub- 
lime aesthetic that moves one to build or construct a nobler social, political, or moral 
order moves us closer to the glass temples of the Expressionist sublime (see figs. 1 16, 1 17). 

The objects that stimulate the sequence of fear and awe, followed by pleasure and 
rational action, have changed over the centuries. "Awe, compounded of mingled terror 
and exultation, once reserved for God, passed over in the seventeenth century first to an 
expanded cosmos, then from the macrocosm to the greatest objects in the geocosm — 
mountains, ocean, desert." 9 Thus discovered in the seventeenth century, the aesthetics 
of the infinite became a central preoccupation of the eighteenth century. As Addison 
insisted in his best-known text on the matter: 

Our imagination loves to be filled by an object, or to grasp at anything that 
is too big for its capacity. We are flung into a pleasing astonishment at such 
unbounded views, and feel a delightful stillness and amazement in the soul at 
the apprehension of them. The mind of man naturally hates everything that 



^ tia* 



Carl Blechen 
Germany, 1798-1S40 
Schlucht bci Amalfi. 1S31 
(Ravine near Amalfi) 
Oil on canvas 
43 7 /i6 x jo'/zin. 
(110.3 x 77.5cm) 
Nationalgalerie, Staatliche 
Museen zu Berlin, 
Preussischer Kulturbesitz 


Ludwig Meidner 

Apokalyptische Landschaft 

(BeimBahnhofHalensee), 1913 

(Apocalyptic landscape [near 

the Halensee railroad station]) 

Oil on canvas 

32'/i6 x 38'/i6in. 

(81.5 X97.ocm) 

Los Angeles County Museum 

of Art. Gift of Clifford Odets 

looks like a restraint upon it, and is apt to fancy itself under a sort of confine- 
ment, when the sight is pent up in a narrow compass, and shortened on every 
side by the neighbourhood 0/ walls and mountains. On the contrary, a spacious 
horizon is an image of liberty, where the eye has room to expatiate at large 
on the immensity of its views. '° 

In the mid-eighteenth century Edmund Burke added the emotion of terror to Addison's 
delight in limitless nature, prompting a taste for the morbid— graveyards, ruins, and 
natural disasters — that provided early Romantic art with a rich vein of literary and picto- 
rial motifs. " Apocalyptic expectations derived from medieval theology lay behind the 
supernatural terrors of the charnel house and the graveyard. 

With the emergence of industrial production and urban concentration in the nine- 
teenth century, the inventions of man rather than nature offered a new focus for sublime 
contemplation. As Paul Crowther notes in his recent study of the Kantian sublime: "The 
structures of capitalism and the conflicts it engenders provide immediate and inescapable 
images that overwhelm our perceptual or imaginative powers, yet make the scope of 
rational comprehension or human artifice and contrivance all the more vivid." 12 In the 
nineteenth century industrial production, the speed and power of steam technology, and 
the burgeoning metropolis or industrial city stimulated the sensations of awe, terror, and 
exaltation previously associated with such natural phenomena as cliffs, waterfalls, and 
deserts. Carl Blechen's painting Schlucht bei Amalfi (Ravine near Amalfi, 1831; fig. 118) 
offers telling evidence of this realignment of sublime sentiment. Blechen sets a steam 
hammer above a roaring torrent, contrasting a symbol of mechanical power and danger 
with the same forces in nature. In the context of the cities of Victorian Britain, Nicholas 
Taylor lists among the sublime delights of the new century "the haranguing of the 


Evangelical preacher; the ecstasy of the Anglo-Catholic Mass; the scientific wonders of 
panoramas and exhibition halls; the traveller's thrill in catching trains and climbing 
mountains; the capitalist's pride in the hum of mass production and hubbub of the mar- 
ket." 13 The city of brick and stone, driven by the limitless technological power of steam 
and iron, with its vast and ever-expanding scale and its brutal contrasts of splendor and 
deprivation, replaced the menacing mountains, crags, and cliffs of the eighteenth century. 
The conquest of the Alps and the conquest of the industrial city demanded similar 
qualities and provoked parallel aesthetic responses. 

The metaphor of the city as an endless sea of stone recurs frequently in the literature 
of German Expressionism. In Gerrit Engelke's poem "Stadt" (City), the city appears as 
a man-made mountain, bristling with energy and menace: 

Ten thousand staring, rigid blocks are built in the valley. 

Stone piled high upon stone on wood and iron frames; 

And block upon block pressed into a mountain. 

Spanned by steam pipe, tower, and railway, 

By wire spinning net over net. 

The mountain, cleft deep by many fissures: 

This is the great labvrinth 

Through which human destiny washes. "• 

In a similar vein Alfred Wolfenstein saw in the city the ravines and cliffs of the sublime 

Shyness looms and the blind parting! 
Still we stand in stony disguise. 
Escaped the chaos— are still in flight. 
Before us the city gapes in crag and chasm. ' 5 

And just as the chaotic forces of nature exceed our powers of comprehension and threaten 
us with destruction, so the great urban centers of the late nineteenth century were 
invested with entropic qualities. Like an overheated boiler, these massive concentrations 
of energy carried in their very fabric the potential for self-destruction. The legacy of 
apocalyptic expectation passed down from medieval theology to the eighteenth-century 
theories of the sublime found a new resonance in early twentieth-century theories of 
urban degeneration and collapse. The city of stone would crush its inhabitants as surely 
as an avalanche. l6 This is the message of Ludwig Meidner's celebrated series of apoc- 
alyptic landscapes, created in 1912 and 1913 (see fig. 119). 

The response of the Expressionist writers, painters, and architects to the nineteenth- 
century city was double-edged. As critics their starting point was rooted in the sublime 
response of incomprehension and fear: incomprehension at the physical scale of the city 
and its exploding population. This failure of the imagination to comprehend the extent 
of the city was reinforced on the human scale by disbelief at the overcrowded, tomblike 
conditions endured by the urban poor. At the microscopic scale recent advances in bacte- 
riology drew attention to further hidden yet terrifying dangers such as cholera and tuber- 
culosis, which lurked in the insanitary city streets. 17 As creative spirits, however, the same 
artists and intellectuals turned to the devices of the sublime to produce emotionally laden 
images intended to stimulate a rational reevaluation of how industrial society should pro- 

W H Y T E 

gress. This complex interaction between reason and emotion was succinctly described by 
Kurt Hiller, one of the leading theorists of German Expressionism: "The source of all 
rationality lies not in knowledge, but in experience. Its deepest essence, therefore, is not 
to be comprehended quasi-mathematically, but mystically. . . . The impulse toward the 
benevolent, messianic reform of the world remains dark and inaccessible to all justifica- 
tion. An intellectualism that lusts for proof— both pure and poor philosophy — fails here. 
For here rule the ardor and the assurance of more sacred, more profound powers."' 8 

Expressionist reason was to be guided by emotion rather than the constraints of proof 
or objective analysis. As a symbol of messianic reform, the German Expressionists turned, 
as their Romantic forebears had before them, to the biblical symbol of purity, order, and 
indivisibility: the crystal. Stretching back to Saint John's vision of the New Jerusalem 
in Revelation, the crystal has a long history as a symbol of Utopian and millenarian faith 
in a perfectible society, moving from the Bible, via medieval mystics such as Schwester 
Hadewich and Wolfram von Eschenbach, to the Romanticism of Novalis and Tieck, and 
from there to the Holy Grail of Richard Wagner's Parsifal, first performed in 1882. lq 

The more immediate inspiration for the glass and crystalline fantasies proposed by Taut 
and developed in 1919 and 1920 by his associates in the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst (Working 
council for art) and the Glaserne Kette (Crystal chain) group was the writer Paul Scheer- 
bart. Scheerbart published a long succession of fantasy novels, articles, and poems 
between 1889 and his death in 1915, in which he insisted that the universe is far too rich 
and complex to be comprehended by reason alone. Only naive wonder— the basis of the 
sublime— could promote the development of higher forms of understanding. This posi- 
tion, of course, also had implications for artistic production; as one of the characters in his 
novel Das Paradies, die Heimat der Kunst (Paradise, the home of art, 1889) explained: 
"The concept of art is broadened here; the main issue is no longer representation but 
rather the invention of things that might be represented. . . . Our task is not the represen- 
tation of comprehended perceptions, but a reorientation of comprehended perceptions. 
In this way we want to make it possible to comprehend new perceptions. You could call this 
the preparatory work for the artists who come later." 10 Rather than depict in minute and 
squalid detail the poverty and misery of the real world in the manner of naturalist writers 
such as Gerhart Hauptmann, Arno Holz, and Johannes Schlaf, who dominated German 
literature in the 1890s, Scheerbart described fantastic astral journeys and dispatched his 
readers to exotic locations on earth, where Utopian existences were led under the benefi- 
cent shelter of a new architecture of color and transparency. The transparent envelope was 
intended to promote self-transcendence by allowing thought to move from the sensuous 
level to the universal, through the medium of endless space. 

The moral implications of such a sequence had already been noted by Kant in a key 
passage in his Kritik der Urteilskraft (The critique of judgment, 1790): "The spontaneity 
in the play of the cognitive faculties whose harmonious accord contains the ground of 
this pleasure, makes the concept [of the finality of nature] in its consequences, a suitable 
mediating link connecting the concept of nature with that of the concept of freedom, as 
this accord at the same time promotes the sensibility of the mind for moral feeling. " :i 
In other words, moral and metaphysical insights were to be derived from natural excess. 
This link has already been seen in the context of German Romanticism. In the strictly 
architectural context a new morality was regarded as the product of new notions of space. 

This was the message that first linked Scheerbart 's writing to Taut's building, the nexus 
that generated Expressionist architecture. The first contact between the two men was 



made in 1912, through the circle of artists and intellectuals around Herwarth Walden's 
journal Der Sturm (The storm). In February 1914 Taut published an article entitled "Eine 
Notvvendigkeit" (A necessity; see Appendix) in Der Sturm, which called for collaborative 
work on a great new building of glass, steel, and concrete, in which constructional virtuos- 
ity and the arts of painting and sculpture would be reunited again, as they were in the 
Gothic cathedrals. The building was to have no function beyond self-transcendence. The 
hymn to color and transparency was taken up again in Scheerbart's book Glasarchitektur 
(Glass architecture), which was published under the Sturm imprint in 1914 and dedicated 
to Taut. It contained 1 1 1 short texts on the virtues of glass as both material and symbol, 
the first of which proclaimed: 

We live for the most part in enclosed spaces. These form for the most part the 
milieu in which our culture develops. Our culture is, so to speak, a product of 
our architecture. Should we wish to lift our culture to a higher level, then we 
are obliged, for better or worse, to transform our architecture. We shall only 
succeed in doing this when we remove the element of enclosure from the rooms 
in which we live. We can only do this, however, with glass architecture, which 
allows the light of the sun, moon, and stars to enter not merely through a few 
windows set in the wall, but through as many walls as possible — walls of col- 
ored glass. The new milieu created in this way must bring us a new culture. zl 

This text also appeared in the pamphlet written by Taut describing his Glashaus (Glass 
house) at the igr4 Werkbund exhibition in Cologne, which was the first building to 
realize Scheerbart's vitreous vision. This little glass temple, set on a concrete plinth, had 
fourteen glazed sides, each with a motto from Scheerbart inscribed on the lintel, and was 
topped by a prismatic dome of double-skin glass (see fig. 120). The play of natural colored 
light was heightened in the interior by a water cascade on the lower level and a mechan- 
ical kaleidoscope (see fig. 121). Not only was the Glashaus the first Expressionist glass 
building, it also has the melancholy distinction of being the last, as the outbreak of war in 
August 1914 and the political and economic turmoil that followed for the next decade 
condemned the Expressionist vision to paper. 


Bruno Taut 
Glashaus, Werkbund 
exhibition, Cologne, 1914 


Bruno Taut 
Glashaus, Werkbund 
exhibition, Cologne, 1914, 

128 W H YTE 

The war was welcomed by German youth as a catalyst for social and cultural change. 
The volunteers of 1914 saw the war as the ultimate realization of Nietzsche's vitalist phi- 
losophy, as the emancipation from the materialism of their fathers. Marc spoke for his 
generation in welcoming "this 'sublime feast' of the philosopher,"- 3 whose destructive 
power created the conditions necessary for innovation and renewal. Yet as the war dragged 
on in sanguinary stalemate, the millenarian dreams of an age of the spirit that would be 
forged on the battlefield were replaced by ennui, despair, and increasing pacifist resistance. 
Fear of war and its consequences spread beyond the immediate confines of the two front 
lines to the entire population of Europe, which was threatened by hunger, illness, and 
economic hardship. The background to Taut's Alpine Architektur was the so-called turnip 
winter of 1916-17, marked by extreme food shortages and rationing among the civilian 
population in Germany. Toward the end of this winter of discontent, the Russian revolu- 
tion broke out, bringing with it a new phase in the war and in European socialist politics. 

Great, ill-defined ideas were in the air, visions of a world without war or nationalism, 
visions of universal brotherhood. Such visions are exactly what Kant pointed to in defining 
the aesthetic idea as "that representation of the imagination which induces much 
thought, yet without the possibility of any definite thought whatever, i.e., concept being 
adequate to it, and which language, consequently, can never get quite on level terms 
with or render completely intelligible." 24 The "brotherhood of man" is just such a notion 
that defies complete and convincing representation. Yet some image had to be found as a 
stimulus for the transformation of the world that was felt to be imminent and for the 
change in morality that was necessary for this transformation. As has already been noted, 
the aesthetic of the sublime offers a link between such strong human emotions as fear and 
the longing for self-transcendence and the moral goal of a free, rational man. In Alpine 
Architektur and its pendant, Dcr Weltbaumeister (The universal master builder; see 
Appendix), published in 1920, Taut created a series of gigantomanic visions that embodied 
almost all those qualities that Burke had linked to the sublime responses of "astonish- 
ment. . . admiration, reverence and respect." 23 

Although Taut's images are admittedly short on terror, the other Burkean qualities are 
to be found in rich abundance. High above the wartime trenches, technology and mechan- 
ical power over the material world are transformed into a constructive force, with airships, 
airplanes, and unspecified technological wonders employed to build glass temples on the 
Alpine peaks and launch glass satellites into space. Social progress was to be achieved 
through sublime inspiration, through engagement in a task of almost incomprehensible 
dimension: "Preach: be peaceable! Preach: the social idea: 'You are all brothers, organize 
yourselves and you could all live well, all be well educated and at peace!' As long as there 
are no tasks to be done, your preaching will echo emptily. Tasks that demand the last ounce 
of effort, the last drop of blood." The Burkean quality of astonishment is self-evident as 
the only possible response to these gigantic demands. As Taut admitted, "The execution 
will involve incredible difficulties and sacrifices but will not be impossible. 'The impos- 
sible is so rarely demanded of Man.' (Goethe) . . . But higher knowledge! The greatest work 
is nothing without the sublime. We must always recognize and strive for the unattainable 
if we are to achieve the attainable." The mountainscape and the cosmos guarantee, of 
course, Burke's demand for vastness, infinity, and the "privations [of] vacuity, darkness, 
solitude [and] silence." Taut's "crystal house in the mountains" is referred to as the temple 
of silence, the site of prayer and "inexpressible silence" (see fig. 113). 26 

^cr(m cMt ~ dXrc-r ^rr^ -»(o 

-SioieC foSC'-v iitM <)ie, J-or-rrvenrv — ~ ~ — -— 


Bruno Taut 
Untitled, 1920 
Illustration from Der 
Weltbaumeister, p. 8 
See cat. no. 235 

t n'neC 

a.-^tferrC toTt\t l^J ofo^t 


Bruno Taut 
Untitled, 1920 
Illustration from Der 
Weltbaumeister, p. 14 
See cat. no. 235 



D, v 


Wenzel Hablik 
DerWegdes Genius, 1918 
(The path of genius) 
Oil on canvas 
63M6 x 37'/sin. 
(160.5 x 95-ocm) 


Bruno Taut 

Museen und Kristallhaus 

der neuen Schute, c. 1920 

(Museums and crystal house 

for the new school) 

Cat. no. 211 

The Burkean categories closest to architecture are magnitude in building, magnifi- 
cence, and light in building, all of which are amply provided for in glass architecture. 
Indeed, in describing the beauty of the interior of the crystal house, Taut quotes a passage 
from Scheerbart's novel Miinchhausen und Clarissa (Miinchhausen and Clarissa), in 
which the architecture of a glass temple is specifically described as sublime (erhaben): "No 
one may speak in the temples, entry is always possible — even in the night. But there is 
nothing here that corresponds to our church services— the temples achieve their effect 
solely through their sublime architecture, and through their great silence, which is broken 
only from time to time by beautiful orchestral and organ music." 27 

In his attempts to show, rather inconsistently, that even finite objects can produce sub- 
lime responses in the observer, Kant had offered an architectural example, suggesting that 
when a visitor enters Saint Peter's in Rome, "a feeling comes home to him of the inade- 
quacy of his imagination for presenting the idea of a whole within which that imagination 
attains its maximum, and, in its fruitless efforts to extend this limit, recoils upon itself, 
but in doing so succumbs to an emotional delight." 28 Crowther suggests that "this harmo- 
nious tension between what is perceptually overwhelming and what is nevertheless known 
to be artifice" provides the basis for a "specifically artistic sense of the sublime." 29 Taut's 
Weltbaumeister, an utterly fantastic and largely incomprehensible series of drawings 
conceived as stage drops for an "Architectural Drama for Symphonic Music — Dedicated 
to the Spirit of Paul Scheerbart," might be seen as exemplifying this tension. The plot, 
reflecting the workings of the sublime, involves a rocket cathedral hurtling through 
space — perhaps symbolizing the limits of human imagination— and then, at the most dis- 
tant point of cosmic blackness, transforming itself into a star (see figs. 122, 123). Terrified, 
thrilled, and mystified by this performance, the architecture on earth is transformed, as 
reason creates a new paradise and houses of glass grow like mushrooms out of the earth's 
crust. Burke's suggestions on obscurity, light, and color are all followed here, no doubt 
unwittingly. He recommended that "in buildings where the highest degree of the sublime 
is intended, the materials and ornaments ought to be. . . of sad and fuscous colours, as 
black, or brown, or deep purple, and the like."' At the moment of transfiguration in Der 
Weltbaumeister, when the star disappears and our attention is redirected to earth, Taut's 
text specifies that "empty space becomes purple-red." 



Booming around the mountaintops and across the cosmos, Taut's plea for the transcen- 
dental sublime carries unmistakable echoes of Nietzsche's demand for man to replace the 
deist god of nature: "We want to suffuse nature with humanity and free it from godly 
mummery. We want to extract what we need from nature in order to dream beyond man. 
Something should yet emerge that is more magnificent than storm, mountain, and ocean — 
but as the progeny of man!" 3 ' The driving force behind the Nietzschean revolution would 
be the will of the individual, more specifically the will of the most gifted individual, the 
genius, who goes to new heights where mere mortals fear to tread. Nietzsche's vision of the 
artist as superman is perfectly encapsulated in a painting by Wenzel Hablik, one of Taut's 
companions in the Glaserne Kette group. Entitled Der Weg des Genius (The path of 
genius, rgi8; fig. 124), Hablik's painting shows the lone figure of the artist-genius reach- 


Paul Gosch 

Untitled (fantasy architecture), 

c. 1921 

Cat. no. 43 

12 7 

Paul Gosch 

Untitled (fantasy architecture), 


Cat. no. 41 



A, 1_^.~» 5*<wW*> 'jCji. 


Wenzel Hablik 
Canonbauten, 1925 
(Canonical buildings) 
Cat. no. 66 


Wenzel Hablik 

Original Skizze des Inneren 

eines Schautempels, 1914 

(Original sketch of the interior 

of a display temple) 

Cat. no. 58 

ing the New Jerusalem, while the merely mortal lie broken on the mountain peaks below. 

In the heady, chaotic months that followed the military defeat, the abdication of the 
Kaiser, and the German revolution of November 1918, it appeared to the radical artists 
and intellectuals that their dreams had been realized: the age of materialism, nationalism, 
and hate had been superseded by the age of the spirit. Political and artistic ambitions were 
fused in the many groups of artists and intellectuals that sprung up throughout Germany 
in 1918 and 1919 in parallel to the workers' and soldiers' councils that launched the revo- 
lution in November 1918. In December 1918 the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst in Berlin published 
a program that insisted: "Art and the people must form a unity. Art should no longer be the 
delight of the few, but the good fortune and the life of the masses. The aim is the fusion of 
arts under the wing of a great architecture." " The favored symbol for this new architec- 
ture was the crystal; the favored model, the Gothic cathedral. Both became mainstays of 
Expressionist rhetoric in the immediate postwar years. In Ernst Toller's play Die Wandlung 
(Transfiguration), for example, which was published in 1919, the hopes for the future are 
symbolized by the Menschheitskathedrale, the cathedral of humanity, and voiced in the 
convoluted, emotionally charged syntax of Expressionism: "Bom from the universal 
womb, the high-vaulted portal of the cathedral of humanity opens wide. The youth of all 
nations stride ablaze into the shrine of glowing crystal. Violently I behold radiant visions. 
No more misery, no war, no hate."" 

For the architects in the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst and its successor, the Glaserne Kette 
group, the cathedral, temple, or cult building symbolized both the infinite totality of 
humankind and the benevolent domination of architecture over the new world of social 
harmony and equality. Just as Kant saw in Saint Peter's the possibility of a sublime build- 




ing, so the Expressionist visionaries planned their Utopias around a great architectural 
focus, the crystal shrine proposed by Taut and Scheerbart in 1914. The temple appears in 
endless guises as the axis mundi of the new Utopia: in Taut's crystal house (fig. 125); in 
oriental garb, with theosophical overtones, in the variations by Paul Gosch (see figs. 126, 
127); and in crystalline geometric fantasies by Hablik (see figs. 128, 129). Most famously 
Feininger chose the Gothic cathedral to symbolize the totality of the arts in his woodcut 
for the founding manifesto of Walter Gropius's Bauhaus, released in April 1919 to mark 
the opening of the new school in Weimar (fig. 26). 

Around the temple the Utopian community spread out in the regular formations favored 
in humanist Utopias from Thomas More on. Antiurbanism and the desire to escape from 
the dystopian city were major themes of the political programs of the radical architects 
and artists. These programs focused on vague, Utopian socialist ideals of decentralization, 
the replacement of the money economy with a mutualist system, and the economic auton- 
omy of the rural community. Taut inevitably offered the most fantastic and eloquent vision 
of these ideas in his book Die Aufldsung der Stddte (The dissolution of the cities, rg2o). 
The first two pages tell the political parable. In the first the city of stone is collapsing in 
sublime and apocalyptic chaos. Relief rather than fear should be the response, however, 
and Taut urges: "Let them collapse, these man-built acts of meanness! Stone houses cre- 
ate stone hearts. Now our soil is in bloom!" 34 Nature wins the battle against the barren city 
of stone, and in the second image a series of small communities grows out of the soil in a 
petallike pattern, reminiscent of a protozoan seen under a microscope (see figs. 130, 131). 

The image of cellular development also goes back to the sublimity of the minute scale- 
Kant pointed to both the telescope and the microscope— and the fear of the unseen and 


Bruno Taut 
Untitled, 1920 
Illustration from Die 
Auflosung der Stddte, p. 1 
See cat. no. 234 


Bruno Taut 

Eine Arbeitsgemeinschaft, 


(A working community) 

Illustration from Die 

Aufldsung der Stddte, p. 2 

See cat. no. 234 



the unknowable. The overcoming of this fear was also part of the Expressionist program, 
and the highly inventive images of single-cell creatures— polyps, corals, rhizopods, and 
the like— published at the turn of the century by Ernst Haeckel in his book Kunstformen 
der Natur (Art forms of nature) provided a rich hunting ground for the Expressionist 
visionaries. Hermann Finsterlin, one of the most prolific members of the Glaserne Kette, 
produced countless drawings of snaillike and polyplike forms as prototypes of the new glass 
architecture (see fig. 132). In the drawings of the Glaserne Kette the protozoan and the 
crystal were joined together as the archetypal foundations for growth, a linkage made 
explicit in Hablik's plans to fuse sand into glass houses resembling trees and flowers (see 
figs. 133, 134). This monist belief in a single, irreducible law uniting all matter, all faith, 
and all belief can be discerned in Taut's assurance in 1920 that "the great, all embracing 
element is discoverable. We flutter around it like amoebas, like coral polyps or salt atoms 
at the creation of rock or crystal." 35 In Die Auflosung der Stadte Taut combined crys- 

*W-** , .'2S33 




Hermann Finsterlin 

Die Stadt, Serie IV. Blatt S. 


(The city, series IV, sheet 8) 

Cat. no. 27 

talline dreams of glass temples in the Alps with a celebration of organic reproduction. His 
Die grosse Blume (The great flower; fig. 135) depicts a giant vitreous phallus and vagina 
floating on the endless ocean — the sublime triumph over the Schornsteinzeit, the stone 
age of the factory chimney. 

Taut concluded Die Auflosung der Stadte with a farewell to Utopia that points to 
Lyotard's definition of the sublime: "Can one draw happiness? We can all live it and build 
it. Utopia? Is not utopia the 'certain' and the 'real,' swimming in the mire of illusion and 
indolent habit! Is not the content of our aspirations the true present, resting on the rock of 
faith and knowledge!" 55 This conscious return to the tangible, concrete, and comprehen- 
sible marked one of the most significant turning points in the evolution of architectural 
modernism. The elements of fear, uncertainty, and self-overcoming were willfully aban- 
doned in favor of the mechanical and physical certainties on which functionalist modern- 
ism was grounded. A simplistic view of human existence as something reducible to the 



w mm 

1/ ^j/t^A^ •*' 


Wenzel Hablik 

Da wohntcn Menschen auf 

knstall'ncn Baumcn, 1925 

(There humans lived on crystal 


Cat. no. 69 

L ^K \ ■ 

1 o/j iiid« f«t^fc4«tK>iy- 



optimal provision of shelter, light, and air by definition excluded any attempt to portray 
absolute greatness, power, or awe, either in nature or in architecture. Banished from the 
architectural discourse, the sublime, particularly in its Burkean variation, entered a new 
realm of operation in the cinema, where it lurked omnipresent behind the shadows of the 
Expressionist horror films. 37 Watching the vertiginous rooftop scenes in Das Cabinet des 
Doktor Caligari (The cabinet of Doctor Caligari, 1919; see fig. 136) or the demonic vaults 
of the rabbi's laboratory in Der Golem (The golem, 1920), the viewer in the back row of 
a warm cinema must have shared, however unwittingly, Burke's conviction that: 

Whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain, and danger, that is to 
say, whatever is in any sort terrible, or is conversant about terrible objects, or 
operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime; that is, it is 
productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling. . . . 


Wenzel Hablik 

"Ziele" fur die jugend (schwer 

zu erreichen im Gebirge. 

Wunder-Bauten), 1920 

("Goals" for youth [difficult 

to reach in the mountains. 

Miracle buildings]) 

Cat. no. 64 


Bruno Taut 

Die grosse Blume, 1920 

(The great flower) 

Illustration from Die 

Auflosung der Stddte, p. 14 

See cat. no. 234 

i 3 6 

i 3 6 

Scene from Das Cabinet des 
Doktor Caligari (The cabinet 
of Doctor Caligari), iqiq 
Cat. no. 218 

When danger and pain press too nearly, they are incapable of any delight, and 
are simply terrible- but at certain distances, and with certain modifications, 
they may be, and they are delightful, as we every day experience. 38 

While the film industry adopted the strategies of the sublime to manipulate the emo- 
tions of its audience, the modern movement in architecture abandoned emotion in favor 
of reason, defined in the narrowest sense as the satisfaction of functional demands. The 
victory of functionalism over the emotionally charged architecture of Expressionism was 
seen as a triumph of reason over irrationality, of light over dark. As Giedion insisted in the 
passage from Space, Time, and Architecture quoted at the beginning of this essay: "Faust- 
ean outbursts against an inimical world and the cries of outraged humanity cannot create 
new levels of achievement. " ,Q But devoid of the emotional charge of power, awe, mystery, 
and fear on which Expressionist architecture thrived, the white architecture of the mod- 
ern movement fell prey to the anodyne certainties of the sociologist and the economist. 
Indeed the very comprehensibility of the International Style— the antithesis of the 
Expressionist sublime — might be seen as a weakness. No uncertainties remained about 
the contours or dimensions of a building, the repeatability of its elements, its materials, 
or its economies of space and materials. With the powers or limits of imagination unchal- 
lenged, the result was ennui. As Cassirer has noted in the context of Kantian aesthetics, 
"Within phenomena themselves the infinite complexity which every organic natural form 
possesses for us points to the limit of the powers of mechanical explanation." 40 In archi- 
tecture, as in nature, the merely mechanistic explanation is woefully inadequate. 




1. Nikolaus Pevsner, "Archi- 
tecture in Our Time," The 
Listener, 29 December ig66, 
p. Q53; Sigfried Giedion, Space, 
Time, and Architecture 
(Cambridge: Harvard Uni- 
versity Press, 1949), p. 418. 

2. See Wolfgang Pehnt, 
Expressionist Architecture 
(New York: Praeger, 1973); Iain 
Boyd VVhyte, Bruno Taut and 
the Architecture of Activism 
(Cambridge: Cambridge Uni- 
versity Press, 1982); idem, 
The Crystal Chain Letters: 
Architectural Fantasies by 
Bruno Taut and His Circle 
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985). 

3. Novalis, "Blutenstaub," 
Fragment no. 16, in Werke 
und Bnefe (Munich: Winkler, 
1962), p. 342. 

4. Klaus Lankheit, ed., Franz 
Marc: Schriften (Cologne: 
DuMont, 1978), p. 194. 

5. Jean-Francois Lyotard, 
"What Is Postmodernism," in 
The Postmodern Condition: 

A Report on Knowledge (Man- 
chester: Manchester University 
Press, 1986), pp. 77, 78. 

6. Joseph Addison, in The 
Spectator, no. 420 (2 July 

7. Immanuel Kant, The 
Critique of judgement, trans. 

J. C. Meredith (Oxford: Oxford 
University Press, 1973), 
pp. 109-10. 

8. Friedrich Theodor Vischer, 
Ober das Erhabene und 
Komische und andere Texte zur 
Asthetik (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 
1967), p. 155. 

9. Marjorie Nicholson, Science 
and the Imagination (Ithaca, 
N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 
1956), p. 96. 

10. Joseph Addison, in The 
Spectator, no. 412 (23 June 

11. Edmund Burke, A Phil- 
osophical Enquiry into the 
Origin of Our Ideas of the 
Sublime and Beautiful (Lon- 
don: R. and J. Dodsley, 1757; 
London: Routledge and Kegan 
Paul, 1958). 

12. Paul Crowther, The Kant- 
ian Sublime (Oxford: Claren- 
don Press, 1989), pp. 164-65. 

13. Nicholas Taylor, "The 
Awful Sublimity of the Victo- 
rian City," in The Victorian 
City: Images and Realities, ed. 
H. J. Dyos and Michael Wolff, 
2 vols. (London: Routledge and 
Kegan Paul, 1973), p. 434. 

14. Gerrit Engelke, "Stadt," in 
Rythmus des neuen Europa 
(Jena: Eugen Diederichs, 1921); 
reprinted in Wolfgang Rothe, 
ed., Deutsche Crossstadtlyrik 
vom Naturalismus bis zur Ge- 
genwart (Stuttgart: Reclam, 
'973)> PP- 185-86. 

15. Alfred Wolfenstein, "Neue 
Stadt," in Menschlicher Kampfer 
(Berlin: S. Fischer, 1919); 
reprinted in Rothe, Deutsche 
Crossstadtlyrik, p. 194. 

16. For a fascinating essay 
on the sublimity of stone, see 
Hartmut Bohme, "Das 
Steinerne: Anmerkungen zur 
Theorie des Erhabenen aus 
dem Blick des Menschenfrem- 
desten," in Das Erhabene: 
Zwischen Grenzerfahrung und 
Grbssenwahn, ed. Christine 
Pries (Weinheim: VCH Acta 
Humanoria, 1989), pp. 119-42. 

17. It was in Berlin that Robert 
Koch identified the tuber- 
culosis bacillus in 18S2 and the 
cholera bacillus in 1883. 

18. Kurt Hiller, "Ortsbestim- 
mung des Aktivismus," Die 
Erhebung 1 (1919): 366. 

19. On the crystal theme, see 
Rosemarie Haag Bletter, "The 
Interpretation of the Glass 
Dream: Expressionist Architec- 
ture and the History of the 
Crystal Metaphor," journal of 
the Society of Architectural 
Historians 40 (March 1981): 
20-43; Regine Prange, Das 
Kristalline als Kunstsymbole: 
Bruno Taut und Paul Klec 
(Hildcsheim: Georg Olms, 

20. Paul Scheerbart, Das Para- 
dies, die Heimat der Kunst, 2d 
ed. (Berlin: Verlag deutscher 
Fantasten, 1893), p. 170. 

21. Kant, Critique of Judge- 
ment, p. 39. 

22. Paul Scheerbart, Glas- 
architektur (Berlin: Verlag 
"Der Sturm," 1914; Munich: 
Rogner und Bernhard, 1971), 
p. 25. 

23. Lankheit, Franz Marc: 
Schriften, p. 194. 

24. Kant, Critique of judge- 
ment, p. 175. 

25. Burke, Philosophical 
Enquiry (1958), p. 57. 

26. Bruno Taut, Alpine Archi- 
tektur (Hagen: Folkwang, 
1919), pis. 3, 10, 16, 21. 

27. Ibid., pi. 4. 

28. Kant, Critique of judge- 
ment, p. 100. 

29. Crowther, Kantian Sub- 
lime, pp. 153-54. 

30. Burke, Philosophical 
Enquiry (1958), p. 82. 

31. Friedrich Nietzsche, 
"Nachgelassene Fragmente, 
Sommer 1883," no. 13 (1), in 
Kntische Gesamtausgabc, 
vol. 7, pt. 1 (Berlin: Walter 
de Gruyter, 1980), p. 450. 

32. Arbeitsrat fur Kunst, Pro- 
gramme (December 1918), in 
Mitteilungen des Deutschen 
Werkbundes, no. 4(1918): 14. 

33. Ernst Toller, DieWandlung 
(Potsdam: Gustav Kiepen- 
heuer, 1919), p. 77. 

34. Bruno Taut, Die Auflosung 
der Stddte: oder. Die Erde, eine 
gute Wohnung (Hagen: Folk- 
wang, 1920), p. 1. 

35. Bruno Taut, "Architektur 
neuer Gemeinschaft," Die 

Erhebung 2 (1920): 271. 

36. Taut, Auflosung der 
Stddte, p. 30. 

37. As if to avert the impending 
schism, Bruno Taut, Hermann 
Finsterlin, and Hans Poelzig 
penned film scenarios in 1920. 
Poelzig was also responsible for 
the sets of Paul Wegener's film 
Der Golem, also made in 1920. 

38. Burke, Philosophical 
Enquiry (1958), pp. 39-40. 

39. Giedion, Space, Time, and 
Architecture, p. 418. 

40. Ernst Cassirer, Kant's Life 
and Thought, trans. J. Haden 
(New Haven, Conn.: Yale Uni- 
versity Press, 1981), pp. 346-47. 


Raoul Hausmann 
Dada Cino, 1920 
Cat. no. 77 

i 3 8 

Erich Kettelhut 
Metropolis: Turm Babel, 1925 
(Metropolis: Tower of Babel) 
Cat. no. 107 




Viking Eggeling 

Diagonalsymphonic IV (Rolle), 

c. 1923 

(Diagonal symphony IV 


Cat. no. 18 





•#**>#» &&f-{«<^ GLflt.^^. . eiuM^'vufcMe^y/ureA, 


Andor Weininger 

Mechanische Biihnen-Revue, 


(Mechanical stage review) 

Cat. no. 219 


l i 



Roman Clemens 
"Russisches": Biihnenbild zum 
"Spiel aus Form, Farbe, Licht 
und Ton," 1929 
("Russian": Stage design for 
"Play of form, color, light, and 
Cat. no. 13 


Paul Klee 




Cat. no. 117 


Wassily Kandinsky 
Das grosse Tor von Kiev 
(Szenenbild zu "Bilder einer 
Ausstellung," BildXVI), 1928 
(The great gate of Kiev [stage 
design for Pictures at an 
Exhibition, picture XVI]) 
Cat. no. 105 


Laszl6 Moholy-Nagy 

Dynamik der Metropol, 


(Dynamic of the metropolis) 

Cat. no. 151 


Hannah Hoch 

Kabarctt Biihne 1, 1924—25 

(Cabaret stage I) 

Cat. no. 90 


Oskar Schlemmer 

Die Nachtigall: Thronsaal 

des Kaisers von China, 1929 

(The nightingale: Throne room 

of the Chinese emperor) 

Cat. no. 191 


Walter Reirnann 

Untitled (woman on couch), 

c. 1919 

Cat. no. 181 


Walter Reirnann 

Untitled (cafe scene), c. i9r9 

Cat. no. 180 


b| 2BJ 

Ha . nm 


; 'Ib^bbI 

Br V 7 

-. ; 

ifl ■ ■ 9 1 

»t ? jBBB B iB - 







Ella Bergmann 

Neuronen-Menschen lldee- 

Entwurf-Studien fiir ein 

mechanisches Theater oder 

Film mit Johannes Molzahn, 


(Neurons-human beings /idea 

sketches for a mechanical 

theater or film with Johannes 


Cat. no. 8 


Cesar Klein 

Salon der "Genuine," 1920 

(Salon for Genuine) 

Cat. no. 119 




4y h SA 

■ »a «s 


5 €v'^%c 

®' ? 

=M V 

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assaK--s- U 

























Theodor W. Addrnd, 
Aesthetic Theory' 



v^ity L^incma, /Modernity 


n January 10, 1927, all of Berlin's forty newspapers were abuzz with 
anticipation and excitement. Metropolis, the monumental new film by 
Fritz Lang, one and a half years in the making, was finally to open fol- 
lowing an unprecedented advertising campaign that had run for several 
months. Everyone must have known by then that Metropolis was the 
most expensive and ambitious European film production to date, with an unheard-of cost 
of 5. 3 million Reichsmark (more than three times its budget); that its shooting ratio was 
1:300 (with more than one million meters of film exposed); and that it employed thirty-six 
thousand extras, including seventy-five hundred children and one thousand unemployed 
whose heads had been shaved by one hundred hairdressers for a scene that in the final cut 
lasted less than a minute. "A film of titanic dimensions," "the greatest film ever made, one 
of the most eternal artworks of all times," an "Uber-film," and other slogans promised a 
film that could compete with such American high-culture spectacles as D. W. Griffith's 
The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance ( 1916) or Raoul Walsh's three-hour extrava- 
ganza. The Thief of Bagdad (1924), which had been shown in Berlin just a few years earlier. 
Metropolis was also eagerly awaited as a sequel to Lang's successful megaproduction of 
1924, the two-part Die Nibelungen (The Nibelungs), which established him as the most 
daring filmmaker of the 1920s both in visual style and ideological ambition. Dedicated to 
the German people, Die Nibelungen translated the archetypal German myth into stun- 
ning images of architectural excess, flaunting gigantic medieval castles and complete 
prehistoric forests made of concrete. 2 The son of an architect, Lang, who had studied 
painting before he turned to filmmaking, infused all of his films with a rich spatial 
imagination; he molded his characters and their fictional world to fit his architectural 
design. Not surprisingly it was the big-city architecture of New York that struck him when 
he toured the United States in 1924. His first glimpse of the New York skyline at night 
from a ship near Ellis Island in fact inspired him to make Metropolis: 

I saw a street lit as if in full daylight by neon lights and, topping them, 
oversized luminous advertisements moving, turning, flashing, on and off, 
spiraling . . . something that was completely new and nearly fairy-tale-like for 
a European in those days. . . . The buildings seemed to be a vertical veil, 
shimmering, almost weightless, a luxurious cloth hung from the dark sky to 
dazzle, distract, and hypnotize. At night the city did not give the impression 
of being alive; it lived as illusions lived. I knew then that I had to make a 
film about all of these sensations. ' 


Erich Kettelhut 


Moigendammerung, 1925 

(Metropolis: Dawn) 

Cat. no. 106 

Upon his return Lang's wife, the novelist and screenwriter Thea von Harbou, furnished 
him with a script that envisioned a futuristic city of the year 2000 as the setting for a story 
that dramatized the latent social, sexual, and aesthetic conflicts of the 1920s. Serialized in 
the magazine Das illustrierte Blatt (The illustrated paper) and published as a novel at the 
time of the film's premiere, von Harbou's narrative, like Lang's film, extended over a broad 
intellectual terrain, touching on almost every issue that was discussed during the Weimar 
period. Placed in the artistic and social context of the modern era, Metropolis is Janus-faced, 
looking back to the rebellious Expressionist avant-garde and looking ahead to quiet submis- 
sion under a fascist leader. The film displays the modernist dimension in fascism and the 
fascist dimension in modernism; it creates a site where modernism clashes with modernity. 

After its premiere at the Ufa Palast am Zoo, which was attended by twenty-five hundred 
guests, among them the Reichskanzler and the leaders of finance and industry, Metropolis 
played at the refurbished Ufa Pavillion at the Nollendorfplatz for several months. The 
theater's exterior walls were covered with a gleaming silver coating. Brilliantly shimmering 
at night and faintly glistening during the day, the building radiated an eerie otherworldli- 
ness. Advertising gimmick as well as technological feat, the silvery theater projected a 
modernity associated with metal machinery. Futuristic technology was displayed not only 
in the film's fictional world but also outside, in the public space, which thus became an 
extension of the movie set. Upon approaching the theater, Berliners were also confronted 
with a gigantic steel sculpture that had been taken from the film set and mounted above 
the entrance. The gonglike sculpture represented a beating heart, offering a humanistic 
counterpoint to the cold, mechanical appearance of the exterior walls. The film's central 
conflict, between machinelike modernity and the sentimentality of the heart, was alluded 
to even before one entered the theater. 


Metropolis, the event, clearly overshadowed Metropolis, the film. After a yearlong barrage 
of advertising and publicity, expectations were so great that probably no film could fulfill 
them. The papers on the morning following the premiere were almost unanimous in their 
criticism, pointing out the glaring contradiction between the film's strikingly innovative 
visual style and its atavistic, if not reactionary, ideology. The Utopian solution to the plight 
of the working class (namely, to be oppressed by a kinder, gentler management) seemed 
either too facile or too cynical, and the Expressionist love story (oedipal son rebels against 
rich father to win the hand of a working-class girl) seemed incongruous with the technical 
fetishism characteristic of this film as of all science fiction films. 

"There is altogether too much of Metropolis," the exasperated film critic of Life com- 
mented when the film opened in New York in March 1927, only two months after its 
premiere in Berlin, "too much scenery, too many people, too much plot and too many 
platitudinous ideas." 4 It is true that intertextual references and resonances abound. The set 
design, for instance, runs the gamut from abstract cityscapes in the tradition of the Futur- 
ist architect Antonio Sant'Elia to cavernous Christian catacombs, from Art Deco interiors 
to the mythical Tower of Babel, from the abstract moving machine parts at the beginning 
of the film to the Gothic cathedral at the end (see figs. 156, 152). It was as if Erich Ket- 
telhut, the set designer, were presenting his own entry in the famous architectural compe- 
tition of 1921-22, in which more than a hundred architects (among them Ludwig Mies 
van der Rohe, Hans Poelzig, and Hans Scharoun) presented plans for a Turmhaus (sky- 
scraper), the ultimate emblem of modernity, at the Friedrichstrasse station (see fig. 153). 5 
And Kettelhut's plan, unlike those of the architects, was actually realized. The film 


Scenes from Metropolis, 1927 


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 
Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper: 
Presentation Perspective 
(North and East Sides), 1921 
Charcoal, pencil on brown 

(173.5 x 122.0cm) 
Collection, Mies van der Rohe 
Archive, the Museum of 
Modern Art, New York. Gift 
of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 



Scene from Metropolis, 1927 

reaches back into the mythical past and forward into the year 2000; its buildings stretch to 
the sky, and its lower reaches go deep into the bowels of the earth. This overdrawn vertical 
structure (in the tradition of Expressionist architecture) is meant to underscore the con- 
trast between the wealthy, in their timeless pleasure gardens high above, and the working 
class, languishing in subterranean darkness, where time is measured in ten-hour shifts. 

The bodies of the workers, depersonalized to the point of blending into the film's archi- 
tectural design, are choreographed in the tradition of the agitprop and Sprechchor theater 
of Erwin Piscator, forming what Siegfried Kracauer has called a "mass ornament," in 
which the individual is radically submerged in highly structured formations. Kracauer saw 
the same process at work in the marching columns of the military as well as in the syn- 
chronized dancing style of the popular American girl revues, which mesmerized Berlin in 
the mid- 1920s. 6 These lavish revues often featured more than one hundred dancers, all 
performing identical movements; they were, in his words, veritable "girl machines." 7 Less 
than a decade later Leni Riefenstahl would organize the masses similarly in her documen- 
tary of the Nazi Party Congress, Triumph des Willen (Triumph of the will, 1935). 

"Metropolis, the city of the future," proclaimed the advertising material sent to movie 
theaters in 1927, "is the city of eternal social peace— the city of cities in which there is no 
animosity, no hatred, but only love and understanding." 8 Having gone into production 
only six years after the failed workers' revolution of 1918-19, Metropolis is clearly Utopian 
in its keen desire for social peace. While it was true that relations between the classes had 
become relatively stable following the hyperinflation of 1923-24, the reconciliation 
between labor and management at the conclusion of the film still seemed like a happy 
ending made in Hollywood. In an interview published in the 1960s, Lang recalled: "The 
main thesis was Mrs. Lang's but I am least fifty percent responsible because I made the 
film. You cannot make a social-conscious picture in which you say that the intermediary 
between the hand and the brain is the heart— I mean that's a fairy tale— definitely. But 
I was very interested in machines." 9 





Scene from Metropolis, 1927 


"But I was very interested in machines." Lang's statement reveals precisely his contribu- 
tion to the novel's predictable love story. In fact, the machine represents the underlying 
metaphor that places the film within the 1920s discourse on modernity and technology. 
The city, the workers' bodies, and the film itself are all associated with the machine (see 
figs. 154, 155). The city draws its energy from machines below ground; lights flicker, and 
flashes of lightning shoot across the sky after the workers destroy the gigantic generator that 
powers the city. And the city itself is organized like a machine that self-destructs as soon 
as any part malfunctions. When the workers rebel against their dehumanized status, they 
are presented as malfunctioning cogs in the city's machinery. Thus management's plan 
to replace them with robots is only logical: "Machines will be the workers of the future," 
proclaims Rotwang, the cabalistic scientist, voicing a Utopian sentiment already uttered 
in Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's first Futurist manifesto. 

Metropolis begins with an abstract montage of machinery in motion, set against tall 
skyscrapers that fill the entire frame (see fig. 156). Close-ups of moving pistons and a tur- 
bine engine turning in opposite directions build to a crescendo as more gears and move- 
ments are incorporated. The sequence is punctuated by the intercut image of a ten-hour 
clock, yet another machine, indicating the imminent start of a new shift. The steam whis- 
tle sounds, releasing the pressure that has built up, and— as a title card announces — a new 
shift begins. These machines move by themselves; we do not know what they produce or 
generate, nor do we know who set them in motion. 

This fascination with mechanization, which Lang shared with the Russian Constructi- 
vists and Fernand Leger (whose film Ballet mecanique [Mechanical ballet] appeared in 
1924), also found expression in the work of Ernst Jiinger, who hailed the cold elegance 
and metallic energy of the impersonal machine. In 1925 Jiinger wrote: "Standing in great 
glass-roofed halls, amid pistons and gleaming flywheels, where the mercury columns 
of manometers rose and fell, the red dials of dynamometers quivered against the white 


Opening montage from 

Metropolis, 1927 

« \s *' 

Bl^ t ' 




^ | C 












/-»V. > 




"V '_ 


#sl^B ! 




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: ,ij 









Otto Dix 

Lens wird mit Bomben belegt, 


(Lens being bombed) 

Cat. no. 16 

marble of wall panels, we sensed that some surplus lived and breathed there, a luxury, an 
excess of energy, a will to transform all of life into energy." 10 This fusion of technology 
and vitalistic Nietzschean Lebensphilosophie (life philosophy) corresponds to what Joseph 
Goebbels would later call "stahlerne Romantik" (steely romanticism). It was an intoxicat- 
ing mixture. Jiinger and Goebbels — and, one might add, Lang— reinvested modernity 
with the mythical dimension that had been repressed since the eighteenth century. 

"Ours is the first generation to begin to reconcile itself to the machine and to see in it 
not only the useful but the beautiful as well," Jiinger wrote in 1925, referring to the front 
generation of World War I, which experienced and survived the new symbiosis of human 
being and machine in the trenches. This generation was one that "builds machines and for 
whom machines are not dead iron but rather an organ of power, which it dominates with 
cold reason and blood." 11 In his view the war transformed a group of individuals into a 
cohesive mass that left behind the "gray, frightful world of utilitarianism" for the sake of 
higher values, community, and primordial passion. 

Wartime mobilization, in which the soldier sacrificed his individual freedom to the 
demands of autocratic planning, also seemed the ideal model for industrial production; 
it was Jiinger's contention, as expressed in his 1932 book-length treatise Der Arbeiter 
(The worker), that one day the worker would in fact become a worker-soldier of the type 
depicted in Metropolis. Jiinger's futuristic project blended feudal imagery of service and 
sacrifice with a modern celebration of efficiency and vitality. 

It was precisely the war, however, that also showed the destructive potential of modern 
technology, and it was the experience of bombing raids, machine-gun fire, and poison gas 
(invented and first used by Germans in 1917) that informed the deep split in the r920s 
between technology and humanity (see fig. 1 57). As Jiinger put it: 

The war battle is a frightful competition of industries, and victory is the success 
of the competitor that managed to work faster and more ruthlessly. Here the era 
from which we come shows its cards. The domination of the machine over man, 


of the servant over the master, becomes apparent, and a deep discord, which in 
peacetime had already begun to shake the economic and social order, emerges 
in a deadly fashion. Here the style of a materialistic generation is uncovered, 
and technology celebrates a bloody triumph. Here a bill is paid, one that 
seemed old and forgotten. 12 

In 1927, more than eight years after the war was over, the bill was still being paid. The 
images of large numbers of men in dark uniforms shuffling along in formation in Metrop- 
olis must have evoked memories of soldiers marching off to the front. It was the first mod- 
ern war in which machines (from machine guns to bomber planes) decided the outcome. 
The consequences of World War I— thirteen million dead, eleven million crippled — were 
not forgotten by the mid- 1920s. Millions of veterans with protheses and mechanical body 
parts — half machine, half human — walked the streets, as we know from photographs and 
from George Grosz's paintings and drawings. ' 3 The war and its aftermath provided the 
ultimate context for modernism. 

Metropolis offers a hallucinatory vision of the relationship between humanity and 
machine. The gigantic turbine that dominates the machine room transforms itself before 
the horrified eyes of Freder into the gaping jaws of a monster, identified in a title card as 
the biblical god Moloch (see fig. 159). Taking the visual motif of the man-eating machine 
from the famous 1914 Italian film Cabiria, the film uses superimposition to make the 
machine take on the features of a fuming god. 14 This sudden metamorphosis reveals 
Metropolis's underlying ideology, which associates machines with man-eating monsters 
and the inventor Rotwang with black magic. Reminiscent in both dress and demeanor 
of Rabbi Loew in Paul Wegener's film Der Golem (The golem, 1920), Rotwang displays 
on his door and in his laboratory a five-pointed star, a pentagram associated with the 
occult and only vaguely with the star of David, even though von Harbou's novel wrongly 
identifies it as "the seal of Solomon" (i.e., star of David). The film dramatizes Rotwang's 
outsider status by linking him to a tiny, bizarre-looking medieval house surrounded by 
huge skyscrapers. Inventor of the artificial machine-human as well as sorcerer and magi- 
cian, he represents the repressed archaic and nonsynchronous dimension of modernity. 

"The more plain and advanced the technology," Ernst Bloch wrote in his perceptive 
essay "Die Angst des Ingenieurs" (The engineer's fear, 1929), "the more mysteriously it 
intersected with the old taboo region of vapors, supernatural velocity, Golem-robots, blue 
thunderbolts. Thus it touched what was once thought of as the realm of magic. An Edison 
is much closer to Doctor Faustus than to Herbert Spencer. Much of what the old fairy 
tales of magic promised has been realized by the most modern technology."' 5 Situated 
between fairy tale and high-tech machinery, the film medium was predestined to repre- 
sent technical progress and modernization as the intrusion of the horrific and uncanny. 

Like most science fiction films, Metropolis is highly self-conscious about the represen- 
tation of technology, because it is technology that produces the special effects and tricks 
that have characterized the genre ever since Georges Melies made his first science fiction 
film, Le voyage dans la lune (Trip to the moon), in 1902. It was paradoxically the status of 
the camera as a machine that kept film for a long time, particularly in Germany, from 
being admitted to the temple of art: how can a machine produce more than a mechanical 
reproduction of reality? The invention of moving pictures itself was seen at the time as 
a fiction of science, and it is no coincidence that H. G. Wells's classic science fiction novel 
The Time Machine appeared in 1895, the same year moving pictures were inaugurated. l6 

In what is probably the most stunning scene in Metropolis, Rotwang's transformation 

Scene from Metropolis, 1927 


Scene from Metropolis. 1927 







of the robot into the likeness of Maria, mentioned only briefly in von Harbou's novel, 
a replica is created with the help of enormous electrical machines and chemical appara- 
tuses, a dazzling display of both scientific and cinematic magic (see fig. 160). The process 
involves machines, electricity, and chemistry — elements that are also needed to create 
a lifelike image on photographic film. Technology has the ability to conjure up simulacra, 
machine-made images indistinguishable from reality. 1? When the robot performs a las- 
civious dance before a male audience, attracting the spectators' desiring gaze and at the 
same time deceiving them, she becomes an emblem for the cinema as such: a product 
of technical ingenuity, an incarnation of visual pleasure, and a temptress out to delude 
anyone who falls for the illusion of a replica. lS 

The split of Maria into an asexual "good" Maria and an oversexed "bad" Maria, which 
Andreas Huyssen has perceptively analyzed, lq can also be read as a reworking of historical 
developments that von Harbou and Lang may have regarded as a threat: the emergence of 
emancipated and sexually liberated women as well as organized feminist activity in the 
mid- 1920s. The robot Maria, as the "new woman," rips the social fabric asunder, inciting 


Scene from Metropolis, 1927 


Raoul Hausmann 
Mechanischer Kopf: Der 
Geist unsererZeit, c. 1921 
(Mechanical head: The 
spirit of our time) 
Assemblage of wood, leather, 
cardboard, and other materials 
i2'/2 x -jVi x 7'/2in. 
(31.8 x 19. ox 19.0cm) 
Musee National d'Art 
Moderne, Centre Georges 
Pompidou. Paris 


Scene from Metropolis, 1927 

the workers to rebel and seducing them into self-destructive acts. Her punishment, once 
she is uncovered as an agent provocateur, is to be burned at the stake. The machine 
woman as witch: the film collapses the fear of women and machines into one. This nexus 
of technology, visual pleasure, simulation, and fantasy was also at the core of modern 
American mass culture, which, according to some cultural critics, had seduced Germany 
into renouncing its classical canon of high culture. While American modernity conquered 
the economy, culture, and life-style of the entire Western world in the 1920s, German 
intellectuals appeared powerless, vacillating between fascination and repulsion. Raoul 
Hausmann's famous sculpture, which bears a striking resemblance to the robot's head in 
Metropolis, is tellingly entitled Mechanischer Kopf: Der Geist unserer Zeit (Mechanical 
head: The spirit of our time, c. i92i;fig. 161). 

"The number of people who see films and never read books is in the millions," theater 
critic Herbert (hering wrote in despair in 1926. "They are all subordinated to American 
taste, they are made identical. . . . The American film is the new world militarism, which 
inexorably marches forward. It is more dangerous than Prussian militarism because it 
devours not only single individuals but whole countries." 20 The fear that mass culture 
might be a secret American weapon, one that would enslave the world by distracting it, 
found a particular resonance in Germany, where for too long cultural identity compen- 
sated for a lack of national identity. Linked to technology, mass consumption, and mass 
media, American modernity became a powerful agent in the economic and cultural 
modernization of Germans after the war. 


"How boring Germany is," wrote Bertolt Brecht in a short diary entry dated June 18, 
1920. After finding fault with all classes of German society— peasants, middle class, and 
intellectuals — he concluded, "Only America remains."- 1 For Brecht, as for other avant- 
garde writers of the early 1920s, America was the only progressive alternative to the still 
semifeudal life-style of Germany. America, more than Russia, was consistently repre- 
sented as the New World, the alternative, the other. The relationship between Germany 
and America was understood as a historically momentous encounter between two radically 
different cultures, two ways of perceiving and interpreting the world, two divergent cul- 
tural languages and systems of signs. The Berlin avant-garde circles of Brecht and Grosz 
saw American mass culture as a vehicle for the radical modernization and democratization 
of German life and culture (see fig. 163). American mass culture stood for Charlie Chap- 
lin and the movies, for jazz and Charleston, for boxing and other spectator sports; above 
all, it represented modernity and the ideal of living in the present (see fig. 164). 



No other country embraced American modernity more feverishly than did Germany 
after the war. "America was a good idea," a German intellectual remarked, looking back 
in 1930: 

It was the land of the future. It was at home in its century. We were too young 
to know it firsthand; nevertheless we loved it. Long enough had the glorious 
discipline of technology appeared only in the form of tanks, mines, poison gas, 
for the purpose of annihilating humankind. In America it was at the service 
of human life. The sympathy expressed for elevators, radio towers, and jazz 
demonstrated this. It was like a creed. It was the way to beat the sword into 
a plowshare. It was against cavalry; it was for horsepower. " 

By the mid-ig20s, however, at the beginning of a five-year period of relative political 
and economic stability, a noticeable shift in the image of America began to take place in 
Germany. It continued to represent the mass culture of jazz, sports, and cinema, but it 
increasingly became associated with inhuman technological progress and industrial 
rationalization as well (see fig. 165). Americanism in the economic sphere meant effi- 
ciency, discipline, and control, and both the right and the left began criticizing what they 
considered the encroachment of instrumental rationality and cost effectiveness into all 
areas, including culture, which in Germany had always been defined as antithetical to the 
world of commerce. Adolf Halfeld, a conservative cultural critic, states this unmistakably 
on the cover of his polemical book Amerika und der Amerikanismus (America and Ameri- 
canism), published in 1927, the year of Metropolis's release: "Indebted to tradition, the 
culture of Europe, in particular of Germany, is threatened by America, with its focus on 
materialism and the mechanization of life. Rationalization in the American example tri- 
umphs, even if it kills the human side of humankind." 23 And in 1928, when asked by the 
avant-garde journal Transition about the influence of the United States on Europe, the 
German poet Gottfried Benn answered: "[The American] influence is enormous. There is 
a group of lyric poets, who think they have composed a poem by writing 'Manhattan.' 
There is a group of playwrights, who think they reveal the modern drama by having the 
action take place in an Arizona blockhouse and by having a bottle of whiskey on the table. 
The entire young German literature since 1918 is working under the slogan of tempo, 
jazz, cinema, overseas, technical activity by emphasizing the negation of an ensemble of 
psychic problems." 24 He particularly objected to "the purely utilitarian, the mass article, 
the collective plan," concluding, not surprisingly, by stating, "Personally I am against 
Americanism." In Benn's view Americanism had conspired with communism in promot- 



George Grosz 

Erinnerung an New York, 


(Memory of New York) 

Cat. no. 50 


Marianne Brandt 
Untitled, c. 1924 
Cat. no. 10 

ing collectivism and crass materialism at the expense of the German ideals of individual- 
ism and idealism, a polemical juxtaposition that structured the cultural debates of the 
Weimar era and also inscribed itself in Metropolis. 

By the mid- 1920s the term Americanism had come to signify two intricately related 
phenomena: scientific management of labor and industrial mass production (known as 
Taylorism and Fordism, respectively), on the one hand, and commercial mass culture, on 
the other. To speak of America was to evoke an image of a country in which economic 
productivity, technology, modernity, and democracy went hand in hand with a new urban 
culture. But to speak of America was also to conjure up a nightmarish picture of a mate- 
rialistic, mechanized society ruled by exploitation, commercialism, and a lowbrow mass 
culture cynically catering to the largest possible audience. These contradictory attitudes 
prevailed throughout the Weimar era, with the critical view becoming dominant after the 
stock market crash of 1929. 

Henry Ford, car manufacturer and popular philosopher, was generally regarded as the 
official spokesman for American big business. His 1922 autobiography, My Life and Work, 
was an instant bestseller in Germany and became a bible for all those who wanted to emu- 
late America's economic success and thus lift Germany out of its backwardness. Ford 
preached the gospel of scientific instrumental rationality couched in humanitarian terms. 
In a chapter entitled "The Terror of the Machine," he writes: "I have not been able to dis- 
cover that repetitive labour injures a man in any way. I have been told by parlour experts 
that repetitive labour is soul- as well as body-destroying, but that has not been the result of 
our investigations." He goes on to explain: 

There were 7,882 different jobs in the factory. Of these, 949 were classified as 
heavy work requiring strong, able-bodied, and practically physically perfect 
men; 3,338 required men of ordinary physical development and strength. The 
remaining 3,595 jobs were disclosed as requiring no physical exertion and 



Gerd Arntz 

Fabrik, 1927 
Cat. no. 2 

could be performed by the slightest, weakest sort of men. In fact, most of them 
could be satisfactorily filled by women or older children. The lightest jobs were 
again classified to discover how many of them required the use of full faculties, 
and we found that 670 could be filled by legless men, 2,637 by one-legged men, 
2 by armless men, 715 by one-armed men, and 10 by blind men. 13 

Ford prides himself on the employment of the deaf and mute as well as the tubercular, 
who, he suggests, should be used mainly outdoors. He concludes, "Yet it is not true that 
men are mere machines." 26 Between 1912 and 1914, however, following the introduction 
of the assembly line, the time required to assemble a car was cut from fourteen hours to 
ninety-three minutes. By 1925, after further refinement and the addition of more con- 
veyor belts, a new car rolled off the assembly line every ten seconds. 

Metropolis's highly stylized, almost dancelike image of rationalized and fully alienated 
labor visualizes and critiques basic principles of Taylorism and Fordism: repetitive work 
under the dictates of the clock is bound to create pressure that can be released only in an 
explosive revolution, which the film represents as a natural catastrophe on the order of an 
earthquake or flood. Technology's repressed other returns with a vengeance. 


The much-maligned ending of Metropolis — the reconciliation between capital and labor, 
which has been called simplistic, foolish, reactionary, and worse 27 — is in fact an accurate 
expression of contradictory tendencies in the mid-i920s that have to do with German 
reactions to modernity, technological progress, and instrumental rationality. Modernity, 
in Max Weber's often-quoted definition, means above all the progressive disenchantment 
(Entzauberung) of the world, a result of myth and religion being superseded by rational 
and secular thought. Intertwined with the rise of capitalism, free-market economy, 
democracy, and mass culture, modernity had a more destabilizing effect in Germany than 


in France, England, and the United States because Germany lacked an established demo- 
cratic tradition. Everything capitalist modernity stood for— its challenge to authority, its 
drive for unbridled economic competition, its disavowal of spiritual and religious values, 
and its commercialization of culture — collided head-on with still intact patriarchal, feu- 
dal, and authoritarian structures. 

Although the German battle against modernity goes back to the mid-nineteenth cen- 
tury (culminating in World War I), it was the Weimar Republic, Germany's first demo- 
cratically elected government, that revealed the contradictions within modernity itself. In 
their magisterial Dialektik der Aufkldrung (Dialectic of enlightenment, 1947), Theodor 
W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer voiced the suspicion that the rationality characteristic of 
the joint projects of enlightenment and modernity might rest on a logic of domination and 
oppression. Writing in the aftermath of two world wars, of Hiroshima and the Holocaust, 
they argued that the desire to dominate nature entailed the domination of human nature; 
the quest for human emancipation was thus transmuted and hardened into a system of 
universal oppression. The legacy of the Enlightenment spirit that informed modernity 
meant, in short, the triumph of instrumental rationality. 28 

Metropolis lays out a host of reactions to the nexus of modernity, capitalism, and 
rationality — including religion, superstition, irrationalism, sexual abandon, Expressionist 
idealism, and revolutionary zeal — only to reaffirm in the end a somewhat modified 
instrumental rationality. Both the failed socialist revolution of 1918-19 and the successful 
fascist takeover in 1933 responded to forces unleashed by modernity in Germany. Metrop- 
olis incorporates both reactions to modernity, the failed workers' revolt (in the film 
cynically masterminded by capital) as well as the insidious right-wing takeover that stands 
for what might be called "oppression with a heart." At the end the workers again march in 
formation to watch their foreman shake hands with management, as Freder and Maria, 
the idealistic young couple, look on (see fig. 166). 

Who then is excluded from this harmonious ending? Rotwang falls to his death from 
the rooftop of the Gothic cathedral while fighting with Freder, and the female robot is 
burned at the stake. What remains is a transformed community that again embraces tech- 
nology, a technology that is now free, the film insinuates, from "Jewish control" and 
infused instead with German spirituality. It is the kind of community (Gemeinschaft, not 
Gesellschaft) that reactionary modernists such as Jiinger, Werner Sombart, and Oswald 
Spengler had emphatically valorized in their writings throughout the 1920s. Metropolis's 
linkage of modern technology, cultural pessimism, and totalitarian ideology prefigures the 
National Socialists* resolve to emancipate technology from capitalist exchange and "Jew- 
ish materialism."- Hitler, who once defined Aryan culture as a synthesis of "the Greek 
spirit and Germanic technology," ,0 did not oppose modernity (unlike volkisch ideologues). 
Goebbels summed up the official Nazi position on technology in a speech at the opening 
of the Berlin Auto Show on February 17, 1939: 

National Socialism never rejected or struggled against technology. Rather, one 
of its main tasks was to consciously affirm it, to fill it inwardly with soul, to 
discipline it and to place it in the service of our people and their cultural level. 
We live in an age that is both romantic and steel-like, that has not lost its depth 
of feeling. On the contrary, it has discovered a new romanticism in the results 
of modern inventions and technology. While bourgeois reaction was alien to 
and filled with incomprehension, if not outright hostility to technology, and 


Scenes from Metropolis, 1927 

i6 4 

while modern skeptics believed the deepest roots of the collapse of European 
culture lay in it. National Socialism understood how to take the soulless frame- 
work of technology and fill it with the rhythm and hot impulses of our time. il 

This romanticized vision of modernity was meant to obscure the contradictions of a re- 
gime that built high-tech weapons systems while insisting on the values of blood and soil. 

Metropolis's ideological trajectory is part of a larger debate among German sociologists 
and philosophers about the "intellectual and spiritual revolution," which, Ernst Troeltsch 
stated in 1921, was a "revulsion against drill and discipline, against the ideology of success 
and power . . . against intellectualism . . . against the big metropolis and the unnatural . . . 
against the rule of money and prestige." 31 This reaction against capitalist modernity was 
itself perceived as revolutionary and Utopian in the 1920s. Troeltsch put his hopes in the 
youth movement, and it is no coincidence that Metropolis also places the task of spiritual 
renewal in the hands of the young. 

Lang's Metropolis offers one of the most fascinating and complex contributions to the 
vigorous 1920s discourse on modernity. Its message is ambivalent, suggesting that the 
undoing of modernization and technological progress would bring only self-destruction. 
This ambivalence is evident in the images that fetishize technology even as they display its 
cataclysmic power. The machine is the object of fascination and terror, of savagery and 
myth; its faceless power contrasts with the individualism of the German Expressionist nar- 
rative, in which a son rebels against his father and an entire industrial system. Clearly the 
Expressionist Utopia of Georg Kaiser's Gas plays and Ernst Toller's Die Maschinenstiirmer 
(The machine wreckers), which advocate revolution and a radically antitechnological 
humanism, had itself become dystopian in the context of the modern industrial society 
that Germany unquestionably was in 1927. Still it was impossible to dismiss Utopian 
Expressionism, with its idealistic, impractical, and old-fashioned emphasis on the heart 
(and, in a wider sense, on community) and its rebellion against unrestrained instrumental 
rationality. The idealism of Metropolis should be seen, however, not as a "fault" of the 
film but as a historically explainable and valid attempt to fight those tendencies of mod- 
ernity that have undeniably shown themselves to be cruel and dehumanizing. Viewed in 
its historical context, the film thus dramatizes the reaction of German modernism against 
an overpowering modernity, one that had undermined and negated its emancipatory and 
Utopian potential. 


1. Theodor W. Adorno, 
Aesthetic Theory, trans. C. 
Lenhardt (Boston: Routledge 
and Kegan Paul, 1984), p. 47. 

2. See Sabine Hake, "Architec- 
tural Hi/stories: Fritz Lang and 
The Nibelungs," Wide Angle 
12 (July iqqo): 38-57. 

3. Fritz Lang, "Was ich in 
Amerika sah," Film-Kurier, n 
December 1924. 

4. R. E. Sherwood, "The 
Silent Drama: Metropolis," 
Life, 24 March 1927, p. 24. 

5. See Florian Zimmermann, 
ed., Der Schrei nach dem 
Turmham: Der ldeenwett- 
bewerb Hochhaus am Bahnhof 
Friedrichstrasse Berlin, 
1921/22 (Berlin: Argon, 1988). 

6. "The structure of the mass 
ornament reflects that of the 
general contemporary situa- 
tion. Since the principle of the 
capitalist production process 
does not stem purely from 
nature, it must destroy the nat- 
ural organisms which it regards 
either as a means or as a force 
of resistance. Personality and 
national community perish 

when calculability is demanded" 
(Siegfried Kracauer, "The Mass 
Ornament," New German 
Critique 5 [Spring 197;]: 69). 

7. See Siegfried Kracauer, 
"Girls und Krise," Frankfurter 
Zeitung, 27 April 1931. The 
workers' automatized move- 
ments also recall the "mechan- 
ical ballets" performed at the 
Bauhaus theater (Oskar Schlem- 
mer's Triadischcs Ballett 
[Triadic ballet], for instance) 

in the early and mid- 1920s. 

8. Publicity brochure for 
Metropolis (1927). 

9. Cited in Peter Bogdanovich, 
Fritz Lang in America (New 
York; Praeger, 1967), p. 124. 
For the production history of 
Metropolis and interviews with 
Lang, see also Fred Gehler 
and Ulrich Kasten, Fritz Lang: 
Die Stimme von Metropolis 
(Berlin: Henschel, 1990); Enno 
Patalas, "Metropolis, Scene 
103," Camera Obscura 15 (Fall 
1986): 165-73. 

10. Ernst Jiinger, "Feuer und 
Blut: Ein kleiner Ausschnitt 
aus einer grossen Schlacht" 
(1925), in Tagcbuchcr (Berlin, 
1926; Stuttgart: Klett, i960), 



p. 465; see also Klaus 
Theweleit, "The Soldierly 
Body, the Technological 
Machine, and the Fascist Aes- 
thetic," in Male Fantasies, 
vol. 2, Male Bodies: Psycho- 
analyzing the White Terror, 
trans. Erica Carter and Chris 
Turner (Minneapolis: Univer- 
sity of Minnesota Press, 1989), 
pp. 197-210. 

11. Quoted in Jeffrey Herf, 
Reactionary Modernism: Tech- 
nology, Culture, and Politics in 
Weimar and the Third Reich 
(Cambridge: Cambridge Uni- 
versity Press, 1984), pp. 79, 81. 

12. Jiinger, "Feuer und Blut," 
p. 466. 

13. See Peter Sloterdijk, Cri- 
tique of Cynical Reason, trans. 
Michael Eldred (Minneapolis: 
University of Minnesota Press, 
1987). PP- 443-59. 

14. Chaplin alludes to this 
motif in a more playful, fairy- 
tale-like way in a scene from 
Modern Times (1936) in which 
the machine he operates first 
devours him and then spits 
him out. 

15. Ernst Bloch, "Die Angst 
des Ingenieurs," in Gesamt- 
ausgabe, vol. 9 (Frankfurt: 
Suhrkamp, 1965), p. 353; see 
also idem, "Nonsynchronism 
and the Obligation to Its Dia- 
lectics," New German Critique 
11 (Spring 1977): 23-38. 

16. On Metropolis within the 
context of science fiction and 
Utopia in Germany, see Peter 
S. Fisher, Fantasy and Politics: 
Visions of the Future in the 
Weimar Republic (Madison: 
University of Wisconsin Press, 
1991); Gotz Miiller, Gegen- 
welten: Die Vtopie in der 
deutschen Literatur (Stuttgart: 
Metzler, 1989), pp. 212-17. 

17. On the importance of the 
motif of the machine-woman 
in Auguste de Villiers de 
L'Isle-Adam's 1886 novel L'eve 
future for cinema, see Annette 
Michelson, "On the Eve of 
the Future: The Reasonable 
Facsimile and the Philosoph- 
ical Toy," in October: The 
First Decade, 1976-1986, 

ed. Annette Michelson et al. 
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 1987), 
pp. 417-34; Raymond Bellour, 

"Ideal Hadaly," Camera Ob- 
scura 15 (Fall 1986): 111-34. 

18. For a discussion of the sex- 
ual politics of Metropolis in 
general and the nexus between 
machine and female sexuality 
in particular, see Andreas 
Huyssen, "The Vamp and the 
Machine," in After the Great 
Divide: Modernism, Mass Cul- 
ture, Postmodernism (Bloom- 
ington: Indiana University 
Press, 1986), pp. 65-81; Patri- 
cia Mellencamp, "Oedipus 
and the Robot in Metropolis," 
Enclitic 5 (Spring 1981): 20- 
42; Stephen Jenkins, "Lang: 
Fear and Desire," in Fritz Lang 
(London: British Film Insti- 
tute, 1981); Roger Dadoun, 
"Metropolis: Mother-City — 
'Mittler' — Hitler," Camera 
Obscura 15 (Fall 1986): 137- 
64; Peter Wollen, "Cinema / 
Americanism / the Robot," 
New Formations, no. 8 (Sum- 
mer l9S9):7-34. 

19. See Huyssen, "The Vamp 
and the Machine." 

20. Herbert Jhering, "UFA und 
Buster Keaton," in Von Rein- 
hardt bis Brecht, vol. 2 (Berlin: 
Aufbau-Verlag, 1961), p. 509. 

zi. Bertolt Brecht, Gesam- 
melte Werke, vol. 20 (Frank- 
furt: Suhrkamp, 1967), p. 10. 

22. Hans A. Joachim, 
"Romane aus Amerika," Die 
neue Rundschau 41 (September 
1930): 397-98. On the ex- 
tensive debate over cultural 
Americanism, see Weimarer 
Republik: Manifeste und 
Dokumente zur deutschen Lit- 
eratur, 1918-1933, ed. Anton 
Kaes (Stuttgart: Metzler, 
1983), pp. 265-86; see also 
Anton Kaes, "Mass Culture 
and Modernity: Notes toward 
a Social History of Early Amer- 
ican and German Cinema," 
in America and the Germans: 
An Assessment of a Three- 
Hundred-Year History, eds. 
Frank Trommler and Joseph 
McVeigh, vol. 2 (Philadelphia: 
University of Pennsylvania 
Press, 1988), pp. 317-31. On 
Americanism in the economic 
sphere, see Charles S. Maier, 
"Between Taylorism and Tech- 
nocracy: European Ideologies 
and the Vision of Industrial 
Productivity in the 1920s," 

Journal of Contemporary His- 
tory 5 (April 1970): 27-61. 

23. Adolf Halfeld. Amerika 
und der Amerikanismus (Jena: 
Eugen Diederichs, 1927). 

24. Gottfried Benn, "Inquiry," 
Transition 13 (1928): 2 5 1 f f . ; 
reprinted in Gesammelte Werke 
(Wiesbaden: Limes, 1968), 

p. 2218. 

25. Henry Ford, My Life and 
Work (Garden City, N.Y.: 
Doubleday, Page, 1922), pp. 
105, 108. 

26. Ibid., p. 209. 

27. H. G. Wells, for instance, 
begins his 1927 review as fol- 
lows: "I have recently seen the 
silliest film. I do not believe it 
would be possible to make one 
sillier. ... It gives in one eddy- 
ing concentration almost every 
possible foolishness, cliche, 
platitude, and muddlement 
about mechanical progress and 
progress in general served up 
with a sauce of sentimentality 
that is all its own" (quoted in 
Authors on Film, ed. Harry M. 
Geduld [Bloomington: Indiana 
University Press, 1972], p. 59). 

28. See Max Horkheimer and 
Theodor W Adorno, Dialectic 
of Enlightenment , trans. John 
Cumming (New York: Seabury 
Press, 1972); see also Jiirgen 
Habermas, The Philosophical 
Discourse of Modernity, trans. 
Frederick Lawrence (Cambridge: 
MIT Press, 1987); Michael E. 
Zimmerman, Heidegger's 
Confrontation with Modernity: 
Technology, Politics, and Art 
(Bloomington: Indiana Univer- 
sity Press, 1991). 

29. The relationship between 
Fritz Lang and National 
Socialism is still under debate. 
Hitler and Goebbels liked Die 
Nibelungen as well as Metropo- 
lis and wanted to make Lang 
the head of the entire Nazi 
film production in 1933. He 
declined and went to Holly- 
wood instead. His passport 
shows, however, that he actu- 
ally returned to Germany on 
several brief sojourns after 1933 
(see Gosta Werner, "Fritz 
Lang and Goebbels: Myth and 
Facts," Film Quarterly 43 
[Spring 1990]: 24-27; Willi 

Winkler, "Ein Schlafwandler 
bei Goebbels," Spiegel 48 [26 
November 1990]: 236-42). 

30. Adolf Hitler, Mem Kampf 
quoted in Eberhard Jackel, 
Hitler's World View: A Blue- 
print for Power, trans. Herbert 
Arnold (Middletown, Conn.: 
Wesleyan University Press, 
1972), p. 28. 

31. Quoted in Herf, Reaction- 
dry Modernism, p. 196. 

32. Ernst Troeltsch, "Die 
geistige Revolution," Kunst- 
wart und Kulturwart 34 
(January 1921): 231; translated 
in Fritz Ringer, The Decline of 
the German Mandarins: The 
German Academic Commu- 
nity, 1890-1933 (Cambridge: 
Harvard University Press, 



t-fOU>y' Tthrs 'fa K. M^ 7T"<S^ 

Galerie Berinson, Berlin 




Hannah Hoch 
Hochfinanz, 1923 
(High finance) 
Cat. no. 89 

Ella Bergmann 

Untitled (spiral construction). 


Cat. no. 9 

Johannes Molzahn 
Zeit-Taster: Eine kleine 
Kollektion utopisch- 
phantastischer Maschinen 
und Apparate, 1921 
(Time-feeler: A small 
collection of Utopian fantastic 
machines and apparatuses) 
Portfolio of six etchings 
Cat. nos. 159-64 


Franz Maria Jansen 

Untitled (workers arriving), 


Cat. no. 99 



jak'ntr HtiiiiMHi 



Raoul Hausmann 
Elasticum, 1920 
Cat. no. 78 


Wenzel Hablik 
Wohnhaus und Atelier, 1921 
(Residence and studio) 
Cat. no. 65 

Catalogue 01 the exhibition 


The works of art in the exhibition are arranged alphabetically by 
artist; within each artist's oeuvre works are listed chronologi- 
cally, with undated works placed at the end. When there is more 
than one work by an artist from a given year, they are listed 
alphabetically by title, with untitled works following those with 
titles. Prints from portfolios are listed in the order of their 
arrangement in the portfolio. Books, periodicals, and ephemera 
are listed separately at the end of the catalogue. 

A biography is included for each artist whose work is repre- 
sented. The authors of the biographies are: 

A. S. Annelisa Stephan 

F.v.H. Frauke von der Horst 

S.C.T. Susan C. Trauger 

T. B. Timothy O. Benson 

V.H. Virginia Haddad 

Dimensions are given in inches and centimeters in the follow- 
ing order: height, w idth, depth. For drawings and collages, 
sheet size is used; for intaglio prints, plate size; for woodcuts and 
lithographs, image size. 



Oerd Arntz 


1. Militarischer Film, 1921 
(Military film) 

8Vsx 5% in. (21.3 x 15.0cm) 

Collection Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands 

2. Fabrik, 1927 

9 7 /s x6 5 /8in. (25.1 x 16.2 cm) 

From the portfolio Zwolf Hauser der Zeit ( 1927) 

Collection Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague. Netherlands 

3. Krise, 1931 

n 7 /sx 8'/4in. (30.1 x 21.0 cm) 

Collection Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands 

Working in a precise, almost geometric style, Gerd Arntz 
concentrated throughout his long career on social and 
economic issues, making diagrammatic works depicting the 
injustices and ironies of industrialized society. His flat, carefully 
composed paintings and woodcuts were influenced by Cubism 
and Constructivism. A political activist and a pioneering devel- 
oper of international symbols as well as a painter and graphic 
artist, he was committed to the use of art as a forum for social 
analysis and was vocal in his opposition to totalitarianism and 
in his support of the workers' movement. 

The offspring of a middle-class merchant family in Remseheid, 
Westphalia, Arntz lived in a remarkable number of cities during 
the course of his life, including Diisseldorf, Cologne, Vienna, 
Moscow, and The Hague. This not only enabled him to meet 
numerous fellow artists and political activists but also no doubt 
contributed to his interest in portraying life in the metropolis. 
Educated at a private academy in Diisseldorf before attending 
the school of applied arts in Barmen in 1921, he took over 
Otto Dix's studio in 1925, when Dix left Diisseldorf for Berlin. 

In the early 1920s, as a member of the group Das junge 
Rheinland (Young Rhineland), which also included the artists 
Adolf Uzarski and Gert Wollheim, Arntz came into contact with 
other Cologne-based groups, such as Stupid, which counted 
among its members Heinrich Hoerle and Anton Raderscheidt, 
and the Progressiven (Progressives), who worked in a politically 
charged Cubo-Constructivist vein. Arntz collaborated from 
1929 to 1933 on the Progressiven journal A-Z, which cham- 
pioned the avant-garde in the conservative Rhineland. He and 
other members of the group helped develop statistical symbols 
to present information clearly without using language. In one of 
his graphs, for example, Arntz used the same neutral figure to 
represent entrepreneurs, managers, workers, and the unemployed 
but varied the clothing and manner to identify each group. 

Cat. no. 1 

Cat. no. 3 



Johannes baad 

After his first solo exhibition, in 1925, Arntz participated 
in a number of group exhibitions such as the 1926 Grosse 
Kunstausstellung Diisseldorf (Great Diisseldorf art exhibition) 
and the Ausstellung rerolutiondrer Kunst des Western (Exhibi- 
tion of the revolutionary art of the West) in Moscow, which 
included the works of Dix, Hoerle, Conrad Felixmiiller, Kathe 
Kollwitz, and Franz Seiwert among others. From 1929 until 
1931 Arntz was director of graphic design of the Gesellschafts- 
und Wirtschaftsmuseum (Museum of society and economy) in 
Vienna. In his frequent travels to Moscow as a member of the 
Allgemeine Arbeiterunion (General workers' union) and as an 
employee from 1931 to 1934 of the Moscow Isostat, a museum 
similar to the one where he had worked in Vienna, he came 
into contact with members of the Russian Constructivist avant- 
garde, including El Lissitzky and Vladimir Tatlin. 

In 1934 Arntz took up residence in The Hague, where he was 
associated with the communist group De Arbeidersraad (The 
workers' council) and worked at the Mundaneum statistical insti- 
tute. During the war he continued to work, using the pseudonym 
A. Dubois. In 1943, however, he was forced into military service 
and became a prisoner of war, first in France and later in Miin- 
ster. After his return to The Hague in 1946, he continued to 
produce graphic art, becoming an honorary member of the group 
De Grafische (The graphic artists) and working for UNESCO. 

A. S. 

Gerd Arntz, Zeit unterm Messer (Cologne: Leske, 1988); 
Eckhart Gillen, "Von der symbolischen Representation zur 
Rekonstruktion der Wirklichkeit: Das Verhaltnis ion Bild- 
statistik und politischer Grafik bei Gerd Arntz," in Politische 
Konstruktivisten: Die "Progressiven," 1919-1933, exh. cat. 
(Berlin: Nationalgalerie, 1975). 



4. Architektur fur Svoboda (Andruck aus dem "Dadaco"), 1919 

(Architecture for Svoboda [Dadaco proof]) 

Offset lithograph, trial proof 

Sheet: i2"/i6x9Vi6in. (32.2 x 2 3.4 cm) 

Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Museum fiir Moderne Kunst, 

Photographie und Architektur 

The son of a metalworker for the royal buildings in Stutt- 
gart, Johannes Baader studied at the state trade school 
there from 1892 to 1895 and then at the technical college. In 
1903 he began working as a mortuary architect in Dresden. 
By 1905 he was in Berlin, where he met Raoul Hausmann, 
beginning a friendship that would eventually be at the center 
of Berlin Dada. In 1906 he conceived his Utopian interdenom- 
inational "world temple," drawing on various forms, including 
Greek and Indian archetypes. Described in sketches and writ- 
ings, the world temple in its grandest form was to be fifteen 
hundred meters high and unify all of humanity in its building. 
In 1914 Baader published a treatise on monism entitled Vier- 
zehn Briefe Christi (Fourteen letters of Christ) and during the 
next several years contributed to the journals Die freie Strasse 
(Free street) and Der Dada. In 1917 he was certified legally 
insane, a designation he used as a license for outrageous public- 
performances parodying public and mythic identities. Also in 
1917 he ran for the Reichstag in Saarbriicken and, with Haus- 
mann, founded Christus GmbH (Christ Inc.), offering mem- 
bership to pacifists, who, upon being certified with the identity 
of Christ, were to be exempted from the draft. In 1918 Baader 
wrote his quasi-religious tract Die acht Weltsatze (Eight world 
theses), and in 1919 he declared his own "resurrection" as the 
Oberdada, president of the earth. He expounded on this cosmic 
identity in texts and collages (for example, Dada Milchstrasse 
[Dada Milky Way, 1919]). His Grosse Plasto-Dio-Dada-Drama 
(Great plasto-dio-Dada-drama), an assemblage envisioned as a 
model for Dada architecture, was shown in Berlin at the 1920 
Erste internationale Dada-Messe (First international Dada fair). 
He also produced sketches of visionary architecture, which, like 
those of Hausmann and Jefim Golyscheff, sometimes involved 
proto-Constructivist girderlike structures. In the 1920s he con- 
tinued to produce collages and to practice as an architect. 


Johannes Baader, Oberdada: Schnften, Mamfeste, Flugblatter, 
Billets, Werke und Taten, ed. Hanne Bergius. Norbert Miller, 
and Karl Riha (Lahn-Giessen: Anabas-Kampf, 1977); idem, 
Das Oberdada: Die Geschichte einer Bewegung von Zurich bis 
Zurich, ed. Karl Riha, Vergessene Autoren der Moderne, no. 31 
(Siegen: Universitat-Gesamthoehschule Siegen, 1987); Stephen 
Foster, "Johannes Baader: The Complete Dada," in Dada/ 
Dimensions (Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI Research Press, 1985), 
pp. 249-71. 



IWax Beck 



5. Adam und Eva, 1017 

(Adam and Eve) 


9x6% in. (22. 9 x 17. 1 cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Gift of Rabbi William Kramer 

Both of Max Beckmann's parents descended from farming 
families in the Brunswick area, and his life and art reflected 
this heritage. He was solitary, uncompromising, and persistent. 
Despite the protests of his family, he attended the academy in 
Weimar from 1900 to 1903, then spent six months in Paris 
before settling in Berlin in 1904. After winning the prestigious 
Villa Romana prize, which enabled him to live in Florence for 
half a year, he returned in 1907 to Berlin, where he established 
a reputation as one of the leading painters of the Secession. 

In the prewar years Beckmann's work was thematieally and 
stylistically conservative. He painted a number of heroic, large- 
scale compositions depicting biblical or mythological subjects 
and natural or man-made disasters. These canvases, like his 
numerous portraits and landscapes, were painted in a rich, dark 
Impressionist style. His wartime service as a medical orderly in 
Belgium and East Prussia radically changed his life and his art. 
Subject matter became paramount as he began to incorporate 
his own experiences into his work and to define his personal 
and social consciousness. In hard, angular, often brutal images 
recurring themes emerged: the folly and inhumanity of war, 
violence, sexuality, alienation, and class intolerance. 

Beekmann significantly increased his graphic output during 
this period. Although he began and completed his graphic 
oeuvre with lithographs and produced a small number of superb 
woodcuts, he is best remembered for the drypoints that he 
created between 1912 and 1923. His graphic production virtually 
ceased from 1925 to 1937, when he devoted more of his 
attention to painting. 

In 1925 Beekmann moved to Frankfurt, where he was promi- 
nent among the artistic and literary establishment. His work was 
exhibited widely, and he was sought after as a portraitist and held 
a prestigious professorship at the Stadelschule (municipal school). 
Between the years 1925 and 1932 his subject matter became 

milder, and his style was characterized by exuberance and vibrant 
color. Although Beekmann was not a member of any group or 
school, he was classified with the artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit 
(new objectivity), since he painted with much the same literalness 
as Otto Dix, George Grosz, and Rudolf Schlichter. Between 
1932 and 1950 Beekmann created symbolic paintings, including 
the nine completed triptychs. Although he utilized a powerful 
range of symbolism in which reality was fused with vision, myth, 
and theater, the human figure remained his central subject. 

In 1933 Beekmann was fired from his teaching post in Frank- 
furt by the Nazis. He moved to Berlin, where, because of the 
Nazi persecution of the avant-garde, he found himself isolated 
from the men and institutions that had made his success possi- 
ble. He endured great personal hardship during these years. In 
1937 he permanently left Germany and emigrated to Amster- 
dam. The outbreak of war prevented him from realizing his 
desire to move to America until 1947. The last three years of his 
life were his happiest. He taught at Washington University in 
Saint Louis and at the Brooklyn Museum Art School, exhibited 
his work throughout America and Europe, won numerous prizes 
and honors, led an active and personally meaningful social life, 
and maintained his creative productivity until his death. 

S. C. T. 

Lothar-Giinther Buchheim, Max Beekmann: Holzschnitte, 
Radierungen, Lithograpluen (Feldafing: Buchheim, 1954); Klaus 
Gallwitz, Max Beekmann: Die Druckgrapluk: Radierungen, 
Lithograpluen, Holzschnitte, exh. cat., 2d rev. ed. (Karlsruhe: 
Badischer Kunstverein, 1962); James Hofmaier, Max Beek- 
mann: Catalogue Raisonneof His Prints, 2 vols. (Bern: Kornfeld, 
1990); Anne Rover and Bernhard Schnackenburg, Max Beek- 
mann in der Sammlung Piper: Handzeichnung, Druckgrapluk. 
Dokumente, 1910-1923, exh. cat. (Bremen: Kunsthalle Bre- 
men, 1974); Carla Schulz-Hoffmann and Judith C. Weiss, eds., 
Max Beekmann: Retrospective, exh. cat. (Saint Louis: Saint 
Louis Art Museum, 1984); Richard Vogler, ed., Max Beek- 
mann, Graphics: Selected from the Ernest and Lilly Jacobson 
Collection, exh. cat. (Tucson: Tucson Art Center, 1972). 



I eter Den 



6. Cover for Das Plakat, 1920 

Offset lithograph 

Sheet: 11 x S'/:in. (27.9 x 21.6cm) 

From Das Plakat, no. 6 (June 1920) 

Los Angeles Count)' Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, gift of Robert Gore Rifkind 

Peter Behrens was a pioneer of modern architecture and 
industrial design. In his pre-World War I designs he suc- 
cessfully took advantage of new technology, using concrete, 
glass, steel, and other synthetic materials in an approach that 
was functional yet unbegrudging of ornamentation. 

Behrens studied painting and graphic art at the school of 
applied arts in Hamburg, then at the art school in Karlsruhe, 
and finally at the Diisseldorf academy. He moved to Munich in 
1890 and in 1893 became a cofounder of the Munich Secession 
and the Freie Vereinigung Miinchner Kiinstler (Free union of 
Munich artists). In 1897 he cofounded the Vereinigte Werk- 
statten fur Kunst im Handwerk (Union of arts and crafts work- 
shops). As a collaborator on the journal Pan, he gained renown 
for his woodcuts and ornaments. 

In 1899 Behrens was among a group of artists invited by the 
grand duke of Hesse-Darmstadt, Ernst Ludwig, to form an 
artists' colony in Darmstadt and to organize the exhibition Ein 
Dokument deutscher Kunst (A document of German art), which 
opened to great acclaim in 1901. In the Darmstadt colony 
Behrens, who was self-taught as an architect, designed his own 
house, which manifests influences as diverse as contemporary 
Jugendstil design and the medieval architecture of his native 
northern Germany. He left the colony, which had become the 
object of caricature and criticism, in 1903 to assume the direc- 
torship of the Diisseldorf school of applied arts. 

During his Diisseldorf years, between 1903 and 1907, 
Behrens formed relationships with industrialists and received his 
first commissions from the Allgemeine Elektricitats Gesellschaft 
(AEG), eventually becoming the company's artistic consultant. 

He has often been described as the first industrial designer 
because he attempted to create an overall image for AEG that 
would convey the company's strengths. His first major architec- 
tural commission from AEG, and perhaps his most significant 
accomplishment, was the 1909 turbine factory in Berlin. He 
was also a founding member of the Werkbund in 1907. 

After World War I Behrens's work was altered by his involve- 
ment with Expressionism. By the 1920s he was designing in 
what came to be known as the International Style, as exempli- 
fied by his office buildings on the Alexanderplatz in Berlin 
(1929-31) and his tobacco factory in Linz, Austria (1932-34). 
He designed a German embassy for Washington, D.G, under 
the National Socialist regime, but it was never realized. He also 
held professorships at the academies in Vienna (1922-27) and 
Berlin (1936-40). 



Peter Behrens, Der moderne Garten, 1911 (Berlin: Piickler 
Gesellschaft, 1981); Bernhard Buderath, ed., Peter Behrens— 
Umbautes Licht: Das Verwaltungsgebdude der Hoechst AG 
(Munich: Prestel, 1990); Hans-Joachim Kadatz, Peter Behrens: 
Architekt, Maler, Grafiker und Formgestalter, 1868-1940 
(Leipzig: E. A. Seemann, 1977); Wilhelm Weber, Peter 
Behrens, 1868-1940: Gedenkschrift mit Katalog aus Anlass der 
Ausstellung, exh. cat. (Kaiserslautern: Pfalzgalerie Kaisers- 
lautern, 1966); Alan Windsor, Perer Behrens: Architect and 
Designer (New York: Whitney Library of Design, 1981). 

i 7 6 


Llla bergmann 


7. Untitled, 1917 

14 x 5 l5 /i6in. (35.5 x 15.1 cm) 

Sprengel Museum Hannover. Nachlass Ella Bergmann-Michel 

8. Neuronen-Menschen/ldee-Entwurf-Studien fiir ein mechanisches 
Theater oder Film nut Johannes Molzahn, 1920 
(Neurons-human beings/idea sketches for a mechanical theater or 
film with Johannes Molzahn) 

Pencil, black and colored inks 

9'M6 x 9 '/sin. (25.0 x 23.2 cm) 

Sprengel Museum Hannover. Nachlass Ella Bergmann-Michel 

9. Untitled (spiral construction), 1922 
Black and colored inks 

i4 5 /i6x 13 '/tin. (36.3 x 35.0cm) 

Sprengel Museum Hannover. Nachlass Ella Bergmann-Michel 

Ella Bergmann received an education that was typical for 
girls from German upper-middle-class families. She 
attended a girls' school and studied music and foreign languages 
at home. Yet uncharacteristically she also learned the funda- 
mental techniques of the emerging field of photography from 
her father, a druggist. 

From 1915 to 1918 Bergmann studied art at the school of 
applied arts in Weimar. Two years into her studies she joined a 
group of students and architects associated with the Belgian 
architect and designer Henry van de Velde, among them Robert 
Michel, whom she married in 1919. Together they established 
connections with the Bauhaus, but she worked as an indepen- 
dent artist in Weimar until the couple settled on a remote estate 
near Frankfurt in 1920. 

Influenced by van de Velde's philosophy, Bergmann was 
interested in the relationship between nature and technology. By 
1917 she had abandoned her realistic style of oil painting and 
began to develop a distinctive montage and collage style, influ- 
enced by Futurism and Constructivism. Through her friendship 
with Kurt Schwitters, she established contacts with a number 
of Dada artists and with Katherine Dreier and the Societe 
Anonyme. Bergmann participated in a variety of exhibitions, 
among them shows at the Sturm gallery in Berlin, the 1927 
Werkbund exhibition in Stuttgart, and a traveling exhibition in 
the United States organized by the Societe Anonyme in 1928. 

Bergmann's oeuvre includes drawings, collages, graphic- 
design, photography, and film. Of special interest to her were 
the social problems of the underprivileged. Her work on a docu- 
mentary film on the campaign propaganda used by the National 
Socialists was interrupted by their rise to power. During the 
Third Reich her production and participation in the art scene 
became sparse. While her work was exhibited again after the 
war, Bergmann concentrated on promoting art and art films. 

Cat. no. 7 

K ; 

"■ A eS, 

-< . 


<J - ' '''I 1 
■ \ '.K'f'; ' jm 











%\jayfi Jl "i 



' m JVa\ 



Norbert Nobis and Ute Pollmann, eds., Ella Bergmann-Michel , 
1895-1971: Collagen, Malerei, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, 
Druckgraphik, Fotos, Reklame, Entiviirfe, exh. cat. (Hannover: 
Sprengel Museum, 1990); Pioniere der Bildcollage: Ella 
Bergmann und Robert Michel: Werke von 1917 bis 1962, exh. 
cat. (Leverkusen: Stadtisches Museum Leverkusen, 1963). 




Uriel Dirnbau 



See cat. no. 227 

Uriel Birnbaum's highly imaginative graphics and paintings 
convey a vivid sense of fantasy that also permeates his 
poems and stories. His art education is said to have consisted of 
a single month spent studying at a Berlin art school in 1913. 
He illustrated many books, including works by Edgar Allen Poe 
and Lewis Carroll (Alice im Wundcrland [Alice in Wonderland] , 
1923), biblical texts (Das Buck jona [The book of Jonah], 1921), 
as well as his own writings (Weltuntergang [End of the world], 
1921). Religious themes became more prevalent in Birnbaum's 
work after 1917, when he sustained a severe injury in World 
War I. He also created series of bright, decorative watercolors 
and participated in various group exhibitions, including one in 
1916 at the Kunstsalon Heller in Vienna and the Wiener Zeit- 
kunst shows of 1919 and 1924. He emigrated to the Netherlands 
in 1938. 


Abraham Horodisch, Die Exlibris von Uriel Birnbaum (Zurich: 
Safaho-Stiftung, 1957); Hoditz Polzer. Uriel Birnbaum: Dwh- 
ter, Maler, Denker (Vienna: Kommissions Verlag Dr. H. Glanz, 

/Marianne brandt 


10. Untitled, c. 1924 

25M6 x 19^/16 in. (64.0 x 49.0 cm) 

Created for Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's Bauhaus course 

Prof. Eckhard Neumann, Frankfurt am Main 

11. Unsere irriticrendc Grossstadt, 1926 
(Our irritating metropolis) 


25 x 19 '/sin. (63.5 x 48. 5 cm) 

Galerie Berinson, Berlin 

One of the few prominent women artists at the Bauhaus and 
the only woman in the metal workshop there, Marianne 
Brandt became so accomplished in metalwork and other media 
that she eventually became head of that workshop. Born Mari- 
anne Liebe, she studied painting and sculpture from 191 1 to 
1917 at the school of fine arts in Weimar before coming to the 
Bauhaus in 1924. A student in Joseph Albers's and Laszlo 
Moholy-Nagy's basic courses, Brandt also studied with Paul 
Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. She joined the metal workshop 
in April 1927 on Moholy-Nagy's recommendation. 

Initially Brandt was not well received by the other students. 
"There was no place for a woman in a metal workshop," she 
wrote. "They admitted this to me later and meanwhile 
expressed their displeasure by giving me all sorts of dull, dreary 
work. How many little hemispheres did I most patiently ham- 
mer out of brittle new silver, thinking that was the way it had to 
be and all beginnings are hard. Later things settled down, and 
we got along well together" ("Letter to the Younger Genera- 
tion," p. 98). By April 1928 she had replaced Moholy-Nagy as 
head of the workshop, continuing his emphasis on industrial 
design and the "functional but aesthetic assembly line." He had 
resigned when the new director of the school, Hannes Meyer, 
merged the metal workshop with the interior design workshop. 
Brandt remained titular head of the workshop until 1932. 

During this interval Brandt also worked on other projects, as 
a designer for Gropius's architecture firm in Berlin and as an 
industrial designer for the Riippelberg metalworks in Gotha. In 
1933 she returned to Chemnitz, remaining there until 1949, 
when she accepted a position as lecturer in the metal, wood, and 
ceramics division of the school of fine arts in Dresden. In r95r 
she moved to East Berlin to work as an industrial designer at the 
school of applied arts, where she remained until 1954. For the 
last thirty years of her life, she worked privately at her home in 
Chemnitz (which was renamed Karl-Marx-Stadt in 1953). 

, 7 8 




h (^ampcndonk 


Brandt is best known for her work in metal but was accom- 
plished in photography and photomontage as well as the applied 
arts. Her metal works, particularly the lamps and silver ser- 
vices made at the Bauhaus, are characterized by elegance and 
extreme simplicity of form. Many of her pieces were successful 
on the market; her bedside lamp of iq:S, for example, became 
the prototype for the ubiquitous modern gooseneck desk lamp. 
She later wrote of the metal workshop: "If we had even dreamed 
at that time of plexiglass and the other plastics, I don't know to 
what Utopian heights we would have aspired. But good enough: 
those who come after us must have something to do, too!" 
(ibid., p. 98). 

Sometimes described as imitative of Moholy-Nagy's style, 
Brandt's photomontages focus on themes such as male-female 
relations, industry, the metropolis, and power relationships. 
With their humorously critical view of the big city and its diver- 
sions, these works constitute a reappraisal of the metropolis and 
an ironic commentary on its eclectic blend of "natural" and 
"industrial" aesthetics. Her photographs, which include numer- 
ous self-portraits, are characterized by both experimentation 
and incisive self-examination. 



Marianne Brandt, "Letter to the Younger Generation," in Bau- 
haus and Bauhaus People, ed. Eckhard Neumann, trans. Eva 
Richter and Alba Lorman (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 
1970), pp. 97-101; Marianne Brandt. Hajo Rose, Kurt Schmidt: 
Drei Kiinstleram Bauhaus, exh. cat. (Dresden: Kupferstich- 
kabinett der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen, 1978); "Omaggio 
a Marianne Brandt," Forme, no. 110(1985): 13-14. 

12. Adam und Eva. c. 1925 

(Adam and Eve) 


i3 7 /sx 13 '/sin. (35.2 x 33.3 cm) 

Collection Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, UCLA. 

Fred Grunwald bequest 

Born into the family of a textile merchant, Heinrich 
Campendonk attended the textile industry trade school 
and the school of applied arts in Krefeld, where he studied 
under the newly arrived Dutch Art Nouveau painter Jan Thorn- 
Prikker, who introduced him to the work of Paul Cezanne and 
Vincent van Gogh. In 191 1 he was invited by Wassily Kandinsky 
and Franz Marc to Sindelsdorf, Bavaria, and he joined their 
group, the Blaue Reiter (Blue rider), later that year. 

While Campendonk's harmonious and often transparent 
application of luxurious Fauvist colors reflects the influence of 
Robert Delaunay and August Macke, the influence of Marc's 
geometric compositional approach is unmistakable in the still 
experimental style of such paintings as Springendes Pferd (Leap- 
ing horse, 1911), shown in the first Blaue Reiter exhibition in 
Munich in 1911-12 and illustrated in the group's almanac, Der 
blaue Reiter. Unlike Marc, Campendonk included the human 
figure in his mystical portrayals of animals in nature, as can be 
seen in his first tentative graphic works, published in 1912 in 
Der Sturm (The storm). 

Continuing to experiment with Cubism, Futurism, and 
Orphism, Campendonk exhibited with Das junge Rheinland 
(Young Rheinland) before World War I. The war and the deaths 
of Marc and Macke were a turning point for Campendonk. In 
1916, after two years of military service, he moved to Seeshaupt 
and destroyed much of his earlier work. His new paintings 
moved decisively toward representational fantasy influenced by 
Marc Chagall. Concurrently his woodcuts evolved to maturity 
with heraldic presentations of fish, cats, goats, cows, figures, 
and profuse vegetative ornament in a style having sources in 
African tribal art, Egyptian shadow-play figures, and Russian 
folk prints. Many of the woodcuts have black backgrounds, 
which contrast with radiant accents of watercolor that evoke the 
luminosity of stained glass and accrue symbolic power. 

catalogue: of the exhibition 


Koman CJ 

In 1920 Campendonk traveled to Italy to study the frescoes of 
Giotto and Fra Angelico as well as the Early Christian mosaics 
in Ravenna. Subsequently an architectonic construction of 
space entered his paintings (for example, Interieur [Interior], 
1920). He returned to Krefeld in 1922 and moved toward a more 
abstract and decorative style while producing stage designs for 
the Krefeld theater as well as boldly simplified woodcuts. He 
took the position vacated by Thorn-Prikker at the Diisseldorf 
academy in 1926 and concentrated on public art and stained 
glass. In 1933 he emigrated to Belgium, where he worked on an 
unfinished series of stained-glass icons of the Stations of the 
Cross. In 1935 he took a position at the academy of fine arts in 
Amsterdam, where he lived for the rest of his life. In 1937 his 
Passion window, shown at the Dutch pavilion at the Paris 
World's Fair, won the Grand Prix. Often praised for his dream- 
like imagery, Campendonk blended fantasy with a reserved 
and exacting precision, creating work that is both imaginative 
and concrete. 



Georg Biermann, Heinrich Campendonk , Junge Kunst, no. 17 
(Leipzig: Klinkhardt und Biermann, 1921); Aurel Bongers, 
Dierk Stemmler, and Joachim Heusinger von Waldegg, eds., 
Die rheinischen Expressionisten: August Macke und seine 
Malerfreunde, exh. cat. (Recklinghausen: Aurel Bongers, 1979); 
MathiasT. Engles, Heinrich Campendonk, Monographien zur 
rheinisch-westfalischen Kunst der Gegenwart, no. 9 (Reck- 
linghausen: Aurel Bongers, 1958); idem, Campendonk: 
Holzschnitte: Werkverzeichnis (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 
1959); idem, Campendonk als Glasmaler (Krefeld: Scherpe, 
1966); Andrea Firmenich, Heinrich Campendonk: Leben und 
expressionistisches Werk: Mit Werkkatalog des malerischen 
Oeuvres (Recklinghausen: Aurel Bongers, 1989); Paul Wember, 
Heinrich Campendonk (Krefeld: Scherpe, i960). 



13. "Russisches": Biihncnbild zum "Spiel aus Form, Farbe, Licht 

und Ton," 1929 

("Russian": Stage design for "Play of form, color, light, and sound'" 

Tempera on black board 

12V8 x 15% in. (32.0 x 40.0cm) 

Theatervvissenschaftliche Sammlung, Universitat zu Kbln 

Roman Clemens was a key proponent of innovation in the 
German theater. He participated in Oskar Schlemmer's 
stage workshop at the Bauhaus, which worked to revolutionize 
notions about the theater and to pioneer new communication 
techniques for the stage. His abstract theater designs functioned 
as exercises in color and composition and are akin to Wassily 
Kandinsky's experiments with synesthesia. 

Clemens came to the Bauhaus in the summer of 1927, join- 
ing the small group of stage workshop students there, which 
included Lukas (Lux) Feininger, Wolfgang Hildebrandt, and 
Andor Weininger. In a performance presented by the students 
in November 1927 to raise money for their program, Clemens 
created a Lichtstiick (light piece) in which white and colored 
lights were projected on a moving figure before a backdrop. 
When opposition to Schlemmer's direction began to be felt both 
inside and outside the theater workshop, Clemens was among 
those who continued to support him. Along with Lyonel 
Feininger and Hermann Roseler, he drafted a letter to Schlem- 
mer expressing support for his teaching. "We have decided," 
they wrote, "that instead of occupying ourselves with this activ- 
ity [of the opposition], we will occupy ourselves with theater 
theory and will show the result of this work in an exhibition 
before the summer vacation" (quoted in Dirk Scheper, Oskar 
Schlemmer: Das tnadische Ballett und die Bauhausbuhne [Ber- 
lin: Akademie der Kiinste, 1988], p. 329). For this exhibition, 
held in July 1929, Clemens created a series of five designs enti- 
tled Spiel aus Form, Farbe, Licht und Ton (Play of form, color, 
light, and sound), described by critic Wilhelm van Kempen as 
the high point of the show. In the accompanying manuscript 
Clemens described the music corresponding to each geometric 
design. These five pieces were conceived both as designs for the 
theater and as abstract exercises that combined the elements of 
the theater — sound, motion, light, line, and color— in a two- 
dimensional format. 

i So 


Walter Dexel 

Clemens continued his work in theater after leaving the Bau- 
haus. From 1929 to 1931 he served as assistant set painter at the 
Friedrich-Theater in Dessau and from 1932 to 1943 was head 
set painter and designer of the Zurich opera house. He contin- 
ued to investigate the "reality" of the theater as a physical space. 
In his 1953 Theater "B" he designed a semicircular theater 
incorporating a peep show. By using movable walls on the stage 
and modular sets that could be dismantled and reassembled to 
create new performance spaces, he aspired to unify spectator 
areas and foyers designed as side stages. His goal was to open up 
new possibilities for the theater by freeing it from the limitations 
of traditional design. Although this project was feasible, it was 
never realized; Clemens wrote that "a solution to our problems 
with theater sets is perhaps only to be found in Utopia" ("Hin- 
weis auf die Darinstadter Ausstellung 'Theaterbau,'" Baukunst 
und Werkform 8, no. 4 [1955]: 255). In the 1950s and 1960s he 
organized several traveling exhibitions to publicize the theater 
and aspects of Weimar culture, including Theaterbau (Theater 
sets) in 1955, Bauhaus in 1961, and Thomas Mann in 1962. 

A. S. 

Marianne Herold, Roman Clemens (Zurich: ABC, 1991); 
Hannelore Kersting and Bernd Vogelsang, eds., Raumkonzepte: 
Konstruktivistische Tendenzen in Biihnen- und Bildkunst, 
1910-1930, exh. cat. (Frankfurt: Stadtische Galerie im 
Stadelschen Kunstinstitut, 1986). 


14. Sternenbrucke. 1919 

(Starry bridge) 


10V2 x 7 1B /i6 in. (26.6 x 19.8 cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

As an artist and art historian, Walter Dexel was an active 
participant in the art world of the Weimar era. He con- 
tributed to the articulation and dissemination of ideas evolving 
at that time among various groups, including De Stijl, the Bau- 
haus, the Novembergruppe (November group), and the circle 
around Kurt Schu 'itters in Hannover. 

Dexel studied art history in Munich from 1910 to 1914; the 
theoretician Heinrich Wolfflin was among his teachers. In 1912 
and 1913 he also attended a private drawing school. He traveled 
to Italy, where he was particularly impressed by the art and 
architecture of Florence. He produced his first pictures during 
this period. After 1914 he continued his studies in Paris but was 
called to Jena in 1916 to work at the war archive. In spite of the 
war, he was able to complete his doctoral degree at the univer- 
sity in Jena. He became the exhibition director for the Kunst- 
verein (art association) there in 1916, maintaining that position 
until 1928. 

In 1918 his work was exhibited with that of Heinrich Campen- 
donk at the Sturm gallery in Berlin. In the ensuing years he 
established connections with the masters of the Bauhaus and had 
a particularly productive dialogue on De Stijl with Theo van Does- 
burg in the years 1921 to 1923. He maintained a membership 
in the Novembergruppe (November group) from 1923 to 1927. 

Dexel was also active as a designer. In 1916 he began to 
design illuminated outdoor advertising, and in 1928 he became 
a member of the Ring neuer Werbegestalter (Circle of new 
advertising designers), founded by Schw itters. Also in 1928 he 
published the first of a series of books on interior design and the 
applied arts and was appointed to a teaching position in 1928 
at the Magdeburg school of applied arts. He was fired from this 
post in 1935, when the Nazis purged educational institutions 
of "degenerate" artists. At the same time he was terminated as 
set designer for the Stadttheater in Jena. He was, however, able 
to secure a teaching position in Berlin from 1936 to 1942 at the 
Staatliche Hochschule fiir Kunsterziehung (State institute for 
art education) and from 1942 to 1955 assembled and directed 
the Historische Formsammlung (Historical collection of design) 
for the city of Brunswick. 



Walter Vitt, Walter Dexel: Werkverzeichnis der Druckgrafik von 
1915-1971 (Cologne: W. Konig, 1971); Ruth Wobkemeier and 
Siegfried Salzmann, eds., Walter Dexel: Bild, Zeichen, Raum, 
exh. cat. (Bremen: Kunsthalle Bremen, 1990). 





15. Elektrische, 1920 

11 \9'/sin. (28. 0x23. 7cm) 

From the portfolio Neun Holzschnitte (1922) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

16. Lens wird mit Bomben belegt, 1924 
(Lens being bombed) 

Etching with aquatint 

n 3 /t x 9 n /i6in. (29.8 x 24.6cm) 

From the portfolio Der Krieg (1924) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

Otto Dix may be best known for effectively portraying 
humanity's painful transition to the modern era through 
the horrific world war made possible by industrialization. Yet he 
held tradition in high esteem, venerating above all the art of the 
Renaissance and its revival during the early nineteenth century 
by the Nazarenes, a circle of German painters inspired primar- 
ily by religious art. Throughout his career he sought to portray 
the modern experience using traditional means derived from 
earlier artists such as Lucas Cranach, Albrecht Diirer, Hans 
Baldung Grien, and Francisco Goya, while also incorporating 
influences from such contemporaries as Conrad Felixmiiller, 
George Grosz, and Gino Severini. 

Dix received his early training with Carl Senff in Gera as 
an apprentice painter and decorator from 1905 to 1909, then 
attended the school of applied arts in Dresden from 1910 to 
1914. He enlisted in an artillery regiment in 1914 and saw 
action as a machine gunner in France, Poland, and Russia. He 
created hundreds of war sketches in the dynamic style of the 
Italian Futurists, whose celebration of change confirmed beliefs 
derived from his intensive reading of Friedrich Nietzsche. Yet 
six years of artistic development were required before Dix 
could render the somber and moving testimony of his celebrated 
suite of fifty etchings entitled Der Krieg (War, 1924), which 
may be the most powerful antiwar statement produced by a 
modern artist. 

During the tumultuous period following the 1918 armistice, 
Dix became a cofounder of the left-wing Gruppe 1919 (Group 
1919) of the Dresden Secession and also exhibited with the 
Berlin Dadaists at the Erste Internationale Dada-Messe (First 
international Dada fair) in 1920. This association led to his 
experimentation with collage, which clearly influenced the 
fragmented imagery of the portfolio Neun Holzschnitte (Nine 

woodcuts), executed in 1919-20 and published in 1922. After 
studying painting at the academy in Dresden from 1919 to 1922, 
Dix moved in 1922 to Diisseldorf to study painting under Hein- 
rich Nauen and intaglio techniques under Wilhelm Herberholz 
at the academy. His confident handling of etching and drypoint 
is evident in his flamboyant and imaginative portfolio Zirkus 
(Circus, 1922), in which he invoked the melancholy presence of 
death and the grotesque absurdity of human behavior. While 
in Diisseldorf he joined the group Das junge Rheinland (Young 
Rhineland), through which he met the artists Gert Wollheim 
and Otto Pankok and the art dealer and patron Johanna Ey. 

Moving to Berlin in 1925, Dix abandoned printmaking to 
concentrate on the veristic style of painting that had won him 
prominence in the 1925 Neue Sachlichkeit (new objectivity) 
exhibition in Mannheim. Using the traditional religious format 
of the triptych to secular ends, he realized such profound works 
of social criticism as his paintings Grossstadt (Metropolis, 
1928) and Der Krieg (1932), produced during his tenure as a 
professor at the Dresden academy from 1927 to 1933, when he 
was expelled by the Nazis and prohibited from exhibiting. 
Dix endured an "internal exile" in Hemmenhofen at Lake 
Constance, painting primarily landscapes; was included in the 
infamous 1937 exhibition Entartete Kunst (Degenerate art) 
in Munich; and was briefly arrested in 1939. In 1945 he served 
in the Volkssturm (people's storm), Germany's last-ditch effort 
to defend itself against the Allies, and was interned in France as 
a prisoner of war. 

Dix resumed printmaking in 1948, working almost exclu- 
sively in lithography and continuing his exploration of religious 
imagery, as exemplified by his illustrations for Das Evangelium 
nach Matthdus (The Gospel according to Matthew, i960). 



Keith Hartley, ed., Otto Dix, 1891-1969, exh. cat. (London: 
Tate Gallery, 1992); Wulf Herzogenrath and fohann-Karl 
Schmidt, eds., Dix, exh. cat. (Stuttgart: Galerie der Stadt Stutt- 
gart, 1991); Florian Karsch, ed., Otto Dix: Das graphische Werk 
(Hannover: Fackeltrager-Verlag Schmidt-Ktister, 1970); Hans- 
Ulrich Lehmann, ed.. Otto Dix: Die Zeichnungen im Dresdner 
Kupferstich-Kabmett: Katalog des Bestandes, exh. cat. (Dres- 
den: Kupferstich-Kabinett der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen, 
1991); Fritz Loffler, Otto Dix: Leben und Werk (Vienna: Schroll, 
1967); idem, Otto Dix, 1891-1969: Oeuvre der Gemalde 
(Recklinghausen: Aurel Bongers, 1981). 


Siegfried tbeling 

Viking Cggeling 


See cat. no. 224 

Cat. no. 224 

Siegfried Ebeling's life, like those of many Germans during 
the period framed by the two world wars, was characterized 
by restlessness and searching. His education covered a variety 
of subjects, from theology to architecture, and he worked as a 
dancer, laborer, artist, and architect. His views on architecture, 
published as theoretical treatises in the 1920s, added a new per- 
spective to the field. 

Ebeling started out in 191 2 as a student of philosophy and 
theology at the university in Heidelberg. His education was dis- 
rupted by military service in World War I, then by his retention 
in an English prisoner-of-war camp until 1920. When he 
resumed his studies, from 1920 to 1923, he majored in Chris- 
tian archaeology in Jena, later studying art history in Leipzig 
and also spending some time as an exchange student in Sweden. 
In 1924 he became a student of Wassily Kandinsky at the Bau- 
haus and started publishing articles in the periodical Junge 
Menschen (Young people). In 1925 he worked in the advertising 
department of the Junkers company in Dessau, returning to the 
Bauhaus in Weimar and in Dessau in 1925-26. There he made 
a significant contribution to the theory of architecture with his 
publication of "Der Raum als Membran" (Space as membrane) 
in 1926. 

After leaving the Bauhaus, he served as director of a private 
research institute in Hamlin from 1927 to 1928. During this 
time he was also engaged as a dancer with Rudolf Laban in Ber- 
lin and worked as a laborer in factory. In 1929 he was hired as 
private secretary to a sugar manufacturer in Lausanne. 

The recognition he received for his rotating Ganzmetall- 
Rundhaus (All-metal round house) of 1930 allowed him to set- 
tle in Bielefeld and, from 1939, in Hamburg, where he worked 
as a free-lance architect. His career was once again disrupted by 
military service and retention as a prisoner of war from 1941 to 
1945. He devoted his final years, from the 1950s until his death 
in 1963, to painting at his home near Hamburg. 


17. Horizontal-vertikal Orchester I, c. 1921 
(Horizontal-vertical orchestra I) 
Photomechanical reproduction 

12 x a'/iin. (30.5 x 23.5cm) 

Cover for MA 6, no. 8 (1921) 

The Resource Collections of the Getty Center for the History of Art 

and the Humanities 

18. Diagonahymphonie IV (RoIIe), c. 1923 
(Diagonal symphony IV [scroll]) 


Approx. i9 n /i6x 119 in. (50.0 x 303.2cm) 

Kunstmuseum Basel. Depositum Maja Sacher-Stehlin 

19. Studie fiir "Diagonahymphonie I" (Rolle 1, Blatt 7) 
(Study for "Diagonal symphony I" [roll 1, sheet 7]) 

8yi6x 6'Ain. (21.8 x 15.9 cm) 

Emanuel Hoffmann-Stiftung. Depositum Kunstmuseum Basel 

20. Studie fiir "Diagonahymphonie I" (Rolle 1, Blatt 8) 
(Study for "Diagonal symphony I" [roll 1, sheet 8]) 

8'/i6x 6 14 in. (21.8 x 15.9 cm) 

Emanuel Hoffmann-Stiftung. Depositum Kunstmuseum Basel 

Viking Eggeling's lifelong aspiration was to create an 
abstract artistic language capable of restoring contact 
between the artist and the public. He preferred to leave his 
works unsigned and undated as a protest against what he saw as 
the individualism and corruption inherent in the art of his time. 
Influenced by the ideas of Wassily Kandinsky as set forth 111 
Uberdas Geistige in der Kunst (On the spiritual in art, 1912) 
and by Paul Klee's painting, Eggeling believed in the impor- 
tance of the spiritual and worked to create a universal language 
based on a harmony of forms. His scroll paintings for his first 
film effort, Horizontal-vertikal Symphonie (Horizontal-vertical 
symphony, 1920-23), on which he collaborated with his friend 
and colleague Hans Richter, represent the first attempt to intro- 
duce abstraction into film. Eggeling viewed his experiments in 
film in almost mystical terms and thus differed somewhat from 
Richter, who, influenced by Constructivist ideas, was interested 
in pure, abstract form. 

Eggeling immigrated to Germany to embark on an artistic- 
career at the age of sixteen; both his parents had died before he 
was fifteen. From 1901 to 1907 he studied art history in Milan 
in the evenings while working as a bookkeeper by day. From 
1911 to 1915 he lived in Paris, where he met Jean Arp, Amedeo 
Modigliani, and other artists. After moving to Zurich in 1915, 
he met Tristan Tzara, cofounder of the Dada Cabaret Voltaire, 
who introduced him to Richter. Over the next two years 
Eggeling made designs for his Rollenbilder (scroll pictures), 
thought to be preliminary drawings for the films Horizontal- 
vertical Symphonie and Diagonalsymphonie (Diagonal sym- 
phony, 1922). In 1919 he joined the artists' group Das neue 
Leben (The new life), started in Basel by Arp and Marcel Janco 
among others; this group later became Radikale Kiinstler 




,^r' ^^ 




Cat. no. 19 

Cat. no. 20 

(Radical artists), which Richter joined. Radikale Kiinstler 
called for the introduction of time into abstract art, a notion 
that Richter and Eggeling were exploring in collaborative film 
experiments during 1918 and 1919. 

In his voluminous sketchbooks Eggeling laid out a blueprint 
for his film experiments and plans for a universal language of 
form and wrote of the necessity of a transformation of human 
consciousness. "No Utopia," he wrote. "The material creation 
of Utopia. No living against each other. Our common goal: the 
actualization of the existence of the human being as a spiritual 
being. The construction of a new spiritual and simple life" 
(quoted in O'Konor, Viking Eggeling, p. 102). Richter later 
wrote of Eggeling that "he had an 'all-embracing philosophy' 
which had led him to formulate rules of everyday conduct 
which had, for him, absolute validity" (Hans Richter, Dada: 
Art and Anti-Art, trans. David Britt [London: Thames and 
Hudson, 1965], p. 63). 

Eggeling published declarations in 1921 and 1923 with Raoul 

Hausmann, calling for artists to adapt to changing technology 
by creating art that would capture "images of a world that is 
real, a synthesis of the spirit and of the material," and that would 
put art in the service of contemporary concerns. After igiq 
Eggeling continued his film work, first alone and then from 
rg23 in collaboration with Erna Niemeyer. The pair worked on 
his last film, Diagonalsymphonie, which was shown publicly 
for the first time in May of 1925, the month Eggeling died. 


Viking Eggeling, 1880-1925, exh. cat. (Stockholm: National- 
museum, 1950); Louise O'Konor, Viking Eggeling, 1880-1925, 
Arfisf and Filmmaker: Life and Work, trans. Catherine G. 
Sundstrom and Anne Bibby, Stockholm Studies in the History 
of Art, no. 23 (Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell, 1971). 

i8 4 


Lyonel Teininger 

BORN 1871 NEW YORK ••• DIED 1 9 5 6 NEW YORK 

21. Das Tor, 1912 
(The gate) 

i6'/s x i2 ! /sin. (41.0 x 32.0cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

22. Rathaus, Zottelstedt, 1918 
(Town hall, Zottelstedt) 

4V2X 5 '/2 in. (11.4 x 14.0 cm) 

From }a\ Stimmen des Arbeitsrates fur Kunst in Berlin (1919) 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 
Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 
provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 
deaccession funds 

23. Kathedrale, 1919 

12 x 7 ! /sin. (30.5 x 18.7 cm) 

Title page from the Programm des Staatlichen Bauhauses in Weimar 


Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 
Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 
provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 
deaccession funds 

Well known as a cartoonist in Germany in the early years 
of the century, the German-American painter and 
graphic artist Lyonel Feininger did not make his first painting 
until 1907, at the age of thirty-five. Many of the characteristics 
of his style, however— the dramatic angular forms, the sense of 
motion, the play with depth, the contrasts of black and white- 
were already present, developed over years of drawing for maga- 
zines. Fascinated by landscape as well as architecture, he used 
intersecting planes and sharp lines of force to represent the 
effects of light, carefully building his compositions from over- 
lapping surfaces. Inspired by French novelists Eugene Sue and 
Victor Hugo, Feininger examined wide-ranging themes such as 
revolution and industrialization, modern technology, bourgeois 
promenades, landscapes, villages, and imaginary views of the 
"city at the end of the world." Although he used nature as a basis 
for his imagery, he believed that Expressionist artists must go 
beyond nature to "portray our inner vision, find our ultimate 
form uninfluenced by nature in order to express our longing" 
(Lyonel Feininger, "Credo of Expressionism: Letter to Paul 
Westheim," in Ness, Lyonel Feininger, p. 27). 

Feininger was the child of German parents who were both 
musicians. He grew up in New York but in 1887, at the age 
of sixteen, traveled by boat to Germany, where his parents 
intended that he study music. Two weeks after his arrival, how- 
ever, he enrolled at the general vocational school in Hamburg, 
where he studied drawing. In 1888 he moved to Berlin to attend 
the academy, where he received traditional artistic training, 
even though he had already begun to work as a cartoonist. 

In the following years Feininger became well known for his 
cartoons and illustrations, publishing numerous drawings in 

such satirical magazines as Ulk (Fun) and Lustige Blatter 
(Funny papers) in Berlin and he temoin (The witness) in Paris. 
Partially motivated by his relationship with the painter Julia 
Berg and weary of constantly producing commercial work, he 
decided to pursue his own artistic impulses and began to devote 
more time to nature drawing. A visit to Paris in 1905 introduced 
him to the work of Robert Delaunay and the Postimpressionists 
and furthered his interest in painting. In 1910 Feininger exhib- 
ited his "Fantastic Series" drawings at the Berlin Secession, 
which included the portfolios Montmartre, Die Stadt am Ende 
der Welt (The city at the end of the world), Lokomotiven 
(Locomotives), and Workers. 

Feininger's growing familiarity with Cubism led to a greater 
use of overlapping planes and a concern with pictorial volume, 
which he explored in the years following another trip to Paris in 
1911. A solo exhibition at the Sturm gallery in 1917 brought his 
work to the attention of other artists and critics. After the war he 
was a member of both the Novembergruppe (November group) 
and the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst (Working council for art), although 
he took little part in their activities, preferring to work in 
solitude. Walter Gropius appointed him head of the graphics 
workshop at the Weimar Bauhaus in 1919 and asked him to 
design the cover of the Bauhaus manifesto. Feininger's woodcut 
Kathedrale (Cathedral, 1919) referred to the past in its use 
of Gothic architecture while projecting a sense of modernity. 

In 1926 Feininger was given an honorary post at the Bauhaus, 
then in Dessau, without teaching duties, enabling him to con- 
tinue his work without the usual financial worries. In the early 
1930s, faced with his own dwindling resources and appalled by 
the political situation in Germany, he considered emigrating. Still 
an American citizen, he fled for New York with Berg in 1937. 


T. Lux Feininger, Lyonel Feininger: City at the Edge of the 
World (New York: Praeger, 1965); Hans Hess, Lyonel Feininger 
(New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1961); Ulrich Luckhardt, Lyonel 
Feininger, trans. Eileen Martin (Munich: Prestel, 1989); June 
L. Ness, ed., Lyonel Feininger, Documentary Monographs 
in Modern Art (New York: Praeger, 1974); Leona E. Prasse, 
Feininger: A Definitive Catalogue of His Graphic Work: Etch- 
ings, Lithographs, Woodcuts (Cleveland: Cleveland Museum 
of Art, 1972); Ernst Scheyer, Lyonel Feininger: Caricature and 
Fantasy (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1964). 



Hermann finstcrlin 


24. Architektur, 1920 

Watercolor, graphite, and india ink 

7 B /8x n 7 /i6in. (18.8 x 29.0 cm) 

Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 

25. Hygiene Museum, 1920 

Plaster, painted white and yellow-brown 
i4 9 /l6 x io'/t X9'/i6in. (37.0 x 26. ox 23.0cm) 
Gabriele Reisser-Finsterlin 

26. Traum ausGlas, 1920 
(Glass dream) 

Watercolor, graphite, and india ink 

7 3 /s x n 7 /i6in. (18.8 x 29.0cm) 

Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 

27. DieStadt, Serie IV Blatt 8, 1920-24 
(The city, series IV, sheet 8) 
Watercolor over pencil 

i2'/4 x i8 7 /s in. (31.0 x 48.0cm) 

Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 

2S. Plan des "Stilspiels" zut Edition, c. 1921 
(Plan of "The style game" for the edition) 
Pencil and ink on paper on board 
14V8X 19% in. (36.5 x 50.5 cm) 
Gabriele Reisser-Finsterlin 

29. Grundriss, Seric III, Blatt 7, c. 1922 
(Ground plan, series III, sheet 7) 
Black, red, and blue ink over graphite 
7 5 /i6x 10 Win. (18.1 x 26.2 cm) 

Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/Canadian Centre for 
Architecture, Montreal 

30. Das Stilspiel 1921, 1922 
(The style game, 1921) 

Ninety-five single blocks of painted wood of different shapes and sizes 
Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 

31. Drei geometrische Phantasien, 1922-23 
(Three geometric fantasies) 

Painted wood 

(a) 3 ls /i6X4'/8x 5'/sin. (10,0 x 10.5 x 13.0cm); (b) 4% x 2 5 /tx 3 l5 /i6in. 

(12.4 x 7. ox 10.0 cm); (c) height: 3'/i6in. (9.0 cm), diam: 3 5 /sin. 


Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 

32. Didym-Durchdringungen geometrischer Korper, 1922-23 
(Didym-penetrations of geometric bodies) 

Seven blocks of painted wood 

Each: 2 5 /4x 2% x 2 '/tin. (7.0 x 7.0 x 7.0cm) 

Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 

33. Geometrische Durchdringungen, 1922-23 
(Geometric penetrations) 

Watercolor, pencil, whitening on transparent paper 

io'Ax 15 W in. (26.0 x 38.8 cm) 

Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 

34. Architektur— Kathcdralc des Lichts, Serie IV, Blatt 4 
(Architecture— cathedral of light, series IV, sheet 4) 
Watercolor and white paint over pencil on brown paper 
13V2 x 7 5 /i6in. (34.2 x 18.2cm) 

Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 

35. Architekturentwiirfe 
(Architectural sketches) 
Pencil, black and green inks 
8 7 /s x 11 14 in. (22.5 x 28.5 cm) 

Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 

Hermann Finsterlin— visionary architect, painter, sculptor, 
and toy maker— saw himself as "the Darwin of architec- 
ture," though he never built a permanent structure. His studies 
at the university in Munich reveal an extraordinarily catholic 
sensibility: chemistry, physics, medicine, philosophy, and Indol- 
ogy. In 1913 he studied painting at the academy in Munich 
under the famed teacher Franz von Stuck. 

Cat. no. 25 



laul Oangolr 


H^>l^3L^lSIT05SSi. f^SfT- A 

e: AyrsEiSs?, 

r or 

' 5 ?)5-^-7lG>V 

Cat. no. 28 

Finsterlin executed some five hundred watercolors and ink 
sketches of isolated structures bearing anthropomorphic designs, 
which architectural historian Wolfgang Pehnt has described as 
"a cross between Bomarzo and Walt Disney." Forty of these 
architectural sketches were shown in 19 iq at the Ausstellung fur 
unbekannte Architekten (Exhibition of unknown architects), 
and Finsterlin also participated in the 1920 Neues Bauen (New 
building) exhibition, likewise organized by the Arbeitsrat fur 
Kunst (Working council for art). He occasionally contributed 
articles to Bruno Taut's periodical Fruhlicht (Daybreak) and 
to pamphlets published by the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst, which he 
joined in 1919. Though he professed indifference to Expres- 
sionist social vision and utopianism, Finsterlin was an active 
contributor to the Glaserne Kette (Crystal chain) correspon- 
dence under the pseudonym Prometh (Prometheus). He also 
taught briefly at the Bauhaus (c. 1930). 

Under the National Socialist regime Finsterlin was, through 
a misunderstanding, commissioned to create frescoes for state 
buildings and official portraits of leading figures, including 
Hitler. For years he declined, feigning illness, until he con- 
sented under the threat of internment in a concentration camp. 
Many of his works were destroyed when his house was bombed 
in 1944, although about 500 watercolors and ink drawings 
were spared, including 185 architectural drawings. In response 
to renewed interest in his work, he began to redraw his earlier 
architectural fantasies in the 1960s. Several of these and his 
paintings are in the collection of the Kunstverein (art associa- 
tion) in Stuttgart, where he continued to write and paint until 
his death. 



Franco Borsi, Hermann Finsterlin: Idea dell'architettura 
(Florence: Stabilimento, 1963); Reinhard Dohl, Hermann 
Finsterlin: Eine Anndherung, exh. cat. (Stuttgart: Staatsgalerie 
Stuttgart, r988); Hermann Finsterlin, "Innenarchitektur," 
Fruhlicht (Winter r92i-22): 35-37. 


36. Seiltdnzerin, c. 1922 
(Tightrope walker) 
Hand-colored lithograph 

Sheet: 19 x 14V2 in. (48.3 x 36.8 cm) 
From the portfolio Metropolis (1922) 
Ruth and Jacob Kainen 

37. Strassenszene, 1925 
(Street scene) 

Sheet: 16 x 12 in. (40.6 x 30.5 cm) 
Ruth and Jacob Kainen 

Like many of his colleagues, Paul Gangolf was self-taught as 
a graphic artist and painter. A member of the circle of 
artists and writers in Berlin around the Sturm gallery and Malik 
Verlag, the publishing house founded by Wieland Herzfelde 
and John Heartfield, Gangolf was described by his contemporary 
Ernst Rathenau as a penniless bohemian who roamed from cafe 
to cafe, frequently on the edge of starvation: "Gangolf was often 
absent-minded, restless, undisciplined, he got into muddles 
when he spoke — which only makes more astounding the con- 
centration of many of his works, in which a visionary power 
reveals itself" (In Memoriam, p. 5). 

Represented in the 1920 Berlin Secession exhibition by a 
group of lithographs, Gangolf focused on graphic art through- 
out his career. He favored etching, which allows for greater 
intricacy and fluidity of line than woodcut, although he also 
executed numerous cross-hatched woodcuts. His work was pub- 
lished by Paul Westheim in his journal Das Kunstblatt (The 
art paper) and was the subject of a retrospective in Hamburg in 
1931. Westheim wrote of the artist that he was someone "who 


l8 7 

Jeiim Oolyschefr 

cannot make peace with a world that will always be a problem 
for him and . . . who tries to decipher meaning or nonsense in 
the midst of chaos" (quoted in Rathenau, In Memoriam, p. 7). 

Gangolf was fascinated by the American West, with its 
cowboys and Indians, and by the big city, with its dark alleys, 
skyscrapers, and entertainment-hungry mobs. In Metropolis, a 
portfolio often lithographs published in 1922 by Malik Verlag, 
he portrayed the various diversions of the city: the cinema, the 
circus, street life. Using large areas of black and strong hatched 
lines, he created an environment in which the transitory excite- 
ment of big-city diversions mingles with fear, claustrophobia, 
and an urge to escape. 

After the National Socialist takeover, Gangolf was denounced 
for mumbling a comment critical of the regime and spent sev- 
eral months interned in a concentration camp, from which he 
retained a mangled finger. He traveled to Portugal but on his 
return trip in 1940, while trying to cross the French border into 
Germany, was shot to death. Ironically he had written to an 
acquaintance in 1932 that "Benes, the leader of Czechoslovakia 
and one of the sharpest minds in Europe, just wrote that every- 
thing will soon sort itself out, although adventures like Hitler 
delay things for Germany" (letter to Gustav Schiefler, 1 Octo- 
ber 1932, quoted in Rathenau, In Memoriam, p. 14). 

A. S. 


Ernest Rathenau, ed., In Memoriam: Paul Gangolf (New York: 

Ernest Rathenau, 1964). 


38. Untitled, 1918 

5 ! /i6x 5 l5 /i6 in. (13.5 x 15.0cm) 
Lent anonymously 

39. Untitled, 1918 

8 5 /s x n'Msin. (21.9 x 30.0cm) 
Lent anonymously 

A provocative artist from his earliest years, Jefim Golyscheff 
began playing the violin at age five and started drawing 
lessons a year later under the direction of his father, a friend 
of Wassily Kandinsky. In 1911 Golyscheff set off on a two-year 
world tour with the Odessa Symphony Orchestra as a wun- 
derkind violin soloist. From 1909 to 1933 he resided in Berlin, 
where he studied music theory and composition at the 
Stern'schen Konservatorium. At the age of seventeen he devel- 
oped his principle of "dodecaphonic duration," contributing to 
the evolution of twelve-tone music. He came under the influ- 
ence of Ferruccio Busoni, Arnold Schoenberg, and Richard 
Strauss; Golyscheff 's twelve-tone compositions, however, ante- 
dated those of Schoenberg and his proteges Anton von Webern 
and Alban Berg by six years. As did a few other avant-garde 
composers, Golyscheff developed his own system of musical 
notation; he also invented musical instruments, wrote poetry, 
and made children's toys and craft objects. 

Golyscheff 's signature is found in a 1917 guest book of the 
Sturm gallery, but it was not until 1919 that he became actively 
involved with the avant-garde. He was one of two artists to show 
at both the Ausstellung fur unbekannte Architekten (Exhibition 
of unknown architects) in April 1919 and the first Berlin Dada 
exhibition the following month at I. B. Neumann's Graphisches 
Kabinett. He showed at the 1921 Grosse Berliner Kunst- 
Ausstellung (Greater Berlin art exhibition) with what had 
become a less-politicized Novembergruppe (November group), 
even though he had signed a Berlin Dada manifesto that sati- 
rized the group's ideals in 1919. In that year he was also part 
of the elite artists' workshop group of the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst 
(Working council for art). In a letter to Golyscheff, Walter 
Gropius remarked: "We have hung a series of your fascinating 
drawings in the unknown architects exhibition — let the bour- 
geois think what he will about them. We finally came to the 


I an I Oosch 


conclusion that your works belong in the domain of architec- 
ture. They really are ultimate examples of what we want: 
Utopia" (quoted in Ockman, "Reinventing Jefim Golyscheff," 
p. 75). He created mushroomlike structures in which bourgeois 
conventions found no place. The critic Adolf Behne believed 
that Golyscheff's colorful, childlike creations would inspire the 
proletariat, who would see that they too could make simple, 
beautiful art. 

Although Golyscheff had been very active in Berlin Dada 
through his association with Raoul Hausmann, his distancing 
from the movement is evident in his manifesto Aismus, pub- 
lished late in the summer of 1919. In this work he opposed all 
"isms," all partisanship, and the tendency of individuals to unite 
under a banner. Nevertheless he continued to participate in 
Novembergruppe exhibitions until 1922, when he stopped 
exhibiting his work and devoted his time to composing music 
(all of which is lost). During the late 1920s and early 1930s he 
worked as a film sound engineer in Berlin and Russia. 

After the Nazis confiscated his works in 1933, Golyscheff and 
his wife fled to Barcelona, where he worked as a chemist and 
began to paint again. At the end of the Spanish Civil War the 
couple sought refuge in France, where they were eventually 
interned in labor camps. After the war he worked as a chemical 
engineer for a French firm, then settled in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 
where he worked as a chemist and painted. In 1960-61 he 
returned to Germany in a vain effort to locate his works in 
museums and private collections. He reestablished his friendship 
with Hausmann but left Germany in September 1961 because 
he feared the outbreak of war upon the erecting of the Berlin 
Wall. He made great efforts to reestablish himself as an artist 
through articles and exhibitions in Europe and Brazil. His late 
paintings exhibit elements of Expressionism and Surrealism. 


Adolf Behne, "Werkstattbesuche: II, Jefim Golyscheff," Der 
Cicerone 11, no. 22 (1919): 722-26; Detlef Gojowy, "Jefim 
Golyscheff: Der unbequeme Vorlaufer," Melos: Neue Zeitschrift 
furMusik 1, no. 3 (May-June 1975): 188-93; Joan Ockman, 
"Reinventing Jefim Golyscheff: Lives of a Minor Modernist," 
Assemblage 11 (April 1990): 71-106. 

40. Untitled (fantasy architecture), c. 1919 
Watercolor and india ink 

8'/sx 13 in. (20.6 x 33.0 cm) 
Lingers collection 

41. Untitled (fantasy architecture), 1920-29 
Gouache over ink 

6 7 /i6x 8 '/sin. (16.3 x 20.7cm) 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

42. Untitled (fantasy architecture), c. 1921 
Watercolor, gouache, and and gum arabic over graphite 
6 7 /i6 x 8 14 in. (16.3 x 20.9cm) 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 
Architecture, Montreal 

43. Untitled (fantasy architecture), c. 1921 
Watercolor, gouache, and glaze over ink 
8'/8x i2 7 /8in. (20.6 x 32.8 cm) 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 
Architecture, Montreal 

44. Untitled (fantasy architecture), 1921 
Watercolor and gouache over ink 

8V16 x 6 7 /i6in. (20.8 x 16.3 cm) 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

45. Untitled (fantasy architecture) 
Carbon (dark blue on white tissue paper) 
5 n /i6X4Vi6in. (14.5 x 10. 6 cm) 
Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

Cat. no. 4; 


Cat. no. 44 

Despite his physical and emotional frailty, Paul Gosch 
demonstrated a robust determination to create prolifically 
and to further the Utopian causes of the avant-garde of his time. 
He entered the technical college in Berlin-Charlottenburg in 
1903 to pursue architectural studies, associated with the Fried- 
richshagen writers' colony, and met Sigmund Freud and appar- 
ently Rudolf Steiner. Upon completing his studies, he decided 
against establishing a private practice because of his delicate 
health and took a position as the city architect of Kulm. He 
made his first drawings and watercolors between 1914 and 1916. 

In 1919 Gosch moved to Berlin-Friedenau, where he became 
a member of the Glaserne Kette (Crystal chain), using the 
pseudonym Tancred, after the hero of Voltaire's Tancrede 
(1760), and joined the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst (Working council for 
art) and the Novembergruppe (November group), participating 
in their exhibitions. In 1920 he worked with Bruno Taut in 
Magdeburg on a restoration project and contributed essays and 
drawings to the latter s journal, Friihlicht (Daybreak). 

In 1921 Gosch developed intermittent nervous problems and 

began several extended periods of treatment in the psychiatric 
institutes of Gbttingen and Teupitz. In 1940 he was seized by 
SS officers at Teupitz, taken to Hartheim, and murdered. His 
psychosis had not interfered with his productivity; left behind 
were hundreds of drawings and watercolors of mythological and 
religious subjects (particularly depictions of the Madonna), in 
addition to his fantasy-world columns, pinnacles, and door- 
ways. Gosch, who also wrote and illustrated fairy tales, explored 
an architectural dreamland with a childlike abandon quite 
unexpected from a government architect. Insisting that in art 
contrived principles of organization are tantamount to 
deception — a conviction shared by other architects of this 
genre — Gosch declared, "Above all, don't lie!" 


Paul Cosch, 1885-1940: Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, exh. cat. 
(Berlin: Berlinische Galerie, 1976). 




Gottfried Oral 


46. Untitled (standing nude woman), 1918 


8 7 /8x 5 15 /i6 in. (22.5 x 15.0cm) 

Frontispiece from the deluxe edition of Das Kunstblatt 2, no. 8(1918) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

Gottfried Graf was an advocate, practitioner, and teacher 
of the woodcut medium and an outspoken proponent of 
modern art in his native Swabia. Inspired by the landscape of 
the region, which he described in his memoirs as an important 
factor in his artistic formation, he championed what he termed 
Schwdbischer Expressionismus (Swabian Expressionism). His 
devotion to the region — he remained in and around Stuttgart 
throughout his career— was unusual at a time when the cultural 
centers of Berlin, Dresden, and Munich exerted such a strong 
pull on young artists. 

As a cofounder and member of the artist's association Uecht- 
gruppe from 1919 until its dissolution in 1924, Graf worked to 
encourage innovative art outside the control of the academy, 
challenging conservative critics favoring naturalism. His work 
was strongly influenced by Cubism and French art (Albert 
Gleizes, for example, was a close lifelong friend) and also bears 
the imprint of Jugendstil and the Briicke; his ideas about art 
were characterized by an idealistic, almost mystical belief in 
the new spirit sweeping art following the Wende (change) from 
naturalism to abstraction and the development of a new artistic 

A student at the academy and the school of applied arts in 
Stuttgart during leaves of absence from the Wurttemburg post 
office, where he worked until 1913. Graf began to study 
intensively with Adolf Holzel, a painter and glass designer, just 
before the outbreak of World War I. In 1916, during the war- 
time lull in artistic activity in Stuttgart, he began to experiment 
with woodcut and to prepare his book Der neue Holzschnitt und 
das Problem der kiinstlerischen Gestaltung (The new woodcut 
and the problem of artistic design), published in 1927. He took 
part in the three Herbstschaue neuer Kunst (Fall shows of new 
art) in 1919, 1920, and 1924 with the Uechtgruppe. In the 
introduction to the catalogue of the second of these exhibitions, 
Graf wrote of the "new life feeling," the "antithesis of dogma- 
tism and rationalism" affecting the culture of the time. The new 
art, he wrote, "is a new language which has never been spoken 
before. Its grammar is about to be built and can be learned. But 
this new language came only out of a new world view. ... It is 
a profound necessity, unwanted, imperative, the destiny of our 
time" ("Zur zweiten Herbstschau neuer Kunst," unpaginated). 
In Der neue Holzschnitt Graf emphasized the importance 
of contemporaneity in art and underscored the versatility of the 
woodcut and its ability to express the "artistic standpoints of 
the present." 

In 1937 Graf's works were removed from museum collections, 
and he was forced to disavow his earlier work and ideas, writing: 
"The war and its necessity pushed the mind to the other side, 
to the supernatural. A new mysticism appeared in religion and 
philosophy, and even in art, people took refuge in a transcen- 
dental idealism" (quoted in Werner P. Heyd, "Gottfried Graf: 
Zwischen 1905 und 1925," in Arbeiten auf Papier, p. 11). He 
died of lung cancer the following year. 

A. S. 

Gottfried Graf, 1881-1938: Arbeiten auf Papier, 1915-1925, 
exh. cat. (Grafenau: Galerie Schlichtenmaier, 1987); Gottfried 
Graf 1881-1938: Lagerkatalog: Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, 
Holzschnitte, Lithographien , Radierungen, exh. cat. 
(Grafenau: Galerie Schlichtenmaier, 1990); Gottfried Graf, 
"Zur zweiten Herbstschau neuer Kunst," in Zweite Herbstschau 
neuer Kunst, exh. cat. (Stuttgart: Kunstgebaude Stuttgart, 
1920); idem, Der neue Holzschnitt und das Problem der 
kiinstlerischen Gestaltung (Heilbronn: E. Salzer, 1927); Norbert 
Hull, Gottfried Graf, 1881-1938: Maler und Graphiker, Mit- 
glied des Holzelkreises (Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke, 1986). 

Cat. no. 46 



Walter Oropius 


47. Grabdenkmal der Mdrzgefallenen, 1923 

(Grave monument to the March dead, Weimar) 


5 5 /s x 8 s /s in. (13.7 x 22.0 cm) 

Print by Farkas MolnSr (1898-1944) 

The Resource Collections of the Getty Center for the History of Art 

and the Humanities 

A progressive architect with both functionalist and experi- 
mental leanings, Walter Gropius studied at the technical 
colleges in Munich and Berlin-Charlottenburg, then worked as 
an assistant in the office of Peter Behrens, where Le Corbusier 
and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe also worked. Gropius is credited 
with initiating the development of modern architectural con- 
sciousness and mass industrial production. His reputation was 
established with the Fagus shoe factory (1911) at Alfeld-an-der- 
Leine, which he designed in collaboration with Adolf Meyer. 

In both residential and commercial commissions, Gropius 
designed to allow the maximum admittance of natural light. 
His use of the glass curtain wall is best exemplified by the work- 
shops of the Bauhaus building (1926) at Dessau. Also innovative 
was his insistence on considering the laborer's perspective in 
the design of working environments. He advocated standardiza- 
tion, prefabrication, dry assembly, and teamwork as means of 
saving both time and money in construction, although this 
earned him considerable censure by domestic and international 
critics of less pragmatic convictions. Despite Gropius's renown 
as a progressive architect, a relatively classical approach to 
design characterizes structures in all phases of his career, from 
the Bauhaus faculty residences of 1925-26 to the American 
embassy in Athens of 1956. 

Gropius formed an alliance with the Expressionists during 
the period of revolutionary fervor following World War I, when 
he took a leading role in the Arbeitsrat ftlr Kunst (Working 
council for art) and Der Ring (The ring). He participated in the 
Glaserne Kette (Crystal chain) correspondence (under the 
pseudonym Mass [measure or proportion]) and propounded his 
theme of "the cathedral of the future" in a visionary pamphlet 

for the Ausstellung filr unbekannte Architekten (Exhibition 
of unknown architects). In 1918 he and Bruno Taut produced 
a manifesto advocating sweeping changes in urban planning. 
The following year Gropius wrote the Bauhaus manifesto, 
which expounded the ideals of the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst. As 
founder and director of the Bauhaus, he assembled an outstand- 
ing faculty that included Marcel Breuer, Mies van der Rohe, 
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Expressionist artists Lyonel Fein- 
inger, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee. The influence of 
Expressionism is evident in Gropius's first postwar projects, the 
Weimar monument (1922) and the Sommerfeld and Otte 
houses (1921-22) in Berlin. Stylistically these houses had little 
in common with each other and were much different from 
anything he later built. 

After the Nazis closed the Bauhaus in 1933 and attacked 
Gropius personally, the architect emigrated, first to England in 
1934 and then to the United States in 1937. From 1938 to 1952 
he taught at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and served 
as director of the architecture department. Thereafter he estab- 
lished a private practice and, unlike other German visionary 
architects of his time, became widely recognized for his achieve- 
ments during his lifetime, receiving numerous honors, includ- 
ing more than sixty honorary degrees. 



Marcel Franciscono, Walter Gropius and the Creation of the 
Bauhaus (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971); Walter 
Gropius, Architecture and Design in the Age of Science (New 
York: Spiral, 1952); idem, Scope of Total Architecture, ed. Ise 
Gropius (New York: Collier, 1962); idem, The New Architecture 
and the Bauhaus, trans. P. Morton Shand (Cambridge: MIT 
Press, 1965); Reginald Isaacs, Gropius: An Illustrated Biog- 
raphy of the Creator of the Bauhaus (Toronto: Little, Brown, 
1991); Hartmut Probst and Christian Schadlich, Walter 
Gropius, 2 vols. (Berlin: Ernst, 1986). 



Oeorge Oros? 

BORN 1893 BERLIN •=• DIED 1 9 5 9 BERLIN 

48. Mondnacht, 1915-16 
(Moonlit night) 
Transfer lithograph 

I4 n /i6x 11 '/sin. (37.4 x 29.6cm) 

From the portfolio Erste George Grosz-Mappe (1917) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

49. Vorstadt, 1915-16 

Transfer lithograph 

14V8X i2 5 /i6in. (37.1 x 31.0 cm) 

From the portfolio Erste George Grosz-Mappe (1917) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

50. ErinnerunganNewYork, 1915-16 
(Memory of New York) 

Transfer lithograph 

14 '/s x 11 '/sin. (37.8 x 29.6cm) 

From the portfolio Erste George Grosz-Mappe (1917) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

51. Strasse, 1915-16 

Transfer lithograph 

9 5 /s x 6 3 /i6 in. (23.8 x 15.7cm) 

From the portfolio Kleine Grosz Mappe (1917) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

See also cat. no. 79 

The self-proclaimed saddest man in Europe, George Grosz 
transcended his innate pessimism through a profound 
investigation of human nature. A born draftsman, he developed 
a linear style with a sharp satirical edge, creating an art that is as 
ruthless it is refined, at once misanthropic and whimsical. 

Born in Berlin, Georg Ehrenfried Gross was raised primarily 
in the provincial town of Stolp in Pomerania. His interest in art 
blossomed when the head of a local decorating firm gave him 
lessons in the elegant linear techniques of Jugendstil. He stud- 
ied classical drawing at the academy in Dresden in 1909 but was 
attracted to the popular art and satire of such periodicals as 
Simplicissimus. Soon he was publishing caricatures while con- 
suming pulp novels portraying a demimonde of illicit and often 
violent relationships between the sexes, later reflected in such 
favorite Grosz subjects as the Lustmord (crime of passion). His 
fascination with America is seen in his portrayals of New York 
and the "Wild West" as well as in personas he enacted publicly, 
such as the prizefighter and the gun-wielding urban cowboy. 

Back in Berlin in 1912, Grosz studied intermittently at the 
school of applied arts until 1916 under Emil Orlik, who was 
sympathetic to modern art and introduced him to the linear 
arabesques of Jules Pascin and the sparsely delineated planes of 
Ferdinand Hodler, During a brief sojourn in Paris in 1913, 
Grosz learned to sketch fleeting poses at the Atelier Colarossi 
and used this technique to portray Berlin's bustling streets and 
cafe life. 

Grosz's development was irreversibly altered by World War I, 
which brought two medical discharges and treatment for psy- 
chological disorders in 1917. During this period he established 
a close relationship with Wieland Herzfelde and his brother 
Helmut, who, like Grosz, anglicized his name (to John Heart- 
field) in opposition to anti-British propaganda. Committed 
pacifists, the two brothers were becoming involved in publish- 
ing and eventually established Malik Verlag. Impressed by 
Grosz's reeling urban scenes imbued with the dynamism and 
fragmentation of Italian Futurism, they featured his work in 
their earliest publications and produced his first portfolios, Erste 
George Grosz-Mappe (First George Grosz portfolio, 1917) and 
Kleine Grosz Mappe (Little Grosz portfolio, 1917). 

During the political and social upheaval that followed the 
armistice of 1918, Grosz refined the sparse linear gestures of 
graffiti and caricature in his mordant observations of human 
behavior, producing his most politically effective works. They 
include the portfolios Gott mit uns (God with us, 1920), 
directed against militarism, and Die Rauber (The robbers, 
1922), presenting exploitative capitalists and exploited workers, 
as well as the books Das Gesicht der herrschenden Klasse 
(The face of the ruling class, 1921) and Ecce Homo (1922-23), 
portraying the dehumanization and moral depravity of bourgeois 
society. The publication of Hintergrund (Background, 1928), 
a set of stage designs for Erwin Piscator's production of a play 
based on Jaroslav Hasek's novel The Good Soldier Schweik, like 
that of Gott mit uns and Ecce Homo, resulted in legal pro- 
ceedings against Grosz and Herzfelde, which served to increase 
the artist's notoriety and political effectiveness. Nonetheless 
Grosz remained deeply skeptical of political ideology, placing 
his faith solely in art as a means of revealing the hypocrisy 
and injustice he saw around him. 


Alexander Diickers, George Grosz: Das druckgraphische Werk 
(Frankfurt: Propylaen, 1979); M. Kay Flavell, George Grosz: 
A Biography (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1988); 
George Grosz, The Autobiography of George Grosz: A Small 
Yes and a Big No, trans. Arnold J. Pomerans (London and New 
York: Allison and Busby, 1982); Hans Hess, George Grosz 
(London: Studio Vista, 1974); Beth Irwin Lewis, George Grosz: 
Art and Politics in the Weimar Republic, rev. ed. (Princeton, 
N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1991). 



Wenscl Hat>Iil< 


52. Kristallschloss, 1903 
(Crystal castle) 
Watercolor and pencil 

7 ,5 /i6 x 5 ,5 /]6in. (20.1 x 15.1 cm) 
Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

53. Der Bau der Luftkolonie, 1908 
(The construction of the air colony) 

8 !1 /i6 x 7 '/sin. (22.0 x 18.1 cm) 
Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

54. Untitled, 1909 

7'/2x yVi'm. (19.0 x 19.0cm) 

Plate 1 from the portfolio Schaffende Krafte (1909) 

Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 


55. Untitled, 

7 5 /8 x 7 5 /8in. (19.4 x 19.4 cm) 

Plate 2 from the portfolio Schaffende Krafte (1909) 

Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

56. Untitled, 1909 

7'/2x7'/2in. (19.0 x 19.0 cm) 

Plate 4 from the portfolio Schaffende Krafte (1909) 

Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

57. Untitled, 1909 

7V8 x 7 5 /s in. (19.3 x 19.3 cm) 

Plate 7 from the portfolio Schaffende Krafte (1909) 

Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

58. Original Skizze des lnneren eines Schautcmpch, 1914 
(Original sketch of the interior of a display temple) 

Ink, pencil, and watercolor on board 
i9'/s x I2 15 /i6in. (49.8 x 32.5 cm) 
Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

59. Festbauten: "Triumpf der Cesetze in der Natur!" 1920 
(Festival buildings: "Triumph of the laws of nature!") 

25 5 /8 x i9 5 /8in. (64.4 x 49.2 cm) 
Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

60. Hochschulen fur Mincralogie im Gebirge, 1920 
(Institutes for mineralogy in the mountains) 

Ink and watercolor on parchment 
25% x I9 n /i6in. (65.0 x 50.0 cm) 
Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

61. Kristalline Sehlucht, c. 1920 
(Crystalline chasm) 

12% x 9'/-! in. (32.6 x 24.8cm) 
Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

62. Siedlungsanlage einer Familie, c. 1920 
(Family housing plan) 

Blueprint (white on blue) 
9'/i6 x 12 in. (23.0 x 30.5 cm) 
Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

63. Siedlung Schwarzwald, 1920 
(Black Forest settlement) 

Ink on vellum, glued to board 
22 5 /8 x i9 5 /sin. (57.5 x 49.8 cm) 
Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

64. "Zic/e" fur die Jugend (schwer zu erreichen im Gebirge. 
Wunder-Bauten), 1920 

("Goals" for youth [difficult to reach in the mountains. Miracle 


Pencil, colored pencil, and ink on vellum 

i6'/s x 23% in. (41.5 x 60.5 cm) 

Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

65. Wohnhaus und Atelier. 1921 
(Residence and studio) 

Colored pencil and pencil on cardboard 
25V8 x I9 u /i6in. (65.1 x 50.0cm) 
Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

66. Canonbauten, 1925 
(Canonical buildings) 

9 7 /s x 7 1! /i6in. (25.0 x 19.5 cm) 

Plate 4 from the portfolio Cyklus Architektur— Ubergangsbauten 


Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

67. Freitragende Konstruktion, 1925 
(Self-supporting construction) 

7 5 /s x 9 3 /4in. (19.4 x 24.7 cm) 

Plate 11 from the portfolio Cyklus Architektur— Utopie (1925) 

Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

68. Museum im Hochgebirge, 1925 
(Museum in the high mountains) 

qVs x 7 n /i6in. (25.0 x 19.5 cm) 

Plate 15 from the portfolio Cyklus Architektur — Utopie (1925) 

Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

69. Da wohnten Menschen auf kristall'nen Bdumcn, 1925 
(There humans lived on crystal trees) 


n'Axii in. (28.5 x 28.0cm) 

Plate 17 from the portfolio Cyklus Architektur — Utopie (1925) 

Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

70. Fliegende Siedlung, 1925 
(Flying settlement) 

9 15 /i6x 7'/2 in. (24.9 x 19.1 cm) 

Plate 19 from the portfolio Cyklus Architektur — Utopie (1925) 

Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

71. Entdecker-Siedlung, 1925 
(Explorers' colony) 

7 5 /s x 9 "/tain. (19.3 x 24.9cm) 

Plate 20 from the portfolio Cyklus Architektur — Utopie (1925) 

Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 



Wenzel Hablik's occasional boyhood walks through the 
mountains near Bruux— and one outing in particular, 
during which he discovered a fascinating quartz crystal — 
inspired his lifelong obsession with crystals and other geological 
formations. His fanciful Schaffende Krafte (Creative forces, 
1909), a portfolio of twenty etchings portraying a voyage through 
an imaginary universe of crystalline structures, represents the 
most significant accomplishment of his career. He later made 
two additional portfolios of etchings: Das Meer (The sea, 1918) 
and Cyklus Architektur — Utopie (Architectural cycle — Utopia, 
1925). The former was inspired by his experience of living for 
a few months in art critic Ferdinand Avenarius's artists' colony 
on the north Frisian island of Sylt. The latter work is a mani- 
festo and collection of characteristic architectural images: the 
airborne colony, the exhibition temple, the domed building, 
and the tower. 

Although Hablik is best known for the architectural fantasies 
he created after 1918 — mainly in association with the Arbeit- 
srat fur Kunst (Working council for art) and as W. H. in the 
Glaserne Kette (Crystal chain) correspondence — he was origi- 
nally a master cabinetmaker, having studied at the trade school 
in Teplitz, the school of applied arts in Vienna, and the acad- 
emy in Prague. After 1907 he settled in Itzehoe, where he and 
his wife, Lisbeth Lindemann, established the Werkstatt ftir 
Handweberei (Atelier for hand weaving) in 1927. The architec- 
tural projects that he was able to realize were interior design 
and redesign schemes in Itzehoe, including the restaurant at the 
Hotel Central, the town hall, and several private residences. 


Ewald Bender, "Radierungen von Wenzel Hablik," Deutsche 
Kunst und Dekoration 26 (1910): 165-70; Axel Feuss, "Zu 
Wenzel Habliks friihen Architekturphantasien," in Steinburger 
Jahrbuch 1987 31 (1986): 50-67; idem, 'Auf dem Weg in die 
Utopie: Architekturphantasien, Innenraume und Kunsthand- 
werk von Wenzel Hablik," Ph.D. diss., Universitat Hamburg, 
1989; Hablik: Designer, Utopian, Architect, Expressionist, 
Artist, 1881-1934, exn > cat. (London: Architectural Asso- 
ciation, 1980); Wolfgang Reschke, "Wenzel Hablik: The 
'Schaffende Krafte' Folio and Its Relationship to Expressionist 
Aims and Ideals," The Architectural Association Quarterly 12, 
no. 3 (1980): 25-38; Heinz Spielmann and Susanne Timm, 
Wenzel Hablik (Schleswig: Schlesw ig-Holsteinisches Landes- 
museum, 1990); Anthony Tischhauser, "Wenzel Hablik: 
Crystal Utopias," Architectural Association Quarterly 12, no. 3 
(1980): 18-24; Wenzel Hablik: Attraverso 1'espressionismo I 
Wenzel Hablik: Expressionismus und Utopie, exh. cat. 
(Florence: Museo Mediceo, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, 1989). 

-:>'-« ; 



Cat. no. 61 

Cat. no. 60 


<.|V^K F>AKU^ 

Cat. no. 63 


tvE&t'MA-n ^* , r j • 


■/D-lh-i-. M 

/jA f*j/L fjk* ZfOy 

Cat. no. 53 

Cat. no. 70 




Cat. no. 71 



Kaoul H 



72. Untitled, c. 1917 

5 9 /i6x 2'/2in. (14.1 x 6.4 cm) 

Proof apart from edition published in Raoul Hausmann, Material der 

Malerei, Plastik, Architektur (1918) 

Private collection 

73. Untitled, 1918 
Hand-colored woodcut 
i2 7 /i6x 6 7 /sin. (31.5 x 17.5 cm) 

From Raoul Hausmann, Materia! der Malerei, Plastik, Architektur 


Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Museum fur Moderne Kunst, 

Photographie und Architektur 

74. Abstrakte Bildidee (Andruck aus den "Dadaco"), 1919 
(Abstract picture idea [Dadaco proof]) 

Offset lithograph 

Sheet: i2'/s x 9'/i6in. (32.1 x 23.0 cm) 

Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Museum fur Moderne Kunst. 

Photographie und Architektur 

75. Jelzddllomds, 1919 
Photomechanical reproduction 
8 x 8 in. (20.3 x 20.3 cm) 
From MA 7, no. 5-6 (1922): 5 

The Resource Collections of the Getty Center for the History of Art 
and the Humanities 

76. Untitled, 1919 

8 'Ax 5 13 /i6 in. (22.0 x 14.7cm) 

Proposed cover for Adolf Behne, Volk, Kunst und Bildung. Eine 


Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Museum fur Moderne Kunst, 

Photographie und Architektur 

77. Dada Cino, 1920 

12V2 x 8 7 /sin. (31.7 x 22.5 cm) 
Private collection 

78. Elasticum, 1920 

12M6X i4 9 /i6in. (31.0 x 37.0cm) 
Galerie Berinson, Berlin 

Raoul Hausmann received his early training in the academic 
tradition from his father, painter Victor Hausmann. In 
1900 he moved to Berlin, where he later became a central figure 
in the Dada movement. His important friendship with the 
eccentric architect and artist Johannes Baader began in 1905. 
In the first years of the following decade he was associated with 
Erich Heckel and Ludwig Meidner, producing numerous 
Expressionist paintings and woodcuts, several of which were 
published in his book Material der Malerei. Plastik, Architektur 
(Material of painting, sculpture, architecture, 1918). These 
works incorporated influences of artists shown at Herwarth Wal- 
den's Sturm gallery, including Alexander Archipenko, Robert 
Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, Fernand Leger, and Arthur Segal. 
Around 191 5 Hausmann's widening contacts with writers such 
as Salomo Friedlander and Franz Jung led him to begin publish- 

Cat. no. 72 

ing his prolific theoretical and satirical writings in Der Sturm 
(The storm), Die Aktion (Action), Die freie Strasse (Free street), 
and other avant-garde periodicals. Also in 1915 he met Hannah 
Hoch, who was his companion and collaborator until 1922. 

By 1917 Hausmann was associated with George Grosz, John 
Heartfield, Wieland Herzfelde, and Richard Huelsenbeck. 
who formed the nucleus of Dada in Berlin during 1918-20. In 
1918 Hausmann advocated automatism in his "Manifest von 
der Gesetzmassigkeit des Lautes" (Manifesto on the lawfulness 
of sound) and the use of new materials in art in his Dada 
manifesto Synthetisches Cino der Malerei (Synthetic cinema of 
painting). His innovative art forms included "poster-poems" 
and "optophonetic" poetry, which presented random sequences 
of letters as phonetic sounds (for example, "OFFEAHBDC," 
1918, and "L'inconnu" [The unknown], 1919); assemblages 
made of objets trouves; and photocollages that combined frag- 
ments of photographs, typography, woodcuts, and other 
materials. Although his works were often ironic celebrations 
of modern technology, mass media, and the world of fashion, 
his message followed the monist mystical tradition, in which 
all matter is viewed as inextricably bound with spirit. 


Hausmann's architectonic compositions of repeated forms 
anticipated the functionalist aesthetic of Constructivism, 
simultaneously retaining the irregularities and coincidences 
found in nature. Around r920 he adopted the ambiguous spatial 
effects of Giorgio de Chirico's metaphysical works, using pre- 
cise, realistic technical drawing combined with watercolor to 
extol the engineer and technician. 

During the 1920s Hausmann embraced physiology under 
the influence of neo-Kantian philosopher Jacob Ernst Marcus, 
proposing biologically based "presentism" as an alternative to 
technologically inspired Constructivism. His associates at this 
time included Theo van Doesburg, Viking Eggeling, Werner 
Graeff, Lajos Kassak, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Hans Richter, and 
Kurt Schwitters. By the late 1920s Hausmann was working 
primarily in photography, and his preoccupation with the fun- 
damental unity of the senses led to the development of the 
optophone, a device intended to convert light into sound. In 
1933 he fled to Ibiza, where he wrote ethnographic studies of 
indigenous architecture. Eventually settling in Limoges, he 

resumed painting, produced his first photograms, and created 
gestural pictograms in drawings, gouaches, and collages. For all 
its diversity, Hausmann's art was consistently directed toward 
the attainment of a new language of forms and signs appropriate 
to the modern psyche. 


Timothy O. Benson, Raoul Hausmann and Berlin Dada (Ann 
Arbor, Mich.: UMI Research Press, 1987); Michael Erlhoff, 
Raoul Hausmann, Dadasoph: Versuch einer Politisierung der 
Asthetik (Hannover: Zweitschrift, 1982); Michel Giroud, Raoul 
Hausmann: "]e ne suis pas un photographs" (Paris: Chene, 
1975); Raoul Hausmann, Courrier Dada (Paris: Terrain Vague, 
1958); idem, Am Anfang war Dada, ed. Karl Riha and Gtinter 
Kampf, 2d ed. (Giessen: Anabas, 1980); idem, Texte bis 1933, 
ed. Michael Erlhoff, 2 vols. (Munich: Text und Kritik, 1982); 
Raoul Hausmann, exh. cat., Malmo Konsthalls Katalog no. 67 
(Malmo: Konsthall, 1980). 

FiJ^»«.Ufitt van k'4*At fc - L'soe 
DcfZwccnutift / freeing l' I 

Cat. no. 76 

: ; :'. i 

Cat. no. 73 



John fleartrteld 


79. With George Grosz 

Leben und Treiben in Universal-City, um 12 Uhr 5 Mittags, c. 1919 

(Life and times in universal city at five past noon) 

Photomechanical reproduction 

13X I5 n /i6 in. (33. ox 39.9cm) 

Lost collage reproduced on the cover of the exhibition catalogue 

Erste international Dada-Messe (1920) 

Special Collections Department of the Northwestern University 


John Heartfield is best known for his mastery of photomon- 
tage, a medium that he helped develop as part of the Berlin 
Dada movement during the 1910s and that he used as a vehicle 
for biting political satire over the subsequent two decades. Born 
Helmut Herzfelde, he was the son of a socialist poet father (who 
wrote under the pseudonym Franz Held) and a textile worker 
mother. Orphaned in 1898, he and his younger brother, Wie- 
land, were raised by a foster family in Austria. After a brief stint 
as an apprentice in a relative's bookstore in Wiesbaden in 1905, 
Heartfield began to pursue his interest in art. He studied pri- 
vately with Hermann Bouffier, then attended the state school of 
applied arts in Munich (1908-11) before moving to Berlin, 
where he attended the school of applied arts from 1912 until 
the outbreak of war in 1914. 

After a brief military career that ended in early 1915, when 
he feigned insanity in order to receive a discharge, Heartfield 
returned to Berlin, where he met George Grosz, with whom he 
began making collaged postcards (purportedly designed for 
mailing to the front). By 1916 both artists had anglicized their 
names in protest against German war propaganda, and when 
Wieland Herzfelde departed for the front that year, they took 
over his little magazine, Die neue Jugend (New youth), which 
was soon banned on account of its subversive content. This 
prompted the two brothers in 1917 to found Malik Verlag, an 
activist publishing house in which Grosz became a principal 
participant, creating his portfolios Erste George Grosz-Mappe 
(First George Grosz portfolio, 1917) and Kleine Grosz Mappe 
(Little Grosz portfolio, 1917). At about this time Heartfield 
worked as a film director and designer, creating special effects 
for (intentionally unfinished) government propaganda films. 
Also in 1917 he began a long career as a designer of book covers, 
producing numerous covers for Malik Verlag publications by 
Upton Sinclair and other popular socialist writers in the 1920s. 

In 1918 Heartfield joined the radical Spartacist League and 
the Communist party, editing its satirical periodical Der rote 
Knuppel (The red cudgel) and contributing photomontages to 

its ideological organ Die rote Fahne (The red flag). In 1919 he 
was the first to publish a Dada photomontage (on the cover of 
the periodical Jedermann sein eigner Fussball [Everyone his own 
football]). Proclaiming himself the "Dadamonteur" (or Dada 
assembler), he created photomontages for Dada publications, 
including the periodical Der Dada, which he edited with Grosz 
and Raoul Hausmann. Together with Grosz, Heartfield created 
the photocollage Leben und Treiben in Universal-City, um 12 
Uhr 5 Mittags (Life and times in universal city at five past 
noon, c. 1919), which was reproduced on the cover of the 1920 
Erste Internationale Dada-Messe (First international Dada 
fair) exhibition catalogue, as well as many other photocollages, 
which the two artists signed "Grosz-Heartfield Concern" as 
a protest against elitism and the cult of artistic genius. 

During the 1920s and 1930s Heartfield became more conser- 
vative artistically while maintaining his radical communist phi- 
losophy, which he expounded in innumerable photomontages 
directed toward the working class and in his 1929 book written 
in collaboration with dramatist Kurt Tucholsky, Deutschland, 
Deutschland iiber alles (Germany, Germany above all). His 
most widely known photomontages appeared in the 1930s on 
the covers of A/Z (Arbeiter-illustnerten Zeitung [Workers' illus- 
trated newspaper]), which was based first in Berlin, then in 
Prague, to which Heartfield immigrated in 1933. In 1938 he 
fled to England, where he was interned in 1940. In 1950 he 
returned to East Germany, where he designed stage sets and 
later produced photocollages protesting the Vietnam War. 


David Evans, John Heartfield, A/Z: Arbeiter-illustrierte 
Zeitung, Volks illustrierte, 1930-38, ed. Anna Lundgren (New 
York: Kent, 1992); John Heartfield, Der Schnitt entlang der 
Zeit: Selbstzeugnisse, Erinnerungen, Interpretationen: Eine 
Dokumentation, ed. Roland Marz (Dresden: VEB Verlag der 
Kunst, 1981); idem, John Heartfield: Leben und Werk, ed. 
Wieland Herzfelde (Dresden: VEB Verlag der Kunst, 1976); 
Douglas Kahn, John Heartfield: Art and Mass Media (New 
York: Tanam Press, 1985); Peter Pachnicke and Klaus Honnef, 
eds. , John Heartfield, exh. cat. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 
1992); Eckhard Siepmann, Montage, John Heartfield: Vom 
Club Dada zur Arbeiter-illustrierten Zeitung: Dokumente, 
Analysen, Berichte, 7. Aufl., 2. Aufl. der gekiirzten 
Sonderausg. (Berlin: Elefanten, 1988). 



brich Heckel 


80. Stehendes Kind, 1910 
(Standing child) 

Color woodcut 

i4 3 /4 x io"/i6in. (37.5 x 27.4cm) 

From the portfolio Briicke VI (1911) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

81. Szene im Wald, 1910 
(Scene in the woods) 

]] x i3 B /4in. (28.0 x 34.9cm) 

From the portfolio Briicke VI (1911) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

82. Badende am Teich, 1912 
(Bathers at the pond) 

5M6 X4y]din. (13.1 x 11.0cm) 

From the exhibition catalogue Ausstellung von Kiinstlergruppe 

Briicke (1912) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

83. Ballspielende, 1912 
(Ball players) 

7 5 /8 x 10% in. (19.3 x 27.3 cm) 
Granvil and Marcia Specks collection 

84. Kniende am Stein, 1913 
(Woman kneeling near a rock) 

19V4 x i2 5 /tin. (50.2 x 32.3 cm) 
Granvil and Marcia Specks collection 

85. Parksee, 1914 
(Lake in a park) 

q l A x 7 15 /i6in. (24.8 x 19.9 cm) 
Granvil and Marcia Specks collection 

86. Sonnenaufgang, 1914 


9 7 /8X I2 n /i6 in. (25.2 x 32.3cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Gift of Dr. Ernest Schwarz 

87. Zwei am Meet, 1920 
(Two by the sea) 

7x 5V16 in. (17.8 x 13.5 cm) 

From the deluxe edition of Paul Westheim, Das Holzschmttbuch 


Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

Cat. no. 87 

Like his Briicke (Bridge) colleagues Otto Mueller, Ernst 
Ludwig Kirchner, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel 
was fascinated by the nude as a symbol of nature. His aspiration 
to endow his works with monumental content, expressing the 
essence of what he depicted and not simply his feelings, may 
have stemmed from his early passion for literature. The writings 
of Friedrich Nietzsche and Fyodor Dostoyevski in particular 
absorbed him from his high school days onward. Kirchner 
called Heckel "the most intense one of us," and he was perhaps 
also the least theoretically inclined Briicke member. In 1914 he 
wrote: "The formulation of a program is . . . better left to those 
who will come later, who work theoretically and scientifically, 
not creatively. The unknown, as well as the unwanted, is the 
source of artistic power" ("Das neue Programm," Kunst und 
Kunstler 12 [March 1914]: 309). 

Heckel's family was solidly middle class. His father was a 
railway engineer, and his family moved frequently during his 
youth. A student at the vocational high school in Chemnitz, 
Heckel met Karl Schmidt (later Schmidt-Rottluff) in 1901 
while the latter was attending the more prestigious humanistic 
high school, and together they participated in a literary 
debating society. 


Hannah Hoch 

After leaving Chemnitz in 1904 to study architecture at the 
technical college in Dresden, Heckel met Kirchner and the 
following year formed the Brticke with Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, 
and Schmidt-Rottluff. Heckel assumed the role of manager of 
the group, arranging for the four to work in his studio, a refur- 
bished butcher's shop, until 1906, when he found a more con- 
ventional space. It was also largely due to his influence that Max 
Pechstein joined the group in 1906. Unlike the other Brticke 
artists, who devoted themselves entirely to personal artistic pur- 
suits, Heckel continued his involvement with architecture, 
working as an assistant in the office of the architect Wilhelm 
Kreis until 1907. With the aid of Heckel's acquaintance Karl 
Ernst Osthaus, the Brucke was able to participate in the 1910 
Sonderbund exhibition in Diisseldorf. Two years later the group 
participated in the Sonderbund's international exhibition, for 
which Heckel and Kirchner painted part of the exhibition space. 

With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Heckel volun- 
teered for service in the Red Cross. He spent most of the war in 
Flanders, continuing to paint and draw (although with limited 
supplies necessitated by the war). In 1922 he undertook a monu- 
mental project lasting nearly two years, which he titled Stufen 
des Daseins (Steps of consciousness), painting the walls and 
ceiling of a medieval house in the town of Erfurt. During the 
remainder of the 1920s, he traveled throughout Europe with 
his wife, Siddi, concentrating on the depiction of landscape. 
Like his Brucke colleagues, Heckel was forbidden to work by the 
National Socialists and was represented in the Entartete Kunst 
(Degenerate art) exhibition in Munich in 1937. After the war he 
accepted a position at the academy in Karlsruhe and continued 
to travel. 

A. S. 


Annemarie Dube and Wolf-Dieter Dube, Erich Heckel: Das 
graphische Werk, 3 vols. (New York: E. Rathenau, 1974); 
Karlheinz Gabler, ed., Ericri Heckel und sein Kreis: Doku- 
mente, Fotos, Briefe, Schriften (Stuttgart: Belser, 1983); idem, 
Erich Heckel: Zeichnungen, Aquarelle, exh. cat. (Stuttgart: 
Belser, 1984); Prints by Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff: 
A Centenary Celebration, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles 
County Museum of Art, 1985); Magdalena M. Moeller, Erich 
Heckel: Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik aus dem 
Brucke-Museum Berlin (Berlin: Brticke-Museum, 1991); Paul 
Vogt, Erich Heckel { Recklinghausen: Aurel Bongers, 1965). 


88. Mechanischer Garten, 1920 
(Mechanical garden) 

28% x i8'/2 in. (73.0 x 47.0 cm) 

H. Marc Moyens, Alexandria, Virginia 

89. Hochfinanz, 1923 
(High finance) 

14M6X i2 5 /i6in. (36.0 x 31.0 cm) 
Galerie Berinson, Berlin 

90. Kabarett Buhnc I, 1924-25 
(Cabaret stage I) 

i3 3 /4x i9 9 /i6in. (35.0 x 49.7cm) 

Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Museum fiir Moderne Kunst, 

Photographie und Architektur 

91. Raum fur ein Kabarett, 1924-25 
(Room for a cabaret) 

Woodcut with watercolor and collage 

7 9 /i6 x 1 1 V16 in. (19.2 x 29.0 cm) 

Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Museum fiir Moderne Kunst, 

Photographie und Architektur 

Affiliated with the rambunctious Berlin Dadaists, the circle 
around Kurt Schwitters in Hannover, and later the Dutch 
De Stijl group, Hannah Hoch developed a collage style that 
bears the imprint of Dadaism yet differs markedly in technique 
and subject matter from the work of other artists associated with 
the movement. In her collages she explored the roles and repre- 
sentation of women, notably during the Weimar era. 

In 1912 Hoch began her studies at the school of applied arts in 
Berlin. She studied painting with Emil Orlik in 1915. In that 
year she also became acquainted with Raoul Hausmann. They 
soon formed an intimate friendship and lived together until 
1922. In 1916 Hoch began to experiment with new art forms, 
creating her first abstract collages and making dolls. She later 
ventured into photomontage, a technique she developed in col- 
laboration with Hausmann in 1918. Her encounter with Schwit- 
ters at the Sturm gallery in 1918 led to a lifelong friendship. 
They later collaborated on Dada performances, and Hoch con- 
tributed to his first Merzbau assemblage in Hannover in 1922. 

In 1919 Hoch participated in the first Dada exhibition at I. B. 
Neumann's Graphisches Kabinett. She contributed to the jour- 
nal Der Dada and regularly exhibited with the Novembergruppe 
(November group). In 1920 she participated in the Ersre inter- 
national Dada-Messe (First international Dada fair) in Berlin. 
As the Berlin Dada movement began to wane in 1921, she went 
with Hausmann and Schwitters to Prague, where they gave 
"anti-Dada" and Merz performances. 







During Hoch's first stay in Paris, in 1924, she had been 
introduced to Piet Mondrian. Their acquaintance was renewed 
during her second sojourn there, and this led to contacts with 
the other members of the De Stijl group. Hoch lived in the Neth- 
erlands from 1926 to 1929. There she met the Dutch writer Til 
Brugman, with whom she returned to Berlin in 1929. Several of 
her photomontages were included in the 1929 exhibition Film 
und Foto (Film and photography) in Stuttgart, organized by the 
Werkbund. Her work began to be shown internationally, but 
the National Socialists' rise to power forced her into seclusion. 
She was one of the first so-called degenerate artists to exhibit 
after the war. 



Gotz Adriani, Hannah Hoch: Fotomontagen, Gemalde, 
Aquarelle (Cologne: DuMont, 1980); Maud Lavin, Cut with 
the Kitchen Knife: The Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Hoch 
(New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1993); Elisabeth 
Moortgat and Cornelia Thater-Schulz, Hannah Hoch, i88g- 
1978: IhrWerk, ihrLeben, ihre Freunde, exh. cat. (Berlin: Ber- 
linische Galerie, 1989); Cornelia Thater-Schulz, ed., Hannah 
Hoch: Eine Lebenscollage, 2 vols. (Berlin: Argon, 1989). 

92. Projekt eines Friedhofs bei Prag, 1912 

(Project for a cemetery near Prague) 

Linocut with printed text on verso 

9 5 /8 x I2 l5 /i6in. (24.4 x 32.9cm) 

Proof apart from edition published in Der Sturm 5, no. 3 (1914): 21 

Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

Known primarily as a Cubist architect, Vlastislav Hofman 
also produced outstanding work in the areas of stage 
design, painting, and graphics and wrote extensively on politi- 
cal themes and the philosophy of art. From 1902 to 1907 he 
studied architecture in Prague. He was self-taught as a visual 
artist. In 191 1-12 he cofounded Skupina vytvarych umelcu 
(Avant-garde artists' group) in Prague. He was also a member 
of the Manes art union and of the Tvrdsijny (Stubborn) group 
and wrote for the social democratic journal Provo lidu (Human 
rights). He was represented in the 1914 Cubist exhibition 
in Prague. 

Hofman's linoleum cuts were published in Der Sturm (The 
storm) in 1914 and 1928, and from about 1918 he submitted 
drawings to Die Aktion (Action). Outstanding among his 
graphic works is his portfolio Das Hochzeitshemd (The wedding 
shirt). He also produced numerous stage designs, particularly 
for the Vinohrader theater in Prague. 



Douglas Cooper, The Cubist Epoch (London: Phaidon Press in 
association with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and 
the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1970). 


20 3 

Karl Hubtuich 


93. Probe im Crossen Schauspielhaus, 1922 

(Rehearsal in the Grosses Schauspielhaus) 


5 Vs x 7V1 in. (14.3 x 19.0 cm) 

Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Museum fur Moderne Kunst, 

Photographie und Architektur 

Karl Hubbuch was a tireless observer of the metropolis and 
its inhabitants. Recording the social inequity and squalor of 
life in Berlin in a style akin to that of George Grosz and Otto 
Dix, he focused on the life of the street, with its crime, vio- 
lence, and greed. Hubbuch often chronicled the way the city's 
architectural and public spaces affected the people living there. 
Although he was born in Karlsruhe and spent most of his life 
there — he was a professor at the Karlsruhe academy from 1925 
until 1933 and again from 1948 until 1957— his frequent trips to 
Berlin and Paris helped form his vision of the city as a place of 
entrapment and confusion. He often portrayed the metropolis as 
a corrupting force, one that warped relations between individ- 
uals, turning business into exploitation and profiteering; turn- 
ing romance into rape, crimes of passion, and prostitution; and 
turning ordinary citizens into voyeurs. In one of his many chalk 
drawings, for example, a woman squints along a deserted train 
platform near an enormous sign reading Kein Ausweg (no exit), 
while curious eyes peer out at her from high apartment building 
windows in the background. 

Trained at the Karlsruhe academy and subsequently at the 
school of the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin from 1912 until 
he was drafted in 1914, Hubbuch was a schoolmate of fellow 
Neue Sachlichkeit (new objectivity) artists Grosz, Georg Scholz, 

and Rudolf Schlichter. The latter described Hubbuch as 
reserved, noting that he seldom associated with his fellow stu- 
dents but that his work astounded them with its "mysterious, 
empty rooms, in which ghostlike furniture stood or horrifying 
instruments were lying around, crushed beds, which looked 
more like the teleplasm of spiritual apparitions than like real 
human dwellings . . . bleak big-city alley buildings, facades with 
repugnant ornamentation and gaping black window holes. . . . 
The very sober precision of his strokes intensified the effect to 
that of gruesome fantasy" (quoted in Karl Hubbuch zum 100. 
Geburtstag, pp. 87-88). 

Removed from his professorship and forbidden to work by the 
National Socialists in 1933, Hubbuch took various jobs until 
the end of the war. After 1945 he once again took up political 
caricature and portraits of the city, such as his 1970 series of 
drawings of Paris, entitled Die Hauptstadt (The capital). 



Wolfgang Hartmann, Karl Hubbuch: Der Zeichner, exh. cat. 
(Hannover: Wilhelm Busch Museum, 1991); Karl Hubbuch, 
1891-1979: Gemdlde, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik: Geddcht- 
nisausstellung zum 100. Geburtstag, exh. cat. (Grafenau: 
Galerie Schlichtenmaier, 1991); Karl Hubbuch zum 100. 
Geburtstag, exh. cat. (Munich: Galerie Michael Hasenclever, 
1991); Hans Kinkel, Der fruhe Hubbuch: Zeichnungen und 
Druckgraphik, 1911 bis 1925, exh. cat. (Bremen: Kunsthalle 
Bremen, 1973); Diether Schmidt, Karl Hubbuch, exh. cat. 
(Milan: Galleria del Levante, 1976); Michael Schvvarz and 
Beatrice Vierneisel, eds., Karl Hubbuch, 1891-1979, exh. cat. 
(Karlsruhe: Badischer Kunstverein, 1981). 


Johannes II 

mnes ltten 

1967 ZURICH 

94. Rhythmen, 1916 


9'/2 x 7 5 /sin. (24.1 x 19.4 cm) 

Kuntsmuseum Bern. Johannes Itten-Stiftung 

95. Der Turm, 1917 
(The tower) 

10 '/s x 7 '/tin. (25.7 x 18.5cm) 
Private collection 

q6. Komposition, loiq 



23 5 /s x i7 5 /4in. (60.0 x 45.0cm) 

Plate 8 from the portfolio Johannes ltten: 10 Original-Lithographien 


Kunstmuseum Bern. Johannes Itten-Stiftung 

97. Analysen alter Meister, 1921 

(Analyses of old masters) 

Offset lithograph 

1 3 '/ie xg'/iin. (33.2 x 24.8 cm) 

From Bruno Adler, ed., Utopia: Dokumente der Wirklichkeit (1921) 

(see also cat. no. 190) 

The Resource Collections of the Getty Center for the History of Art 

and the Humanities 

Johannes Itten's introspective, philosophical temperament 
shaped the Bauhaus in its early years in Weimar. He was an 
odd figure, with his funnel-shaped monk's costume, his shaved 
head, and an interest in Eastern religion bordering on obses- 
sion. He was idolized by students and reviled by critics for his 
unconventional teaching methods, which included breathing 
exercises and physical acting out of shapes such as squares and 
circles. Yet he contributed much of lasting value not only to the 
Bauhaus but also to the discipline of art instruction itself. 

In 1904 ltten entered the teacher training college for the can- 
ton of Bern in Hofwil, where his teachers included Hans Klee, 
Paul Klee's father, who encouraged his interest in piano, and 
the drawing teacher Emil Prochaska, who invited ltten to pur- 
sue his interest in visual art. After two years he moved to Bern, 
where he continued his studies and, in 1908, found work as a 
primary school teacher. During this period he began to develop 
his teaching methods. He encouraged students to derive emo- 
tional inspiration from artists of earlier eras, with the aim of 
"freeing and deepening [their] expressive ability" (Design and 
Form, p. 147). 

In 1909 ltten decided to become an artist and enrolled in the 
school of fine arts in Geneva. The education he received there 
was disappointingly traditional, however, and in 1910 he signed 
up for a secondary-school teacher preparation program at the 
university in Bern. After his graduation in 1912 he had his first 
opportunity to travel to Europe's art capitals. Impressed by the 
work of Wassily Kandinsky and the pioneering styles of the 


Cat. no. 94 

Impressionists, Postimpressionists, and Cubists, ltten decided 
to continue his art studies in Geneva for another semester. 

Back in Bern in 1913, ltten saw an exhibition of work by the 
painter Adolf Holzel, which so deeply impressed him that he 
decided to undertake the journey to Holzel's studio in Stuttgart 
on foot. Holzel refused to accept him as a student, and ltten was 
sent to study with one of his students, although he was able to 
attend Holzel's lectures. In 1916 the prominent art dealer Her- 
warth Walden exhibited fifty-seven of Itten's works at the Sturm 
gallery in Berlin, where he met Georg Muche, a future Bau- 
haus colleague. Later that year ltten moved to Vienna, where 
he resumed teaching and came into contact with Gustav Klimt, 
Oskar Kokoschka, Adolf Loos, Arnold Schoenberg, and Alma 
Mahler-Gropius, whose husband, Walter Gropius, would invite 
him to be one of the first teachers at the Bauhaus in 1919. 

As the leader of the six-month basic course at the Bauhaus, 
ltten set goals that would remain in place even after his depar- 
ture from the school: to free the students' creative powers, to 
introduce them to various art materials, and to convey the fun- 
damental principles of design. His interest in Eastern religion, 
however, led him to adopt a persona increasingly resembling 



Cat. no. 95 

Cat. no. 96 

that of a cult leader. His followers were induced to fast, torture 
themselves, and dress in a cloak of his design. Itten's enormous 
influence on the students — he not only ran the basic course but 
oversaw the sculpture, glass-painting, and metal workshops as 
well — and his dreamy notions, such as those expressed in his 
1921 book Utopia: Dokumente der Wirklichkeit (Utopia: Docu- 
ments of reality), made Gropius uneasy. The inevitable conflict 
between the two led to Itten's resignation in March 1923. Of his 
years at the Bauhaus, he wrote: "If new ideas are to take the 
shape of art, it is necessary to prepare and coordinate physical, 
sensual, spiritual, and intellectual forces and abilities. This 
insight largely determined the subject and method of my 
Bauhaus teaching. The task was to build the whole man as 
a creative being" {Design and Form, pp. 10-11). 

After leaving the Bauhaus, Itten taught at the Moderne 
Kunstschule (modern art school), which he founded in Berlin in 
1926 (and which was closed by the Nazis in 1934), and at the 
institute for textile design in Krefeld from 1932 to 1938, when 
he was fired by the Nazis. He fled to Amsterdam, where he con- 
tinued to teach. After the war he settled in Zurich, where he 
was active as an artist and teacher. 


Marion Agthe, ed., Johannes Itten: Zwischen Expression und 
Konstruktion: Tuschen, Aquarelle und Cema'lde der fiinfziger 
Jahre, exh. cat. (Essen: Galerie Neher, 1989); Josef Helfenstein 
and Henriette Mentha, eds., Johannes Itten: Das Fruhwerk 
1907-1919: Mit dem uberarbeiteten und ergdnzten Werkver- 
zeichnis 1907 bis 1919, exh. cat. (Bern: Kunstmuseum, 1992); 
Johannes Itten, Design and Form: The Basic Course at the Bau- 
haus, trans. John Maass (New York: Reinhold Publishing, 
1964); idem, Tagebiicher: Stuttgart, 1913-1916; Wien, 1916- 
1919, 2 vols., ed. Eva Badura-Triska (Vienna: Locker, 1990); 
idem, Utopia: Dokumente der Wirklichkeit 1/ 11, ed. Bruno 
Adler (Weimar: Utopia, 1921); Willy Rotzler, ed., Johannes 
Itten: Werke und Schriften (Zurich: Orell Fiissli, 1971); Hans 
Christoph von Tavel and Josef Helfenstein, eds., Johannes Itten: 
Kunstler und Lehrer, exh. cat. (Bern: Kunstmuseum, 1984). 

A. S. 



Maria J 

aria Jansen 


98. Untitled (frontispiece), 1921 
Etching, drypoint 

9 n /i6x 13 '/tin. (24.5 x 34.9cm) 

From the portfolio Industrie 1920 (1921) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

99. Untitled (workers arriving), 1921 
Etching, drypoint 

io'/s x 7 n /i6in. (25.7 x 19.6 cm) 

From the portfolio Industrie 1920 (1921) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

Cat. no. 98 

Franz Maria Jansen's work demonstrates the conflicting 
attractions exerted on artists in the early decades of the 
century by the unspoiled, idealized landscape and by its 
antithesis, industrialized society, with its despoiled cities and 
wars. While many of his series of woodcuts and lithographs, 
such as Industrie 1920 (Industry 1920, 1921), Die Grossstadt 
(The metropolis, 1920-21), and Der Krieg (War, 1916-18), 
reveal a horrified fascination with the darker aspects of modern 
life, he also maintained his early interest in peaceful, almost 
idyllic landscapes of his native Rhineland, depicting them in 
paintings as well as series of lithographs such as Die Ernte (The 
harvest, 1914) and Der Rhein (The Rhine, 1925). 

Like the founding members of the Briicke (Bridge), Jansen 
studied architecture before turning to painting and the graphic 
arts, in which he was self-taught. He ascribed his decision to 
become an artist to his travels to Hungary, Italy, and the 
Balkans; he later wrote, "In the fantastic exuberance of the 
colors in Dalmatia, in the bacchanalian color contrasts, the 
transition took place" ("Selbstbiographie," p. 197). In 1911 he 
helped found the short-lived Gereonsklub (Gereon club) and 

the Cologne Secession, both of which were exhibiting societies 
devoted to the promotion of the avant-garde in the Rhineland, 
which until then had played a minor role in the German art 
scene. Through the influence of August Macke, who joined the 
Gereonsklub in 1912, the group was able to exhibit paintings 
by the Briicke artists, whose landscapes and figures doubtless 
made an impression on Jansen. 

Jansen's prewar works consisted primarily of landscapes. 
Some of them were shown in the 1913 Bonn exhibition Die 
rheinischen Expressionisten (Rhenish Expressionists), in which 
other artists working in a similar vein, such as Heinrich 
Campendonk and the group's leader, Macke, also participated. 
From 1912 Jansen exhibited yearly with the Berlin Secession 
and contributed to Franz Pfemfert's liberal journal Die Aktwn 
(Action), which helped further his interest in socially critical 
art. Jansen expressed his commitment to and belief in the social 
power of art in a manifesto of 1918 entitled "Uber den Expres- 
sionismus" (On Expressionism), which was published in the 
Bonn newspaper Volksmund. He rejected the formal school of 
Expressionism he described as "closely tied to five o'clock tea, 
the cult of the aesthetic, Poiret-ladies, astute debates" in favor of 
the school concerned with content. "We give up being called 
artists," he wrote. "We want instead to be humans, brothers, 
those aware of their responsibilities, with a total devotion to life" 
(reprinted in Ausgewdhlte Werke, p. 4). This conviction is 
reflected both in his graphic images of urban alienation and in 
works that capture the regenerative, almost magical quality 
of the landscape. In his autobiography he wrote, "In painting 
there lies the liberating discovery that the Rhinelander has 
a landscape (that is] set free from the world" ("Selbstbiographie," 
p. 197). This faith in art inspired him to continue painting until 
his death in 1958. 


Franz M. Jansen ( 1885—1958): Ausgewdhlte Werke, exh. cat. 
(Dusseldorf: Galerie Remmert und Barth, 1983); Carl A. 
Haenlein, ed., August Macke und die rheinischen Expression- 
isten aus dem Stddtischen Kunstmuseum Bonn, exh. cat. 
(Hannover: Kestner-Gesellschaft, 1978); Franz Maria Jansen, 
"Selbstbiographie" and "Von damals bis Heute," reprinted in 
Die rheinischen Expressionisten: August Macke und seine 
Malerfreunde, exh. cat., ed. Aurel Bongers, Dierk Stemmler, 
and Joachim Heusinger von Waldegg (Recklinghausen: Aurel 
Bongers, 1979), pp. 196-99; Vnbekannte Zeichnungen des 
rheinischen Expressionismus aus der Sammlung des Museums 
Schloss Moyland, exh. cat. (Bonn: Verein August Macke 
Haus, 1992). 



Wassily lxandinsky 


100. Orientalisches, 1911 

Color woodcut 

4 7 /s\jViin. (12.4 x 19.0 cm) 

From Wassily Kandinsky, Kldnge (1913) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

101. Parodies, 1911-12 

Watercolor and ink over pencil, mounted on board 

9 7 /i6 x 6 5 /i6 in. (24.0 x 16.0 cm) 

Stadtische Galerie 1m Lenbachhaus, Munich 

102. Kleine Welten X, 1922 
(Small worlds X) 

9 3 /8X7 3 /4in. (23.8 x 19.7cm) 

From the portfolio Kleine Welten (1922) 

Collection Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, UCLA. 

Fred Grunwald bequest 

103. Frohlicher Aufstieg, 1923 
(Joyful ascension) 

Color lithograph 

9'/i6x 7'/i6in. (23.7 x 19.2 cm) 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Larry Aldrich Fund 

104. Postkarte fur die Bauhaus-Ausstellung, 1923 
(Postcard for the Bauhaus exhibition) 

Color lithograph 

5 3 /sx 3 9 /i6in. (13.7 x 9.0 cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

105. DasgrosseTor von Kiev (Szenenbild zu "Bilderemer 
Ausstellung"BildXVI), 1928 

(The great gate of Kiev [stage design for Pictures at an Exhibition, 

picture XVI]) 

Watercolor and ink 

15V2X 22 7 /i6in. (39.4 x 57.0cm) 

Set design for Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgski, created 

for the Friedrich Theater in Dessau 

Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung, Universitat zu Koln 

Consistently pursuing a synthesis of the arts, Wassily 
Kandinsky was equally effective as an artist, philosopher, 
educator, and organizer. From 1886 to 1893 he studied law 
and economics at the university in Moscow. He was also an 
accomplished amateur musician. When he arrived in Munich 
in 1896, determined to become an artist, he had left behind a 
promising legal and academic career. At Anton Azbe's school 
of painting, he befriended his Russian compatriots Alexej Jaw- 
lensky and Marianne von Werefkin. After two years he was 
admitted to the class of Franz von Stuck. 

In 1901 Kandinsky cofounded the Phalanx group, whose pur- 
pose was to promote artistic ideas that were not fostered by the 
conservative academies. He soon became the group's president 
and a teacher at the Phalanx school. One of his students there, 
Gabriele Miinter, became his companion until he was forced to 

return to Russia during World War I. The group organized 
twelve exhibitions before it dissolved in 1904. Over the next few- 
years Kandinsky traveled extensively but continued to work and 
participated in the Salon d'automne in Paris from 1905 to 1910. 

Settled in Munich again, Kandinsky reacted to the need for 
exhibition space by founding the Neue Kiinstlervereinigung 
(New artists' association) in 1909 with Adolf Erbsloh, Alexander 
Kanoldt, Alfred Kubin, Miinter, and Werefkin, who elected 
him president. The group's first exhibition, at the Thannhauser 
gallery in 1910, led to a meeting with August Macke and Franz 
Marc. When an abstraction by Kandinsky was rejected by the 
jury for the group's third exhibition in 1911, he and Marc left 
the Neue Kiinstlervereinigung and founded the Blaue Reiter 
(Blue rider). In 1912 they published an almanac of the same 
name. Concurrently Kandinsky articulated his reflections on 
the implications of abstraction in his book Uberdas Geistige in 
der Kunst (On the spiritual in art, 1912). 

With the outbreak of war in 1914, Kandinsky returned to 
Russia. From 1917 to 1921 he held various administrative posi- 
tions, teaching at the academy and at the university in Moscow, 
serving as director of the Museum of Creative Arts in Moscow, 
and participating in the establishment of museums in other 
cities in the Soviet LInion. 

In 1921, with the support of the Russian revolutionary 
government, Kandinsky accepted a teaching position at the 
Bauhaus, which he held from 1922 to 1933. In 1923 he was 
appointed an honorary vice president of the Societe Anonyme in 
New York. His important theoretical work Punkt und Linie zur 
Fldche (Point and line to plane) was published in the Bauhaus 
series in 1926. After the National Socialists came to power, he 
was removed from his teaching position, and in 1934 he left for 
France, where he spent the remainder of his life. 



John E. Bowlt and Rose-Carol Washton Long, eds., The Life of 
Vasilii Kandinsky in Russian Art: A Study of "On the Spiritual 
in Art," 2d ed. (Newtonville, Mass.: Oriental Research Part- 
ners, 1984); Ulrika-Maria Eller-Rliter, Kandinsky: Buhnenkom- 
position und Dwhtung ah Realisation seines Synthese-Konzepts 
(Hildesheim: GeorgOlms, 1990); Jelena Hahl-Koch, ed., 
Arnold Schoenberg. Wassily Kandinsky: Letters, Pictures, and 
Documents, trans. John C. Crawford (London: Faberand 
Faber, 1984); Rose-Carol Washton Long, Kandinsky: The 
Development of an Abstract Style (New York: Oxford University 
Press, 1980); idem, "Occultism, Anarchism, and Abstraction: 
Kandinsky 's Art of the Future," Art Journal 46, no. 1 (1987): 
38-4;; Hans Konrad Roethel, Kandinsky: Das graphische 
Werk, 2 vols. (Cologne: DuMont, 1970); Peg Weiss, Kandinsky 
in Munich: The Formative Jugendstil Years (Princeton, N.J.: 
Princeton University Press, 1970). 



hricK Kettelhut 

BORN 1893 BERLIN •!■ DIED 1 9 7 9 HAMBURG 

106. Metropolis: Morgcndammerung, 1925 
(Metropolis: Dawn) 

Oil on board 

15V8 x 2i 7 /i6in. (39.0 x 54.5 cm) 

Set design for the film Metropolis (1927), directed by Fritz Lang 

Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin 

107. Metropolis: Turm Babel, 1925 
{Metropolis: Tower of Babel) 

Oil on board 

17V16 x 2i 3 /nn. {43.6 x 55.2 cm) 

Set design for the film Metropolis (1927), directed by Fritz Lang 

Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek. Berlin 

108. Metropolis: If. Fassung, r925 
(Metropolis: Second version) 

Ink and gouache 

i8'/sx 2i 5 /sin. (46.0 x 55.0cm) 

Set design for the film Metropolis {1927), directed by Fritz Lang 

Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin 

Erich Kettelhut was one of the most innovative designers of 
German silent film. Working on a wide range of projects 
and not bound to a particular style, he came into contact with 
many of the major figures of Weimar cinema, including 
directors Fritz Lang, Joe May, and Walter Ruttmann; fellow 
designers Hans Poelzig, Walter Rohrig, and Karl Vollbrecht; and 
experimental filmmakers Viking Eggeling and Hans Richter, 

Following an apprenticeship as a set painter and decorator, 
Kettelhut trained at the Berlin school of applied arts and worked 
as a set decorator for the Berlin Staatsoper before being called 
up for military service in 1914. After his discharge in 1918 he 
accepted the offer of set painter Otto Hunte, whom he had met 
before the war, to work with him on films for May. At May's 
studios in Weissensee, Kettelhut met Lang, who was writing 
scripts for May at the time. Although Kettelhut designed a num- 
ber of successful May films, including Das indische Grabmal 
(The Indian grave, 1921), Die Herrin der Welt (The mistress of 
the world, 1919-20), and Asphalt (1928-29), he is best known 
for his collaboration with Hunte and Vollbrecht on such Lang 
productions such as Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse, the 
gambler, 1922), the two-part Die Nibelungen (The Nibelungs, 
1924), and Metropolis (1927). After completing Metropolis, 
Kettelhut left the Lang team to create the sets for Ruttmann's 
1927 film Berlin, die Sinfome der Grossstadt (Berlin, the 
symphony of a big city), an experimental effort to document 
the life of Berlin from morning until night. 

Kettelhut 's involvement with Metropolis began directly after 
the premiere of Die Nibelungen, when Lang invited him to 
his apartment to read the script of the film. In his drawings for 
Metropolis, Kettelhut created an urban world that is overwhelm- 
ing in its scale, one that pulsates with the impersonal energy of 
the big city. The film's lavish sets reflect an ambivalence toward 
the metropolis: the worker's city is a dehumanizing machine 
that enslaves its inhabitants, yet it is also a fascinating, visually 
complex maze that seems alive. 

In his unpublished memoirs Kettelhut described the 
laborious process of designing and shooting the film, compli- 
cated by lack of space at the site and constant disputes between 
Lang and Hunte, Kettelhut's collaborator. "Especially for Hunte 
and me, but also for the costume designer Anne Willkomm 
[whom he later married]," he wrote, "indescribably tiring months 
passed as we had already experienced with Die Nibelungen. 
Sessions until late into the night, during the days afterward the 
working of what we had discussed into designs and ground plans; 
in the following days more filming sessions until the appointed 
afternoon hour. An unforgiving cycle with no consideration for 
Sundays" ("Aus der Erinnerungen des Filmarchitekten Erich 
Kettelhut," EPD Film 4 [October 1987]: 26-27). He also com- 
mented on the underappreciated role of the designer in the pro- 
duction of a film: "When the actual work on the film begins, 
the film architect is the one who puts up the sets, since he is the 
first one in the studio. When the work ends, he bears the 
responsibility for his production company for dismantling the 
decorations and for turning over the studio to his successor" 
(quoted in Griinwald, "Expressionistischer Dekor," p. 84). 

Kettelhut's career in film design waned with the rise of sound 
pictures, which relied less on sets to enhance story line and 
atmosphere than did silent films. Although he continued to 
work in film after 1933 with directors Herbert Maisch and Georg 
Jacoby and had a second career in television after the war, Ket- 
telhut's best-known work remains his designs from the 1920s. 

A. S. 

EPD Film 4 (October 1987) (special issue on Kettelhut); Gabriela 
Griinwald, "Expressionistischer Dekor im deutschen Stumm- 
film," Ph.D. diss., Cologne, 1984-85; Walter Kaul, Schopfcrische 
Filmarchitektur (Berlin: Deutsche Kinemathek, 1971). 


'-*_- ::: JpO ;Tf&^£^ 

Cat. no. 108 



Lrnst LudwiQ Kirch 



109. Mit Schilf wcrfende Badende, 1910 
(Bathers tossing reeds) 

Color woodcut 

7 7 /8x 1 i 7 /i6 in. (20.0 x 29.0cm) 

From the portfolio Briicke V (1910) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

110. Das Stiftsfrdulein im See, 1912 
(The retired spinster in the lake) 

4'/2x 3 '/i6 in. (11.5 x 7.8 cm) 

From Alfred Doblin, Das Stiftsfrdulein undder Tod (1915) 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 
Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 
provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 
deaccession funds 

111. Frauen am Potsdamer Platz, 1914-15 
(Women at Potsdamer Platz) 


i9 n /i6 x I4yi6in. (50.0 x 37.0 cm) 

Private collection 

112. Fiinf Kokotten, 1914-15 
(Five tarts) 


19 x i4 9 /i6in. (48.5 x 37.0cm) 

National Gallery of Art, Washington. Ruth and (acob Kainen 


113. Stadtbahnbogen, 1915 
(Tramway arch) 

Color lithograph 

ig 7 /sx 23 '/tin. (50.5 x 59.1 cm) 

Collection Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, UCLA. 

Gift of Mr. Virgil Whirlaw 

The eldest of the founding members of the Briicke (Bridge) 
and its self-appointed leader and spokesperson, Ernst 
Ludw ig Kirchner was one of the most prolific and vocal of the 
Expressionists. Like the group's other members, he was fasci- 
nated by nature and the nude form, but he also created an 
extensive body of work dealing with the life of the metropolis. 
Behind both subjects lies the impulse to escape societal con- 
ventions and the vice and hostility of the city, as well as the 
belief in a paradisiacal world in which men and women could 
live free from moralistic constraints, an amalgam of both 
nostalgic and forward-looking Utopian ideas. 

Born in the small town of Aschaffenburg, Kirchner moved a 
number of times in his youth, first to Frankfurt, then to Perlen, 
near Lucerne, and later to Chemnitz. He studied briefly at the 
Lehr- und Versuchsateliers fur angewandte und freie Kunst 
(Teaching and experimental studios for applied and fine arts) in 
Munich before taking up the study of architecture at the tech- 
nical college in Dresden in 1901. Immediately before receiving 
his diploma in June 1905, however, he joined with fellow stu- 
dents Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, and Karl Schmidt- Rottluff to 
form the Briicke, a group inspired by "belief. . . in a new genera- 
tion of creators as well as appreciators" (see Appendix). With the 

other Briicke members, Kirchner sketched nude models outdoors, 
experimented with new techniques (particularly in graphic art), 
organized several exhibitions, designed invitations and publica- 
tions, and attempted to draw new members into the group. 

After moving to Berlin in lqn, Kirchner continued to work 
with the other Briicke members, although less frequently. Dur- 
ing this period he met Erna Schilling, who would become his 
lifelong companion and the woman he would consider his wife. 
The gradual breakup of the Briicke, hastened by Kirchner 's 
often distant personality, was finalized by his drafting of the 
Chronik KG Briicke (Chronicle of the artists' group Briicke) in 
1913, which emphasized his own creative role. He wrote in the 
Chronik that the group "radiates its new values for artworks onto 
modern artistic creativity throughout Germany. ... It struggles 
for a humane culture, which will be the source of a true art" 
(translated in Reinhold Heller, Briicke: German Expressionist 
Prints from the Granvil and Marcia Specks Collection, exh. cat. 
[Evanston, 111.: Mary and Leigh Block Gallery, Northwestern 
University, 1988], p. 16). Called up for military service in 
mid-1915, Kirchner was discharged following a nervous break- 
down in the fall and went to a sanatorium in Konigstein. From 
this time on, he was in frequent care of psychiatrists and was 

Cat. no. 110 


Paul KI 

often in sanatoriums in Switzerland, where he settled in 1917. 
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s Kirchner received increas- 
ing critical attention and was represented in a series of solo and 
group exhibitions. His mental state, however, continued to 
decline. Partly out of despair over Germany's social and artistic 
situation — he was represented by thirty-two works in the 
Entartete Kunst (Degenerate art) exhibition in Munich in 
1937— and partly as a result of his longstanding psychological 
troubles, Kirchner committed suicide on June 15, 1938. 


Rosalyn Deutsche, "Alienation in Berlin: Kirchner's Street 
Scenes," Art in America 71 (January 1983): 64-72; Annemarie 
Dube and Wolf-Dieter Dube, E. L. Kirchner: Das graphische 
Werk, 2d rev. ed., 2 vols. (Munich: Prestel, 1980); Annemarie 
Dube-Heynig, Kirchner: His Graphic Art (Greenwich, Conn.: 
New York Graphic Society, 1961); Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 
1880-1938, exh. cat. (Berlin: Nationalgalerie, 1979); Donald 
E. Gordon, Ernsr Ludwig Kirchner: Mir einem kritischen 
Katalog samtlicher Gcmdlde (Munich: Prestel, 1968); idem, 
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Meisterwerke der Druckgraphik, exh. 
cat. (Stuttgart: Gerd Hatje, 1990); Eberhard W. Kornfeld, Ernst 
Ludwig Kirchner: Nachzeichnung seines Lebens: Katalog der 
Sammlung von Werken von Ernst Ludwig Kirchner im Kirchner- 
Haus Davos, exh. cat. (Basel: Offentliche Kunstsammlung, 
1979); Ewald Rathke, ed., Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Strassen- 
bilder, Werkmonographien zur bildenden Kunst, no. 136 
(Stuttgart: Reclam, 1969). 



114. Phantastische Architektur mit dem Reiter, 1918 
(Fantastic architecture with rider) 

Pencil on writing paper 
6"/i6x 8'/8 in. (16.4 x 20.7 cm) 
Kunstmuseum Bern. Paul Klee-Stiftung 

115. "Berlin dagegen unsere Hochburg buchte jdhc Verzchnfachung 
seiner Burger"; Berlin als Zentrum, 1919 

("Berlin, however, our citadel, experienced a sudden decupling of its 

citizens"; Berlin as center) 

Ink on writing paper 

ii 3 /sx 8 Vs in. (28.9 x 22.0 cm) 

Illustration for Curt Corrinth, Potsdamer Plat: (see cat. no. 226) 

Kunstmuseum Bern. Paul Klee-Stiftung 

116. Zahlenbaumlandschaft, 1919 
(Number-tree landscape) 

6 7 /8 x 4 l5 /i6in. (17. 5 x 12.6 cm) 

From the deluxe edition of Munchner Blatter fur Diehtung und 

Graphik 1, no. 9(1919): 142 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

117. Buhnen-Gebirgs-Konstruktion, 1920 

Oil, gouache, and ink on paper mounted on cardboard 

13 x i6'/2in. (33.0 x 41.9cm) 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Berggruen Klee Collection, 


118. Die erhabcnc Seite: Postkarte fur die "Bauhaus-Ausstellung 
Weimar 1923," 1923 

(The raised facade: Postcard for the Bauhaus exhibition, Weimar 


Lithograph with watercolor 

5 5 /8x 2 7 /sin. (14.2 x 7.4 cm) 

Kunstmuseum Bern. Paul Klee-Stiftung 

See also cat. no. 223 

Paul Klee was already an accomplished violinist performing 
in a Bern orchestra — his Bavarian father and Swiss mother 
were both professional musicians — when he went to Munich in 
1898 to study art, first with Heinrich Knirr and later at the acad- 
emy under Franz von Stuck. In 1901-2, after concluding his 
studies, he traveled in Italy with his friend the sculptor Her- 
mann Haller. From 1903 to 1905 Klee lived with his parents in 
Bern but made several trips to Paris, Munich, and Berlin and 
began to exhibit his etchings. Following his marriage to pianist 
Lily Stumpf in 1906, he settled in Munich, where he resided 
until 1920. 

In Klee's early work his primary concern was the expressive 
potential of line. His growing admiration for the work of Paul 
Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh, and especially Henri Matisse 
between 1908 and 1910 led to an increasing interest in color. 
Klee met Wassily Kandinsky and August Macke in 191 1 and 


became affiliated with their group, the Blaue Reiter (Blue rider), 
participating in the group's second exhibition in 1912. He 
shared with Kandinsky an interest in the synthesis of the arts, 
particularly the relationship between music and color. 

New impulses arose from Klee's introduction to the Parisian 
avant-garde during his stay there in 1912, when he met Guil- 
laume Apollinaire, Robert Delaunay, Sonia Delaunay, and 
Pablo Picasso. His exhibition activities in Germany resumed in 
1914 with shows at Herwarth Walden's Sturm gallery and at the 
New Munich Secession, of which he was a founding member. 

Klee served in the army from 1916 to 1918. In 1920 Hans 
Goltz showed 362 of his works at his Munich gallery. Later that 
year Klee was invited by Walter Gropius to become a professor 
at the Bauhaus in Weimar, along with Kandinsky and Lyonel 
Feininger. The Societe Anonyme organized his first solo exhi- 
bition in New York in 1924. Also in that year Klee entered into 
an agreement with Feininger, Kandinsky, and Alexej Jawlensky 
to form the Blue Four, represented in the United States by 
Emmy ("Galka") Scheyer. 

Klee's travels to Tunisia in 1914 and to Egypt in 1928 had a 
lasting impact on his use of color, and he continued to collect 
new impressions on his 1931 trip to Sicily. His exhibition activ- 
ity testified to his growing reputation: in 1928 he had his first 
solo show in Paris; in 1929, several fiftieth-birthday exhibitions 
in German and Swiss museums; in 1930, a solo exhibition at 
the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He was appointed to 
a teaching position at the Dusseldorf academy in 1931 but was 
dismissed in 1933 when the National Socialists assumed power. 
In 1934 he returned to Bern, remaining there until his death 
in 1940. 


Marcel Franciscono, Paul Klee: His Work and Thought (Chi- 
cago: University of Chicago Press, 1991); Stefan Frey and Josef 
Helfenstein, Paul Klee: Verzeichnis der Werke des ]ahres 1940 
(Stuttgart: Gerd Hatje, 1991); Will Grohmann, Paul Klee (New 
York: Harry N. Abrams, 1954); Eberhard W. Kornfeld, Ver- 
zeichnis des graphischen Werkes von Paul Klee (Bern: Kornfeld 
und Klipstein, 1963); Richard Verdi, Klee and Nature (New 
York: Rizzoli, 1985); Otto K. Werckmeister, The Making of Paul 
Klee's Career, 1914-1920 (Chicago: University of Chicago 
Press, 1988); Bonnie Yochelson, "Paul Klee and Architecture," 
Marsyas 20(1980): 61-70. 

Cat. no. 114 

Cat. no. 118 


C-esar Ixlein 


119. Salon der "Genuine," 1920 

(Salon for Genuine) 

Colored chalk over pencil on board 

io"/i6x 12 'Ms in. (27.5 x 32.5 cm) 

Set design for the film Genuine (1920), directed by Robert Wiene 

Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung, Universitat zu Koln 

Cesar Kleins career reflects the proliferation of new media 
and the overlapping of established ones in the first decades 
of the twentieth century. Because he worked in media that 
appealed to a mass audience, such as architectural decoration, 
applied arts, poster design, and theater and film design, his 
work was probably better known during his lifetime than that of 
some artists who are more prominent today. Through his varied 
activities Klein expressed his idealistic belief in the necessity 
of giving art both an aesthetic and a communicative function. 

At the insistence of his parents, Klein was apprenticed as 
a craft painter at the age of seventeen. Subsequently, in 1895, 
he enrolled in the Hamburg school of applied arts. After 
briefly attending the Diisseldorf academy, he was awarded a 
scholarship to study at the school of the Konigliches Kunst- 
gewerbemuseum (Royal museum of applied arts) in Berlin, 
where he had his first contact with mosaic and glass painting. 

Klein's first major commission, the one that introduced his 
art to the public, consisted of the painting and decoration of the 
lobby and auditorium of the Marmorhauskino, a Berlin movie 
theater, in 1913. Although his decorative art is not typically 
Expressionist, with its ordered compositions and wide tonal 
range, he was considered an Expressionist by contemporary 
critics because of his painting, which shares stylistic elements 
with the work of the Briicke (Bridge) artists. Paul Westheim 
wrote rather unflatteringly of Klein's easel painting in 1919, not- 
ing that he "paints such a true Expressionism, Expressionism 
like in the books. ... He stands in the same relation to the 
Noldes, Kirchners, and Heckels in which E. R. Weiss stood to 
the leading Impressionists and to Cezanne in his day" ("Cesar 
Klein," p. 246). 

After World War I Klein substituted temporarily for Walter 
Gropius as the leader of the Arbeitsrat fiir Kunst (Working coun- 
cil for art), which brought him into contact with personalities 

such as Adolf Behne and Bruno Taut, and was a principal found- 
ing member of the Novembergruppe (November group) in 1918. 
Along with other members of the Arbeitsrat, Klein designed a 
series of political posters urging worker solidarity and support for 
the Weimar Republic in the period immediately following its 
establishment. This idealism carried over as well into his ideas 
on reform in the arts. In a text written in 1919 for an Arbeitsrat 
publication, Klein called for reform in children's education, for 
"free play of the imagination," and for the "overlapping of the 
professions" (]al Stimmen des Arbeitsrates fiir Kunst, p. 48). 
Although he shared man) 1 of the ideals of the Bauhaus, Klein 
turned down Gropius's invitation to join its faculty, instead 
accepting a teaching position at the Kunstgewerbemuseum in 
Berlin. During the 1920s Klein also collaborated on set designs 
for the cinema and theater, including those for Robert Wiene's 
1920 film Genuine, a production inspired by the success of the 
director's film of the previous year, Das Cabinet des Doktor 
Caligari (The cabinet of Doctor Caligari). Klein created an 
extravagant, shadowy world inspired by the designs for Caligari 
but also reflecting his own interest in surface pattern. 

In 1931 Klein was appointed to the highest professorship at 
the German state schools but in April 1933 was suspended from 
his post and subsequently labeled "degenerate." Going into 
internal exile in Pansdorf during the war, he resumed designing 
for the theater in 1945. 



Ruth Irmgard Dalinghaus, "Cesar Klein (1876-1954): 
Angewandte Kunst: Werkmonographie mit Katalog," Ph.D. 
diss., Freie Universitat, Berlin, 1990; idem, Liebcr Rhythmus: 
Cesar Klein, 1876-1954: Bilder und Gouachen, Skizzen und 
Werkkartons, exh. cat. (Niebiill: Kunstverein Niebiill, 1990); 
Cesar Klein, in ]a\ Stimmen des Arbeitsrates fiir Kunst in Berlin 
(Berlin-Charlottenburg: Photographische Gesellschaft, 1919), 
pp. 47-49; Johann Schlick, "Cesar Klein: 'Genuine,'" Nordel- 
bmgen 47 (1978): 141-51; Paul Westheim, "Cesar Klein," Das 
Kunstblatt 3, no. 8 (1919): 244-46. 



Otto Koht: 


120. Reichshaus am Komgsplatz, 1920 

(Reichshaus on the Konigsplatz) 

Photostat with pencil and ink wash 

21'Ax 27'/i6in. (54.0 x 69.0cm) 

Plansammlung der Universitatsbibliothek der Technischen 

Universitat, Berlin 

See also cat. no. 228 

It seems that within Otto Kohtz's soul there dwelt two 
architects. One produced monumental public buildings of 
brick and stone in repetitive rhythms, reflective of a Wilhelm- 
ine Germany that strove to communicate its imperial power and 
cultural primacy through dramatic and massive edifices. His 
alter ego called for a new poetry of architecture and, in never- 
realized sketches of fanciful structures, drew upon such divergent 
sources as Byzantine, oriental, Mayan, classical, and Expres- 
sionist designs as well as the natural world. 

Kohtz began his architectural training at the school of ap- 
plied arts, then attended the school for building trades in Berlin, 
and finalized his studies at the technical college in Berlin- 
Charlottenburg. He designed many Berlin office buildings and 
residences with his partner, E. Schiitze. His most renowned 
independent projects were the administration building of the 
Imperial Farmer's Union in Berlin-Friedenau (1911-12), the 
home for bachelors in Berlin-Moabit (1913-14), and the offices 
of the Scherl publishing house in Berlin (1925-28). The designs 
of these divergent structures are unified by a consistent adher- 
ence to academic compositional principles and historical 
models and motifs. 

Kohtz occasionally contributed essays to various trade jour- 
nals and published three books: Gedanken iiber Architektur 
(Thoughts about architecture, 1909), Das Reichshaus in Berlin 
(The Reichshaus in Berlin, 1920), and Buroturmhauser in Ber- 
lin (High-rise office buildings in Berlin, 1921). The latter two 
texts are studies and commentaries on traditional structures 
built or planned; Gedanken iiber Architektur contains an essay 
and a series of fifty-five drawings of uncommissioned fantasy 
buildings that nevertheless exhibit the sequential arrangement 
of units, severity of style, and enormity of scale seen in Kohtz's 
built designs. 

Inspired by Expressionist poet Paul Scheerbart, Kohtz 
believed that in the future architecture would be designed to 
exist harmoniously with nature and that just as the structures 
of plants and animals are adapted to their environment, this 
architecture would include a land style, an air style, and a water 
style. Despite the seeming disparity between Kohtz's realized 
architecture and the architecture of his fantasies, his example 
clearly illustrates the conflict between modernism and the 
steadfast persistence of tradition. 



Werner Hegemann, ed., Otto Kohtz (Berlin: J. E. Hiibsch, 
1930); Otto Kohtz, Gedanken iiber Architektur (Berlin: O. 
Baumgartel, 1909); idem, Buroturmhauser in Berlin (Berlin: 
Privately printed, 1921). 

'IH:-;'. Wl 

' ? ^ — ! :■*■ 1 — - ~_^^r^ '"Vl*^. 1 - ■ U; ■■'■■ ■ '7 

Cat. no. 120 

21 4 


Oskar Ixokoschkc 


I2i. Das Miidchen Li und ich, 1906-8 

(The girl Li and I) 

Color lithograph 

9 7 /i6x g'/i6in. (24.0 x 23.0cm) 

From Oskar Kokoschka, Die trdumenden Knaben, 2d ed. (1917) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

E quail) noted as an iconoclastic and pioneering painter and 
as an outspoken critic and writer, Oskar Kokoschka made 
significant contributions to Expressionist literature and art. He 
evolved a thickly painted, psychologically potent style, which 
he used to explore his lifelong passion, the human image. 
His numerous portraits aimed to capture, in his words, "the 
distillation of a living being." 

Born in a small town in Austria, Kokoschka studied at the 
school of applied arts in Vienna from 1904 to 1909, during 
which time he designed posters and other items for the Wiener 
Werkstatte, including his book of poetry and prints Die trdu- 
menden Knaben (The dreaming boys), completed in 1908. His 
play Morder, Hoffnung der Frauen (Murderer, hope of women), 
first performed in 1909, is considered an inaugural work of 
German Expressionist drama, with its archetypal characters and 
violent view of male-female relations. In Berlin the following 
year, twenty-five of his drawings were reproduced in Herwarth 
Walden's periodical Der Sturm (The storm), and he secured 
gallery representation with Paul Cassirer. 

Influenced by Symbolism and Jugendstil in his youth, 
Kokoschka shared these movements' interest in line and in 
dreamlike visions of the human condition, as is evident in the 
drawings he created around 1910 for Der Sturm. Fascinated 
by the Utopian architectural theories of Paul Scheerbart, 
Kokoschka was also impressed by artists as diverse as Robert 
Delaunay, El Greco, and Venetian painters of the Renaissance 
such as Giorgione, Tintoretto, and Titian. He defined his work 
by its message rather than by its style. Expressionism, he wrote 
in his autobiography, "was meant as a moral and cultural 
awakening of the true nature of man, and a political com- 
mitment. Essentially, Expressionism must be seen as a revo- 
lutionary movement, a compulsive need to communicate 
with the masses" {My Life, p. 66). 

The years from 1912 until the war, during which Kokoschka 
created some of his most introspective work, were consumed by 
his legendary affair with Alma Mahler, widow of composer 
Gustav Mahler and future wife of Walter Gropius. After the dis- 
solution of their relationship in 1914, he volunteered for the war 
effort and was sent to the Russian front, where he was severely 
wounded. He spent the end of 1916 and much of 1917 recovering 
from his physical and mental injuries and in 1919 accepted a 
professorship at the Dresden academy, which he held until 1923. 

Embarking on an extended period of travel in 1924, Kokoschka 
executed numerous landscapes and fell in love with London, to 
which he would return during World War II. Spending the early 
1930s in Paris, Vienna, and finally Prague, he fled to London in 
1938 with his wife, a Czech. During the war he worked to raise 
money for war victims, creating political works satirizing the 
war and condemning fascism. Kokoschka, who received British 
citizenship in 1947, continued to work and travel throughout 
Europe for the remainder of his life, returning to Austria per- 
manently only in 1975. He maintained his belief in the didactic 
function of art and argued for the validity of figuration at a time 
when many younger artists were exploring abstraction. 



Richard Calvocoressi and Katharina Schulz, Oskar Kokoschka, 
1886-1980, exh. cat. (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum, 1986); Oskar Kokoschka, A Sea Ringed with Visions, 
trans. Eithne Wilkins and Ernst Kaiser (New York: Horizon, 
1962); idem. Das schriftliehe Werk, 4 vols. (Hamburg: H. Chris- 
tians, 1973-76); idem, My Life, trans. David Britt (New York: 
Macmillan, 1974); idem, Letters, 1905-1976, trans. Mary 
Whittall (London: Thames and Hudson, 1992); Erika Patka, 
Oskar Kokoschka: Svmposion (Salzburg: Residenz, 1986); Frank 
Whitford, Oskar Kokoschka: A Life (New York: Atheneum, 
1986); Hans Maria Wingler, Oskar Kokoschka: The Work of the 
Painter, trans. Frank S. C. Budgen etal. (Salzburg: Galerie 
Welz, 1958); Hans Maria Wingler and Friedrich Welz, Oskar 
Kokoschka: Das druckgraphische Werk, 2 vols. (Salzburg: 
Galerie Welz, 1975-81). 



Carl Krayl 


122. Traumstadt, c. 1919 
(Dream city) 

i2 ls /i6 x 8'/4in. (32.8 x 21.0cm) 

Page from a sketchbook 

Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

123. KosmischerBau, c. 1919-20 
(Cosmic building) 

Graphite, ink, and watercolor 
21 l A x i8 7 /sin. (54.0 x 48.0 cm) 
Ungers collection 

124. Einen Licht Gruss aus meinem Sternenhaus, 1920 
(Light greetings from my star house) 

Blueprint (purple on white) 
8'/i x 6 5 /i6 in. (21.0 x 16.1 cm) 
Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

125. Vision, 1920 



i2 r /]6 x 9 u /i6in. (32.5 x 24.7 cm) 

Ungers collection 

After studying from 1910 to 1912 at the school of applied 
arts and the technical college in Stuttgart, Carl Krayl was 
employed for two years by the architects Meckel in Freiburg and 
Brendel in Nuremberg. During World War I Krayl worked as a 
technician in Ingolstadt. After the war he returned to work with 
Brendel and became involved with groups such as the Arbeitsrat 
fur Kunst (Working council for art), the Novembergruppe 
(November group), the Glaserne Kette (Crystal chain) — using 
the pseudonym Anfang (beginning)— and later Der Ring 
(The ring). Bruno Taut published Krayl's articles in Friihlicht 
(Daybreak) and obtained for him a position on the board of 
works in Magdeburg, where he lived from 1921 to 1938. 

After 1923 Krayl worked independently, completing a num- 
ber of private and public commissions, mainly in Magdeburg. 
These included apartment buildings, a union office, and the 
bureau of health insurance. In 1933 the Nazis falsely accused 
him of being a Bolshevik. From 1938 to 1946 he was employed 
as a technical draftsman with the national railway office. 
He died shortly before he was to begin working in the office 
of Hans Scharoun. 


Cat. no. 122 (recto, verso) 


fritz Levy 


126. Grossstadt, c. 1920 



7V6 x4 5 /8in. (18.8 x 11.7 cm) 

From Das Kunstfenstcr 1, no. 4(1920) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkmd 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

LI (L'ieser /Vlarcovich) Lissitzky 


127. With Kurt Schwitters 

Untitled, c. 1924 

Photomechanical reproduction 

12 x i8'/2 in. (30.5 x 47.0cm) 

From Merz 2 (April-July 1924) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, gift of Robert Gore Rifkind 

In spite of his multifarious activities in Western Europe as an 
artist, architect, typographer, and photographer, El Lissitzky 
is best known for his contributions to Russian culture. After 
attending high school in Smolensk, he studied architectural 
engineering at the technical college in Darmstadt from 1909 to 
1914. At the outbreak of World War I he was forced to return 
to Moscow, where he completed his degree in architecture in 
1915 and began to establish a career. He illustrated books and 
participated in art exhibitions, and in 1917 he became a mem- 
ber of the revolutionary commission for the arts. Marc Chagall 
offered him a position as a professor of architecture at the 
Vitebsk art school in 1919. Lissitzky 's first Constructivist com- 
positions, which he called Prouns, date from this period. In 

1921 he went to Moscow to teach architecture. 

During the 1920s Lissitzky focused on designing exhibition 
spaces. His desire to minimize the psychological distance 
between the viewer and the artwork inspired the design of the 
Raum der Abstrakten (abstract gallery) at the Provinzial Mu- 
seum in Hannover, where he was artist in residence at the 
Kestner-Gesellschaft in 1927 at the invitation of Kurt Schwit- 
ters. Lissitzky frequently visited Germany during the 1920s. In 

1922 he helped organize the first exhibition of Soviet art in 
Berlin, which introduced Suprematism and Constructivism to 
Western Europe and opened up opportunities for cooperation 
between the Russian and German avant-gardes. 

Lissitzky spent the last decade of his life primarily in 
Moscow, where he continued to design innovative exhibition 
spaces as well as posters and graphics. 



El Lissitzky: Maler, Architekt, Typograf, Fotograf exh. cat. 
(Halle: Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg; Leipzig: Galerie der 
Hochschule fiir Grafik und Buchkunst, 1982); Sophie Lissitzky- 
Kiippers, ed., EI Lissitzky: Life, Letters, Texts, trans. Helene 
Aldvvinckle and Mary Whittall (London: Thames and Hudson, 
1967); Peter Nisbet, ed., El Lissitzky, 1890-1941: Catalogue for 
an Exhibition of Selected Works from North American Collec- 
tions, the Sprengel Museum Hanover, and the Staatliche Galerie 
Moritzburg Halle, exh. cat. (Cambridge: Harvard University 
Art Museums, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1987). 


Hans Luckhardt 


12S. Konzert Saal, c. iqiq 

(Concert hall) 


13x8 '/tin. (33. ix 21.0cm) 

Fragment of a letter from the Glaserne Kette correspondence 

Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

After completing his studies at the technical college in 
Karlsruhe, Hans Luckhardt entered private practice with 
his brother Wassili in 1921. The brothers' main collaborator was 
Alfons Anker, with whom they worked from 1924 to 1937. In 
the period immediately following World War I, Hans Luckhardt 
joined both the Novembergruppe (November group) and the 
Arbeitsrat ftir Kunst (Working council for art). He participated 
in the Glaserne Kette (Crystal chain) correspondence under the 
pseudonym Angkor, after the temples at Angkor Wat, Cam- 
bodia. In Bruno Taut s Utopian journal Fruhlicht (Daybreak), 
the Luckhardts published illustrations that reflected their inter- 
est in the interplay of sharp, angular forms. 

At a time when economic conditions permitted young archi- 
tects to do little more than express their aspirations on paper, 
the Luckhardt brothers drew imaginary projects for theaters, 
cultural halls, and monuments. Their style was generally geo- 
metric and blocky, although they sometimes experimented 
with curved facades, as in the 1929 Telschow-Haus department 
store in Berlin. Hans Luckhardt designed a concert hall with 
spiral rooms inspired by Hans Poelzig's Salzburg Festspielhaus 
project. Stalactitelike structures hang from the ceiling of 
Luckhardts 1920 Konzertsaalgebaude (concert hall), recalling 
Poelzig's Grosses Schauspielhaus theater in Berlin. The Luck- 
hardt brothers collaborated with Anker on the book Zur neuen 
Wohnform (On new dwelling forms, 1930), the most significant 
of their many publications. 



Marita Gleiss et al., eds., Briider Luckhardt und Alfons Anker: 
Berliner Architekten der Moderne, exh. cat., Schriftenreihe der 
Akademie der Kiinste, no. 21 (Berlin: Akademie der Kiinste, 
1990); Hans Luckhardt, Wassili Luckhardt. and Alfons Anker, 
Zur neuen Wohnform, Der wirtschaftliche Baubetrieb, no. 3 
(Berlin: Bauwelt, 1930). 

Cat. no. 12S 


Wassili Luckhardt 

30RN 1889 BERLIN ••• DIED 1 9 7 2 BERLIN 

129. Denkmal der Arbeit, c. 1920 

(Monument to work) 

Charcoal and pencil 

20^x42 '/sin. (51.5 x 107.0 cm) 

Akademie der Kiinste, Berlin. Sammlung Baukunst 

Wassili Luckhardt worked in Berlin with his brother 
Hans from 1921 until the latter's death in 1954, and in 
partnership with Alfons Anker from 1924 to 1937, as Briider 
Luckhardt and Anker. Together they were well-known partici- 
pants in Bruno Taut's avant-garde circle. 

Wassili Luckhardt was educated at the technical colleges 
in Berlin-Charlottenburg and Dresden and served in the army 
from 1914 to 1918. Caught up in the wave of visionary and 
Utopian Expressionism following World War I, he participated 
in the Glaserne Kette (Crystal chain) correspondence under 
the pseudonym Zacken (spikes). In Bruno Taut's periodical 
Friihlicht (Daybreak), he published bold Expressionist designs 
for theaters and cinemas, highly stylized crystalline temples, 
and a monument to labor. He was a member of the Arbeitsrat 
fiir Kunst (Working council for art), the Novembergruppe 
(November group), and Der Ring (The ring) and was included 
in the Ausstellung fiir unbekannte Architekten (Exhibition 
of unknown architects). 

The Luckhardt brothers and Anker showed great interest in 
adapting new materials for construction, especially steel and 
glass, producing fresh design concepts characterized by open- 
ness, clarity, simplicity, and light. They designed one of the first 
modern housing estates in Berlin in 1924 and continued to 
build residences. Their inclination was toward blocky, geomet- 
ric structures accented by horizontal bands of windows. Con- 
struction of the 1951 Berlin Pavilion was interrupted by World 
War II, and it became their first major postwar building. After 
Hans's death in 1954, Wassili completed the Bavarian welfare 
office in Munich, his own home in Berlin, and other civil, 
university, and business structures. He was awarded the Berlin 
Kunstpreis in 1958. He continued his work through the 1960s 
and is considered one of the founders of modernism. 



Udo Kultermann, Wassili und Hans Luckhardt: Bauten und 
Entwiirfe (Tubingen: E. Wasmuth, 1958); Wassili Luckhardt, 
Wassili Luckhardt, ed. Helga Kliemann (Tubingen: E. 
Wasmuth, 1973). 


Cat. no. 12c 







130. Versohnung, 1912 

7 7 /sx lo'/sin. (20.0 x 25.7 cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Given anonymously 

131. Geburt der Pferde, 1913 
(The birth of horses) 
Color woodcut 

8'/2 x 5% in. (21.5 x 14.5 cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

132. Zaubriger Moment: Blatt 2 1 des "Skizzenbuchs aus dem Felde," 

(Magical moment: Page 21 from "Sketchbook from the field") 


6 5 /s x 3/8 in. (16.1 x 9.9 cm) 

Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich 

Known for his images of animals and landscapes painted 
in strong Expressionist colors, Franz Marc studied theol- 
ogy in Munich before deciding to become an artist. In 1900 he 
began studying painting at the academy in Munich. His travels 
to Italy in 1902 and to Paris and Brittany in 1903 gave him the 
opportunity to encounter old and new masters. At Durand- 
Ruel in Paris he discovered the Impressionists Edouard Manet, 
Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. On a trip in 1906 

to Salonika and Mount Athos, Marc explored the traditions 
of Greek art. With a solid knowledge of classical art, he created 
arrangements of form and color that carried a powerful emo- 
tional charge. Following this period of travel, he retreated in 
1909 to a farmhouse in Sindelsdorf, a small town in Bavaria, 
where he worked independently. 

Through August Macke, who had been a close friend since 
1910, Marc became associated with the Neue Kunstlerverein- 
igung (New artists' association) in Munich in 1911. Wassily 
Kandinsky recognized in him a kindred spirit, and together they 
edited the almanac Der blaue Reiter (The blue rider). Marc was 
able to convince Reinhard Piper to publish this eclectic project, 
to which he contributed three essays, including one on the 
younger generation of German artists. The first and last volume 
of the planned series appeared in 1912. Marc participated in 
the two Blaue Reiter exhibitions, in 1911 and 1912, and in 
Herwarth Walden's Erster deutscher Herbstsalon (First German 
autumn salon) in Berlin in 1913. 

Marc was called up for military service in 1914, and he 
recorded his wartime experiences in his letters and sketches 
from the field. He was killed in action at Verdun in 1916. 



Klaus Lankheit, Franz Marc: Katalog der Werke (Cologne: 
DuMont, 1970); idem, Franz Marc: Sein Leben und seine 
Kunst (Cologne: DuMont, 1976); idem, Franz Marc: Schriften 
(Cologne: DuMont, 1978); Frederick S. Levine, The Apocalyptic 
Vision: The Art of Franz Marc as German Expressionism (New 
York: Harper and Row, 1979). 


Oernard /Vlarcks 

Ludvvig /Yieidner 


133. Landsehaft mit Turmarchitekturen , 1919 

(Landscape with tower architecture) 


8"/i6x i2 5 /sin. (22.1 x 32.0cm) 

Gerhard Marcks Stiftung, Bremen 

Gerhard Marcks is best known as a sculptor, yet he did not 
limit himself to any medium or subject nor to any of 
the many artistic schools that flourished during his ninety-two 
years. He had no formal training but received a classical edu- 
cation at the Bismarck Gymnasium in Berlin, which instilled 
a lifelong love of Greek culture. He began to make drawings as 
a very young child, and drawing remained the foundation of 
his work. His sculptures were created not directly from models 
but from two-minute sketches. 

From 1907 to 1912 Marcks studied and shared a studio with 
painter-turned-sculptor Richard Scheibe, and from 1914 to 
1918 he fought in World War I. Following his release from 
service, Marcks taught at the school of applied arts in Berlin. 
In 1919 he exhibited several architectural sketches in the 
Ausstellung fur unbekannte Architekten (Exhibition of 
unknown architects) in Berlin. From 1919 to 1925 he taught 
ceramics at the Bauhaus, although he rejected Gropius's con- 
cept of relating art and technology. It was there that he met 
Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee, and Oskar Schlemmer. In 1925 
Marcks obtained a teaching position at the school of applied 
arts at Schloss Giebichenstein, near Halle, later becoming the 
school's director. In 1933 the Nazis removed him from this 
position and later placed his works in the Entartete Kunst 
(Degenerate art) exhibition. Forbidden to exhibit, he became 
one of the "internal exiles," living in and around Berlin. 
During World War II his son was killed in Russia, and his home 
was bombed, destroying years of accumulated work. In 1946 
Marcks was able to return to teaching, becoming a professor at 
the state art school in Hamburg. 

The postwar years brought Marcks scores of commissions 
for monuments, restorations, tributes, and memorials, which 
gave him the means to travel abroad. He visited Greece (1954). 
southwestern and southern Africa (1955), the United States 
(1963), and Mexico (1963). The persecution, poverty, and loss 
that he had experienced only seemed to strengthen his convic- 
tion that the artist is "the sense organ of humanity." 



Giinter Busch and Martina Rudloff, Gerhard Marcks: Das pla- 
stische Work (Frankfurt: Propylaen, 1977); Detlef Hamer, ed., 
Gerhard Marcks: Bilder aus Niehagen, Briefe nach Mecklenburg 
(Rostock: Hinstorff, 1989); Kurt Lammek, ed., Gerhard Marcks: 
Das druckgraphische Werk (Stuttgart: E. Hauswedell, 1990); 
Martina Rudloff, ed., Gerhard Marcks, 1889-1981: Retrospek- 
tive (Munich: Hirmer, 1989). 


134. Strasse in Wilmersdorf, 1913 
(Street in Wilmersdorf) 

8 ; /s x 5 '/2 in. (21.9 x 14.0 cm) 

Collection of the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts. UCLA. 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley I. Talpis 

135. Wannsee Bahnhof 1913 
(Wannsee train station) 

Black ink heightened with white 

18 'Ax 2 3 '/tin. (46.4 x 59.0cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

136. Wogende Menge, 1913 
(Surging crowd) 

io"/i6X 8 s /i6in. (27.1 x 21.2 cm) 
Stadtische Kunstsammlungen, Darmstadt 

137. Untitled (street scene), 1913 
Black ink and white gouache 
i8 7 /8x 16 in. (47.9 x 40.6cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Gift of Rabbi William Kramer 

Although he belonged to none of the major Expressionist 
artists' groups, Ludwig Meidner was one of the move- 
ment's most individualistic and prolific painters and graphic 
artists. He maintained a lifelong interest in literature, asso- 
ciating more frequently with poets and writers than with other 
visual artists and publishing a number of his own collections 
of texts, such as Im Nacken das Sternemeer (The sea of stars 
at my back, 1918) and Septemberschrei '(September cry, 1920). 

Meidner was born in Bernstadt, a Silesian town he charac- 
terized as "terribly provincial" but whose geography contributed 
to his interest in landscape. Although his parents wanted 
him to be an architect and were opposed to his studying art, he 
was accepted in 1903 to the school of applied arts in Breslau, 
then under the direction of Hans Poelzig. In 1905 he moved to 
Berlin and the following year journeyed to Paris, where he 
made the acquaintance of Amedeo Modigliani, who was to be 
an inspirational figure to him throughout his life. 

Between 1907 and 1911 Meidner spent most of his time 
in Berlin, living in squalid conditions. In 1911 he received a 
stipend through the intervention of Max Beckmann, which 
helped him concentrate more fully on his work. The next year 
he began to produce what are now known as his apocalyptic 
landscapes, the works for which he is most frequently rec- 
ognized. During this period he moved in the circle of the 
Neue Club (New club) — composed mainly of writers such as 
Alfred Doblin, Carl Einstein, Georg Heym, and Jacob van 
Hoddis — and published numerous illustrations in Die Aktion 
(Action). With the painters Richard Janthur and )akob Stein- 
hardt, Meidner formed the short-lived group Die Pathetiker 
(The pathetic ones) in 1912 and exhibited with the group at 
Herwarth Walden's Sturm gallery. 

Along with the powerful imagery of the Expressionist poets, 
the work of the Italian Futurists, the French painter Robert 


Moriz Mel 


Delaunay, and the English artist William Blake influenced 
Meidner's work, which became more abstract in the years lead- 
ing up to 1916. The influence of the Futurists is apparent in 
an essay from 1914 entitled "Anleitung zum Malen von Gross- 
stadtbildern" (An introduction to painting big cities), in which 
he exhorted artists to turn their attention to the urban world 
around them and abandon Impressionist plein air painting. 
Unlike other Expressionist painters, Meidner displayed little 
interest in ethnographic art and stressed the urgency of treating 
contemporary themes. 

In December 1912 Meidner had a "revelation" that he knew 
to be religious. Although he was raised a Jew, he did not believe 
in God. Three years later, however, he wrote in his journal 
of "a proof of the existence of God: the general harmony (the 
greatest artists were Christians)" (Dichter, Maler und Cafes, 
p. 30). Meidner's religious fervor and fascination with both 
Christian and Jewish religious figures grew during the 1910s and 
1920s, and he produced numerous paintings of prophets and 
saints. Although Meidner's work is often characterized as apoca- 
lyptic because of his tumultuous landscapes (the artist himself 
used the term to describe these works in 1918, when they were 
shown together for the first time), his style and themes owe more 
to his religious beliefs and interest in theories of the apocalypse 
than to nihilism. While he was fascinated by the dystopian 
notion of the apocalypse, he also believed in the possibility of 
utopia, which he conceived of in vaguely religious terms. 

In 1939, as the Nazi persecution of Jews intensified, Meidner 
fled to England. In 1952 he returned to Germany, where he 
received increasing recognition. 



Gerda Breuer and Ines Wagemann, Ludwig Meidner: Zeichner, 
Maler, Literat, 1884-1966, exh. cat., 2 vols. (Darmstadt: 
Mathildenhohe, 1991); Carol S. Eliel, The Apocalyptic Land- 
scapes of Ludwig Meidner, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles 
County Museum of Art, 1989); Thomas Grochowiak, Ludwig 
Meidner (Recklinghausen: Aurel Bongers, 1966); Klaus Hoff- 
mann, ed., "Ausstellungsverzeichnis," in Ludwig Meidner, 
1884-1966, exh. cat. (Wolfsburg: Kunstverein Wolfsburg, 
1985); Gerhard Leistner, Idee und Wirklichkeit: Gehalt und 
Bedeutung des urbanen Expressionismus in Deutschland, 
dargestellt am Werk Ludwig Meidners, Europaische Hochschul- 
schriften, Reihe 18, no. 66 (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1986); Lud- 
wig Meidner, "Anleitung zum Malen von Grossstadtbildern," 
Kunst und Kiinstler 12 (March 1914): 312-14; translated under 
the title "An Introduction to Painting Big Cities," in Voices of 
German Expressionism, ed. Victor H. Miesel (Englewood 
Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, 1970), pp. 111-15; idem, "An alle 
Kiinstler," Das Kunstblatt 3, no. 1 (1919): 29-30; idem, Dichter, 
Maler und Cafes, ed. Ludwig Kunz (Zurich: Arche, 1973). 


138. Untitled (abstract composition), c. 1919 


5 15 /i6x 7 '/i6 in. (15.0 x 18.0 cm) 

From DerschwarzeTurm, no. 6(1919) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

Moriz Melzer was a prolific graphic artist and an active 
participant in artists' groups and contributor to period- 
icals in the early decades of the century. Initially trained as 
a porcelain painter at the academy in Weimar, he moved to 
Berlin in 1908, shifting his focus to fine and graphic art and 
coming into contact with the German artistic and literary leftist 
avant-garde, of which he was to become a prominent member. 
First showing his work at the Berlin Secession in 1909, he 
helped found the New Secession the following year, after his 
work was rejected by the secession's jury. He took part in the 
New Secession's first graphic art exhibition and was a member 
of the group's work committee. During this period Melzer and 
Georg Tappert founded the Schule fur freie und angewandte 
Kunst (School of fine and applied art) in Berlin, to provide an 
alternative to the conservative academic instruction offered by 
established institutions. 

In Paris in 1912 Melzer participated in the Salon d'automne 
as well as the Sonderbund exhibition in Cologne. Back in Berlin 
in 1913, he showed his work at the Free Secession and contrib- 
uted graphics to the periodicals Die Aktion (Action), Der Sturm 
(The storm), Die weissen Blatter (The white papers), and Die 
schbne Raritat (The beautiful curio). The drawings and prints 
he published in these journals are tumultuous works with an 
almost painterly quality of line. His subjects range from scenes 
of combat to studies of nudes in landscapes. 

In 1914 Melzer voyaged to Montreux at the invitation of a 
friend and subsequently traveled in Italy, receiving the Villa 
Romana prize from the city of Florence. Beginning in 1922, he 
served as chair of the Novembergruppe (November group) and 
was a member of the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst (Working council for 
art), in whose publication }a\ Stimmen des Arbeitsrates fur Kunst 
(Yes! Voices of the Working council for art) he was represented 
by a print. Melzer also held professorships at the Reimann school 
in Berlin and at the institute of fine arts in Berlin from 1921 
until the National Socialist takeover in 1933, when he joined 
the ranks of "degenerate" artists and was forbidden to work. 

A. S. 


Helga Kliemann, Die Novembergruppe, Bildende Kunst in 
Berlin, no. 3 (Berlin: Mann, 1969); Moriz Melzer zum 80. 
Geburtstag, exh. cat. (Berlin: Kunstamt Wedding, 1957). 


Enrich /Mendelsohn 


139. Architekturphantasie — Perspektive, 1914 
(Architectural fantasy — perspective) 


4 15 /i6x 7 5 /i6in. (12.5 x 18.3 cm) 

Staatliche Museen zti Berlin, Kunstbibliothek 

140. Skizze fiir ein Bahnhofsgebdude— Perspektive. 1914 
(Sketch for a railroad station — perspective) 

Pencil, ink 

3 7 /i6X 7 3 /i6in. (8.7 x 18.2 cm) 

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek 

141. Skizze fur eine Halle(?) —Perspektive, c. 1915 
(Sketch for a hall[?] — perspective) 


2 5 /sx 6 '/sin. (6.7 x 15.5 cm) 

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek 

142. Skizze fiir ein Clashaus, 1917 
(Sketch for a glass house) 


3 '/i x ; 7 /8in. (8.3 x 9.8cm) 

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek 

143. Einsteinturm: Drei Skizzenbldtter mit je einer Perspektive (von 
Nordwesten und Nordosten) in verschiedenen Fassungen, 1920 
(Einstein tower: Three sketches with one perspective each [from 
northwest and northeast] in different versions) 


3 x 5 3 /8in. (7.7 x 13.6cm); 3 x 5 '/sin. (7.6 x 13.5 cm); 3M6X 5 'A in. 

(7.8X 13.3cm) 

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek 

144. Skizze einer Dilnenarchitektur, 1920 
(Sketch of dune architecture) 


4 5 /t x 8 13 /i6in. (12.0 x 22.4 cm) 

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek 

145. Skizze zum Kino "Universum" 1927 
(Sketch for the Universum cinema) 
Pencil, red pencil 

3 7 /i6 x 9'/tin. (8.7 x 23.5 cm) 

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek 

Cat. no. 141 

Cat. no. 142 

Cat. no. 144 

Erich Mendelsohn absorbed a diverse array of influences 
to develop a highly individualized style that made him one 
of the foremost contributors to modern architecture in Germany 
in the 1920s. His family recalled that he was already determined 
to be an architect at the age of five, when he would build with 
whatever materials he could find. Mendelsohn himself credited 
the natural beauty of the area around Allenstein with instilling 
in him a love of nature. His designs were often based on organic 
forms and patterns of growth. 

After receiving a classical education at the humanistic 
gymnasium in Allenstein (1892-1907), Mendelsohn attended 
classes in natural economy at the university in Munich. In 
1908 he transferred to the technical college in Berlin to study- 
architecture, returning to the university in Munich to complete 
his architectural studies. From 1912 to 1914 he worked as a 
private architect in Munich. In 1916 he was sent to the Russian 
front but made an agreement with a superior officer to allow 

Cat. no. 145 



Carl Men 

him to sketch during his night watch, resulting in his "trench 
sketches" (1917) and his design for the Einsteinturm (Einstein 
tower). In igr9 many of these sketches were included in the 
exhibition In Eisen und Beton (In iron and concrete) at Paul 
Cassirer's gallery in Berlin. 

After completing his military service, Mendelsohn estab- 
lished an architectural practice in Berlin in 1919 and formed 
close relationships with the Blaue Reiter (Blue rider) painters. 
His Einsteinturm in Potsdam (1919-21) and other early works 
exhibited his new Expressionist outlook. Unlike most Expres- 
sionist architects, however, Mendelsohn was neither impov- 
erished nor unknown; his Berlin office was one of the busiest 
and most successful in Germany. During the 1920s he began to 
incorporate elements of Constructivism and moved away from 
Expressionism tow'ard what became known as the International 
Style. Major works from this period include the Herman and 
Company hat factory in Luckenwalde (1921-23), the Schocken 
department store in Stuttgart ( 1926-28), and the Universum 
cinema in Berlin (1926-29). 

Mendelsohn was compelled to leave Germany in 1933, 
when Hitler came to power. He emigrated to England and later 
became a British subject. He was invited to Palestine, where 
he designed several residences, hospitals, and other structures, 
which he adapted not only to the climate and available building 
materials but also to the landscape and culture. In 1941 he 
moved to San Francisco, where he again made spontaneous, 
unrestrained sketches reminiscent of his early work. His com- 
missions there included the Maimonides Medical Center 



Sigrid Achenbach, ed., Erich Mendelsohn, 1887-1953: Ideen, 
Bauten, Projekte, exh. cat. (Berlin: Staatliche Museen Preuss- 
ischer Kulturbesitz, 1987); Susan King, The Drawings of Eric 
Mendelsohn (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of Califor- 
nia Press, 1969); Erich Mendelsohn, Bnefe eines Architekten, 
ed. Oskar Beyer (Munich: Prestel, 1961); translated by Geoffrey 
Strachan as Letters of an Architect (London: Abelard-Schumann, 
1967); idem, Erich Mendelsohn: Complete Works of the Archi- 
tect: Sketches, Designs, Buildings, trans. Antje Fritsch (New 
York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1991); Hans R. Morgen- 
thaler, The Early Sketches of German Architect Erich Mendel- 
sohn (1887-1953): No Compromise with Reality (Lewiston, N.Y.: 
E. Mellen Press, 1992); Julius Posener, ed., Erich Mendelsohn, 
exh. cat. (Berlin: Akademie der Kiinste, 1968); Arnold Whit- 
tick, Eric Mendelsohn, 2d ed. (New York: F. W. Dodge, 1956); 
Bruno Zevi, Erich Mendelsohn: Opera completa, architetture e 
immagini architettoniche (Milan: Etas Kompass, 1970); idem, 
Erich Mendelsohn (London: Architectural Press, 1985). 



146. Strasse mil Fahnen, 1913 
(Street with flags) 

Chalk and watercolor 

ioV^x 8 '/sin. (26.0 x 20.6 cm) 

Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn 

147. Stadt am Fluss, 1918 
(City on the river) 

12 x i4 3 /sin. (30.5 x 36.5cm) 

Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich 

Cat. no. 147 

Upholding, perhaps unconsciously, the traditions of north 
Rhenish painting, painter and graphic artist Carl Mense 
created dreamlike, visionary scenes. Although he began his 
career working in an Expressionist style, he later incorporated 
elements of Futurism and eventually, in 1918-19, made the 
transition to Neue Sachlichkeit (new objectivity). 

From 1905 to 1908 Mense studied at the academy in Diissel- 
dorf, and in 1909 he studied under Lovis Corinth in Berlin. 
Mense's work was published in Der Sturm (The storm) and Die 
Aktion (Action), but he maintained close ties with his native 
region, participating in the 1913 exhibition Die rheinischen 
Expressiomsten (Rhenish Expressionists) in Bonn, joining the 
Rhenish Secession, and participating in several exhibitions 
organized by Das junge Rheinland (Young Rhineland). 

From 1914 to 1918 Mense was a soldier. After the war he 
joined the Novembergruppe (November group). From 1924 to 
1932 he was a professor at the academy in Breslau but began 
traveling through Europe in 1933. He continued to exhibit 
under the Third Reich, and from 1939 to 1945 he served as a 
soldier. After 1945 he resided in Bad Honnef. 



Oskar Maria Graf, "Der Maler Carl Mense," Der Cicerone 15, 

no. 8 (1923): 380-86. 



Robert /YlicrK 


148. Fur Hans Godbard II, 1921 

(For Hans Godbard II) 

India ink 

21V8X 26% in. (55.0 x 67.0 cm) 

Sprengel Museum Hannover. Nachlass Robert Michel 

Robert Michel's work reflects a fascination with machine 
technology, particularly the airplane. His early training was 
in engineering. A test pilot during World War I, he crashed his 
plane in 1916. After his recuperation he was released from mili- 
tary service in the winter of 1917, and he enrolled at the school 
of applied arts in Weimar, where he was part of a circle of stu- 
dents and architects around the Belgian architect and designer 
Henry van de Velde, with whom he shared an enthusiasm for 
modern technology and architecture. Among the students in this 
group was Ella Bergmann, whom he married in 1919. A year 
later the couple settled at his family estate in Vockenhausen. 

Michel's broad education allowed him to pursue his own 
artistic work as well as endeavors in typography, design, adver- 
tising, and architecture. His art was frequently exhibited during 
the 1920s. In 1925 his work was shown at the Kunstverein (art 
association) in Wiesbaden alongside that of El Lissitzky and 
Kurt Schwitters, artists with whom he shared a breadth of skills 
and interests. Schwitters became a close friend of Michel and 
Bergmann and a frequent visitor at their home. He suggested 

that they send samples of their work to American collector 
Katherine Dreier. She bought one of Michel's drawings, which 
was included in a Societe Anonyme exhibition in 1928. His 
advertising designs were included in an exhibition organized 
by the Ring neuer Werbegestalter (Circle of new advertising 
designers), a group founded by Schwitters, in 1930 and in the 
Internationale Ausstellung Kunst der Werbung (International 
exhibition of advertising art) in Essen in 1931. 

In 1927 Schwitters introduced Michel to Lucy Hillebrandt, 
an established architect in Frankfurt. They worked together 
until 1930. In 1932 and 1933 he also participated in exhibitions 
of the Bund deutscher Architekten (Association of German 
architects), of which he was a member until 1933. For the dura- 
tion of the Third Reich he retreated to his country estate. In the 
postwar period he was slow to reemerge into the public arena, 
but his work has gained increasing recognition since the 1960s. 



Norbert Nobis and Christian Grohn, eds., Robert Michel, 
1897-1983: Collagen, Malerei, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, 
Druckgraphik, Reklame, Typographic, Entwurfe, exh. cat. 
(Hannover: Sprengel Museum, 1988); Pioniere der Bildcollage: 
Ella Bergmann und Robert Michel: Werke von 1917 bis 1962, 
exh. cat. (Leverkusen: Stadtisches Museum, 1963). 

Cat. no. 148 



Ludwig /Vlies van der Kohe 


149. Cover for G, c. 1924 

Photomechanical reproduction 

9'/s x 6 7 /sin. (25.1 x 17.5 cm) 

From G: Zeitschnft fur elementare Gestaltung, no. 3 (June 1924) 

The Resource Collections of the Getty Center for the History of Art 

and the Humanities 

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is considered a founder of the 
modern movement in architecture and furniture design. 
Among the diverse factors that influenced him were neoclassi- 
cism, the Dutch De Stijl movement, and the belief in a Zeit- 
geist. His success was attained without the benefit of a formal 
education in architecture. Born into a family of stonemasons in 
Aachen, he attended the trade school there, then served as an 
apprentice to the architect and cartoonist Bruno Paul from 1905 
to 1907. Along with Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, Mies 
worked in the office of Peter Behrens from 1908 to 1911. He 
opened his own office in Berlin in 1913. 

Mies's vision and craftsmanship mark him as an artist rather 
than a practitioner; this is especially evident in his spectacular 
drawings. His glass towers were precursors of American sky- 
scrapers. Miesian architecture is characterized by vast expanses 
of glass with slender steel supports in buildings of exacting pro- 
portions which reflect his desire to achieve "a clear construction." 

In the years following World War I Mies joined the activist 
Novembergruppe (November group), although some have spec- 
ulated that his involvement was motivated as much by profes- 
sional ambition as by political conviction at a time when even 
conservative architects lacked outlets to expose their work. He 
served as director of the group's architectural exhibitions from 
1923 to 1925. Many of the early projects that helped establish 
his reputation— the crystalline office towers, the brick and con- 
crete houses— were shown in exhibitions sponsored by the Novem- 
bergruppe and other organizations. In 1923 he cofounded the 
design periodical G with Hans Richter, and in 1925 he helped 
form the architects' organization Der Ring (The ring). From 

1926 to 1932 Mies served as the first vice president of the Werk- 
bund, organizing the group's 1927 exhibition in Stuttgart. 

Only a few of Mies's early designs were actually built; they 
include the German pavilion for the Barcelona exposition 
(1929) and the Tugendhat house (1928-30) in Brno, Czecho- 
slovakia. During this period he also developed a line of tubular 
steel furniture, which included the first true cantilevered chair. 

Upon Walter Gropius's recommendation, Mies was appointed 
director of the Bauhaus following the dismissal of Hannes 
Meyer in 1930, remaining there until its closure in 1933. Amid 
great controversy he strove to free the school of militant fac- 
tions. In 1937 he immigrated to the United States and the fol- 
lowing year became head of the Armour Institute (later Illinois 
Institute of Technology) in Chicago. 



Werner Blaser, Mies van der Rohe: The Art of Structure (New 
York: Praeger, 1965); idem, Mies van der Rohe: Less Is More 
(New York: Waser, 1986); Arthur Drexler, Ludwig Mies van der 
Rohe (New York: George Braziller, i960); Philip Johnson, Mies 
van der Rohe, 3d rev. ed. (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 
1978); Mies Reconsidered: His Career, Legacy, and Disciples, 
exh. cat. (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1986); Fritz Neu- 
meyer, The Artless Word: Mies van der Rohe on the Building Art 
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991); Franz Schulze, Mies van dcr 
Rohe: A Critical Biography (Chicago: University of Chicago 
Press, 1985); David A. Spaeth, Mies van der Rohe (New York: 
Rizzoli, 1985); A. James Speyer, Mies van der Rohe (Chicago: 
Art Institute of Chicago, 1968); Paul Westheim, "Mies van der 
Rohe: Entwicklung eines Architekten," Das Kunstblatt 1 1, 
no. 2 (1927): 55-62. 



^onstantin von /Vlitschke V^ollancK 


150. Untitled (nude man with animals), c. 1923 

Color woodcut 

4 3 /8 x 3 ! /8 in. (11.1 x 8.0 cm) 

From Walther Georg Hartmann, Die Tiere der Insel (1923) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

Conrad Felixmiiller once remarked, "Besides Mitschke- 
Collande I was the only one in the political organization, 
movement, and struggle" (quoted in Kunst im Aufbruch, p. 50). 
Mitschke-Collande's political interests commanded a pivotal 
role in his art. After studying architecture at the technical col- 
lege in Munich from 1905 to 1907, he studied painting at the 
academy in Dresden from 1907 to 1910, spent a year in Italy, 
returned to Dresden to study under Otto Gussman from 1912 to 
1913, then spent a year in Paris as a student of Maurice Denis 
and Fernand Leger. 

Mitschke-Collande served in World War I from 1914 to 
1918, but in 1917 he, Felixmiiller, Peter August Bockstiegel, 
and Otto Lange exhibited together as Gruppe 1917 (Group 
19x7) at the Kunstsalon Richter in Dresden. In 1919 he was a 
founding member of the Dresden Sezession Gruppe 1919 
(Secession group 1919), which exhibited works with elements 
of Expressionism, Dadaism, and Futurism, some containing 
political imagery. Mitschke-Collande and a few others had 
expected the group to be more politically engaged, however, 
and they left in 1920. Despite being one of the few artists of his 
time to join the Communist party and one of the most radical 
of the Expressionists, Mitschke-Collande seems to have lost his 

political zeal with the dissolution of the Sezession Gruppe, a 
transition his art reflected. While he was a member, his vibrant 
art combined elements of the late Briicke style and Cubism; 
his later works were characterized by a stylized realism. 

In the mid- 1920s Mitschke-Collande worked as a set design- 
er at the Staatliches Schauspielhaus in Dresden, where he 
designed the first production of Georg Kaiser's Gas ( 1925). In 
1930 he established a private painting school. Several of his 
works were included in a 1933 National Socialist exhibition of 
"degenerate" art at the Neue Rathaus in Dresden, and two of his 
works were included in the 1937 Entartete Kunst (Degenerate 
art) exhibition in Munich. From that time on, he was forbidden 
to exhibit his work or seek public commissions. 

Much of Mitschke-Collande's early work was destroyed in the 
bombing of Dresden during World War II. He resumed working 
after the war, first in Rothenburg, then in Nuremberg. 



Constantin von Mitschke-Collande, exh. cat. (Regensburg: 
Ostdeutsche Galerie, 1975); Dresdner Sezession, 1919-1923 
(Milan: Galleria del Levante, 1977); Kunst im Aufbruch: Dres- 
den, 1918-1933, exh. cat. (Dresden: Staatliche Kunstsamm- 
lungen, Gemaldegalerie Neue Meister, 1980); Lothar Lang, 
Expressionist Book Illustration, trans. Janet Seligman (Green- 
wich, Conn.: New York Graphic Society, 1976); Revolution und 
Realismus: Revolutiondre Kunst in Deutschland 1917 bis 1933, 
exh. cat. (Berlin: Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, 



Laszlo /Vloholy INagy 


151. Dynamik der hletropol, 1921-22 
(Dynamic of the metropolis) 
Photomechanical reproduction 

9x i4 ; /6in. (23. ox 37.7cm) 

Illustrated screenplay from Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Malerei, 

Fotographie, Film, 2ded. (1925), pp. 120-21 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

152. Photomontage "Berlin" zum Schauspiel "Der Kaufmann von 
Berlin" von Walter Mehring, 1929 

(Berlin photomontage for "The merchant of Berlin" by Walter 



11% x 15% in. (29.8 x 39.0 cm) 

Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung, Universitat zu Koln 

See also cat. no. 230 

An outstanding figure both for his teaching at the Bauhaus 
and for the extraordinary breadth of his work, Laszlo 
Moholy-Nagy was one of a large group of Hungarian emigres 
(including Bela Balazs, Marcel Breuer, and Andor Weininger) 
who contributed to the cultural avant-garde of Weimar Ger- 
many. Moholy-Nagy is best known for his experimental photog- 
raphy and montage and his 1925 book Malerei, Fotographie, 
Film (Painting, photography, film), in which he set forth his 
theories on the potential of mechanical media to extend "the 
limits of the depiction of nature and the use of light as a creative 
agent" (Painting, Photography, Film, p. 7). He also worked in 
typography, stage design, and film and headed the metal work- 
shop at the Bauhaus from 1923 until 1928. 

Moholy-Nagy began law studies in Budapest, interrupting 
his education to serve in World War I from 1914 to 1917. Upon 
his return he came into contact with the circle around the lib- 
eral art journal MA (Today), which was published in Budapest 
until 1919, when its editorial staff moved to Vienna. In 1919 he 
left Hungary, moving first to Vienna and then, in 1920, to Ber- 
lin, where he worked as a correspondent for the magazine. After 
meeting El Lissitzky in 1921, he took part in Theo van Does- 
burg's Constructivist congress in Weimar and worked with other 
Hungarian artists, among them Laszlo Peri, with whom he 
exhibited at the Sturm gallery in 1922. 

Invited by Walter Gropius to teach at the Bauhaus in 1923, 
Moholy-Nagy took over the teaching of the basic course 
from Johannes Itten and the leadership of the metal workshop 
from Paul Klee. Moholy-Nagy was fascinated by the possibilities 
of light as a medium in itself, exploring still photography as 
well as film, whose "essential medium," he wrote, "is light not 
pigment" (Kostelanetz, Moholy-Nagy, p. 131). For the stage he 
proposed a "total theater," which would eliminate "all that is 
logical-intellectual (literature)," using light, sound, form, and 
motion as interdependent elements. In his essay "Theater, 

Zirkus, Variete" (Theater, circus, variety show), published in 
1927, he emphasized formal elements rather than content: 
"Even if conflicts arising from today's complicated social pat- 
terns, from the world-wide organization of technology, from 
pacifist-utopian and other kinds of revolutionary movements, 
can have a place in the art of the stage, they will be significant 
only in a transitional period, since their treatment belongs prop- 
erly to the realms of literature, politics, and philosophy" (trans- 
lated in Gropius and Wensinger, Theater of the Bauhaus, p. 62). 

Although Moholy-Nagy designed a number of theatrical 
productions in the early 1920s — such as Upton Sinclair's Prince 
Hagen in 1921 and Walter Hasenclever's Die Menschen (The 
people) and Shakespeare's Othello in 1923— his most ambitious 
projects were for the Berlin Krolloper, founded in 1927, where 
he was able to implement his ideas on a grander scale, despite 
the traditional material he was given. For his first commission, 
Hoffmanns Erzdhlungen (The tales of Hoffmann), performed in 
1929, he created imaginary spaces with scaffolding, used light 
and color to accentuate parts of the drama, and employed steel 
sets (designed by Breuer) for the first time on the stage. That 
year Moholy-Nagy received a commission from radical theater 
director Erwin Piscator to design Walter Mehring's Der Kauf- 
mann von Berlin (The merchant of Berlin). Moholy-Nagy also 
designed Paul Hindemith's Hin und Zuriick (There and back) 
in 1930 and Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly in 1931 for 
the Krolloper. 

After the National Socialist takeover Moholy-Nagy immi- 
grated first to Amsterdam, then to London, and finally to Chi- 
cago, where he cofounded the New Bauhaus design school. 


Walter Gropius and Arthur S. Wensinger, eds., The Theater of 
the Bauhaus, trans. Arthur S. Wensinger (Middletown, Conn.: 
Wesleyan University Press, 1961); Eleanor M. Hight, Moholy- 
Nagy: Photography and Film in Weimar Germany, exh. cat. 
(Wellesley, Mass.: Wellesley College Museum, 1985); Richard 
Kostelanetz, ed., Moholy-Nagy, Documentary Monographs in 
Modern Art, ed. Paul Cummings (New York: Praeger, 1970); 
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Painting, Photography, Film, trans. Janet 
Seligman (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1969); Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, 
Moholy-Nagy. Experiment in Totality, 2d ed. (Cambridge: MIT 
Press, 1969); Krisztina Passuth, Moholy-Nagy, trans. Eva Grusz 
et al. (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1985); Leland D. Rice 
and David W Steadman, eds., Photographs of Moholy-Nagy 
from the Collection of William Larson, exh. cat. (Claremont, 
Calif.: Galleries of the Claremont Colleges, 1975). 


Otto Moll 






153. Berliner Expression 

(Berlin expression) 


9 1! /i6x 8 !/i6 in. (25.2 x 20.5 cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

Otto Moller devoted most of his career to teaching, 
although he was also a prolific artist and played a role in 
the Novembergruppe (November group) from its founding in 
1919 until 1932. Having studied with renowned German 
Impressionist Lovis Corinth, he began working in a modified 
Impressionist style but, like many other German artists of his 
generation, was influenced by Cubism and Futurism and drew 
inspiration from Robert Delaunay's use of color. 

In a group of works from the igios and 1920s Moller depicted 
the city as a series of colored geometric forms, using fragments 
of words drawn from daily life and from advertising, such as cafe 
and cigarette. With their densely overlapping groups of stores, 
vehicles, and industrial objects, his cityscapes communicate 
both the excitement and the disorienting nature of the metropo- 
lis. His themes were wide-ranging, however, and he produced 
numerous semiabstract woodcuts, watercolors, and drawings as 
well as realistic landscapes in a more Fauvist vein. 

From 1904 to 1907 Moller studied at the royal school of art 
in Berlin, where he received classical training in draftsmanship 
and painting. Beginning in 1909, he taught art in Berlin; he- 
exhibited with the Berlin Secession from 1910 until 1912, show- 
ing mostly lithographs, drawings, and woodcuts. In 1919 he was 
represented in a Novembergruppe exhibition along with eigh- 
teen other artists, including Cesar Klein and Moriz Melzer, and 
participated in most of the group's exhibitions until 1931. In 
1927 Moller was also a member of the group's jury and exhibi- 
tion committee. In the mid- 1920s his style became more repre- 
sentational, resembling that of the Neue Sachlichkeit (new 
objectivity) artists. 

From 1920 Moller taught methodology and artistic pedagogy 
at the institute of art education in Berlin, where he and the 
painter Bemhard Hasler shared responsibility for developing 
new teaching programs. Although he maintained this post until 
1940, he was forbidden to exhibit after the National Socialist 
takeover in 1933. After the war, from 1946 to 1955, he was a 
professor of art education at the institute of fine arts in Berlin. 


Peter Hopf, ed., Die Novembergruppe: Teil I: Die Maler, exh. 
cat., Tendenzen der zwanziger Jahre (Berlin: Kunstamt Wed- 
ding, 1977); Kiinstlerder Novembergruppe, exh. cat. (Berlin: 
Galerie Nierendorf, 1985). 


154. Schopfung, 1917 

i7 5 /8 x 12 '/sin. (44.8 x 30.8cm) 
Loretto Molzahn 

155. Springende Pferde (Tierformen), 1919 
(Jumping horses [animal forms]) 

I3 n /i6x 10 in. (34.8 x 25.3 cm) 

Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg 

156. Sternbewegung, 1919 
(Star movement) 

8 7 /i6x s'Mein. (21.5 x 14.8cm) 
Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg 

157. Sternendrbhnen, 1919 
(Roar of the stars) 

13V1 x 8"/i6in. (35.0 x 22.0cm) 
Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg 

158. Zeit-Taster: Einc kleine Kollektion utopisch-phantastischcr 
Maschinen und Apparate, 1921 

(Time-feeler: A small collection of Utopian fantastic machines and 


Color lithograph 

Sheet: i2 7 /s x loin. (32.7 x 25.4cm) 

Cover from the portfolio Zeit-Taster: Eine kleine Kollektion utopisch- 

phantastischer Maschinen und Apparate (1921) 

Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg 

159. Grundriss der Mechanik und Festigkeitslehrc, 1921 
(Blueprint of mechanics and tensile strength) 

3 3 /s x 4% in. (8.6 x 12.0cm) 

From the portfolio Zeit-Taster: Eine kleine Kollektion utopisch- 

phantastischer Maschinen und Apparate (1921) 

Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg 

160. lndustrie-Denkmaler, 1921 
(Monuments for industry) 

4'/4x 3 5 /sin. (12.0 x 8.6 cm) 

From the portfolio Zeit-Taster: Eine kleine Kollektion utopisch- 

phantastischer Maschinen und Apparate (1921) 

Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg 

161. Atom-Zerstauber, die neue Kraft-Zentrale, 1921 
(Atom smasher, the new power plant) 


6 15 /i6X4 7 /8in. (17.6 x 12.3 cm) 

From the portfolio Zeit-Taster: Eine kleine Kollektion utopisch- 

phantastischer Maschinen und Apparate (1921) 

Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg 

162. Konstruktion ernes Mdchstrassen-Elevators, 1921 
(Construction of an elevator for the Milky Way) 

io"/i6X4'M6in. (27. 2 x 12.2 cm) 

From the portfolio Zeit-Taster: Eine kleine Kollektion utopisch- 

phantastischer Maschinen und Apparate (1921) 

Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg 


163. Hohen-Lokomobilchen, 1921 
(Little height locomobiles) 

4 s /8X4'/2in. (11.8 x 11.5 cm) 

From the portfolio Zeit-Taster: Eine kleine Kollektion utopisch- 

phantastischer Maschinen und Apparate (1921) 

Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg 

164. jamesWatt, dem Erfindcr der Dampfmaschine, 1921 
(To James Watt, the inventor of the steam engine) 

7V2X 5 '/s in. (19.1 x 14.3 cm) 

From the portfolio Zeit-Taster: Eine kleine Kollektion utopisch- 

phantastischer Maschinen und Apparate (1921) 

Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg 

Johannes Molzahn spent his youth in Weimar, where he 
attended drawing school. In 1915 he was called up for mili- 
tary duty and served on the German-Danish border. His best- 
known early paintings, Schopfung I (Creation I) and Schopfung 
II of 1916, manifest a pantheistic perspective. His first exhibi- 
tion was in 1917 at Herwarth Walden's Sturm gallery in Berlin. 
In 1918 he returned to Weimar, where he was active in the 
founding and earl) phases of the Bauhaus. In 1919 he published 
"Das Manifest des absoluten Expressionismus" (The manifesto 
of absolute Expressionism) in Der Sturm (The storm). 

Foremost a painter, "the German Boccioni" also created 
architectural fantasies in charcoal and graphite and participated 
in the 1919 Ausstellung fiir unbekannte Architekten (Exhibition 
of unknown architects) in Berlin. Bruno Taut, who was serving 
as Magdeburg's city-planning officer, chose Molzahn to teach 
advertising, graphics, typesetting, printing, and lithography 
at the school of applied arts there. His later works show the 
influence of film, for example, his 1921 Die Rollschuhldufer 
(The roller skaters), a homage to Charlie Chaplin, and the 1925 
Portrat-Kmema (Cinema portrait). Erotic and mythological 
images were likewise subjects for works such as Mdnnliche 
Kurve—Urtierchen (Masculine curve— protozoan, 1921); 
Frauenspiegel II (Lady's looking glass II, 1928); and Heroische 
Geste (Apollo) (Heroic gesture [Apollo], 1933). From 1928 to 
1932 Molzahn was a professor at the academy in Breslau. 

The Nazi's 1937 exhibition Entartete Kunst (Degenerate art) 
included six paintings and one woodcut by Molzahn. With 
the help of Walter Gropius, who was then a professor of archi- 
tecture at Harvard, he emigrated to the United States in 1938. 
From 1938 to 1952 Molzahn lectured and held professorships in 
Seattle, Chicago, and New York, obtaining American citizen- 

ship in 1949. His works after 1950 were often on religious sub- 
jects, reflecting his growing interest in Catholicism. In 1959 
he returned to Germany and was named a full member of the 
academy in Berlin. 



Christoph Brockhaus and Barbara Lepper, Johannes Molzahn: 
Das malerische Werk, exh. cat. (Duisburg: Wilhelm Lehmbruck 
Museum, 1988); Siegfried Salzmann and Ernst-Gerhard 
Giise, Johannes Molzahn: Das druckgraphische Werk, exh. cat. 
(Duisburg: Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, 1976); Herbert 
Schade, Johannes Molzahn: Einfiihrung in das Werk und die 
Kunsttheorie des Malers (Munich: Schnell und Steiner, 1972). 

Cat. no. 155 

Cat. no. 156 



Otto Muell 



165. Knabe zwischcn Blattpflanzen, 1912 
(Youth seated between large plants) 

n x i4'/i6in. (27.9 x 37.3 cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

166. Badende, 1920 

6 7 /s x g s /i6in. (17.5 x 23.7 cm) 

From Kurt Pfister, Deutsche Graphiker der Gegenwart (1920) 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 
Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 
provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 
deaccession funds 

167. Adam undEva. 1920-23 
(Adam and Eve) 

i7'/i6 x 13 in. (43.6 x 33.1 cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

Otto Mueller, like fellow members of the Brucke (Bridge) 
Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Karl 
Schmidt-Rottluff, was fascinated by the portrayal of landscape 
and the human form in harmony with nature. Unlike his col- 
leagues, however, Mueller was engaged almost exclusively with 
this motif and showed comparatively little interest in portraying 
the city. His numerous depictions of female figures in nature 
not only display a fascination with arcadian symbolism but also 
present the female form as the incarnation of. and perhaps a 
necessary condition for, this preindustrial idyll. While his 
female figures are almost always depicted in groups, secluded 
from men and modern society, they are also highly erotic. 

Another subject frequently depicted in Mueller's work is gyp- 
sies. It is probable that gypsies intrigued him for many of the 
same reasons that African and Oceanic art interested Kirchner; 
they represented the fringe of German society. Culturally, 
racially, and often linguistically isolated, they may have appealed 
to Mueller's sense of himself as an outsider. 

Born in a small town in Silesia to a civil servant father and 
a mother whom he claimed was part gypsy, Mueller had an 
unusual upbringing. A childhood friend of the writer Gerhart 
Hauptmann, he moved in avant-garde literary circles early in 
his life. Mueller's education was a patchwork of schooling and 
self-training: he began an apprenticeship in lithography in the 
town of Gorlitz, then entered the academy in Dresden in 1894, 
again leaving before completing his studies. Planning to study 
in Munich in 1898, he changed his mind again and worked 
independently for a year, after which he returned to Dresden. 
From 1900 to 1908 he lived in various parts of Silesia with 
Maschka Mayerhofer, who later became his first wife. 

Mueller's move to Berlin in 1908 brought contacts with the 
artists with whom he would join in founding the New Secession 
and with the Brucke, which he joined in 1910, becoming the 
last member to join before the group's dissolution in 1913. For 
the next few years he was the friend and colleague of the Brucke 
artists, who learned from him the technique of distemper, a 
painting method that allowed them to work more sponta- 
neously. From 1916 to 1918 Mueller served in World War I, 
resuming work after his return to Berlin in 1918 and traveling 
frequently to Eastern Europe. He taught at the academy in 
Breslau from 1919 until his death there in 1930. 

A. S. 


Lothar Giinther Buchheim, Otto Mueller: Leben und Werk: 
Mit einem Werkverzeichnis der Graphik Otto Muellers von Flo- 
nan Karsch (Feldafing: Buchheim, 1963); idem, Otto Mueller 
(Feldafing: Buchheim, 1968); Otto Mueller zum hundertsten 
Geburtstag: Das graphische Gesamtwerk, exh. cat. (Berlin: 
Galerie Nierendorf, 1974). 


2 5 1 





168. Fehgrotte mit loderndem Fluss II, c. 1895-1900 
(Rock grotto with blazing river II) 

Tempera over pencil on gray paper glued to board 

11M6X 7 7 /i6in. (28.4 x 18.8 cm) 

Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich 

169. Entwurf zu einem Denkmal 11, c. 1898-1900 
(Sketch for a monument II) 


5 "/16X 4 in. (14.5 x 10.1 cm) 

Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich 

From his early schooldays through his final years Hermann 
Obrist experienced visions of architectural forms, city plans, 
fairy-tale buildings, and religious edifices of inconceivable 
beauty, accompanied by an inner voice exclaiming, "Go and 
build this!" Although he was never commissioned to design a 
building, he expressed his innovative architectural concepts in 
models and exceptionally imaginative fountains and funerary 
monuments, which inspired a new approach to art and architec- 
ture in the pre-World War I years. He explored the "possibilities 
of new shapings of space, new static effects, new constructions, 
new forms, new methods, and new ornamentation." 

As a sculptor, designer, and teacher Obrist based his works 
and writings on the psychological theories of empathy taught by 
Theodor Lipps, seeking through his art to transcend bourgeois 
concerns and encounter an object's inner essence. Born to a 
Swiss physician father and a Scottish mother, he entered Heidel- 
berg University in 1885 to study medicine and natural sciences 
but left a year later, traveling to Berlin, England, and then Scot- 
land. In the fall of 1887 he entered the school of applied arts in 
Karlsruhe to study ceramics. After winning a gold medal at the 
1889 Paris Exposition for his unusual ceramic and furniture 
designs, he went to Paris, where he studied sculpture. In 1892 
he moved to Florence to study marble craftsmanship and estab- 
lished an embroidery studio, which he transferred to Munich 
in 1895. 

Obrist gained notoriety as an inspiring lecturer advocating 
the reform of arts and crafts education. In 1897 ne became the 
leading organizer of the Vereinigte Werkstatten fur Kunst im 
Handwerk (Union of arts and crafts workshops) in Munich. In 
1902 he and Wilhelm von Debschitz opened the Lehr- und 
Versuchsateliers fiir angewandte und freie Kunst (Teaching and 
experimental studios for the applied and fine arts) in Munich, 
which was one of the first schools in Germany to emphasize the 
interdependence of the fine and applied arts. 

! « 

Cat. no. if; 


Cat. no. 169 


Throughout his career Obrist had erratic contacts with a vari- 
ety of groups. He was associated with the Munich Jugendstil and 
joined the Munich Secession but attacked the latter for its con- 
servatism and resigned. He took delight in the visionary works of 
the participants in the 1919 Ausstellung fur unbekannte Archi- 
tekten (Exhibition of unknown architects). The show was organ- 
ized by the Arbeitsrat fiir Kunst (Working council for art), which 
honored Obrist by including photographs of his sketches for 
funerary monuments. As an advocate of private initiative, how- 
ever, Obrist shunned the group's social ideals and argued that 
the true artist should avoid any organizational or committee affil- 
iation. Nevertheless the Expressionists, considerably younger 
than he, looked upon Obrist as a prophet, a spiritual father. 
Although he felt that his fantasy work surpassed that of the 
Expressionists, Obrist shared their Utopian yearnings. In 1919 
he predicted that in three decades Germany would lead trium- 
phantly in the arts. He did not associate with the postwar phase 
of Expressionism, having withdrawn into a private world. 

V. H. 


Silvie Lampe-von Bennigsen, Hermann Obrist: Erinnerungen 
(Munich: Herbert Post Presse, 1970); Hermann Obrist, Neue 
Moglichkeiten in der bildenden Kunst: Essays (Leipzig: Eugen 
Diederichs, 1903); Hans Christoph von Tavel, Hermann Obrist, 
1862-1927; Louis Soutter, 1871-1942; Jean BloeNiestle, 1884- 
1942; Kurt Seligmann, 1900-1962, exh. cat. (Bern: Kunstmu- 
seum, 1967); Siegfried Wichmann, Hermann Obrist: Wegbereiter 
der Modeme, exh. cat. (Munich: Stuck-Jugendstil-Verein, 1968). 



A/lax lechstein 


170. Erlegung des Festbratens, 1911 
(Killing of the banquet roast) 
Hand-colored woodcut on newsprint 
8 7 /sx lo'/iin. (22.5 x 26.0cm) 

Proof apart from the edition published in Der Sturm 2, no. 93 


Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

171. Tanzendc und Badende am Waldteich, 1912 
(Dancers and bathers at a forest pond) 
Hand-colored lithograph 

17 '/i6 x I2 l5 /i6in. (43.5 x 32.5 cm) 

From the portfolio Brucke VII (1912) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

172. Attributed to Max Pechstein 

Cover for Arbeitsrat fur Kunst Berlin, 1919 

Woodcut on green paper 

7 s /sx i2'/2in. (19.4 x 31.7cm) 

The Resource Collections of the Getty Center for the History of Art 

and the Humanities 

Max Pechstein was one of the most politically active and 
vocal of the Expressionists, believing in the power 
of revolutionary socialism to provide a new ground for artistic 
creativity. Surprisingly, however, he was also one of the most 
publicly accepted of the Expressionists, receiving a number of 
government prizes during the 1910s and ig20s, exhibiting with 
the Berlin Secession, and managing to live at least partially 
from the sale of his works. Cofounder of the New Secession as 
well as the Novembergruppe (November group) and the Arbeits- 
rat fur Kunst (Working council for art), he played an important 
role in the Berlin art community both before and after World 
War I. 

The son of a textile worker, Pechstein left school at age fifteen 
to study painting with a local mural painter. This apprenticeship- 
four years of drawing "a draft animal in front of a cart" — bored 
him, however, and in 1900 he moved to Dresden, where he 
enrolled at the school of applied arts. Meeting Erich Heckel in 
1906 on the occasion of an applied arts show for which he cre- 
ated a mural, Pechstein joined the Brucke (Bridge) that year. He 
wrote of his relationship with Heckel: "We recognized our com- 
mon longing, our similar enthusiasm for the van Goghs and 
Munchs we had seen. ... A shared love of the woodcut also 
bonded us" ("Autobiographic," in Max Pechstein: Zeichnungen 
und Aquarelle, exh. cat., ed. Jurgen Schilling [(Hamburg?), 

1987], P. 6). 

From 1908 Pechstein lived in Berlin, where his studio pro- 
vided a meeting place for the Brucke during stays in the city. 
Along with a number of other artists, such as Cesar Klein, 
Moriz Melzer, and Georg Tappert, he founded the New Seces- 
sion as an alternative exhibition society after a number of artists 
had been rejected by the Berlin Secessions jury. After Pechstein 
exhibited with the Berlin Secession in 1912, which the Brucke 

members had agreed not to do, he was expelled from the group, 
bringing it closer to its final breakup in 1913. When he returned 
to Germany in 1915 after a journey to Palau that ended with 
imprisonment in Japan and a long voyage home under a false 
passport, he was called up for military service. 

After the war Pechstein was instrumental in founding the 
Arbeitsrat fiir Kunst and the Novembergruppe in Berlin, whose 
stated goal was "to dedicate all our energies to the moral regen- 
eration of a young and free Germany" ("The November Group 
Manifesto," in Voices of German Expressionism, p. 169). For a 
book published by the Novembergruppe entitled An alle Kiinstler! 
(To all artists), Pechstein designed the cover and drafted the 
central essay, "Was wir wollen" (What we want). He called for 
students to break away from the conservative Scheinkunst (sham 
art) taught at the academies and voiced the hope that the future 
socialist republic would provide fertile ground for artistic devel- 
opment and cultural renewal. He demanded a greater voice for 
artists in society and access to art and art education for all citi- 
zens: "The beginning of a new unity of Volk and art will be her- 
alded on the basis of craft, with each artist working in his own 
fashion. ... Art is no game, but a duty to the Volk! It is a matter 
of public concern. . . . This we demand as the most important 
aspect of our right to self-determination, and this is how we 
shall demonstrate that we are important not merely for art lovers 
but for society as a whole" ("What We Want," ibid., p. 179). 

Pechstein was appointed to a professorship at the academy in 
Berlin in 1922, which he held for eleven years before being 
removed from his post by the National Socialists. He spent the 
war years in Pomerania, where he was eventually taken prisoner 
by the Russians. After the war he returned to Berlin to resume 
teaching at the academy. 


Paul Fechter, Das graphische Werk Max Pechstems (Berlin: 
Fritz Gurlitt, 1921); Gunter Kruger, "Der Maler Max Pechstein 
als Graphiker," Zeitschrift des Deutschen Vereins fur Kunst- 
wissenschaft 40 (1986): 115-35; idem, Das druckgraphische 
Werk Max Pechsteins (Tokendorf: R C. Pechstein, 1988); Wolf- 
gang Werner, ed., Max Pechstein: Brucke Period and Works 
by Heckel, Nolde, Kirchner, Schmidt-Rottluff, exh. cat. (New 
York: Helen Serger/La Boetie, 1984); Max Pechstein, "Was wir 
wollen," in An alle Kiinstler! (Berlin: W Simon, 1919), pp. 18- 
22; translated under the title "What We Want," in Voices of Ger- 
man Expressionism, ed. Victor H. Miesel (Englewood Cliffs, 
N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970); idem, Erinnerungen, ed. Leopold 
Reidemiester (Wiesbaden: Limes, i960); Jurgen Schilling, ed., 
Max Pechstein, exh. cat. (Unna: Schloss Cappenberg, 1989). 



Vvilhelm I lunneck* 


Hans loclzic 


173. Hauser, Baume, Menschen, 1919 
(Houses, trees, people) 

9 7 /s x8/i6in. (25.1 x 21.4cm) 

Cover for the portfolio Hauser, Baume, Menschen (1921) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

174. Untitled (factory), 1919 

13V8X 9% in. (33.3 x 24.8cm) 

From the portfolio Hauser, Baume, Menschen (1921) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold. Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

The little-known painter and graphic artist Wilhelm Pliin- 
necke was trained at the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum 
of applied arts) in Berlin. He illustrated books and from 1919 
to 1920 contributed illustrations to the Hannover avant-garde 
journal Das hohe Ufer (The high bank). 


175. Untitled (interior perspective sketch looking toward the 
stage, for the concert hall project, Dresden), c. 1918 
Graphite on tracing paper 

Image: io'/i6x 12% in. (25.6 x 32.8 cm) 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

176. Untitled (sketch of the interior of the Grosses 
Schauspielhaus, Berlin), c. 1919 

Graphite and crayon on tracing paper 

Image: io'/* x i2 7 /sin. (26.1 x 32.8 cm) 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

177. Festspielhaus Salzburg, erste Fassung: Zuschauerraum, 1920-21 
(Salzburg festival hall, first version: Auditorium) 

Charcoal on tissue paper 

2i 7 /8 x 27 l! /i6in. (55.6 x 71.0cm) 

Plansammlung der Universitatsbibliothek der Technischen 

Universitat, Berlin 

178. Festspielhaus Salzburg, erste Fassung: Aussenansicht mit 
Treppenanlage, 1920-22 

(Salzburg festival hall, first version: Exterior view with stairway) 

Chalk on tissue paper 

15V8X 27% in. (39.1 x 70.8 cm) 

Plansammlung der Universitatsbibliothek der Technischen 

Universitat, Berlin 

179. Modell fur cine Wegkapclle, 1921 
(Model for a way chapel) 


i6'/8x i3 5 /i6X9'Vi6in. (41.0 x 33.5 x 25.0cm) 

Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe 

An architect who created some of the most personal 
Expressionist works, Hans Poelzig was the son of a count- 
ess, whose maiden name he retained. He studied architecture at 
the technical college in Berlin-Charlottenburg, worked as an 
assistant to Hugo Haring in the Berlin building office between 
1894 and 1895, and began working in the technical office of the 
Prussian ministry of public works in 1899. Poelzig taught for 
most of his life, placing the highest value upon his role as 
a teacher. He worked tirelessly, incessantly making sketches of 
people, animals, and landscapes as well as architectural forms 
and ornamental motifs. Two common themes in his works are 
the cave and the tower. The cave became a leitmotif that was 
adopted by other architects (for example, in Bruno Taut's 1914 
Glashaus [Glass house]). The tower was also a common Expres- 
sionist theme. Poelzig's 1910 water tower at Posen was perhaps 
his most significant early work. During World War I he pro- 
posed many projects, few of which were built. 

In 1918 Poelzig joined both the Arbeitsrat fiir Kunst (Working 
council for art) and the Novembergruppe (November group). 
He became chairman of the Werkbund in 1919, later joined Der 
Ring (The ring), and by 1924 was an active participant in the 
Kreis der Freunde des Bauhauses (Circle of friends of the Bau- 
haus). Although Poelzig and Taut belonged to some of the 
same organizations, their relationship was not amicable. Taut 
attacked Poelzig on many occasions, almost causing him to 



resign from the Arbeitsrat. The brunt of his criticism targeted 
Poelzig's use of repeating patterns in his structures, yet what was 
for Taut redundancy was for Poelzig resonance. 

Poelzig's best-known work was his 1919 Grosses Schauspiel- 
haus theater in Berlin. Combining the concept of the "people's 
theater" with nineteenth-century Utopian socialism, the 
Schauspielhaus manifested the Expressionist concern for the 
social usefulness of art, uniting actors and audience in an arena 
defined by imposing stalactite ceiling projections. 

Director Paul Wegener's 1920 Der Golem (The golem) was 
the first and most significant of Poelzig's three film commissions 
(followed by Wegener's Lebende Buddhas [Living Buddhas, 
1923-24], a financial failure, and Arthur von Gerlach's Zur 
Chronik von Grieshuus [Chronicles of Grieshuus, 1924-25]). 
Unlike other designers, who created the illusion of space, 
Poelzig used scaffolding, wooden lath, and plaster to create 
three-dimensional space, a concept foreign to motion pictures 
up to that time. Describing the set of Der Golem, Wegener 
stated: "It isn't Prague . . . not Prague or any other town. Rather 

it is a poetic townscape" (quoted in Der dramatische Raum, 
p. 109). Poelzig assembled palpable dream scenes: winding 
passages, distorted rib vaults, twisting and turning stairs- 
externalized symbols of the inner psychology of an enclosed 

Harassed by the Nazis because of his friendships, architec- 
ture, and principles, Poelzig left Germany for Turkey in 1936. 
There he was granted responsibility for the design of public 
works and was offered a professorship at the school of architec- 
ture in Ankara. In spite of his successes — he won first place in 
a 1935 competition for an academy of music and theater in 
Istanbul — Poelzig returned to Germany because of ill health, 
dying soon thereafter. 

V. H. 


John R. Clarke, "Expressionism in Film and Architecture: 
Hans Poelzig's Sets for Paul Wegener's The Golem" Art Journal 
34 (Winter 1974-75): 115-24; Der dramatische Raum: Hans 

Cat. no. 178 



Walter Kei 

Poelzig: Malerei, Theater, Film, exh. cat. (Krefeld: Museum 
Haus Lange, iq86); Heinrich de Fries, "Raumgestaltung im 
Film," Wasmuths Monatshefte fur Baukunst 5, no. 3-4(1920- 
21): 63-82; Hans Poelzig: Ein grosses Theater und em kleines 
Haus, exh. cat. (Berlin: Aedes Galerie ftir Architektur und 
Raum, 1986); Theodor Heuss, Hans Poelzig: Bauten und Ent- 
wilrfe: Das Lebensbild eines deutsehen Baumeisters ( 1939; Stutt- 
gart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1985); Herta Elisabeth Killy, 
Peter Pfankuch, and Dirk Scheper, eds., Poelzig. Endell, Moll 
und die Breslauer Kunstakademie, 1911-1932, exh. cat. (Berlin: 
Akademie der Kiinste, 1965); Wolfgang Pehnt, "Hans Poelzig's 
Film Sets for Der Golem, 1920," Domus, no. 688 (November 
1987): 81-84; Hans Poelzig, "Architektur," in Das deutsche 
Kunstgewerbe, exh. cat. (Dresden: Staatliche Kunst- 
sammlungen, 1906); Julius Posener, Hans Poelzig: Reflections 
on His Life and Work, ed. Kristin Feireiss, trans. Christine 
Charlesworth (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992); Paul Westheim, 
"Eine Filmstadt von Poelzig," Das Kunstblatt 4, no. 11 (1920): 
3 2 5-33- 

■ „ 

• A*: ■ ' 

Cat. no. 175 




180. Untitled (cafe scene), c. 1919 

12 x 13% in. (30.5 x 34.9cm) 

Set design for the film Das Cabinet des Doktor Caligari (1919), 

directed by Robert Wiene 

Department of Special Collections, University of Southern California 

181. Untitled (woman on couch), c. 1919 

12 x 13'/: in. (30.5 x 34.3 cm) 

Set design for the film Das Cabinet des Doktor Caligari (1919), 

directed by Robert Wiene 

Department of Special Collections, University of Southern California 

See also cat. no. 218 

A member of the design trio that helped create Das Cabinet 
des Doktor Caligari (The cabinet of Doctor Caligari, 
1919), Walter Reimann is credited by his partners, Hermann 
Warm and Walter Rohrig, with introducing Expressionism into 
film decoration. Reimann studied in Berlin, Diisseldorf, and 
Hamburg and is thought to have been a fringe member of the 
Sturm group. Before World War I he worked as a newspaper 
illustrator, as did many artists. After the war he met Warm at 
the Armee-Theater in Wilna, and together they set up a studio 
with Robert Herlth. In 1919 Warm introduced Reimann to the 
film industry by asking him to help paint sets. Later that year 
Reimann served as one of the designers for Caligari, providing 
the initial impetus for its Expressionist style as well as designing 
the costumes. 

A fervent believer in the expressive capabilities of scenic- 
design, Reimann worked on more than twenty-five films during 
the Weimar period, including Die Pest in Florenz (The plague 
in Florence, 1919), directed by Otto Rippert and with a script 
by Fritz Lang, on which he also collaborated with Warm and 
Rohrig; Arthur von Gerlach's Vanina (1922); and Henrik 
Galeen's Alraune (Mandrake, 1928). On many of his projects 
Reimann worked with other film designers, illustrating the 
importance of the collaborative effort of design teams in film at 
the time. In Vanina, on which he worked independently, he 
dreamed up "dark, multiple, inextricable corridors — created 
with all the fervor of Expressionism" (Lotte Eisner, The Haunted 
Screen [Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California 
Press, 1973], p. 63). 


Cat. no. 176 



Hans Kichter 

In an enthusiastic manifesto entitled "Filmbauten und 
Raumkunst" (Film sets and the art of space), published in 1926, 
Reimann delineated his ideas on film decor. On the stage, he 
wrote, a person "can be everything, for he lives there in his 
words and works by his personality. But in film, words and per- 
sonality are taken from him, as are all other things; he works 
only through photographic communication." Set design is 
"not merely a decorative accessory, as is generally assumed; it 
replaces the explicatory word with silent demonstration." In 
film, the "silent fine art. . . the decoration, the theatrical proper- 
ties, the costumes, the masks; in short, the visible materiality 
must replace the word! Film is a language of signs that must be 
seen" (reprinted in Walter Kaul, Schopferisehe Filmarchitektur 
[Berlin: Deutsche Kinemathek, 1971], p. 11). 

Reimann continued to work in film design through 1936. 
After a possible flirtation with Nazism (he published an article 
in Deutsche Kultur-Wacht in 1933 entitled "Dem deutschen 
Film gewidmet" [To the German cinema]), he appears to have 
stopped working in film. The details of his later years are 


Richard Burdick Byrne, "German Cinematic Expressionism, 
1919-1924," Ph.D. diss., State University of Iowa, Iowa 
City, 1962; Klaus Peter Hess, Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari: 
Materialien zu einem Film von Robert Wiene (Duisburg: 
Atlas Film, 1988), p. 53. 


182. Fuge, 1920 


Pencil on scroll 

18V2 x lioin. (47.0 x 279.4cm) 

Sketch for a film 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Irvin 


Hans Richter's multifaceted career exemplifies the broad 
range of artistic experimentation that engaged European 
artists in the first decades of the twentieth century. A participant 
in Zurich Dada and the author of numerous books on the move- 
ment, he was an artist, writer, publisher, and experimental 
filmmaker who, along with Swedish artist Viking Eggeling, is 
credited with creating the first abstract film. 

A contributor to the journal Dada in Zurich from 1916 to 
1918 and to the Dutch Constructivist periodical De Stijl from 
1921 to 1927 as well as the artistic director for the film periodical 
Lichtbildbuhne (Screen) in 1926 and 1927, Richter also found- 
ed and published the periodical G from 1923 until 1926. He 
called G, whose pithy title stands for Gestaltung (design) "the 
first modern art periodical in Germany." It published contribu- 
tions from artists and theoretical articles on avant-garde art in 
Europe. In 1926 he devoted a full issue to film, being among 
the first to treat the medium as an independent art form. Richter 
and Eggeling proposed that film, instead of being representa- 
tional, could develop its own formal language. Richter wrote in 
De Stijl in 1921 that film is "evolution and revolution in the 
sphere of the purely artistic (abstract forms), somewhat analo- 
gous to the familiar effects of music on our ear." For the new art 
of film, he stated, "it is absolutely essential to have unambig- 
uous elements. Without these a play of forms can certainly be 
brought about (and a seductive one), but never a language" 
(translated in Louise O'Konor, Viking Eggeling, 1880-1925: 
Artist and Filmmaker: Life and Work, trans. Catherine G. 
Sundstrom and Anne Bibby, Stockholm Studies in the History 
of Art, no. 23 [Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell, 1971], pp. 

Richter began, like many experimental artists of his genera- 
tion, by studying architecture. He subsequently attended the 
institute of fine arts in Berlin and the academy in Weimar in 
1908 and 1909. In Berlin in 1912 he was introduced to avant- 
garde circles through the Sturm gallery; he distributed Filippo 
Tommaso Marinetti's first Futurist manifesto in Berlin and 



Walter RoK 

contributed to the periodical Die Aktion (Action) beginning 
in 1914. After serving in the army from 1915 to 1916, Richter 
joined the Dada group around the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. 
He met Eggeling there two years later, and they began to col- 
laborate on theoretical film projects. Richter created his first 
Rollenbilder (scroll pictures), abstract paintings in a long, thin, 
horizontal format similar to a series of film stills, which 
explored the possibilities of abstract film. He followed his first 
abstract film, Rhythmus 21 (1921), which explored the develop- 
ment over time of geometric forms, with two films based on the 
same concept, Rhythmus 23 and Rhythmus 25. In 1920 he 
joined the Novembergruppe (November group) and participated 
in the Berlin Dada movement. After Eggeling's death in 1925, 
Richter continued to work in film and helped make known his 
friend's contributions to the medium. 

Beginning in the 1920s, Richter published numerous texts 
on cinema, such as the 1929 theoretical book Filmgegner von 
heute—Filmfreunde von morgen (Today's film foes — tomorrow's 
film friends). Throughout the 1930s he continued to lecture and 
write on film in Europe. In 1940 he immigrated to the United 
States, where he became the head of the film institute at the City 
College of New York in 1942, teaching and producing films. In 
1964 he published his classic work on the Dada movement, 
Dada: Art and Anti-Art. 

A. S. 


Herbert Gehr and Marion von Hofacker, eds., Hans Richter: 
Malerei und Film, exh. cat., Schriftenreihe des Deutschen 
Filmmuseums, Kinematograph no. 5 (Frankfurt: Deutsches 
Filmmuseum, 1989); Hans Richter, Dada: Art and Anti-Art, 
trans. David Britt (London: Thames and Hudson, 1965); idem, 
"My Experience with Movement in Painting and in Film," in 
The Nature and Art of Motion, ed. Gyorgy Kepes (New York: 
George Braziller, 1965), pp. 142-57; idem, Hans Richter, ed. 
Cleve Gray (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971); 
idem, Der Kampf um den Film: Fur einen gesellschaftlich 
verantwortlichen Film (Munich: Hanser, 1976); Barbara Volk- 
mann, ed., Hans Richter, 1888-1976: Dadaist, Filmpionier, 
Maler, Theoretiker, exh. cat. (Berlin: Akademie der Kiinste, 



See cat. no. 21S 

Although Walter Rohrig was a prolific film designer and a 
member of the teams that created such pioneering films 
as Robert Wiene's Das Cabinet des Doktor Caligari (The cabinet 
of Doctor Caligari, 1919) and Fritz Lang's Der milde Tod (released 
in English-speaking countries as Destiny, 1921), relatively little 
is known about his life. Rohrig's first film assignment was C<a/i- 
gari, on which he worked with designers Hermann Warm and 
Walter Reimann. He is usually assumed to have been a member 
of the Sturm group, although little evidence exists to support 
such a claim. During the Weimar years he worked on more than 
fort) films, often collaborating with Robert Herlth, as he did on 
F. W Murnau's Der letzte Mann (released in English-speaking 
countries as The Last Laugh, 1924), Tdrfu/jf(Tartuffe, 1925), 
and Faust ( 1925-26), as well as Arthur von Gerlach's Zur Chronik 
von Grieshuus (Chronicles of Grieshuus, 1924-25), Lang's Der 
mude Tod, G. W Pabst's Der Schatz (The treasure, 1922-23), and 
Erik Charell's Der Kongress tanzt (The congress dances, 1931). 

Rohrig's role in the making of Caligari is, like much else 
about the film, uncertain. Erich Pommer, the film's producer, 
stated that "the two art directors, Herlth and Rohrig, . . . proposed 
the style and treatment which then made the film world famous" 
(quoted in Mike Budd, "The Moments of Caligari," in The 
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari: Texts, Contexts, Histories, ed. Mike 
Budd [New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1990], 
p. 35). This account conflicts with Warm's assertion that 
Reimann, not Rohrig or Herlth (who is not even listed in the 
credits), conceived the film's Expressionist style. Pommer also 
claimed, perhaps with tongue in cheek, that the three artists 
proposed painting lights and shadows on the set because the stu- 
dio had run out of money to pay for electricity. In search of a 
way to create lighting without electricity, they came up with the 
idea of painted light and shadows. 

After 1933 Rohrig designed a series of Nazi propaganda and 
entertainment films, including works directed by Karl Ritter, 
such as Patnoten (Patriots) and Urlaub auf Ehrenwort (On 
furlough) of 1937 and Uber alles in der Welt (Above all in the 
world) of 1941. He collaborated with director Gustav Ucicky 
on Unter heissem Himmel (Under a hot sky, 1936) and Heimkehr 
(Return home, 1941). He also worked on Hans Steinhoff's 
Rembrandt of 1942, which portrayed the artist as a misun- 
derstood genius. 



Richard Burdick Byrne, "German Cinematic Expressionism, 
1919-1924," Ph.D. diss., State University of Iowa, Iowa 
City, 1962; Klaus Peter Hess. Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari: 
Materialien zu einem Film von Robert Wiene (Duisburg: 
Atlas Film, 1988), p. 53. 



Hans jch 


5 0RN 1893 BREMEN •■• DIED 19 72 BERLIN 

183. 3x3 dimensionales Glashaus, 1920 
(3 x 3-dimensiona] glass house) 
Iron-based cyanotype 

i3 7 /i6x 8 7 /sin. (34.1 x 22.5 cm) 

Letter from the Glaserne Kette correspondence 

Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

184. "Glashausproblem ," 1920 
(Glass house problem) 
Iron-based cyanotype 

13VS x 8 5 /sin. (33.4 x 22.0 cm) 

Letter from the Glaserne Kette correspondence 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

185. Untitled (architectural fantasy), 1920 
Iron-based cyanotype 

i3 7 /i6 x i2"/i6in. (34.1 x 32.5 cm) 

Letter from the Glaserne Kette correspondence 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

186. Untitled (design for a glass house) 
Iron-based cyanotype 
i4Vi6X9'/i6in. (36.1 x 23.3cm) 

Letter from the Glaserne Kette correspondence 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

Hans Scharoun's work can be divided into his accomplish- 
ments before and after World War II. Much of his early 
work is a mixture of international modernism and Expression- 
ism, integrated with Hugo Haring's "neues Bauen" (new build- 
ing) design philosophy. Scharoun spent his youth in the port 
city of Bremerhaven, which undoubtedly inspired the marine 
imagery sometimes appearing in his designs. He studied at 
the technical college in Berlin before entering the military in 
1915. While working in the division of reconstruction in East 
Prussia, he established contact with Bruno Taut and other 
young, idealistic Berlin architects. 

After completing his military service, Scharoun joined the 
Arbeitsrat ftlr Kunst (Working council for art) and Der Ring 
(The ring) and participated in the Glaserne Kette (Crystal chain) 
correspondence under the pseudonym Hannes. The influence 
of the latter group can be seen in his designs for the Gelsen- 
kirchen cultural center ( 1920) and the Matheus Miiller works 
extension (1920), which display characteristic, though nonfunc- 
tional, crystalline shapes. For the 1929 Werkbund exhibition 
Wohnung und Werkraum (Home and workplace) in Breslau, he 
built a large residential complex. Under the Nazis Scharoun was 
barred from undertaking major projects, although he was per- 
mitted to build several private residences in and around Berlin, 
in which Expressionist designs are skillfully concealed behind 

J— ! ..V' 


Cat. no. lS 

■ d n*r<- 

Cat. no. 183 



Oslcar Sckl 



traditional exteriors. During this period he also painted Utopian 
fantasies in watercolor and worked on many designs that influ- 
enced later projects. 

After World War II Scharoun was recognized as one of the few 
architects still practicing in the Expressionist tradition. His work 
from this period includes not only homes but also projects such 
as the unrealized city theater for Kassel (1952), the Romeo and 
Juliet apartments in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen (1959), and his most 
famous work, the Philharmonie Berlin (Philharmonic hall, 
1963). Posthumously completed works include the Staatsbibli- 
othek (National library; with Edgar Wisniewski, 1978) in Berlin. 


J. Christoph Biirkle, Hans Scharoun und die Moderne: ldeen, 
Projekte, Theaterbau, Wolfsburger Beitrage zur Stadtgeschichte 
und Stadtentwicklung (Frankfurt: Campus, 1986); Eckehard 
Janofske, Architektur-Raume: Idee und Gestalt bei Hans Scha- 
roun (Wiesbaden: Vemey, 1984); Peter Blundell Jones, Hans 
Scharoun: Eine Monographie (Stuttgart: K. Kramer, 1979); 
Peter Pfankuch, ed., Hans Scharoun: Bauten, Entwiirfe, Texte, 
exh. cat., Schriftenreihe der Akademie der Kunste, no. 10 (Ber- 
lin: Akademie der Kunste, 1974). 

187. Das Nusch-Nuschi: Cerkhtssaal beim Kaiser II, 1921 
(The Nusch-Nuschi: The emperor's courtroom II) 

Watercolor, gold-bronze, and pencil on paper mounted on cardboard 

o 7 /sx i3 5 /8in. (25.0 x 34.0cm) 

Set design for an opera by Paul Hindemith, based on a text by 

Franz Blei 

Private collection, courtesy C. Raman Schlemmer 

188. Das Nusch-Nuschi: Gerichtssaal beim Kaiser IV, 1921 
(The Nusch-Nuschi: The emperor's courtroom IV) 

Watercolor, silver-bronze, and pencil on paper mounted on cardboard 

8'/8 x io'Vi6in. (20.6 x 27.5 cm) 

Set design for an opera by Paul Hindemith, based on a text by 

Franz Blei 

Private collection, courtesy C. Raman Schlemmer 

1S9. Szene mit verwandelbarer Architektur, Turm, 1921 

(Scene with convertible architecture, tower) 


n 5 /s x i6 7 /sin. (29.6 x 42.8cm) 

Set design for the play Mbrder, Hoffnung der Frauen (1907) by Oskar 


The Oskar Schlemmer Theatre Estate, Collection UJS, courtesy 

C. Raman Schlemmer 

190. Utopia: Dokumente der Wirklichkeit, 1921 
(Utopia: Documents of reality) 

Lithograph with watercolor and gold and silver paint on parchment 

i3'/i6X9 3 /4in. (33.2 x 24.8cm) 

Cover for a book with lithographs by Johannes Itten (see also 

cat. no. 97) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rilkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

191. Die Nachtigall: Thronsaal des Kaisers von China, 1929 
(The nightingale: Throne room of the Chinese emperor) 
Collage and white pencil on black paper 

I5 l5 /i6 x 23 13 /i6in. (40.2 x 60.5 cm) 

Set design for the opera Lc rossignol (The nightingale) by Igor Stravinsky 
The Oskar Schlemmer Theatre Estate, Collection UJS, courtesy C. 
Raman Schlemmer 

See also cat. 

no. 230 

The death of his middle-class parents while he was still a 
child forced Oskar Schlemmer to enter the building trade at 
the age of fifteen, as an apprentice in a Stuttgart wood-inlay 
shop. By 1913 he had attended the school of applied arts and the 
academy in Stuttgart and had spent some time in Berlin in 
Herwarth Walden's Sturm circle. Under the direction of his 
teacher Adolf Holzel, he and his fellow students Willi Baumeister 
and Hermann Stenner painted murals for the main pavilion of 
the 1914 Werkbund exhibition in Cologne. After interrupting 
his studies to serve in World War I, Schlemmer returned to the 
academy and in 1919 served as a student delegate to the Rat 
geistiger Arbeiter (Council of intellectual workers). 



Cat. no. 187 

Cat. ; 

In 1921, at the invitation of director Walter Gropius, Schlem- 
mer took charge of the sculpture workshop at the Bauhaus in 
Weimar. During this year he designed scenery and costumes for 
Paul Hindemith's two early operas Morder, Hoffnung der Frauen 
(Murderer, hope of women), based on Oskar k'okoschka's 1907 
play, and Das Nusch-Nuschi (The Nusch-Nuschi), based on 
Franz Blei's libretto. His main preoccupation at this time, 
however, was his Triadisches Ballett (Triadic ballet), on which 
he had been at work for several years and which would have 
its premiere in 1922 at the Landestheater in Stuttgart. Upon 
Lothar Schreyer's resignation in 1923, Schlemmer took charge 
of the Bauhaus theater workshop and also became a successful 
stage designer for Erwin Piscator's Volksbiihne in Berlin. 
Schlemmer continued to direct the theater workshop when the 
Bauhaus moved to Dessau in 1925, where his students included 
Xanti Schawinsky and Andor Weininger. 

Schlemmer's activities in the 1920s included organizing the 
1927 Deutsche Theater- Ausstellung (German theater exhibition) 
in Magdeburg and winning the competition for the painting of 
the rotunda murals at the Folkwang Museum in Essen in 1928. 
In 1929 he took a position at the academy in Breslau, where he 
also designed sets for productions of Igor Stravinsky's operas 
Renard (The fox) and Le rossignol (The nightingale). In 1930 he 
staged Arnold Schoenberg's musical drama Die gliicklichc Hand 
(The fortunate hand) for the Krolloper in Berlin and in 1931 
worked on sculptural wall designs for Erich Mendelsohn. Partly 
as a result of the favorable reception of his lecture "Birhnen- 
elemente" (The elements of theater), Schlemmer received a 
position at the state schools of art in Berlin, an appointment he 
lost with the Nazi seizure of power in 1933. In his final years 
he was considered a degenerate artist and eked out a living 
painting exterior murals and camouflaging barracks. 

Cat. no. 189 


Wulf Herzogenrath, Oskar Schlemmer: Die Wandgestaltung 
der neuen Architektur (Munich: Prestel, 1973); Arnold L. 
Lehman and Brenda Richardson, eds., Oskar Schlemmer, exh. 
cat. (Baltimore: Baltimore Museum of Art, 1986); Karin 
von Maur, Oskar Schlemmer, 2 vols. (Munich: Prestel, 1979); 
idem, Oskar Schlemmer: Der Maler, der Wandgesta Iter, der 
Plastiker (Munich: Prestel, 1982); Dirk Scheper, Oskar Schlem- 
mer: Das triadische Ballett und die Bauhausbiihne, exh. cat., 
Schriftenreihe der Akademie der Kiinste, no. 20 (Berlin: 
Akademie der Kiinste, 1988). 




Kurt Schmidt 

BORN lgoi LIMBACH ••• L I V E S ( ? ) IN CERA 

192. Buhncnwerkstatt: Biihnenentwurf fiir "Das mechanische Ballett," 

c. 1923 

(Theater workshop: Stage design for "The mechanical ballet") 


8'/i x 9 l /i6 in. (21.0 x 23.0cm) 

From Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar, 1919-1923 (1923) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkmd 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

Kurt Schmidt was a participant in the Bauhaus theater 
workshop and an innovator in stage and costume design. 
He created machinelike characters and figurines that embodied 
the basic theatrical elements of motion, light, sound, and color 
while adding a humorous note to Bauhaus stage performances. 

Schmidt briefly attended the school of applied arts in Ham- 
burg in 1919. The following year he went to the Bauhaus, where 
he studied under Johannes Itten and Lyonel Feininger and be- 
came a student in Wassily Kandinsky's popular mural-painting 
workshop. A member of the De Stijl circle in Weimar, Schmidt 
participated in Theo van Doesburg's Stijlkurse (Stijl courses), 
offered from March through July of 1922 in Max Burchartz's 
Weimar studio. Schmidt was also a member of the Constructi- 
vist student group known as KURI, standing for Konstruktiv- 
Utilitar-Rationell-lnternational (Constructive-utilitarian- 
rational-international), whose manifesto was written in 1922 by 
the Hungarian Bauhaus students Farkas Molnar and Andor 

Schmidt's approach to design was personal and sometimes 
eccentric. Although he advocated Constructivist principles, 
a postcard he created as one of a series of invitations designed 
by Bauhaus students and teachers for the school's 1923 exhibi- 
tion is a hand-drawn map of the town of Weimar executed in 
an unconventional, almost childlike style. A set of figures he 
designed the same year for Die Abenteuer des kleinen Bucklmgen 
(The adventures of the little hunchback), an episode from 
A Thousand and One Nights, are humorous, whimsical little 
personalities designed to play on mechanical, multipurpose 
stages. Although this project was never realized, Schmidt and 

Cat. no. 192 

Georg Teltscher were able to mount a performance of another 
of Schmidt's projects, the Mechanisehes Ballett (Mechanical 
ballet), in 1923 during the Bauhaus exhibition. In the perform- 
ance abstract two-dimensional forms were moved by invisible 
actors to the beat of a kettledrum, emphasizing shape and color 
rather than traditional dramatic elements. The exhibition also 
included Schmidt's sketches for Oskar Schlemmer's Figurales 
Kabinett (Figural cabinet). Schmidt's Der Mann am Schaltbrett 
(The man at the switchboard) — a pantomime of a man battling 
(and losing to) a huge, futuristic control panel — was repeated 
almost exactly in a scene of Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis. 
Schmidt left the Bauhaus in 1925 for Stuttgart and later set- 
tled in Gera, where he worked independently until 1941, when 
he entered World War II. Released from war imprisonment in 
1945, he resumed work, designing furniture and painting. 


Marianne Brandt, Hajo Rose, Kurt Schmidt: Drei Kiinstler am 
Bauhaus, exh. cat. (Dresden: Kupferstichkabinett der Staat- 
lichen Kunstsammlungen, 1978). 

2 4 2 


Karl Scfimidt-Rottluff 


193. Berliner Strasse in Dresden, 1909 

15% x 13 '/tin. (40.0 x 33.7cm) 

From the portfolio Briicke IV (1909) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

194. Bueht im Mondschcin, 1914 
(Bay in moonlight) 


15V2 x i9'/2in. (39.4 x 49.5 cm) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

195. Menschenpaar, 1917 


7 15 /i6x 5 ,3 /i6 in. (20.1 x 14.8cm) 

From the deluxe edition of Das Kunstblatt 2, no. 2 (1918) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff was a founding member of the Briicke 
(Bridge) and is credited with providing the group with its 
name, supposedly drawn from a passage of Friedrich Nietzsche's 
A/so sprach Zarathustra (Thus spoke Zarathustra). Although he 
had studied at the Kunstverein (art association) in Chemnitz 
during his high-school years, Schmidt-Rottluff dated his real 
artistic beginnings to 1905, the year of the Briicke's founding. 
Erich Heckel, a fellow Briicke member and lifelong friend, cred- 
ited him with bringing "glowing and pure color from Chemnitz" 
to the group; it was apparently Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, however, 
who encouraged Schmidt-Rottluff to take up the woodcut, in 
which he would execute some of his finest work. While his ear- 
liest efforts in the medium reveal the influence of Impression- 
ism, he soon developed a stark, arresting style, employing large 
areas of black and simple, commanding forms. 

Both before and after World War I Schmidt-Rottluff produced 
many woodcuts, concentrating from 1917 to 1919 on a series 
treating New Testament themes, which exemplifies his angular, 
emotional style. In his paintings he combined this formal lan- 
guage with bright, Fauve-inspired colors. His approach to art 
was spontaneous and unprograrnmatic. Responding in 1914 to 
a questionnaire about the "new program" for art devised by the 
periodical Kunst und Kiinstler (Art and artists), he stated, "I 

Cat. no. 195 

don't have any program, only an inexplicable yearning to lay 
hold of what I see and feel and then to find the most direct 
expression possible for such experience" ("The New Program," 
in Voices ofCerman Expressionism, ed. Victor H. Miesel 
[Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970], p. 29). 

Born Karl Schmidt in Rottluff, near Chemnitz in Saxony, 
Schmidt-Rottluff took on the name of his town in 1905. A 
schoolmate of Erich Heckel, he met Kirchner briefly in 1904 
before moving to Dresden to study architecture at the technical 
college the following year. In Berlin before the war he contrib- 
uted drawings and prints to periodicals such as Franz Pfemfert's 


2 43 

liberal Die Aktion (Action) and joined the New Secession in 
1910. He was drafted into the arm)- in 1915 and served on the 
eastern front until the end of the war, when he returned to Ber- 
lin. Joining the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst (Working council for art) in 
1919, he published a short text that year in its publication }a\ 
Stimmen des Arbeitsrates fur Kunst (Yes! Voices of the Working 
council for art), in which he appealed for art education to be 
based on a solid knowledge of craft and expressed the hope that 
a socialist state would allow artists creative freedom. 

Schmidt-Rottluff was named an associate of the Prussian 
academy in Berlin in 1931 but was labeled degenerate in 1933 
and expelled from his post. More than six hundred of his works 
were seized from museums in 1937, and four years later he 
was forbidden to paint. He was reappointed to a professorship 
at the Berlin academy in 1947. 


Ludwig Coellen, "Karl Schmidt-Rottluff," Das Kunstblatt 11, 
no. 11 (1917): 321-28; Will Grohmann, ed., Karl Schmidt- 
Rottluff (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1956); Karl Schmidt- 
Rottluff zum einhundertsten Geburtstag: Holzsehnitte, Litho- 
graphien, Radierungen, exh. cat. (Berlin: Galerie Nierendorf, 
1984); Magdalena Moeller, ed., Karl Schmidt-Rottluff: Aqua- 
relle (Stuttgart: Gerd Hatje, 1991); Prints by Erich Heckel and 
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff A Centenary Celebration, exh. cat. (Los 
Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1985); Ernest 
Rathenau, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff: Das graphische Werk seit 
1923 (New York: Ernest Rathenau, 1964); Rosa Schapire, Karl 
Schmidt-Rottluffs graphisches Werk bis 1923 (1924; Hamburg: 
Hauswedell, 1965); Gunther Thiem and Armin Zweite, eds., 
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff: Retrospektive, exh. cat. (Bremen: 
Kunsthalle Bremen, 1989); Gerhard Wietek, Schmidt-Rottluff: 
Graphik (Munich: K. Thiemig, 1971). 

/\rnold jchoenberg 


196. Szenenentwurf fur "Die gliickliche Hand": 2. Bild: 


(Sketch for "The fortunate hand": Scene 2, "The source of light") 

Oil on pasteboard 

8 5 /sx n'/sin. (22.OX 30.0cm) 

Set design for Schoenberg's drama with music 

Lawrence Schoenberg, Los Angeles 

Arnold Schoenberg's contribution to the development of 
modern music— he was a pioneer of atonal music and 
invented a twelve-tone method of composition — has been 
widely acknowledged. His compositions have been performed 
and recorded by the major orchestras, and the debt owed to him 
by his pupils Alban Berg and Anton von Webern has been 
analyzed at length. Schoenberg was not only a musician, how- 
ever, but a painter as well. His view of the relationship between 
the two arts is suggested in the recollection of a student who took 
his composition master class in 1930: "On the first day. . . he 
really didn't talk about music. He talked about other arts— about 
architecture, about painting, about everything that there was 
and not at all about music, and one was always conscious of it 
anyway. ... It is all one thing, and not music here and something 
else there, but all one thing, one idea" (Smith, Schoenberg and 
His Circle, p. 232). 

Schoenberg's visual art often involved this idea of the 
Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art), as can be seen in his stage 
sets for his monodrama Erwartung (Expectation, 1907-8) and 
his drama with music Die gliickliche Hand (The fortunate hand, 
1909-13). Although somewhat influenced by the German 
painter Richard Gerstl, he was largely self-taught, producing 
direct, nondecorative self-portraits he called Visions. Schoen- 
berg's paintings so impressed Wassily Kandinsky that they were 
included in the first Blaue Reiter (Blue rider) exhibition in 
Munich in 191 1 and were illustrated in the almanac Der blaue 
Reiter, which also included Schoenberg's important essay "Das 
Verhaltnis zum Text" (The relationship to the text). 



Lothar jchreyer 

Schoenberg was also self-taught as a musician. He worked 
in a bank until he joined a chamber group led by Alexander von 
Zemlinsky. Schoenberg married Zernlinsky's sister Mathilde 
in 1901, and his brother-in-law became his friend and mentor. 
From igor to 1903 Schoenberg taught at the Stern 'schen Kon- 
servatorium in Berlin. He continued his professional career in 
Vienna as a composer, conductor, and teacher but returned to 
Berlin twice more, in 1911 and 1926. In 1933 he was dismissed 
from his post at the Prussian academy. With Austria under 
National Socialist rule, Schoenberg emigrated via Paris to New 
York and finally settled in Los Angeles in 1934. Two years later 
he obtained a teaching position at the University of California, 
Los Angeles, which he held until ^44. 



Jelena Hahl-Koch, ed., Arnold Schoenberg, Wassily Kandmsky: 
Letters, Pictures, and Documents, trans. John C. Crawford 
(London: Faber and Faber, 19S4); Jane Kallir, Arnold Schoen- 
berg's Vienna (New York: Galerie St. Etienne, 1984); Joan Allen 
Smith, Schoenberg and His Circle: A Viennese Portrait (New 
York: Schirmer, rg86); Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt, Schoen- 
berg: His Life, World, and Work, trans. Humphrey Searle (New 
York: Schirmer, 1978); Thomas Zaunschirm, ed., Arnold 
Schonberg: Das bildnerische Werk I Arnold Schoenberg: Paint- 
ings and Drawings, exh. cat. (Vienna: Museum des 20. 
Jahrhunderts, 1991). 


197. Geliebte/ Mutter, c. 1920 


Color woodcut 

8 7 /i6x i2 3 /i6in. (21.5 x 30.9cm) 

From Lothar Schreyer, Kreuzigung: Spielgang Werk VII (1921) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

Lothar Schreyer communicated his intense desire to express 
mystical themes and discovery through bold manifestations 
in painting, poetry, essays, and especially dramaturgy. He was 
the son of a landscape painter. While studying art history and 
law at the universities of Heidelberg, Berlin, and Leipzig, he 
encountered a mystical interpretation of art through long discus- 
sions with a student from Japan who convincingly argued that 
European art had been stagnant since A.D. 1000. After receiv- 
ing his degree in law, Schreyer pursued his interests in art and 
the theater. He gravitated to stage art, in which he sought to 
demonstrate the interrelationship of the arts and the universality 
of human experience. 

In 191 r Schreyer obtained his first position as a dramaturge 
and assistant director at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus theater in 
Hamburg, where he remained until 1918. Meanwhile in 1914 
he began an absorbing study of medieval and Eastern mystics, 
concentrating on the works of Meister Eckhart and Jakob Bohme, 
considered the father of theosophy, a form of spiritualism that 
many German Expressionists embraced. In 1915 Schreyer 
became part of the Sturm circle. He was a contributor to and 
editor of Herwarth Walden's journal Der Sturm (The storm) and 
worked as its chief editor from igr6 to 1918. He founded the 
Sturmbiihne theater in Berlin in 1917 and headed it until 1921. 
From 1919 to 1921 he concentrated on making masks, figurines, 
and marionettes for the stage. 

Walter Gropius was so impressed by Schreyer s stage produc- 
tion that he recruited him as the supervisor of the Bauhaus thea- 
ter workshop and as an arts and crafts teacher. About that time 
Schreyer and Walden had begun to drift apart as Walden found 
a new political mission in Bolshevik Russia while Schreyer 
turned toward Christianity. By 1921 Schreyer and Lyonel Fei- 
ninger, dubbed "Masters of Form" by Gropius, were working 
together at the Bauhaus. Schreyer remarked, "We did not build 
the Cathedral of Socialism, but we lived the Cathedral." His 
immersion in mysticism and his Expressionist dramaturgy did 



OeorQ bchrimpr 


not follow the more pragmatic ideology of the Bauhaus, how- 
ever, and he was dismissed from his position in 1923. 

From r924 to 1927 Schreyer codirected the art school Der 
Weg (The way) in Berlin and Dresden and became involved 
with the Zentralinstitut fur Erziehung und Unterricht (Central 
institute for education and instruction) in Berlin. From 1928 
to 1932 he worked as the chief reader and cultural and literary- 
editor for the Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt publishing house 
in Hamburg and lectured throughout Germany. Increasingly 
drawn to mysticism, he converted to Catholicism in 1933. 
At a 1933 convention of ecclesiastical architects he met radical 
church architect Rudolf Schwarz. Schreyer stated that the 
turning point of his life was Sehwarz's remark, "The essential 
question begins only when art is consummated." Schreyer con- 
tended that such a concept could not have come from either the 
Sturm circle or the Bauhaus. Writing in 1933 for the Caritas 
publications under the pseudonym Angelus Pauper, he began 
researching and compiling accounts of holy legends. The years 
from 1948 to 1950 became for Schreyer a period of intense 
research into literature and art history. Despite great financial 
hardships, he rejected an offer to be the chief dramaturge of 
Hamburg. In 1950 he resumed his painting, but from 1953 he 
struggled with chronic health problems leading to crippling 
arthritis. One of his final public appearances was his participa- 
tion in the ground breaking of the church of Saint Agnes in 
Hamburg-Tonndorf, where a copy of his Agnes und die Sohne 
der Wolfin: Ein Prozess (Agnes and the sons of wolves: A trial, 
1956) was placed in the cornerstone. 

V. H. 


Herwarth Walden und "Der Sturm": Konstruktivisten, 
Abstrakte: Eine Auswahl, exh. cat. (Cologne: Galerie Stolz, 
1987); M. S. Jones, Der Sfurm: A Focus of Expressionism 
(Columbia, S.C.: Camden House, 1984); Lothar Schreyer, 
Ennnerungen an Sturm und Bauhaus: Was ist des Menschen 
Bild? (Munich: A. Langen, G. Miiller, 1956). 


198. Untitled (two nudes in landscape), c. 1918 


5 ! /s x 7 5 /i6in. (13.0 x 18.2 cm) 

From deluxe edition of Das Kunstblatt 2, no. 3 ( 1918) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

Cat. no. 198 

Throughout his relatively short career Georg Schrimpf was 
fascinated by interactions among figures, especially women 
ana children. His earliest works display the influence of late 
Cubism, particularly as practiced by Fernand Leger, while his 
paintings from the late 1910s are reminiscent of those of a num- 
ber of German contemporaries, such as Franz Marc, Conrad 
Felixmiiller, and Oskar Schlemmer. During the 1920s Schrimpf 
constantly reworked images of female figural groups and the 
Madonna and Child. He painted numerous variations of the 
latter subject with simple outdoor backdrops that recall those 
used by Italian artists of the Renaissance. Although many of his 
themes are similar to those explored a decade earlier by the 
Briicke (Bridge) artists, such as peaceful scenes of women alone 
in the woods, his treatment of them is more sculptural, display- 
ing a concern with volume and composition: he described the 
lines of his figures as "embodied melodies." He also worked 
extensively in woodcut during the late 1910s in a stark, dramatic 
style reminiscent of the work of Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. 

Schrimpf was inspired to begin painting partially through 
his involvement in 1913 with an anarchist colony, which he 
described in 1920: "Everything brought me to the conclusion 
that man is the kernel of all happening: if I change myself first 
from the ground up and look into myself, the transformation of 
the whole world and salvation is there. . . . We lived there as if 
in paradise" ("Der Kiinstler iiber sich," in Graf, Georg Schrimpf, 
p. 15; reprinted in Storch, Georg Schrimpf und Maria Uhden, 
p. 18). Although he did not start painting until 1915, while 

2 4 6 


Kudolr jchwarz 


working in a chocolate factory in Berlin, Schrimpf quickly 
became a prominent figure in the art world, publishing wood- 
cuts in Die Aktion (Action) and Der Sturm (The storm) and 
exhibiting at the Sturm gallery in 1916. 

Married from 1917 until her death in 1918 to the painter 
Maria Uhden, who also exhibited at the Sturm gallery, Schrimpf 
lived in Munich after the war and was a member of the Aktions- 
ausschuss revolutionarer Kiinstler (Action committee of revolu- 
tionary artists). With a group of other young artists, including 
Georg Kaiser and Gottfried Graf, he cofounded the Munich 
group Der Morgen (Morning), dedicated to "new writing and 
art." Schrimpf also associated with the circle around the Italian 
journal Valori plastici (Plastic values), which espoused a clas- 
sicizing "return to order." In 1925 he was represented in the 
exhibition Neue Sachlichkeit: Deutsche Malerei seit dem Expres- 
sionismus (New objectivity: German painting since Expression- 
ism), organized by Gustav Hartlaub in Mannheim, which 
proclaimed the resurgence of interest in representational art. He 
was one of four painters— along with Alexander Kanoldt, Franz 
Radziwill, and Albert Renger-Patsch — whose work was includ- 
ed in the 1929 traveling exhibition Die neue Romantik (The 
new Romanticism), which presented their work as a search for 
"confirmation of an inwardly seen picture." 

Having taught sporadically from 1925, Schrimpf was trans- 
ferred in October 1933 to the state institute for art education in 
Berlin, where he taught for four years. Esteemed for his land- 
scapes, he may have chosen to concentrate on this subject at 
least in part to avoid political controversy. One of his paintings 
was included in the Nazi's 1937 show Entartete Kunst (Degen- 
erate art) but was taken out of the show by Rudolf Hess, Hitler's 
deputy, undoubtedly to avoid the awkwardness of the govern- 
ment condemning Schrimpf s art at the same time that he was 
working for its school system. Later that year, however, 
Schrimpf was fired from his position on the grounds that he had 
been involved, albeit temporarily, with the Communist party 
and the Rote Hilfe (Red help). He died soon after in Berlin. 


Oskar Maria Graf, Georg Schrimpf, Junge Kunst, no. 37 
(Leipzig: Klinkhardt und Biermann, 1923); Georg Schrimpf, 
An dich — Erde! (Berlin: Freie Strasse, 1915); Wolfgang Storch, 
ed., Georg Schrimpf und Maria Uhden: Leben und Werk 
(Berlin: Charlottenpresse, 1985). 

199. Cloria, c. 1920 

i2 7 /s x 8 '/sin. (32.7 x 21.2 cm) 
Dipl.-Ing. Maria Schwarz 

200. Kyrie eleison (Studie), c. 1920 
(Study for Kyrie Eleison) 

i6 s /i6x n 7 /i6in. (41.5 x 29.0cm) 
Maria Elisabeth Stapp 

201. Sanktus, c. 1920 

i6'/8 x 1 1 '/i6in. (41.0 x 28.0 cm) 
Maria Elisabeth Stapp 

Rudolf Schwarz is considered one of the twentieth century's 
most innovative church architects, a designer whose struc- 
tures were infused with a personal metaphysical viewpoint, 
elaborated in his 1938 master text, Worn Bau der Kirche (pub- 
lished in English under the title The Church Incarnate). After 
studying at the technical college in Berlin from 1915 to 1919, 
he became a student of Hans Poelzig at the academy in Berlin. 
From 1927 until 1934 Schwarz was director of the school of 
applied arts in Aachen. 

Schwarz 's greatest inspiration came from the early Christian 
and medieval churches, which he revered as "the true churches. . 
We have not surpassed them in the least." He envisioned an 
intimate interrelationship between the structure and the congre- 
gation, which together formed the true constituents of the 
church building. In his search for "sacred forms," he viewed 
churches as "life-size parables" and the church architect as one 
guided not by magic or mathematics, but by the life of Christ. 
Schwarz's most significant contribution is arguably the 1930 
Fronleichnameskirche (Corpus Christi church) in Aachen, 
which elicited great controversy because of its stark simplicity. 
From 1946 to 1952 he headed the planning department in 
Cologne, restoring the war-devastated city. From 1952 until his 
death he was professor of city planning at the academy in 
Dusseldorf. His last churches were completed by his architect 
wife, Maria Lang Schwarz, and his pupils. His legacy includes 
more than sixty churches in Germany. 

V. H. 

Hans-Dieter Dyroff and PaulTiimena, eds., Rudolf Schwarz, 
exh. cat. (Dusseldorf: Akademie der Architektenkammer 
Nordrhein-Westfalen, 1981); Rudolf Schwarz: Geddchtnis- 
ausstellung des BDA Koln, exh. cat. (Berlin: Akademie der 
Kiinste, 1963); Rudolf Schwarz, Vom Bau der Kirche (Heidel- 
berg: Schneider, 1938); translated by Cynthia Harris as The 
Church Incarnate: The Sacred Function of Christian Architec- 
ture (Chicago: H. Regnery, 1958); idem, Kirchenbau: Welt 
vor der Schwelle (Heidelberg: F. H. Kerle, i960). 



/Vlartel jchwicntenberg 


202. Torsdule, c. 1915-18 

(Portal column) 

Woodcut printed in red on brown paper 

9^16 x i2'/a in. (24.3 x 32.7 cm) 

Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum, Schloss Gottorf, 


M artel Schwichtenberg worked in a wide range of media, 
from woodcut, lithography, and wood relief to mural 
painting, stained glass, and package design. Partly because a fire 
in 1938 destroyed her home and many of her works from the 
preceding fifteen years, she has been little studied. She remains 
best known for her rough wood reliefs and woodcuts, often por- 
traying female figures characterized by strong, blocklike forms; 
massive heads; large, commanding eyes; and a resolute bearing. 

Schwichtenberg studied privately in Hannover before attend- 
ing the Kunowsky art school in Diisseldorf from 1913 to 1916. 
She later studied at the school of applied arts in Diisseldorf, 
completing her studies in 1924 at the studio of the French land- 
scape painter Eugene Kissling in Paris. Early in her career 
she was known primarily for her mural paintings, such as those 
executed for the Hermann Bahlsen biscuit factory in Hannover 
in 1917 and 1918. Working with the architect and sculptor 
Bernhard Hoetger — from whom she is sometimes described as 
having adopted her energetic, often linear style — Schwichtenberg 
also designed packaging and advertising for the factory's 
products as well as stained-glass windows and wall decorations 
for the building itself. 

Schwichtenberg spent the summers of 1918 and 1919 in the 
Worpswede artists' colony, and in 1919 she married the painter 
Willy-Robert Huth. From 1920 she lived in Berlin, where her 
circle of friends included Tilla Durieux, Karl Ernst Osthaus, 
Max Pechstein, Fritz Radziwill, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Kurt 
Schwitters, and M illy Steger as well as Nell Walden, the second 
wife of art dealer and publisher Herwarth Walden. Schwichten- 
berg published a number of prints in contemporary art publi- 
cations such as Das Kunstblatt (The art paper), Kiindung 
(Annunication), and ]unge Berliner Kunst (New Berlin art). In 
the third portfolio of Die Schaffenden (The creators). Paul 
Westheim wrote rather derisively of her "typical womanly 
talent; elegant and impressionable, she knows how to adapt to 
the currents of the time. . . . She needed and still needs more 

than others do the energy to arrive at her own style" (Beate Jahn 
and Friedemann Berger, eds., Die Schaffenden: Eine Auswahl 
der jahrgange I bis 111 und Katalog des Mappenwerkes (Leipzig: 
Gustav Kiepenheuer, 1984], p. 216). 

Schwichtenberg exhibited her works in Berlin at the Moller 
gallery in 1922 and 1924 and at the Flechtheim gallery in 1930 
and 1931. During the 1920s she traveled extensively, visiting 
Denmark, Italy, Spain, and North Africa as well as France, 
where she spent part of 1924 and 1927. In the latter year she sep- 
arated from her husband. In 1933 she immigrated to Italy and 
subsequently to Johannesburg, South Africa, where she set up a 
potter's studio with Franz Goldschmidt. She spent part of 1935 
in Europe and part of 1939 in New York and Connecticut. In 
1940 she returned to Germany to spend the last five years of her 
life in the Black Forest. 

A. S. 


Silvia von Bennigsen, Martel Schwichtenberg (1896-1945): 
lhr Friihwerk von 1913-1923 (Hamburg: Kunstgeschichtliches 
Seminar der Universitat, 1986); Joachim Kirchner, }unge 
Berliner Kunst, Wasmuths Kunsthefte, no. 6 (Berlin: Ernst 
Wasmuth, [1919?]); Ursula Marz and Ulrike Mond, "Marianne 
Werefkin, Gabriele Munter, Lou Albert-Lasard, Martel 
Schwichtenberg," Du: Die Zeitschrift fur Kunst und Kultur 49 
(July 1989): 31-37; Christian Rathke, "Martel Schwichten- 
berg," Die Weltkunst 22 (November 1982): 3302-3; "Unterm 
Kreuz des Siidens: Sterne und Whisky — Eine Frau erlebt 
Afrika," Die Welt, 16 and 18 June 1949- 


Kurt jchwitte 



203. Untitled (abstract composition), c. 1920 


8 7 /i6x 5 5 /ie in. (21.4 x 13.5 cm) 

From the picture book Die Kathedrale ( 1920) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

See also cat. no. 127 

Kurt Schwitters's most widely discussed and elusive project 
was his Merzbau, an assemblage of found objects, both 
cultural artifacts and personal memorabilia, which expanded 
through several rooms of his home in Hannover. Constructed 
between 1920 and 1937, when the artist had to abandon it to 
escape Nazi persecution, the Merzbau was destroyed by bomb- 
ing in 1943 but is preserved in narratives and photographs. 
Even as myth, it comprises the essential components that gave 
Schwitters his place in art history as a transitional figure 
between Dadaism and Constructivism. 

Schwitters acquired the skills to undertake this massive 
construction through his studies at the school of applied arts 
in Hannover in 1908, at the academy in Dresden from 1904 to 
1914, and at the technical college in Hannover, where he 
studied architecture in 1918. After taking up residence in an 

apartment building owned by his parents in Hannover, he 
became actively involved in the city's uncharacteristically lively 
art scene and publishing activities after the war. 

In his collages of around 1918-19, known as Merz, Schwit- 
ters created a distinct form of Dada. His glued and nailed bits 
and pieces often veil very personal narratives in his artworks. 
To connect all aspects of life in art was a goal that he articulated: 
"Establish connections, preferably among all things." Conse- 
quently his artistic production included drama, poetry, prose, 
typography, stage design, sculpture, painting, drawing, collage, 
and montage. Many of his works combined several genres, 
and some were produced in collaboration with other artists. 

Beginning in the early 1920s, Schwitters sought to formalize 
his connections with other artists as a founding member of 
associations such as Die Abstrakten Hannover (Hannover 
abstract artists) and the Ring neuer Werbegestalter (Circle of 
new advertising designers). From 1923 to 1932 he published six- 
teen issues of the periodical Merz, their topics ranging from 
poetry and fairy tales to typography, modern advertising, and 
architecture. His circle included Jean Arp, Ella Bergmann, 
Walter Dexel, Theo van Doesburg, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah 
Hoch, El Lissitzky, and Robert Michel. 

Under the threat of arrest by the National Socialists, 
Schwitters went to Norway, where he had spent his summers 


HHbuni:.". -.'-fi2i£-t' -.■35SHM 

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Cat. no. 127 



Kichard jcewald 

since 1934. When German troops invaded Norway in 1940, he 
escaped to England, leaving behind another Merzbau (which 
was accidentally burned down in 1951). A grant from the 
Museum of Modern Art in New York enabled him to begin a 
third Merzbau in a barn in Ambleside in the Lake District in 
1945. It remained incomplete at the time of his death in 1948. 



John Elderfield, Kurt Schwitters (London: Thames and Hudson, 
1985); Dietmar Elger, Der Merzbau: Eine Werkmonographie 
(Cologne: W. Konig, 1984); Annegreth Mill, "Decoding Merz: 
An Interpretive Study of Kurt Schwitters' Early Work, 1918- 
1922," Ph.D. diss., University of Texas, Austin, 1990; Ernst 
Ntindel, Kurt Schwitters in Selbstzeugmssen und Bilddoku- 
menten, Rowohlts Monographien, no. 296 (Reinbekbei Ham- 
burg: Rowohlt, 1981); Werner Schmalenbach, Kurt Schwitters 
(New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1967); Kurt Schwitters, Kurt 
Schwitters: Das Hterarische Werk, ed. Friedhelm Lach, 5 vols. 
(Cologne: DuMont, 1973-78). 


204. Paradies, 1914 


Woodcut with watercolor 

■jVs x 5 ! /2 in. (18.1 x 14.0cm) 

From the portfolio Zehn Holzschnitte zur Bibel (1916) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

Although his work had much in common with that of the 
Expressionists, Richard Seewald considered himself a 
classical artist and gradually distanced himself from Expression- 
ism. Many of his works from the 1910s, however— particularly 
his woodcuts, which resemble Karl Schmidt-Rottluff 's in their 
severe lines and dramatic use of black — are clearly Expressionist 
in origin and share the movement's interest in modified religious 
themes and apocalyptic musings. Revering Giotto (he wrote a 
book on the artist, which he titled Erne Apologie des Klassischen 
[An apology for the classical]) and drawing inspiration from the 
landscape of the Mediterranean, which he often visited, See- 
wald synthesized classical and avant-garde ideals. 

It was the work of Emil Nolde that turned Seewald away 
from Expressionism in 1913. After visiting the Neue Kunstsalon 
(New art salon) in Munich, he wrote: "My separation from 
Expressionism was completed by the confrontation with the vio- 
lent work of Emil Nolde It is not surprising that after only 

two years, I painted that little still life with the cigarette packets 
on a chess board. ... I had rediscovered space and the third 
dimension, which Expressionism, with its two-dimensional 
painting, had given up" ("Der Standpunkt," in 85 }ahre BUder, 
Zeichnungen, Grapluk, unpaginated). Perhaps the strongest 
current in Seewald's art was his interest in religious themes, 
which manifested itself in early woodcuts treating biblical sub- 
jects and became stronger during his later years, when he 
worked almost exclusively on church commissions. 

Cat. no. 203 



wttheinrich jtrohmcyer 


Like the artists of the Briicke (Bridge), Seewald began 
studying architecture, at the technical college in Munich, but 
abandoned it in favor of painting, in which he had no formal 
instruction. He nevertheless quickly received critical attention 
and took part in the Salon d'automne in Paris in 1911 and 1912 
and in Herwarth Walden's Erster deutscher Herbstsalon (First 
German autumn salon) in Berlin in 1913. A member of the 
Munich New Secession, the Berlin Free Secession, and the 
Deutsche Klinstlerbund (German artists' society), he was a pro- 
fessor at the trade school in Cologne from 1924 until 1931, 
when he took up temporary residence in Italy, a country that he 
had visited many times, with whose artistic tradition he felt 
an affinity, and where he had converted to Catholicism two years 
earlier. From this time on, he executed many commissions for 
the Church, including several large altarpieces in Switzerland 
during the war. 

For the remainder of his career, Seewald continued to create 
and lecture about religious art, giving talks such as "Uber die 
Moglichkeit einer neuen Kunst in der Kirche" (On the possibil- 
ity of a new art in the Church) in 1950 and "Moderne religiose 
Kunst im kultischen und privaten Raum" (Modern religious 
art in the ritual and private sphere) in 1953. Summing up his 
ideals, he wrote, "It is in accordance with the idea of classicism 
that . . . the heroic and the idyllic exist side by side" ("Der Stand- 
punkt," unpaginated). 

A. S. 


Ralph jentsch, Richard Seewald: Das graphisehe Werk 
(Esslingen: Kunstgalerie Esslingen, 1973); Richard Seewald: 85 
]ahre Bilder, Zcichnungen, Graphik, 1912-1973, exh. cat. 
(Munich: Galerie Wolfgang Ketterer, 1973); Richard Seewald, 
Glanz des Mittelalters (Feldafing: Buchheim, 1956). 

205. Das Kreuz im Kreise, 1920 

(The cross in the circle) 


7 3 /4 x 6 Kin. (19.7 x 15.9cm) 

From Eos 2, no. 4 ( 1920) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 




Druno 1< 

runo laut 


206. Bewegungsspiel furs Weimarer Bauhaus, 1919 
(Exercise for the Weimar Bauhaus) 

Iron-based cyanotype 

i3 5 /tX9'/iin. (34.9 x 23.4cm) 

Letter from the Glaserne Kette correspondence 

Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

207. Dandanah, the Fairy Palace, 1919 

Set of fifty-one building blocks of different shapes and sizes, cast from 

blue, red, yellow, green, and clear glass, housed in rare box, which 

also contains five diagrams showing how to display the blocks and one 

showing how to store them in the box 

Box: io!4x 10 x lHin. (26.0 x 25.4 x 4.1 cm); rectangular blocks: 2 x 

54 x '/tin. (5.0 x 1.9 x 1.9cm); balls (diam): '/tin. (1.9cm); triangular 

blocks: 5 /sx 1 x 7 /sin. (1.6.x 2.5 x 2.2cm); cubes: Vt x Vix '/tin. (1.9 x 

1.9 x 1.9cm) 

Building block collection of Arlan Coffman, Santa Monica 

208. Vivat Stella MDCCCCXX1, 1919 
Iron-based cyanotype 
i3 7 /]6X9 7 /sin. (34.2 x 25.1 cm) 

Letter from the Glaserne Kette correspondence 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

209. Weinachts Griisse: "Monument des neuen Gesetzes," 1919 
(Christmas greeting: "Monument to the new law") 
Iron-based cyanotype 

13V16 x 9 5 /s in. (34.4x23.8 cm) 

Letter from the Glaserne Kette correspondence 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

210. Untitled (community hall), 1919-20 
Iron-based cyanotype 

i3 7 /s x 9 '/sin. (35.2 x 23.1 cm) 

Letter from the Glaserne Kette correspondence 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

211. Museen und Kristallhaus der neuen Schule, c. 1920 
(Museums and crystal house for the new school) 

Ink on tracing paper 

12 x 15% in. (30.5 x 40.0 cm) 

Lingers collection 

212. Wat; Paar Konzert, 1922 
(Watz pair concert) 

Ink on red paper 

8 7 /sx n 5 /i6in. (22.6 x 28.7 cm) 

Graphische Sammlung, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 

See also cat. nos. 231-35 

A leading exponent of Expressionist ideals in architecture, 
Bruno Taut may be better known for his Utopian visions 
than for his buildings. Although his early industrial and 
residential designs manifest little Expressionist influence, his 
pavilions for the 1913 Internationale Baufachausstellung 
(International building exhibition) in Leipzig and the 1914 
Werkbund exhibition in Cologne, particularly his Glashaus 
(Glass house) for the latter, typify his Expressionist style. 

Taut attended the gymnasium and the school of building 
trades in Konigsberg. Like many of his contemporaries, he was 

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Cat. no. 208 

disillusioned by the historicism prevalent in German architec- 
ture around the turn of the century. His meeting in 1913 with 
art critic Adolf Behne and Expressionist poet Paul Scheerbart 
led to a lifelong friendship and mutual inspiration. Scheerbart 's 
influence is evident throughout Taut's works. His verses inspired 
the architect to embark on a personal mission to promulgate 
a quasi mythology of glass. 

A prolific writer, Taut published books, articles, pamphlets, 
and manifestos. His major books include Die Stadtkrone (The 
city-crown, 1919), Alpine Architektur (Alpine architecture, 
1919), and Die Auflosung der Stadte (The dissolution of the 
cities, 1920). He crusaded for land reform, environmental pres- 
ervation, and the abolition of war through massive "impossible 
tasks" such as rebuilding the Alps. His social commentary has 
made him one of the most widely read and studied architects of 
the first third of the twentieth century. He believed that new 
communal structures such as sparkling cities would create a new 
social order founded on cooperation and love. His sketches were 
as much social fantasies as they were architectural fantasies. 

Taut's idealism also took more practical forms. He founded 
the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst (Working council for art) in 1918, with 
the goal of promoting cooperation between intellectuals and 
the proletariat in the building of a new community, and joined 
the Novembergruppe (November group). He was also active in 
the Werkbund. In 1919 he initiated the Glaserne Kette (Crystal 
chain) correspondence (writing under the pseudonym Glas 



Cat. no. 210 

[glass]), considered the most significant dialogue on architec- 
tural theory in the twentieth century. In 1921 and 1922 he edited 
and published four issues of Friihlicht (Daybreak), a journal 
of the modern movement. In 1925 he organized Der Ring (The 
ring), a diverse group of architects who united in the search for 
a new, progressive Baukultur (building culture). 

From 1930 to 1932 Taut served as professor at the technical 
college in Berlin. With great hopes of building utopia, he 
moved to Russia in 1932 and worked as a consulting architect in 
Moscow. He left in 1933, frustrated by the government's firm 
doctrinal resistance to change. Soon after his return to Germany, 
he discovered that the Nazis were about to arrest him as a cul- 
tural Bolshevik. He fled to Japan and lived there for three years, 
until his asthma forced him to seek a drier climate in Turkey, 
where he spent the last two years of his life. During this time 
Taut immersed himself in his work, becoming a professor at the 
academy of fine arts in Istanbul and head of the architectural 
office of the Turkish ministry of education. He continued to 
design, combining indigenous elements with modernism. His 
most important building of this period is the faculty of lan- 
guages at the university in Ankara (1936-38). He completed a 
summary of his architectural ideas, which served as a text for 
his classes. He died of an asthma attack, likely provoked by his 
exhausting work habits. 



Kurt Junghanns, BrunoTaut, 1880-1938, 2d rev. ed., Schriften 
des Instituts firr Stadtebau und Architektur (Berlin: Elefanten, 
1983); Julius Posener, Bruno Taut: Eine Rede zu seinem 
fiinfzigsten Todestag, Anmerkungen zur Zeit, no. 28 (Berlin: 
Akademie der Kiinste, 1989); Bruno Taut, Alpine Architektur 
(Hagen: Folkwang, 1919); idem, Die Stadtkrone (Jena: Eugen 
Diederichs, 1919); idem, DerWettbaumeister: Architektur- 
Schauspiel fur symphonische Musik (Hagen: Folkwang, 1920); 
idem, "Mein Weltbild," Feuer 3, no. 1 (1922): 277-84; idem, 
Architekturlchre: Grundlagen, Theorie und Kritik, Beziehung zu 
den anderen Kiinsten und zur Cescluchte, ed. Tilmann Heinisch 
and Goerd Peschken (Hamburg: VSA, 1977); Barbara Volkmann, 
ed., Bruno Taut, 1880-1938 (Berlin: Akademie der Kiinste, 
1980); Iain Boyd Whyte, "Bruno Taut und die sozialistischen 
und weniger sozialistischen Wurzeln des sozialen Wohnungs- 
baues," Neue Heimat Monatshefte 5, no. 27 (1980): 28-37; 
idem, Bruno Taut and the Architecture of Activism (Cambridge: 
Cambridge University Press, 1982). 

From cat. no. 233 



Max Taut 


213. Betonhallen, c. 1919 
(Concrete halls) 
Photographic process 

7 ,5 /i6 x 6'A in. (20.2 x 17.1 cm) 

Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

214. Das drehbare Haus in den Sand Diinen der Curischen Nehrung 
bei Cranz, c. 1919 

(The rotating house in the sand dunes of Kurland Spit, near Cranz) 

Brown cyanotype 

I3 n /i6x I3 n /i6in. (34.8 x 34.7cm) 

Letter from the Glaserne Kette correspondence 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

215. Untitled (form fantasy), c. 1919 
Photographic process 

7V2X 8 5 /tin. (19.1 x 22.3 cm) 

Letter from the Glaserne Kette correspondence 

Collection Centre Canadien dArchitecture/Canadian Centre for 

Architecture, Montreal 

The younger and more pragmatic of the Taut brothers, Max 
Taut attended the school of building trades in Konigsberg. 
He worked in the office of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1905, 
then with Hermann Billing in 1906, and in 191 1 he opened 
an independent practice. After World War I he formed a part- 
nership with his brother Bruno and Franz Hoffmann. With his 
brother and Walter Gropius, Taut founded the Arbeitsrat fur 
Kunst (Working council for art) in 1918. He was also a member 
of Der Ring (The ring) and participated in the 1914 Werkbund 
exhibition in Cologne. He contributed drawings to Bruno Taut's 
Glaserne Kette (Crystal chain) correspondence, in which he 
risked using his own name. His sketch of the Wissinger family 
tomb (1920) was the only Glaserne Kette drawing to be built. 
Unlike his brother, Max Taut showed no interest in didac- 
ticism, polemics, or theoretical speculation. He gained a 
reputation during the Weimar era as the architect of the labor 
unions, creating projects such as buildings for the Deutsche 
Gewerkschaftbund (Federation of German trade unions) in 
Diisseldorf( 1926) and Frankfurt (1929-31). Another significant 
project was his 1920 revolving house, built on the dunes of 
Kurland Spit. 

With the rise of the National Socialists, Taut was barred from 
public commissions and was able to complete only a few resi- 
dential buildings. After World War II he became a professor at 
the academy in Berlin and, with Wilhelm Biining, established 
a new school of architecture. He also resumed designing; 

outstanding examples of his postwar work include the Ludwig- 
Georg-Gymnasium in Darmstadt (1953) and the Renter housing 
estate in Bonn (1949-52). His projects from this latter period 
tended toward large housing developments and apartment 
buildings. He shared with other Expressionist architects a con- 
ceptual boldness and daring yet refrained from exaggeration. 



Barbara Volkmann and Rose-France Raddatz, eds., Max Taut, 
1884-1967: Zeichnungen, Bauten, exh. cat., Akademie- 
Katalogno. 142 (Berlin: Akademie der Kiinste, 1984). 

Cat. no. 214 

Cat. no. 215 






216. Der Dom, 1920 



26 1 /: x 19 in. (67.3 x 48.3 cm) 

Plate 8 from the portfolio Der Dom (1920) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Gift of Ernest Raboff 

Little-known painter and graphic artist Max Thalman was 
educated at the school of applied arts in Weimar. After 
World War I he was active as a book illustrator. He is also noted 
for his woodcut series. A trip to New York in 1923-24 inspired 
his book Amenka in HoUschnitt (America in woodcut). 



Wilhelm Michel, "Gott und die Sprache," Feuer 3, no. 2-3 
(1922): 56-64. 

Heinrich Vck 



217. Die siebcn Schalcn des Zorns (Offcnbarung fohannis), 1918 

(The Seven Bowls of Wrath [Revelation to John]) 


14V16 x lo'/sin. (36.0 x 25.8 cm) 

Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich 

Like many young German artists of his time, Heinrich 
Vogeler was a Utopian idealist. He was a prolific member 
of the Worpswede artists' community, and his early work — 
characterized by Jugendstil-inspired swerving lines, soft rhythms, 
and his celebrated feather images — seemed to depict a fairy-tale 
world. During World War I, however, his life and art underwent 
a transformation with his conversion to communism. From that 
point on he devoted his many artistic talents to disseminating 
communist ideals and eventually settled in the Soviet Union. 

Vogeler began his formal artistic training in 1890 at the acad- 
emy in Diisseldorf, and in 1S94 he traveled to Worpswede, 
where he joined Fritz Mackensen, Otto Modersohn, and others 
to form the Kilnstlervereinigung Worpswede (Worpswede artists' 
alliance). Vogeler, in contrast to the others, made few landscapes 
but explored many different subjects and disciplines: still life, 
portraiture, circle motifs, book illustration, commercial graphics, 
furniture, and architecture, among others. In 1898 he traveled 
to Florence, where he began a long friendship with the poet 
Rainer Maria Rilke, who published an essay on the artist in 1903. 
By this time Vogeler s primary interest was etching. In 1899 he, 
Modersohn, and Fritz Overbeck left the Worpswede commu- 
nity, precipitating its dissolution. 

By 1900 Vogeler had achieved renown as an illustrator, partic- 
ularly for the journal Die Insel (The island) and its publishing 
house. He was thoroughly impressed with British book art, espe- 
cially the use of the ornamental framework. On a 1909 trip to 
England he became acquainted with the socialist physician 
Emil Lohnberg. Vogeler was so deeply affected by a tour of the 
blighted slums of Glasgow and Manchester that he decided to 
dedicate himself to social reform. He designed a workers' settle- 
ment for Worpswede, which was never realized, and houses for 

Cat. no. 



Hermann Vv<: 

workers, of which only a few were constructed. In August 1914 
he volunteered as a draftsman for the army. From 1915 to 1917 
he recorded his wartime experiences in drawings. His initial 
idealization of the conflict was eventually overcome by growing 
antiwar sentiment as he became aware of Germany's territorial 
objectives and encountered the propaganda of the revolutionary 
Russian army. 

After making an appeal to the Kaiser for peace, Vogeler was 
released from the army, placed under psychiatric observation, 
and reported to the police. After the war he formed close associa- 
tions with German socialists and in 1923 took the first of many 
trips to the Soviet Union. He 1925 he published Reise dutch 
Russland: Die Geburt des neuen Menschen (Journey through 
Russia: The birth of the new man). He lectured, exhibited, cre- 
ated propaganda art, wrote, and affiliated with many organiza- 
tions, among them the Assoziation revolutionarer bildender 
Kiinstler Deutschlands (Association of revolutionary German 
visual artists), the most significant organization of communist 
visual artists in the Weimar Republic, which he cofounded in 
1928. Because of his years of intensive devotion to the commu- 
nist effort in the Soviet Union, Vogeler was chronically impov- 
erished. German writer friends in Moscow donated a large sum 
of money to liquidate his debts, but he died a month later. 



David Erlay, Vogeler: Ein Maler und seine Zeit (Fischerhude: 
Atelier im Bauernhaus, 1981); Rainer Maria Rilke, Heinrich 
Vogeler (Lilienthal; Worpsweder Verlag, 1986); Bernd Stenzig, 
ed., Worpswede Moskau: Das Werk von Heinrich Vogeler, 
exh. cat. (Worpswede: Worpsweder Kunsthalle, 1989); Johann 
Heinrich Vogeler, Werden: Erinnerungen: Mit Lebenszeug- 
nissen aus den Jahren 1923-1942 (Fischerhude: Atelier im 
Bauernhaus, 1989). 



218. With Walter Rohrig and Walter Reimann 

Untitled, 1919 

Silver print 

9 I5 /|6X 13 in. (25.3 x 33.0cm) 

Set design for the film Das Cabinet des Doktor Caligari (1919), 

directed by Robert Wiene (photographer unknown) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies 

Hermann Warm, like his colleagues Walter Rohrig and 
Walter Reimann, is probably best known for his contribu- 
tion to the scenic design of Das Cabinet des Doktor Caligari 
(The cabinet of Doctor Caligari). Warm worked on more than 
160 other productions during his lifetime, however, and was 
one of the most distinguished film designers in Europe in the 
early decades of the century. His credits include some of the 
preeminent films of the Weimar era, such as F. W Murnau's 
Phantom (1920), Fritz Lang's Der miide Tod (released in 
English-speaking countries as Destiny, 1921), and Henrik 
Galeen's Der Student von Prag (The student from Prague, 
1926), as well as two French films for the director Carl Dreyer, 
La passion de Jeanne d'Arc (released in English-speaking 
countries as The Passion of Joan of Arc, 1928) and Vampyr 
(1932). In Warm's own view he worked on only twenty good 
films and two especially good ones: Caligari and Jeanne d'Arc. 

Although Warm is usually described as a member of the circle 
around the Sturm gallery, little evidence exists to support such 
a claim. He studied theatrical painting at the school of arts and 
crafts in Berlin from 1905 until 1907, then trained in stage 
design at the Szenograph theater in Berlin from 1908 until 1909 
and at the Schauspielhaus theater from 1910 until 1911. He 
subsequently entered the film industry, working first with Vita- 
scop in 1912 and then with the Decla-Bioscop, Union, and 
Greenbaum production companies. 

According to the critic Siegfried Kracauer, Warm believed 
that "films must be drawings brought to life" (Siegfried Kra- 
cauer, From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the 
German Cinema [Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 
1947], p. 68). Speaking later of his work as a film designer, 
Warm recalled: 'At that time there was still a close working 
relationship between the director, film artist, and cameraman, 



/\ndor Weininger 

especially in the area of the silent film. The picture was the lan- 
guage of the film; the composition of the image and the style 
were dependent on the film designer" (quoted in Gabriela Grun- 
wald, "Expressionistischer Dekor im deutschen Stummfilm," 
Ph.D. diss., Cologne, 1984-8;, p. 79). 

Warm's precise role in the conception of Caligari is uncertain. 
According to Warm's account, the producer Rudolf Meinert 
gave the script to Warm, and he then shared it with Rohrig and 
Reimann, who had worked with him on previous films. 
Warm knew that the images had to be "visionary, nightmarish" 
but had not developed a style for the film. Reimann apparently 
suggested that "this theme had to have an Expressionist style for 
the sets, costumes, actors, and direction" (Hess, Das Cabinet 
des Dr. Caligari, p. 53). The film's producer, Erich Pommer, 
by contrast, recalled that three artists — Robert Herlth and two 
others — brought him the "absurd proposition" that the set 
for Caligari be painted with lights and shadows. Herlth then 
attempted to sway Pommer by stating, "We are living in an age 
of Expressionism" (quoted in Byrne, "German Cinematic- 
Expressionism," p. 162). 

During the actual production of Caligari, Warm seems to 
have worked mainly on the sets, while Rohrig did the painting 
and Reimann was responsible for the costumes. In addition to 
the films already mentioned, Warm claims to have designed sets 
for Lang's Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse, the gambler, 
1922) along with Otto Hunte and Stahl-Urach, although his 
name is not listed in the film's credits. Warm worked as a free- 
lance designer in Hungary, France, and England from 1924 
until 1933 and then in Switzerland from 1941 until 1944. 


Richard Burdick Byrne, "German Cinematic Expressionism, 
1919-1924," Ph.D. diss., State University of Iowa, Iowa City, 
1962; Klaus Peter Hess, Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari: 
Materialien zu einem Film von Robert Wiene (Duisburg: Atlas 
Film, 1988), p. 53; Hermann Warm, "Gegen die Caligari- 
Legenden," in Caligari und Caligarismus, ed. Walter Kau] 
(Berlin: Deutsche Kinemathek, 1970), pp. 11-19. 


219. Mechanische Biihnen-Revue, 1923 

(Mechanical stage review) 

Watercolor, black ink, wash, and graphite 

n'/sx 17% in. (29.5 x 45.1 cm) 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gift of Cornelia Weininger, 1992 

Like most of the theater designs devised by students and pro- 
fessors at the Bauhaus, Andor Weininger 's ambitious plans 
for a Mechanische Biihne (Mechanical theater) and a Kugelthea- 
ter (Spherical theater) were never realized. He worked on the 
concept of a Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art), even though, 
as he wrote, the idea "was made fun of at the Bauhaus and 
viewed as romantic" (quoted in Michaelsen, "Andor Weiningers 
Buhnenprojekte," p. 430). His visionary Kugeltheater, a spher- 
ical building with hanging stages for the actors and rows of spec- 
tator seating on the inside of the ball, was designed to eliminate 
the spatial limitations imposed by the proscenium of a tradi- 
tional theater. Noted for his theoretical contributions, Weininger 
was also a valuable member of the Bauhaus stage workshop 
because of his singing and piano playing and was a key member 
of the Bauhaus Band, popular in Dresden, Berlin, and Munich 
as well as at the school itself. 

Weininger began his studies in law, first at the university in 
Pecs for two semesters beginning in 1917 and then at the techni- 
cal university in Budapest for another two terms. In 1921 — 
along with a number of other young Hungarian artists, including 
Farkas Molnar and Henrik Stefan— Weininger was able to enroll 
at the Bauhaus in Weimar, where he studied with Johannes 
Itten and Georg Muche and participated in Wassily Kandinsky's 
mural-painting workshop until 1925. He took part in the infor- 
mal Weimar De Stijl group and joined Theo van Doesburg's 
Stijlkurse (Stijl courses), offered from March until July of 1922. 
Weininger also helped form the student group known as KURI, 
standing for Konstruktiv-Utilitar-Rationell-International 
(Constructive-utilitarian-rational-international), which advo- 
cated Constructivist principles and was opposed to Itten's spiri- 
tual, dreamily Utopian Mazdaznan group. In 1923 Weininger 




left the Bauhaus for five months to work as a set designer and 
musician at a nightclub in Hamburg, where he developed his 
idea for a Mechanische Biihnen-Revue (Mechanical stage 
revue), which involved the orchestration of abstract colored 
shapes on the stage. He later wrote of the project: "How it could 
be done technically was another question. But I solved that 
also, in theory, with rooms moving around an axis carrying 
moving bands. It is possible to carry this out in practice, but it is 
difficult" (ibid., p. 428). 

In 1925, after the Bauhaus moved to Dessau, Weininger 
returned to Pecs, but in 1927 he went to Dessau at the request of 
Walter Gropius, receiving a monthly stipend and joining Oskar 
Schlemmer's theater workshop. In r927 Weininger 's Mecha- 
nische Biihnen-Revue and Kugeltheater designs were shown at 
the Deutsche Theater- Ausstellung (German theater exhibition) 
in Magdeburg, and the design for his Kugeltheater was published 
in the book Die Buhne im Bauhaus (The Stage at the Bauhaus), 
edited by Oskar Schlemmer and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Leaving 
the Bauhaus the following year to live in Berlin, Weininger col- 
laborated during the 1930s on design projects with his future 
wife, Eva Fernbach. The pair moved to the Netherlands in 1938 
and in 1951 immigrated to Canada and later the United States. 

A. S. 


Eva Bajkay-Rosch, "Hungarians at the Bauhaus," Bauhaus: 
International Centrum voor Structuuranalyse en Construc- 
tivisme, no. 6-7(1987): 97-117; Kathrin Michaelsen, "Andor 
Weiningers Biihnenprojekte am Bauhaus," in Wechsel 
Wirkungen: Ungarische Avantgarde in der Weimarer Republik, 
exh. cat., ed. Hubertus Gassner (Kassel: Staatliche Kunstsamm- 
lungen, 1986), pp. 427-30; Jiri Svestka, ed., Andor Weininger: 
Vom Bauhaus zur konzeptuellen Kunst, exh. cat. (Diisseldorf: 
Kunstverein fur die Rheinland und Westfalen. 1990); Andor 
Weininger, "Kugeltheater," Bauhaus: Zeitschnft fur Gestaltung, 
no. 3 (1927): 2; idem, "The Fun Department at the Bauhaus," 
Mosaic (November 1957): 15-17. 


220. Der vierte Tag. c. 1913 

(The fourth day) 

Lithograph with watercolor 

io ! /i6x 7 in. (26.2 x 17.8cm) 

From the portfolio Am Anfang: Genesis (1913) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

Gustav Wolf was a painter, sculptor, and graphic artist 
whose work often addressed religious themes. Like other 
artists of his generation, such as Franz Marc, he often chose 
animals as his subjects, depicting them as peaceful, spiritual 
beings. Wolf painted and drew many landscapes, including nat- 
uralistic views of Lake Constance in southern Germany, where 
he lived, and also invented fantastic dream landscapes in bright, 
unreal colors. 

Wolf studied at the school of applied arts in Karlsruhe from 
1904 until 1906 on the advice of the artist Hans Thoma, then 
traveled through Europe until 1908. In that year Wolf exhibited 
his work in Paris. In the period before World War I he created 
numerous print portfolios, often based on biblical stories. In 
addition to his portfolio of seven lithographs Die sieben Schop- 
fungstage (The seven days of Creation), published in 1913 
by Eugen Diederichs Verlag in Jena, Wolf made woodcut series 
entitled Confessio (1908), Das erste Flugblatt vom lebenden 
Sein (The first flier of the living soul, 1918), Die Blatter vom 
lebenden Sein (The pages of the living soul, 1919), Deutsche 
Landschaft (German landscape, 1922), and Kreaturen (Crea- 
tures, 1925). He also designed a cover for Alfred Mombert's 
book Der Thron derZeit (The throne of time) and illustrated 
Jean Paul's treatise Der grosste Gedanke der Menschen (Human- 
kind's greatest thought) with six color plates in 1925. 

After the war Wolf was a founder of the artists' group Kunst 
und Kulturrats fur Baden (Art and culture council for Baden) 
and was a professor of graphic art at the state art school of Baden 
in Karlsruhe from 1920 until 1921. In addition to his graphic 
work, Wolf made many small bronzes, particularly of animals, 
and seems to have been attracted to figures from Greek mythol- 
ogy as well as to non-Western cultures. His contemporary 
Max Raphael wrote of him in 1923 that his interest in animals 
stemmed from the difference in scale between the "mighty 
animal" and "tiny man." In 1933 Wolf painted a series of fres- 
coes in the Karlsruhe Kunsthalle (now destroyed), his last 
commission before his immigration to Switzerland. Five years 

2 5 8 



Der vurtc Cag 

Cat. no. 220 

later he moved to the United States, where he executed drawings 
of New York and a series of etchings entitled Vision of Man- 
hattan. In 1944 his Book of Job was selected as one of the best 
fifty books of the year by the American Institute of Graphic Art. 

A. S. 


Richard Benz, "Die Zeichen-Sprache der Kunst: 
Betrachtungen zum Werk Gustav Wolfs," in Jahrbuch der 
jungen Kunst, 1921 (Leipzig: Klinkhardt und Biermann, 1921) 
pp. 47-55; Max Raphael, "Uber Gustav Wolf," Jahrbuch der 
jungen Kunst, 1923 (Leipzig: Klinkhardt und Biermann, 1923) 
pp. 190-94- 



Books, leriodicals, and Uphemera 

221. Ausstcllung filr unbekannte Architekten, 1919 
(Exhibition of unknown architects) 


Catalogue for an exhibition organized by the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst 
The Resource Collections of the Getty Center for the History of Art 
and the Humanities 

222. Uriel Birnbaum 

Der Kaiser und der Architekt: Ein Marchen in funfzig Bildern, 1924 
(The kaiser and the architect: A fairy tale in fifty pictures) 
Illustrated book 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 
Center for German Expressionist Studies, gift of Robert Gore Rifkind 

223. Curt Corrinth 

Potsdamer Platz; oder, Die Nachte des neuen Messias. Ekstatische 

Visionen, 1920 

(Potsdamer Platz; or, The nights of the new Messiah: Ecstatic visions) 

Book with illustrations by Paul Klee 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

224. Siegfried Ebeling 

Der Raum als Membran, 1926 
(Space as membrane) 
Lingers collection 

225. Fruhlicht (Winter 1921-22) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 
Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 
provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 
deaccession funds 

226. Fruhlicht (Fall 1921, Spring 1922, Summer 1922) 

The Resource Collections of the Getty Center for the History of Art 
and the Humanities 

227. Fur das neuc Deutschland, 1919 
(For the new Germany) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 
Center for German Expressionist Studies, gift of Robert Gore Rifkind 

228. Otto Kohtz 

Cedanken iiber Architektur, c. 1909 

(Thoughts about architecture) 

Illustrated book 

Helen Topping Architecture and Fine Arts Library, University of 

Southern California 

229. Ruf zum Bauen. 1920 
(Call to building) 


Published to accompany an exhibition organized by the Arbeitsrat fur 


The Resource Collections of the Getty Center for the History of Art 

and the Humanities 

230. Oskar Schlemmer and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy 
Die Buhnc im Bauhaus, 1924 

(The stage at the Bauhaus) 


From the series Bauhausbiicher, no. 4 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 

Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds 

provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Acquisition Fund, and 

deaccession funds 

231. Bruno Taut 

Ein Architekturprogramm, 1918 

(A program for architecture) 


From the series Flugschriften des Arbeitsrates ftir Kunst, no. 1 

The Resource Collections of the Getty Center for the History of Art 

and the Humanities 

232. Bruno Taut 
Alpine Architektur, 1919 
(Alpine architecture) 
Illustrated book 

The Resource Collections of the Getty Center for the History of Art 
and the Humanities 

233. Bruno Taut 
Die Stadtkrone, 1919 
(The city-crown) 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Robert Gore Rifkind 
Center for German Expressionist Studies, gift of Robert Gore Rifkind 

234. Bruno Taut 

Die Aufiosung der Stadte, 1920 

(The dissolution of the cities) 

Illustrated book 

The Resource Collections of the Getty Center for the History of Art 

and the Humanities 

235. Bruno Taut 

Der Weltbaumeister, 1920 

(The universal master builder) 

Illustrated book 

Helen Topping Architecture and Fine Arts Library, University of 

Southern California 


Johannes Itten 

Untitled (proposed cover 

for Utopia: Dokumente 

dcrWirklichkeit), 1921 


13 x 9 7 /i6in. (33.0 x 24.0cm) 

Courtesy Itten estate 

/Appendix.- Cssays, /vrticles, 
/Vlaniiestos, Letters, and 
Other Writings 




































Program of the Briicke 

From The Beauty of the Big City August Endell 

"Locomotive over Friedrichstrasse" Siegfried Kracauer 

From "The Metropolis and Mental Life" Georg Simmel 

From "The Future of Our Architecture" Hermann Obrist 

From For the New Germany 

From Yes! Voices of the Working Council for Art in Berlin 

"New Ideas on Architecture" Walter Gropius 

"The Building Yard" Hans Hansen 

"A Program for Architecture" Bruno Taut 

From Glass Architecture Paul Scheerbart 

From "The Earth, a Good Dwelling Place" Bruno Taut 

"A Necessity" Bruno Taut 

"House of Heaven" Bruno Taut 

Glaserne Kette Correspondence 

From "Germany's Greatness and Downfall; or, The Fantastic Life Story 
of the Supreme Dada" Johannes Baader 

"In Praise of the Conventional" Raoul Hausmann 

The Universal Master Builder: An Architectural Drama for Symphonic Music Bruno Taut 

From "On Stage and Music: An Epilogue to the Architectural Drama" Bruno Taut 

"Artistic Film Program" Bruno Taut 

From "The Drama" Lothar Schreyer 

"The Painter and the Stage" Oskar Schlemmer 

Script for the Play of Form, Color, Light, and Sound Roman Clemens 

"Thoughts on Theatrical Space" Hans Scharoun 

From A Rallying Cry for Socialism Gustav Landauer 

From Spirit of Utopia Ernst Bloch 

From "On Preconscious Knowledge" Ernst Bloch 





I rogr 

o\ the Druckc 

The earliest Expressionist 
group in Germany, the Briicke 
(Bridge) artists celebrated 
youth and spontaneity of 
expression in their image of a 
community of artists defiantly 
creating the future. Their 1906 

program is in the tradition of 
the avant-garde manifesto. 

Translated in Reinhold Heller, 
Briicke: German Expressionist 
Prints from the Granvil and 
Marcia Specks Collection, exh. 

eat. (Eranston, III.: Mary and 
Leigh Block Gallery. North- 
western University. 1988). 
p. 15; reprinted by permission 
of the publisher. 

With a belief in continuing evolution, in a new generation of creators as well as 
appreciators, we call together all youth. And as youth that is carrying the future, we 
intend to obtain freedom of movement and of life for ourselves in opposition to older, 
well-established powers. Whoever renders directly and authentically that which 
impels him to create is one of us. 





Prom I he beauty 01 the Dief \^ity 

Endcll (1871-1925) was a lead- 
ing Jugendstil architect who 
broke with the contemporary 
view (voiced bv Karl Scheffler 
and other architectural critics) 
that the city was inherently 

uglv. His portrayal of the city 
anticipates the Italian Futur- 
ists' bruitist glorification of 
cacophonous noise while also 
recalling the pastoral harmony 
of landscape painting. 

Originally published as Die 
Schonheit der grossen Stadt 
(Stuttgart: Strccker und 
Schroder, 1908), pp. 50-33; 
translated bv David Britt. 


Alongside this hidden beauty [of work], which does not speak to the senses, which is 
accessible only to one who employs visualization— the thinking imagination— to explore 
the form that work has created, there is a second form of beauty, that of the city as nature. 
This may sound curious, but that is because this beauty is almost always overlooked; we 
are not used to looking at a city in the same way we look at forests, mountains, or the sea. 


It is curious: the cawing of crows, the rushing of the wind, the roar of the sea, seem poetic, 
magnificent, and noble. But the sounds of the city do not even seem worthy of notice, and 
yet they in themselves create a remarkable world that must make the city appear, even to 
the blind, as a richly complex entity. We have only to listen and hearken to the city's voices. 
The light rolling of cabs; the ponderous rumble of mail vans; the clatter of hoofs on the 
asphalt; the quick, sharp, staccato of the trotter; the dragging pace of a cab horse: all have 
an individual character of their own, more subtly nuanced than we can express in words. 
Without really knowing how, we distinguish one vehicle from another; no eyes needed. 
These sounds are as familiar to us as old acquaintances. Often too loud, of course, even 
deafening at close quarters, but almost always beautiful as they fade gradually into the dis- 
tance. How cheerful is the sound of wheels bowling along; with what strange suddenness 
they fall silent when the vehicle disappears round a corner. How insistent are the echoing 
footsteps of pedestrians. How trippingly quiet, even delicate, are the steps of multitudes in 
narrow streets where vehicles seldom pass, as often heard on Schloss-Strasse in Dresden. 
With what muted passion the waiting multitudes jostle and shuffle, and how varied are the 
voices of automobiles, their oncoming rush, the cry of the klaxons, and then, gradually 
emerging into audibility, the rhythmic throb of the pistons, sometimes a roar, sometimes 
a heavy thump, sometimes keeping time with a delicately metallic ring, and finally, close 
by, the siren song of the wheels, as their spokes strike the air, and the quiet, slithering 
crunch of the rubber tires. How mysterious is the deep hum of the transformers hidden in 



the billboard columns, which nudge us with their barely audible sounds as a dog gently 
nudges its master from behind. How wonderful is the dark, suffused roar of a trolley at full 
speed, rhythmically punctuated by the heavy pounding of the car, then, gradually emerg- 
ing, the hard beat on the tracks, the grinding of the gears, the whir of the roller, and the 
shiver in the wires, long after the car has passed. One can walk the streets of the city for 
hours on end, listening to its voices, loud and soft, and sense a strange and intricate life in 
the quiet of unfrequented places and in the roar of busy streets. There are no words to 
express the delight of all these things. 


To the hearer the great city is an animated, richly detailed being; to the viewer it makes 
an inexhaustible gift of itself as landscape, as a colorful, ever-changing picture; it offers 
a bounty, a profusion, which generation after generation of humanity will never exhaust. 



ocomotive ov 

er lricdrichstrasse 

Kracauer (188Q-1966) was an 
eminent cultural critic for the 
Frankfurter Zeitung who also 
wrote important sociological 
texts. His vignette on Berlin's 
bustling Fnednchstrasse as 
seen by a locomotive engineer 

is a succinct example of his 
fascination with the "exotic of 
the everyday" a phrase he used 
in describing his celebrated 
study of Germany's white-collar 
workers. Die Angestellten 
(The employees, 1930). 

Originally published as "Loko- 
motivc iiber der Friedrichstrasse," 
in Frankfurter Zeitung, 28 
January 1933; reprinted in Sieg- 
fried Kracauer. Strassen in 
Berlin und andersuo (Frankfurt: 
Suhrkamp, 1964), pp. 41-43; 
translated by David Britt. 

Crossing Friedrichstrasse toward the railroad station, one often sees a giant express loco- 
motive halted above. It stands directly over the center of the street and belongs to some 
long-distance train that is arriving from the west or departing for the east. Does it engage 
the attention of the crowd? Nobody gives it a glance. Cafes, display windows, women, 
automats, headlines, luminous advertisements, cops, buses, vaudeville photographs, 
beggars — all these ground-level impressions preoccupy the passerby far too deeply for him 
to grasp the apparition on the skyline. Even the upper floors along this street are lost in a 
blur; the caryatids on the facades have no interlocutors, the dormers might as well be card- 
board, and the roofs vanish into a void. The locomotive suffers the same fate. With its 
long body, its gleaming rods, and its array of red wheels, it is a wondrous sight to see, but 
it lingers, neglected, above the throng of vehicles and people that surges through the 
underpass. It is an alien visitant, arriving and gliding away amid the nocturnal vapors, 
as unnoticed as if it were always there — or never there at all. 

But what a spectacle Friedrichstrasse itself presents to the man on the locomotive! 
Imagine that he may have been driving his machine through the darkness for hours on 
end. The open iron road still rings in his ears: tracks hurtling toward him, signals, block 
stations, forests, plowed fields, and pastures. He has passed through little depots and has 
brought his train to a halt for a few minutes at a time beneath the vast gloom of a station 
roof. Freight trains, local trains, lamplit parlors, church towers, voices calling. But, time 



and again, all this life has been swallowed up by the earth and lost in the sky. Towns? Brief 
interruptions. Villages? Scattered clusters in the countryside. Nothing has endured but 
embankments and telegraph poles, field patterns, endless spaces. Sometimes the fields have 
dropped away beneath the blaze of the firehole, to be replaced by the surface of a river. 
Carts and wagons have waited at level crossings, smokestacks have sliced across the land- 
scape, childish hands have waved from below. And, always, looming masses of blackness, 
rapidly growing and instantly disappearing. 

The man on the locomotive has just left all that behind him. After a journey on which 
everything but earth and sky has fled from him, he suddenly comes to a halt above 
Friedrichstrasse, which obliterates both sky and earth. To him it must seem like the axis 
of the world, stretching away to either side, dead-straight and immeasurable. For its 
brightness obliterates his memories, its din drowns out that of the railroad, and its activity 
is sufficient unto itself. This is no mere halt along the way, but a sojourn at the very center 
of life. Himself an alien visitant, the man above peers down at the street as if through a 
chink. His eyes, accustomed as they are to darkness, may fail to distinguish details, but he 
nevertheless perceives the turmoil that explodes out of this narrow canyon of buildings; 
he registers the glare that is redder than the wheels of his own machine. In his perception 
the glare and the turmoil mingle in an eruption of festivity that has — like the string of arc 
lights — no beginning and no end. It looms out of the distance, enfolding rich and poor, 
harlots and escorts, and lines the facades with a roof-high, tumultuous blaze of words and 
signs. The man feels as if he were invisible, with the street of streets surging over and past 
him. A chain that never breaks. A human ribbon that ceaselessly unrolls, through the 
flickering air, between one plowed field and the next. 

When he moves on, the night seems darker than ever. Everywhere he looks, behind 
and before, he sees a glowing line. It haunts him, and soon it can no longer be reduced to 
time and space: it becomes an emblem of redly glowing life. On Friedrichstrasse no one 
has noticed the locomotive. 


from I he /Vletropolis and /Mental Lire 

Simmel (1858-1918) based his 
ground-breaking sociological 
theory on the experience of the 
city, using his native Berlin as 
his case study. Although his 
Jewish origins prevented him 
from obtaining a full professor- 
ship at the university there, his 
lectures and private seminars 
in his home were widely influ- 

ential. They were attended by 
Ernst Bloch, Paul Ernst, Georg 
Lukdcs, and Rainer Maria 
Rilke among others. "The Me- 
tropolis and Mental Life" has 
become his best-known essay. 

Originally published as "Die 
Grossstddte und das Geistes- 

leben," in Die Grossstadt, 
special issue of Jahrbuch der 
Gehe-Stiftung zu Dresden 9 
(1903]; translated by Hans 
Gerth, in The Sociology of 
Georg Simmel, ed. Kurt H. 
Wolff (Glencoe, III.: Free Press, 
1950), pp. 409-24; reprinted 
by permission of the publisher. 


The deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to preserve 
the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming social forces, 
of historical heritage, of external culture, and of the technique of life. ... An inquiry into 
the inner meaning of specifically modern life and its products, into the soul of the cultural 
body, so to speak, must seek to solve the equation which structures like the metropolis set 
up between the individual and the super-individual contents of life. Such an inquiry 
must answer the question of how the personality accommodates itself in the adjustments 
to external forces. This will be my task today. 

The psychological basis of the metropolitan type of individuality consists in the inten- 
sification of nervous stimulation which results from the swift and uninterrupted change of 
outer and inner stimuli. Man is a differentiating creature. His mind is stimulated by the 
difference between a momentary impression and the one which preceded it. Lasting 
impressions, impressions which differ only slightly from one another, impressions which 
take a regular and habitual course and show regular and habitual contrasts— all these use 
up, so to speak, less consciousness than does the rapid crowding of changing images, the 
sharp discontinuity in the grasp of a single glance, and the unexpectedness of onrushing 
impressions. These are the psychological conditions which the metropolis creates. With 
each crossing of the street, with the tempo and multiplicity of economic, occupational 
and social life, the city sets up a deep contrast with small town and rural life with refer- 
ence to the sensory foundations of psychic life. . . . Thus the metropolitan type of man — 
which, of course, exists in a thousand individual variants— develops an organ protecting 
him against the threatening currents and discrepancies of his external environment which 
would uproot him. He reacts with his head instead of his heart. In this an increased 
awareness assumes the psychic prerogative. Metropolitan life, thus, underlies a height- 
ened awareness and a predominance of intelligence in metropolitan man. The reaction to 
metropolitan phenomena is shifted to that organ which is least sensitive and quite remote 
from the depth of the personality. Intellectuality is thus seen to preserve subjective life 
against the overwhelming power of metropolitan life, and intellectuality branches out in 
many directions and is integrated with numerous discrete phenomena. 

The metropolis has always been the seat of the money economy. Here the multiplicity 
and concentration of economic exchange give an importance to the means of exchange 
which the scantiness of rural commerce would not have allowed. Money economy and the 
dominance of the intellect are intrinsically connected. They share a matter-of-fact atti- 
tude in dealing with men and with things; and, in this attitude, a formal justice is often 
coupled with an inconsiderate hardness. The intellectually sophisticated person is indif- 
ferent to all genuine individuality, because relationships and reactions result from it which 
cannot be exhausted with logical operations. In the same manner, the individuality of 
phenomena is not commensurate with the pecuniary principle. Money is concerned only 
with what is common to all: it asks for the exchange value, it reduces all quality and indi- 
viduality to the question: How much? . . . 

In certain seemingly insignificant traits, which lie upon the surface of life, the same 
psychic currents characteristically unite. Modern mind has become more and more calcu- 
lating. The calculative exactness of practical life which the money economy has brought 
about corresponds to the ideal of natural science: to transform the world into an arithme- 
tic problem, to fix every part of the world bv mathematical formulas. . . . The relationships 


and affairs of the typical metropolitan usually are so varied and complex that without the 
strictest punctuality in promises and services the whole structure would break down into 
an inextricable chaos. Above all, this necessity is brought about by the aggregation of so 
many people with such differentiated interests, who must integrate their relations and 
activities into a highly complex organism. If all clocks and watches in Berlin would sud- 
denly go wrong in different ways, even if only by one hour, all economic life and commu- 
nication of the city would be disrupted for a long time. . . . 

The same factors which have thus coalesced into the exactness and minute precision of 
the form of life have coalesced into a structure of the highest impersonality; on the other 
hand, they have promoted a highly personal subjectivity. There is perhaps no psychic phe- 
nomenon which has been so unconditionally reserved to the metropolis as has the blase 
attitude. The blase attitude results first from the rapidly changing and closely compressed 
contrasting stimulations of the nerves. From this, the enhancement of metropolitan intel- 
lectuality, also, seems originally to stem. Therefore, stupid people who are not intellec- 
tually alive in the first place usually are not exactly blase. A life in boundless pursuit of 
pleasure makes one blase because it agitates the nerves to their strongest reactivity for such 
a long time that they finally cease to react at all. In the same way, through the rapidity and 
contradictoriness of their changes, more harmless impressions force such violent responses, 
tearing the nerves so brutally hither and thither that their last reserves of strength are 
spent; and if one remains in the same milieu they have no time to gather new strength. An 
incapacity thus emerges to react to new sensations with the appropriate energy. This con- 
stitutes that blase attitude which, in fact, every metropolitan child shows when compared 
with children of quieter and less changeable milieus. . . . 

. . . For the reciprocal reserve and indifference and the intellectual life conditions of 
large circles are never felt more strongly by the individual in their impact upon his inde- 
pendence than in the thickest crowd of the big city. This is because the bodily proximity 
and narrowness of space make the mental distance only the more visible. It is obviously 
only the obverse of this freedom if, under certain circumstances, one nowhere feels as 
lonely and lost as in the metropolitan crowd. For here as elsewhere it is by no means nec- 
essary that the freedom of man be reflected in his emotional life as comfort. . . . 

. . . The metropolis reveals itself as one of those great historical formations in which 
opposing streams which enclose life unfold, as well as join one another with equal right. 
However, in this process the currents of life, whether their individual phenomena touch 
us sympathetically or antipathetically, entirely transcend the sphere for which the judge's 
attitude is appropriate. Since such forces of life have grown into the roots and into the 
crown of the whole of the historical life in which we, in our fleeting existence, as a cell, 
belong only as a part, it is not our task either to accuse or to pardon, but only to understand. 

2 68 



/Architectural Fantasy 

1 he future or CAir /Architecture 

A teacher of considerable influ- 
ence and an innovative decora- 
tive artist and sculptor of the 
Jugcndstil movement, Obrist 
explored fundamental issues in 
often provocative ways in his 
writings. In his book of essays, 

from which the following 
excerpt is taken, he also con- 
sidered art and originality, the 
public's interest in art. and 
whether art should be practical 
or fanciful. 

Originally published as "Die 
Zukunft unserer Architektur," 
in Neue Moglichkeiten in 
der bildenden Kunst: Essays 
(Leipzig: Eugen Diederichs, 
1903), pp. 112-14; translated 
by David Bntt. 

For centuries architecture has known no progress even remotely comparable with the rest 
of civilized life, and the reason for this is summed up in a single phrase that we once heard 
from the lips of an artist: "ignominious dependency." (By which we mean, of course, not 
its dependency on function and material . . . but dependency in a purely social and civic 
sense. ) The painter paints his picture the way he wants to paint it; he starves, maybe, but 
he can still paint it. What young architect can build himself a house or a church? He can 
only make sketches and designs (and in fact he ought to do more of them and show them 
more often than hitherto). No municipality, no government, no business community can 
be expected to take the initiative; they are dependent on countless contingencies of their 
own. There are nevertheless thousands of tasks that need to be done, given only a fair 
breath of wind from the courageous private initiatives of those men and women who are 
capable of thinking further ahead than the next instant or the next two years. Whence 
comes our deliverance, except it be from them? Rarely has the moment been more pro- 
pitious than it is today, when the initiative of powerful and enterprising corporate bodies 
has rescued the outskirts of our cities from the speculative builders of bleak apartment 
houses and has made them available for the building of homes fit for human beings to live 
in. In many of these developments the practical conditions of life at least come very close 
to the ideal that previous generations vainly longed for. In this new century let us take the 
chance that offers itself: let us prove ourselves worthy of social progress, by making these 
homes solid, true, contemporary, and individual, so that we may take pleasure in them 
and so that we may leave our descendants a memorial, not of the things we most liked to 
imitate, but of the way we were at the onset of the new century. If we were to do that, there 
would be an unparalleled sprouting of green shoots, a true rebirth at last. 



from tor the /Vcvv Oc 


The armistice of November igi8 
brought the end of the Wilhclmme 
empire and the opportunity for 
a new form of government in 
Germany. Many intellectuals 
and artists overcame their dis- 

agreements to unite around 
their hopes for a socialist 
government, as is evident in 
these selections from a broad- 
side circulated during the 
election of delegates to the 

Weimar assembly in January 
1919 (see fig. 23). 

Originally published as Fur 
das neue Deutschland 
(January 1919); translated 
by David Britt. 

hans baluschek (January 14, 1919) 

I expect a new age to be entirely to the advantage of creative individuals: the freest devel- 
opment, the greatest protection, the greatest aid, and the most extensive influence on the 
people as a whole, whose natural aristocracy they are. 

peter behrens (January 13, 1919) 

Erect on the debris of the vanished age stand the emblems of the new. Let us cast doubt 

aside, set to work, and build that bright edifice. 

Herbert eulenberg (January 17, 1919) 

The socialist republic is the best form of government for this nation of poets and thinkers. 
Every free mind must salute the revolution of the German state, which began in Novem- 
ber 1918, with hope and with joy. Our nation will once more be mindful of its mission, 
which is to help improve the life of the earth, not only through deeds and trade but also 
through poetry and thought. 

gerhart hauptmann (January 14, 1919) 

Our renewal has been accomplished in a state of exhaustion. Our strength had turned 
to inner weakness— so much so that it collapsed inward upon itself. But at once the first 
shoots of the new began to sprout amid the ruins. The new is young and quite different 
from the old. Woe betide anyone who can find nothing better to do today than dig out 
ancestral lumber from beneath the dust and debris. Woe betide the national identity that 
was nothing more than a repository for all that ancestral lumber, accompanied by all the 
tired old political tunes and performers. Either a strong faith in the new will preside over 
a future gathering of the German clans— from which our German-Austrian brethren 
must not be absent— or else lasciate ogni speranzal 

You believe in the resurrection of Germany, but do not imagine that we were united 
before just because we talked about the kaiser and the Reich. We were torn, fissured, rup- 
tured beneath that unifying coat of bright new paint. Let there be no timorous quest for 
the old so-called union. Its deceptive gloss is gone forever. Such a union is not enough for 
the new Germany. Let us be united in the new; let us seek a new union, one that is closer, 
deeper, and more honest. God knows, this is a forlorn hope, but I can never abandon it as 
long as I live. You Germans, pursue the prize of union! Germania's tattered garment has 
hitherto been pinned together by a brooch. You talked of union, but you did not have it. 
This union must be discovered, felt, explored, recognized, experienced, invented; it must 



"A pejorative French term for 
Germans. — ED. 

have its birth in a melting pot of universal fervor. Alas for all our wretched partisan divi- 
sions! A Frenchman may embrace a Boche, * but two Germans of different parties will slap 
each other's faces, irreconcilable in this world and in the next. Allow yourselves to be 
reconciled; make peace at long last, you countless feuding brothers! While the builders 
quarrel among themselves, nothing will ever be built. Without a word, but in present 
awareness of an overriding plan, we must set one stone upon another. For the first time the 
German genius is cast back entirely on its own resources to build its own country, its own 
house, its own temple. This must be recognized as a historic moment, one toward which 
Germany has grown and matured over many eventful centuries. Let us all be worthy of it! 

FELIX HOLLANDER (January 10, 1919) 

If people of insight would only get it clear in their minds that this revolution had to come, 
that it was no accident but the outcome of an evolutionary process based on natural laws, 
then their courage would never again fail them. The idea of having a part in the building 
of a new and free Germany is so exhilarating that even the mentally inert should involve 
themselves with all their might. 

KATHE KOLLWITZ (January 14, 1919) 

Beauty of living, free play of individual powers, harmonious development of personality 
must no longer be built on a foundation of ugliness, misery, and disease. This sense of 
liberation is what the bourgeois stands to gain from socialism. He cannot expect to gain 
anything else. But in return for this gain he must be prepared to give up his previous, 
privileged life. 

heinrich mann (January 10, 1919) 

The spiritual renewal of Germany, our natural task, is made easier for us by the revolu- 
tion. At last we are walking hand in hand with the state. 

THOMAS mann (January 11, 1919) 

It would certainly be wrong to see the revolution purely in terms of collapse and disin- 
tegration. The defeat of Germany is a highly paradoxical matter: it is not a defeat like any- 
other, any more than the war that it brought to an end was a war like any other. Unless I 
am very much mistaken, the nation that has suffered this unparalleled defeat is not a bro- 
ken nation; indeed, as in 1914, it still feels itself to have the future on its side. There can 
be no doubt (even for one who does not by any means subscribe to Marxist dogma and 
philosophy) that the political future, nationally and internationally, belongs to the social 
idea. The Western bourgeoisies will not enjoy their triumph for long. Once the social idea 
is embedded in the consciences of nations, it will not rest until it has been made reality — 
so far as any idea can be made reality by human beings. But the state morality to which it 
has longest been familiar is that of Germany. The social nation-state, such as now seeks to 
erect itself in our country, is part and parcel of German national evolution. I am equally- 
certain that, in Germany above all, the social or socialist state could never survive or per- 
form without an infusion of the bourgeois spirit. This has nothing to do with the imperi- 
alistic bourgeois ethos; it is none other than the spirit of German civilization. The pure 
workers' republic, the dictatorship of the proletariat, would be barbarism. 


JULIUS meier-GRAEFE (January 15, 1919) 

We have the revolution to thank for ridding us of a set of ignoble and mindless monarchs. 
Our attitude toward the republic is not so much governed by programs— whose social 
spirit has our assent— as by personalities who bring greater mental and spiritual qualities 
to their leadership than did the members of the former regime. Such are the leaders we 
expect above all. I consider unpatriotic experimenters or party hacks to be as disastrous as 
kaisers and kings. 

FRANZ OPPENHEIMER (January 12, 1919) 

Socialism is a free and equal society, freed from the taint of unearned income and there- 
fore classless and therefore united in brotherhood. It is the highest aim of all religious 
and ethical systems. It brings harmony within and peace without and makes a reality of 
"The Kingdom of God on Earth." It is the task of humanity to find the pathway to this 
goal. It has not been found yet, but it will and must be found! The German revolution has 
removed the fetters that impeded us from seeking the path of salvation. And that is why 
it is a great sign of hope— in spite of everything. 

karl ernst OSTHAUS (January 10, 1919) 

No fate is undeserved. Anyone who sees the revolution as a misfortune must inquire as 
to his own guilt. He who feels himself to be free of guilt, let him hail the dawn, with its 
promise that the living seed will flourish. 

wilhelm ostwald (January 10, 1919) 

Now Germany will reveal what she wants and what she can do. 

gabrielf, reuter (January 12, 1919) 

For anyone who lives the life of the mind, it must be a joy to participate in the moral 
renewal of one's own nation through a genuine social and fraternal process of resolve, 
creation, and consummation. The revolution has made this beautiful and worthy life 
accessible to us. Let us give thanks and set to work with all our might. 

ernst troeltsch (January 14, 1919) 

The revolution has forcibly taken in hand a process that had become an inevitable conse- 
quence of the long war, with its destruction of property and transfer of wealth, a process 
that was massively reinforced by the growing awareness of the impossibility of victory: the 
process of democratization and socialization, by which I mean the equal participation of 
all in the formation of the will of the state and the meticulous organization of an economy 
excluded from world trade, which otherwise would have been unable to feed its densely 
packed masses. After long and embittered obstruction, this reform was already in train, 
then the defeat and the ensuing military revolution left everything in ruins, and chaos 
ensued. But in this situation especially the temptation to despair must be manfully resist- 
ed. Only he who gives himself up for lost is lost. Great things have been destroyed; a state 
that upheld its glory through growing hardships has been shattered, as has a valiant army. 
But so great a nation, with such a capacity for psychological and mental attainment— so 
hardworking and so educated a nation — can never perish. It must perform the vast task of 
reorganizing itself, using its own resources, politically, economically, spiritually, and 
intellectually; it must meet the new situation by giving itself a new army that will shield 
the new edifice and protect it against dangers both from without and from within. If this 

2 7 2 


can be done, there can be a massive unfolding of strength and greatness in which everyone 
can and must play a part. This must fill us with the sense of a great responsibility and with 
the strength for a totally committed achievement. Life will be hard for the men of the 
German mind and for the men of German art, but theirs will be the great task of restoring 
the German mind to a leading position, both at home and abroad. If life draws its value 
not from comfort but from the greatness of the task in hand, then our future life is of the 
utmost value. Out of our sufferings must come purity and grandeur of mind; our faith in 
God and in man must convince us that pure minds shall not work in vain. In this certainty 
we can and must live and hope; without it there is nothing but a vegetable existence, wait- 
ing for death, and then the work of rebirth would be left to later generations, generations 
of greater faith. 

fritz von unruh (January 18, 1919) 

— Pile awesome impossibilities mountain-high— we feel the good cheer, the love for the 


HEINRICH WOLFFLIN (January 16, 1919) 

No form of state is good or bad in itself. The socialist form will be the best form when 

every individual is prepared to take upon himself the greatest measure of moral 


from /es! Voices or the Working C oimcil tor /\rt in Berlin 

The German revolution of 
November 191S spawned 
various artists' and writers' 
associations modeled on the 
revolutionary soldiers' and 
sailors' Soviets. Chief among 
these were the Novembergruppc 
(November group) and the 
Arbeitsrat fur Kunst (Working 
council for art), which merged 
in 1919. This Arbeitsrat ques- 

tionnaire seeking a common 
basis for an artistic contribu- 
tion to a hoped-for socialist 
state elicited 114 responses 
from artists, architects, and 
critics, a small sampling 
of which is presented below. 

Originally published as Ja! 
Stimmen des Arbeitsrates 
fur Kunst in Berlin (Bcrlm- 

Charlottenburg: Photogra- 
phische Gesellschaft, 1919). 

Questions translated in 
Victor H. Miesel, ed.. Voices 
of German Expressionism 
(Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: 
Prentice-Hall, 1970J, pp. 172- 
75; reprinted by permission 
of the publisher. 


I. Curriculum. What must be done to reform thoroughly the education of all those who 
work in the visual arts? 

II. State Support. In what ways should the socialist state aid art and artists? (Purchases, art 
commissions, museums, schools, exhibits, etc.) 

in. Public Housing. What guarantees should one demand from the state so that housing 
in the future is planned in accord with far-reaching cultural considerations? 


iv. The Transfer of Creators from the Fine Arts to the Crafts. How can the broad mass of 
the art proletariat be persuaded to enter the crafts and avoid destruction by the economic 
catastrophe which seems imminent? What must the state do so that the education of the 
next generation is based upon a thorough mastery of craft? 

v. The Artist in the Socialist State. 

vi. Art Exhibits. How can one interest the Volk once more in a total work of art— the 
unification of architecture, sculpture, and painting? State-supported testing places to take 
the place of salon art exhibitions. 

vii. How can creators from the various arts unify the arts? 

vm. Color and the Image of the City. Ideas for the use of color in the city, bright colors for 
houses, painted facades and interiors, and the elimination of easel paintings. 

IX. The Designing of Public Buildings by Artists. What practical demands must be made 
upon the government so that public buildings are designed by artists rather than, as is the 
case now, by engineers and building officials? 

x. Harmony with the Volk. How can the efforts of modern artists reach the Volk and 
harmonize with it? 

XI. What steps must be taken so that at the right moment the above material, which has 
been privately compiled, can be effectively publicized? Newspaper articles, lectures, 
exhibitions, sufficient press coverage. 

XII. How shall the closest contact possible be established with foreign art associations 
which have similar ideals? 

xiii. Point of view on the issue of artistic anonymity. 


Lyonel Feininger 
Rathaus, Zottclstedt, 1918 
(Town hall, Zottelstedt) 
Cat. no. 22 




Responses translated by Chris- Hans G. Sperlich, The Archi- ern Times (New York: Praeger, 

tianeC. Collins and George R. tecture of Fantasy: Utopian 1962), pp. 138-41; reprinted 

Collins, in Ulrich Conrads and Building and Planning in Mod- by permission of the publisher. 

CESAR KLEIN (p. 49) 

Ideal building project: We are arriving by ship. The town lies by the ocean. Two enormous 
double archways receive us. The harbor— gigantic silos, houses on the wharf. Behind this 
the quay-street with the offices, banks, and business buildings. In the center, the town 
hall. Carved into the rock: two huge staircases leading to the residential section above; 
elevator and elevator shafts. The whole is treated as though it were a sculptural creation. It 
is covered with terraces, hanging gardens. On top, the development of the City of Color. 
The green street, the red, blue, yellow street, the black house of the Artists' Lodge, run 
up to the center, crowned by a cathedral to the great unknown God. A steep gold-glass 
pyramid with a thousand crystal-like points. A magnet for the mariners: come inside! 
One's heart becomes solemnly still. The walls are of silver filigree, filled with shapes of 
colored glass. Rainbow rays from all sides. Dematerialization of man. Blue women, red 
men, green older people. Transparent luminous glass floor. Sonorous column of life, 
birth, and death. Furthermore: the theatre and art center in the park. Movable stage. 
Side-stages which can be lowered for shadow plays. Surrounding the town a marvelous 
flower garden with grottoes, fountains, and pavilions. 

HERMANN OBRIST (pp. 63-64) 

And now my last word: Long live Utopia! What I like is that in each of these writings the 
word "Utopia" occurs twice, from which we gather that it is employed intentionally. It 
is, in fact, the only thing that survives. Let us then live in Utopia, let us fabricate plans, 
castles in Spain; let us pretend and let us prepare for the time that will come thirty years 
hence, when Germany will triumphantly lead in the arts. This is precisely what I am 
doing. Never before have I lived so much in the realm of imagination as now. As my 
specialty of architectural sculpture has forever ended for me and for my lifetime, I have 
completely given up this calling— that is, sculpture— and I design, in solitude, fantasies 
(painted and drawn) which, I think, go well beyond the so-called Expressionist. They are 
only sketches, dreams, mere shadows, which I do not intend to show for another year or 
two. Then, however, I hope to be able to offer a surprise. In short, I work like the German 
poets and musicians of a hundred years ago, out of a longing, without any hope for 
realization. But this is a quiet, divine labor, removed from any quasi-organization, 
Kiinstlerrat, etc. 


Ideal building project: Town on a mountain. The town is supposed to accommodate 
about 8,000 to 10,000 inhabitants. Town viewed from afar has large unified silhouette. 
On the top of the mountain stands a vast construction composed of powerful cubic 
masses whose white paint gleams far out into the countryside. United in this structure are 
all the major public buildings of the town. Schools, concert-, and festival-halls, theaters, 
a hall for worship by the new Christian community. Its large courtyard, which again is a 
unit in itself, is also used as a public meeting place; it is vividly colored and decorated 
with large mosaics. On the slopes of the hill are groups of single homes with gardens, and 
also compact row houses. The streets, rising sharply, are emphasized by thick walls, dart- 



ing up to the top like white ribbons. In all other edifices the color white is avoided. Blue 
and red (rough walls), and here and there yellow, serve as colors for individual homes and 
row houses. Conifers provide sharp accents. 

To carry out this plan the government would have to make available a wooded moun- 
tain, which would then be cleared wherever building is feasible. Building lots should be 
offered free of cost, under the condition that the person for whom the house is to be built 
will have it designed by a designated architect. Individual houses and rows of buildings 
are worked out independently by various architects— they are required only to harmonize 
with the total effect of the town. 


To begin with, in Gross-Berlin, all stucco ornaments should be removed from the 
buildings of the "fashionable" streets. All buildings to be painted the same on each 
thoroughfare: the red, the blue, the green street. 

ADOLF BEHNE (p. 16) 

Utopian building project: The most important thing seems to me to construct an ideal 
House of God, not a denominational one, but a religious work. We cannot go ahead with- 
out a reawakening of piety. We must not wait until a new religiosity is upon us, for it may 
be waiting for us while we are waiting for it. Architectural form shapes Man. If now the 
Church at last is going to separate— willingly or unwillingly— from the State, we have to 
prepare betimes so that the religious community which no longer belongs to governmental 
bureaucracy can find its own architects. We should seek a de facto commission for our 
association, which would provide work for everyone, and around which a school could 
develop. Building will not proceed in haste, but slowly and patiently, and laymen must 
not be left out. They should cooperate in the selection of the design, ground plan, etc. 


[New Ideas on /Architecture 

In April 1919 Gropius and 
Bruno Taut organized the 
Ausstellung fur unbekannte 
Architekten (Exhibition of 
unknown architects) at 
I. B. Neumann's Graphisches 
Kabinett in Berlin. In lieu of 
a catalogue they published 
a manifestolike pamphlet with 
statements by Gropius, Taut, 

and art critic Adolf Bchne 
celebrating a unification of the 
arts around architecture. The 
following statement by Gropius 
corresponds closely to the 
founding manifesto for the 
Bauhaus, whose directorship 
he had just assumed. 

Originally published in the 

exhibition catalogue Ausstel- 
lung fur unbekannte Archi- 
tekten (1919); translated by 
Michael Bullock, in Vlrich 
Conrads, ed., Programs and 
Manifestoes on Twentieth- 
Century Architecture (Cam- 
bridge: MIT Press, 1971). pp. 
46-48; reprinted by permission 
of the publisher. 

What is architecture? The crystalline expression of man's noblest thoughts, his ardour, 
his humanity, his faith, his religion! That is what it once wasl But who of those living in 
our age that is cursed with practicality still comprehends its all-embracing, soul-giving 

2 7 6 


nature? We walk through our streets and cities and do not howl with shame at such deserts 
of ugliness! Let us be quite clear: these grey, hollow, spiritless mock-ups, in which we live 
and work, will be shameful evidence for posterity of the spiritual descent into hell of our 
generation, which forgot that great, unique art: architecture. Let us not deceive ourselves, 
in our European arrogance, that the wretched buildings of our era could alter the overall 
picture. All our works are nothing but splinters. Structures created by practical require- 
ments and necessity do not satisfy the longing for a world of beaut)- built anew from the 
bottom up, for the rebirth of that spiritual unity which ascended to the miracle of the 
Gothic cathedrals. We shall not live to see it. But there is one consolation for us: the idea, 
the building up of an ardent, bold, forward-looking architectural idea to be fulfilled by a 
happier age that must come. Artists, let us at last break down the walls erected by our 
deforming academic training between the arts' and all of us become builders again! Let us 
together will, think out, create the new idea of architecture. Painters and sculptors, break 
through the barriers to architecture and become fellow builders, fellow strugglers for the 
final goal of art: the creative conception of the cathedral of the future, which w ill once 
again be all in one shape, architecture and sculpture and painting. 

But ideas die as soon as they become compromises. Hence there must be clear water- 
sheds between dream and reality, between longing for the stars and everyday labour. 
Architects, sculptors, painters, we must all return to the crafts! For there is no 'profession- 
al art.' Artists are craftsmen in the original sense of the word, and only in rare, blessed 
moments of revelation that lie outside the power of their will can art blossom uncon- 
sciously from the work of their hands. Painters and sculptors, become craftsmen again, 
smash the frame of salon art that is round your pictures, go into the buildings, bless them 
with fairy tales of colour, chisel ideas into the bare walls— and build in imagination, 
unconcerned about technical difficulties. The boon of imagination is always more impor- 
tant than all technique, which always adapts itself to man's creative will. There are no 
architects today, we are all of us merely preparing the way for him who will once again 
deserve the name of architect, for that means: lord of art, who will build gardens out of 
deserts and pile up wonders to the sky. 


I he Building /ard 

Hansen's (1889-1966) passion 
for architecture, expressed in 
his book Das Erlebnis der 
Architektur (The experience of 
architecture, 1920), won him 
the praise of Bruno Taut. 
Hansen would later become one 
of the leading church architects 

in Germany. This essay appeared 
in the book Ruf zum Bauen 
(Call to building), published 
on the occasion of the exhibi- 
tion Neues Bauen (New build- 
ing) in May 1920, which also 
included texts by Adolf Behne, 
Hans Scharoun (see "Thoughts 

on Theatrical Space" below), 
and Bruno Taut (see The Uni- 
versal Master Builder below). 

Originally published as "Der 
Bauhof," in Ruf zum Bauen 
(Berlin: E. Wasmuth, 1920); 
translated by David Britt. 

"The German word freie means 
both "free" and "free-lance." 

A free-lance architect is an architect who is free to enter the service of a client, in order to 
have a chance of exercising his freedom as an architect.* There is thus no such thing as a 
free-lance architect, and yet thousands describe themselves as such. They unthinkingly 


describe themselves as free, when they are merely the servants of many paymasters; for all 
their freedom, they are not even the masters of all those who execute their ideas and their 
plans. And wherever they succeed, at great cost to themselves in time and energy, in 
making themselves the masters, their mastery turns into the emptiest tyranny over their 
clients. Every architect knows his own freedom and knows that it is an elaborately dis- 
guised servitude and tyranny. 

I do not think that a man in bodily servitude can be free in spirit. Nor do I think that 
there can be any freedom in his work, just so long as those who execute it remain in servi- 
tude. So it is nonsense to speak of the freedom of the architect today. 

In common with every living thing, architecture is not a self-sufficient object, i.e., one 
that finds its own perfection within itself. It forms a necessary part of the world as a whole 
and of the entirety of a civilization; it is the physical expression of an essence that is simul- 
taneously expressed through culture, politics, and religion. In the phenomenal world body 
is the vehicle of mind. Matter is dead in itself. Mind gives it life. Matter endures, even 
after the creative mind has changed. Architecture is the connecting link between mind 
and body. It creates bodies: it takes something that first appeared, imageless, in the mind 
and frames it into an image. It is the servant of mind. And in this respect it is conceivable 
that architecture is free and sovereign on earth as the servant of mind, but not as expressed 
through the arbitrary will and illusory freedom of the individual. 

The Building Yard is an attempt to make what has just been described into a reality 
by representing it through a formula. It cannot provide anything definitive but can only 
present in graphic terms what is here attempted in words. 

The Building Yard presupposes that in the course of evolution a time will come when 
justification springs not from profitability but from the natural logic of the demands of 
human reason. 

This new epoch will have no knowledge of any such thing as a free-lance architect in 
private practice. It will value architecture too highly to abandon it to the caprice of an 
individual and the tyranny of an owner. It will therefore make architecture sovereign. 
From this the freedom of the individual will grow as part of the crown of a many-branched 
tree. Now to the matter in hand. 

The Building Yard is a single body that is a workshop, an architectural academy, a craft 
center, and a building administration for an urban or rural district, all rolled into one. 
The administration would be no more than a petty mechanism, were it not simultaneous- 
ly the practical center of craftsmanship. A logical part and consequence of this is the 
academy of architecture and art, which would likewise be unthinkable in isolation from a 
center of work. Externally the workshop city takes the form of a cluster of workshops and 
studios grouped around courtyards; in turn the whole is grouped around a center that con- 
sists of the academy, as the crown of the whole, and adjacent schools and yards for the 
individual disciplines of construction and of art. 

The inner structure of the Building Yard corresponds to this outer form. From the 
craftsmen's workshops come the students, who maintain the closest links with their work- 
shops during their time in the academy. At the same time the workshops produce the 
leaders and teachers, and at the head of the whole organization is the supreme council of 
masters, who are simultaneously the teachers in the art and architecture schools. The 
ablest master will emerge from the graded master groups, and so the whole organism will 
always be totally rooted in practical craft work and will never degenerate into artistic or 
historicist theory. 




As the architectural focus of an urban or rural district, the Building Yard is as centrally 
placed as possible and enjoys good communications by rail and water. In direct contact 
with the railroad there are iron and wood assembly shops, boiler houses, and storehouses, 
all with plenty of space for expansion. The Building Yard as a whole is an organism with 
a head and a stomach and a heart. The head is the academy, the thousand arms and 
sinews are the workshops that extend from the yard in a circle, the stomach is the water- 
front, and the heart is the great courtyard that is used for experimental structures and 
exhibitions. In this new kind of working organism, the street serves only as a production 
line (a work city is not a city for traffic), and its external form is simply the architectural 
synthesis of the whole work city idea. It girdles the inner body and runs partly between the 
assembly buildings and partly over the roofs of the storage buildings between the work 
courts, before rising on an ascending bend to the center, the platform on which the acad- 
emy stands. 

This, as the showpiece of the work city, stands on a hill, either natural or created by 
the terracing of the work courts; its construction is impossible to foresee. Any prediction 
can be no more than formulaic, for the form will emerge from a new, rational, vitalized 
craft spirit and will come into being only when the thing itself does so. With the growth 
of architectural thought and consciousness, this building too will grow, and from year 
to year and from generation to generation human beings will build in commemoration 
of their own work and understanding and will cease to build only when for the tower- 
builders no problem remains, nothing higher to aspire to— or when a generation is 
brought low by the building of its own tower. 

/\ I roQram 'or /Architecture 

Chief instigator and polemicist 
of the architects within the 
Arbeitsrat fur Kunst, Taut 
launched its architectural pro- 
gram in this 1918 manifesto. 
His blending of all of the arts, 
as well as social reform, under 
the aegis of architecture harks 
back to his ground-breaking 
essay "Eine Notwendigkeit" (A 
necessity; see below), in which 
the cosmic and earthly realms 
find a creative unity in the 
model of the Gothic cathedral 
and in which the architect is 
advised to turn to painters for 
new structural forms. 

Taut's view of a humanity trans- 
formed by architecture is much 
indebted to the writings of poet 
and novelist Paul Schcerbart 
(1863-1915), who presented 
the glass budding as a primary 
metaphor for spiritual transcen- 
dence in his Glasarchitektur 
(Glass architecture), which 
is in turn dedicated to Taut. 
The architect's homage to 
Scheerbart w ! as the renowned 
Glashaus (Glass house) at the 
1914 Werkbund exhibition 
in Cologne (see figs. 120, 121), 
which included on its exterior 
aphorisms on the virtues of 
glass composed by Scheerbart. 

Taut's "Die Erde eine gute 
Wohnung" (The earth, a good 
dwelling place; see below) 
anticipates his Die Auflosung 
der Stadte (The dissolution of 
the cities, 1920) in its plea for 
decentralization of habitation 
patterns. While he admits some 
contradiction to his contem- 
poraneous Die Stadtkrone (The 
city-crown, 1919), his argument 
is imbued with the same faith 
that architectural planning will 
influence social and economic 
structures. Taut's "Haus des 
Himmels'' (House of heaven; 
see below), published in his 
periodical Friihlicht (Day- 



break), conveys his image of 
architectural perfection as 
"a vessel for the divine." His 
numerological obsession, rem- 
iniscent of Earlv Christian 
architecture, is combined with 
a belief in the compatibility' 

of technological advances 
indebted to Scheerbart. 

Originally published by 
the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst as 
(1918); translated by Michael 

Bullock, in Ulrich Conrads, 
ed.. Programs and Manifestoes 
on Twentieth-Century 
Architecture (Cambridge: 
MIT Press, 1971). pp. 41-43; 
reprinted by permission of 
the publisher. 


In the conviction that the political revolution must be used to liberate art from decades 
of regimentation, a group of artists and art-lovers united by a common outlook has been 
formed in Berlin. It strives for the gathering together of all scattered and divided energies 
which, over and above the protection of one-sided professional interests, wish to work 
resolutely together for the rebuilding of our whole artistic life. In close contact with 
associations with similar objectives in other parts of Germany, the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst 
hopes in the not too distant future to be able to push through its aims, which are outlined 
in the following programme. 

In the forefront stands the guiding principle: 

Art and people must form a unity. 

Art shall no longer be the enjoyment of the few but the life and happiness of 
the masses. 

The aim is alliance of the arts under the wing of a great architecture. 
On this basis six preliminary demands are made: 

1. Recognition of the public character of all building activity, both State and private. 
Removal of all privileges accorded to Civil Servants. Unitary supervision of whole urban 
districts, streets, and residential estates, without curtailment of freedom over detail. New 
tasks: people's housing as a means of bringing all the arts to the people. Permanent experi- 
mental sites for testing and perfecting new architectural effects. 

2. Dissolution of the Academy of Arts, the Academy of Building and the Prussian Provin- 
cial Art Commission in their existing form. Replacement of these bodies, accompanied by 
a redefining of their territories, by others drawn from the ranks of productive artists them- 
selves and free from State interference. The changing of privileged art exhibitions into 
exhibitions to which entry is free. 

3. Freeing of all training in architecture, sculpture, painting, and handicrafts from State 
supervision. Transformation of all instruction in the arts and handicrafts from top to bot- 
tom. State funds to be made available for this purpose and for the training of master crafts- 
men in training workshops. 

4. Enlivenment of the museums as educational establishments for the people. Mounting 
of constantly changing exhibitions made to serve the interests of the people by means of 
lectures and conducted tours. Separation of scientific material in specially constructed 
buildings. Establishment of specially arranged collections for study by workers in the arts 
and crafts. Just distribution of State funds for the acquisition of old and new works. 

5. Destruction of artistically valueless monuments as well as of all buildings whose artistic 
value is out of proportion to the value of their material which could be put to other uses. 
Prevention of prematurely planned war memorials and immediate cessation of work on the 



war museums proposed for Berlin and the Reich. 

6. Establishment of a national centre to ensure the fostering of the arts within the frame- 
work of future lawmaking. 

from C^/ass /Architecture 

Originally published as 
Glasarchitektur (Berlin: Verlag 
"Der Sturm," 1914); translated 

by James Palmer as Glass 
Architecture, ed. Dennis Sharp 
(New York: Praeger, 1972). pp. 

41. 45, 47, 67; reprinted by 
permission of the publisher. 


We live for the most part in closed rooms. These form the environment from which our 
culture grows. Our culture is to a certain extent the product of our architecture. If we want 
our culture to rise to a higher level, we are obliged, for better or for worse, to change our 
architecture. And this only becomes possible if we take away the closed character from the 
rooms in which we live. We can only do that by introducing glass architecture, which lets 
in the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars, not merely through a few windows, but 
through every possible wall, which will be made entirely of glass— of coloured glass. The 
new environment, which we thus create, must bring us a new culture. . . . 

'The German word here is 
"Sachstil" (author's quotes). 


The reader might gain the impression that glass architecture is rather cold, but in warm 
weather, coolness is not unpleasant. Anyhow, let me make it clear that colours in glass can 
produce a most glowing effect, shedding perhaps a new warmth. What has been said up to 
now takes on a somewhat warmer atmosphere. I should like to resist most vehemently the 
undecorated "functional style,"* for it is inartistic. It has often been adopted before in 
other contexts, and this is happening once again. 

For a transition period, the functional style seems to me acceptable; at all events it has 
done away with imitations of older styles, which are simply products of brick architecture 
and wooden furniture. Ornamentation in the glass house will evolve entirely of its own 
accord— the oriental decoration, the carpets and the majolica will be so transformed that 
in glass architecture we shall never, I trust, have to speak of copying. At least, let's hope 


The face of the earth would be much altered if brick architecture were ousted everywhere 
by glass architecture. It would be as if the earth were adorned with sparkling jewels and 
enamels. Such glory is unimaginable. All over the world it would be as splendid as in the 
gardens of the Arabian Nights. We should then have a paradise on earth, and no need to 
watch in longing expectation for the paradise in heaven. . . . 


For the building of airports, also, glass-iron construction has much to recommend it; 
airports must be visible and identifiable from far off and this is best achieved by coloured 


ornamental glass. This will reach its full effect at night, when the entire building is 
crowned by a diadem of projected lights, delighting not only the aeronauts, but also 
people who have no airship at their bidding. 


from I he Carth, a Oood Dwelling I lace 

Originally published as "Die 
Erde erne gute Wohnung," in 
Die Volkswohnung 1, no. 4 

(1919): 4$ff.\ translated by 
David Britt. 

Ideas are signposts, and the image of a remote future must light the way for us who strive. 
It cannot be too often shown to people, to make them tire of the present and ever more 
impatiently demand its fulfillment. As an architect, am I not working against my own art 
when I demand the dispersal of the cities? The most magnificent buildings have always 
grown out of cities, and in my own City-Crown project I have tried to devise a suitable 
culmination for the city of the future. The most magnificent buildings of all, the gigantic 
temple precincts of Asia — Angkor Wat, Borobudur, and the rest— stand in isolation, and 
as for my own City-Crown, there too I wanted to show the splendid isolation of my build- 
ing in the midst of a widely scattered settlement and, above all, to awaken appreciation 
of the building that distinguishes itself from its surroundings. 

Let us resolutely contemplate the new look of the earth: great estates like those of today 
but collectively owned and worked in such a way that more people than today cultivate 
them and live off them. Smallholdings and gardens, interspersed with woods, pastures, 
and lakes, occupy all the present wastelands. Scattered among these are extensive settle- 
ments of small houses, all with outbuildings and gardens of their own. Industry will auto- 
matically follow the same pattern, becoming scattered among numerous workshops, the 
more readily to respond to need. The process is hastened by new forms of transport: the 
main railroad lines wither away, and in their place is a dense network of lighter transport 
routes operated by mechanically propelled vehicles; raw materials are brought in almost 
exclusively by water. The markets become almost superfluous, as the population sustains 
itself almost entirely by its own efforts and lives by the natural bartering of home produce. 
The power of money dwindles, vanishes . . . vacation travel ceases . . . and people meet 
en masse only where they ought to meet, in the place of worship. . . . The rarity of travel 
will make it more highly valued, and for the rest, people will adopt Scheerbart's motto, 
"Do your traveling at home!" 

But alas! What of the architectural character of the cities? Let us waste no tears on that. 
An entirely new one rises in its place. In the settlements "urban planning" disappears 
entirely, and the individual house takes on an entirely new significance. Likewise the iso- 
lated great building ... It is the religious buildings, made of glass, that illuminate the night. 
Everything is opened up; at last people understand the necessity to isolate the architec- 
tural work of art, which blossoms here and there like some rare and precious flower. The 
stars in the sky and the stars on earth greet each other. . . 

A new bond unites all men. Where will anyone draw a frontier, when the whole earth 
looks like this? Frontiers become impossible, and an entirely new form of human commu- 
nity must come into being. States disappear, and with them their armed might; they give 



/\ I Necessity 

way to a new form of human organization, one that may act to forestall trouble but no 
longer organizes or gives orders. The only institutions are voluntary ones, both in their 
nature and in their workings. For the city is the sign of the power of the state, and this and 
all it entails— politics, wars— will never disappear until the city disappears . . . For we want 
love and not hate. "Her foot is in the air, descending. When will she set it down?" At the 
start of the third millennium, will it be possible for the new Messiah to come? 

Originally published as "Eine 4, no. 196—97(1914): 174-75; 

Notwendigkeit," in Der Sturm translated by David Britt. 

It is a joy to be alive in our time, and anyone who cannot sense this is beyond help. Artists 
in all the arts have been overtaken by an intensity, a sacredness of feeling that is not con- 
tent with nebulous impulses but strives for forms governed by law. Sculpture and painting 
are committed to purely synthetic and abstract paths; on every side there is talk of the con- 
struction of images. This is based on an architectural conception of the image, a concep- 
tion that is no mere analogy but is based on architectural thinking in the plainest sense of 
the word. A secret architecture runs through all these works and holds them together, very 
much as it did in the age of the Gothic. The Gothic cathedral too is the sum of all of its 
artists; filled with a wondrous sense of union, they achieved an all-encompassing rhythm 
that rang through the architecture of the building. 

And architecture is ready to respond. In the work of its best representatives, architec- 
ture too is filled with a new and profound intensity. In those great works that transcend 
mere economic considerations, architecture too seeks expression, dynamism, and a ring- 
ing rhythm. Even in the simplest buildings, strictly defined by economic constraints, the 
same tendency expresses itself with equal intensity through the quest for utter plainness 
that exalts the most primitive form into a symbol. Here too there is a kinship of meaning 
with the Gothic, which at its greatest combines a passion for structure with a quest for the 
simplest and most expressive combination of practicality and economy. This tendency has 
a structural intensity that far transcends the complacent classical ideal of harmony. Glass, 
iron, and concrete are the materials that equip the new architect for this greater intensity 
and lead him beyond merely material and functional architecture. 

It is an inescapable necessity of the new art that architecture, painting, and sculpture 
must join together in this way. Only by acknowledging this inevitable conjunction can 
modern architects design creatively and, in a higher sense, traditionally. There is more to 
this than making architectural forms assume the outward guise of painting. By its very 
essence, architecture is a Cubist thing. It would be perverse to make exclusive use of 
angular forms; the paintings of a Leger unite the angular and the soft within themselves. 
The architect must be on his guard against a purely superficial assimilation. He must 
absorb all possible architectural forms within his own creative scope, just as all possible 
pictorial forms are present in the inventive compositions of Kandinsky. And this is because, 
if its works are to endure, architecture must be broadly based: it must take account of all 
possible factors (artistic, structural, social, financial). The functions of the frame differ 
from those of the picture surface. And so the architect must recognize that architecture 


28 3 

has within it the very quality that the new painting has had to create for itself: freedom 
from the confines of a single viewpoint. The buildings of the great ages of architecture 
were designed without benefit of perspective; it is perspective that has given us all those 
familiar buildings that look like stage sets. 

This connection is worth understanding, and for us architects it is particularly fruitful. 
But something tangible must also take place: at some time the edifice of ideal architecture 
that the new art already represents must manifest itself in a visible building. And it is a 
necessity that this happen. 

Let us work together on a magnificent building! One that is not architecture alone but 
in which everything— painting, sculpture, all together— forms a greater architecture, and 
in which architecture is once more subsumed into the other arts. Architecture must be 
both frame and content; it must be everything at once. The building need have no purely 
practical object. Architecture too can set itself free from utilitarian demands. It would be 
enough if a modern collection were to afford the occasion to create one space for the safe- 
keeping of works of art and one adjoining hall suitable for all possible artistic purposes. 
The result will be a simple architectural organism, built close to the metropolis on an 
open site, so that its external manifestation too will be that of an artistic organism . The 
building must contain rooms that incorporate the characteristic manifestations of the new 
art: the luminous compositions of Delaunay in great stained-glass windows; on the walls 
Cubist rhythms, the painting of a Franz Marc, and the art of Kandinsky. The piers with- 
out and within must await the constructive sculptures of Archipenko; the ornament will 
be provided by Campendonk. This does not exhaust the roster of contributors. All original 
artists must play a part— as is entirely possible in any true architectural organism — so that 
the whole will ring with a single, magnificent harmony. This would be the necessary step 
that would free the arts from the confines of the salon, to which current aesthetics and 
practice have relegated them. It would put an end to all the chatter about "arts and crafts" 
elements in the new art. 

The building need not be finished all at once. No harm is done if individual details are 
not completed for a generation or more. 

Any idea of social purpose must be avoided. The whole must assert its exclusivity; for 
all great art initially exists solely within the artist. The people may then use it to educate 
themselves or else wait until their educators come. 

Originally published as "Haus Bruno Taut, ed., Friihlicht, Baugedankens (Berlin: Ull- 

des Himmels," in Friihlicht 1920-1922: Eine Folge fiir die stein, 1963), pp. 33-35; trans- 

(April 1920); reprinted in Verwirklichung des neuen lated by David Britt. 


A house that is intended for nothing but to be beautiful. It is there for no other purpose; it 
must stand empty in accordance with the saying of Meister Eckhart: "I never want to ask 
God to give himself to me. I want to ask him to make me empty and pure; for if I were emp- 
ty and pure, God by his very nature would give himself to me and be enclosed within me." 
The joy of architecture will fill the visitor, emptying his soul of all that is human and 


House or He 











making it a vessel for the divine. This building is an image and a salutation of the stars. Its 
plan is star shaped, and in it the sacred numbers seven and three are united: seven in the 
great hall, three in the secondary rooms, arrayed like chapels, which accommodate 
human activities: teaching, lectures, all that relates to the life of human beings. The three 
large chapels are divided internally at ceiling level; within them side steps lead down to 
adjoining plazas. From the main entrance a wide flight of steps, flanked by the Pillars of 
Suffering and Prayer, leads down onto the terrace on which the house stands. 

When the assembly mounts these steps in procession, the whole house rings like a bell. 
There are galleries in six of the triangles formed by the points of the seven-pointed star, 
and in their corners stand the separate registers of the great organ; there are openings to 
allow the sounds to be heard outside. When there is a concert within, the orchestra and 
the oratorio [sic] are similarly distributed; they can be overseen and conducted from the 
first pier. Seven stairways lead up to the galleries and connect them with one another. 

The seventh triangle of the star has nothing built into it and no gallery, so that the 
upward view is unobstructed. In front of it are two sculptured, freestanding pillars, fifteen 
meters high, which rise to enmesh the crystals that hang from the ceiling. Between these, 
on those occasions when speech is called for in this place, an orator might stand, facing a 
stepped array of stone seating for his hearers. A curtain might be suspended between the 
pillars below, and cosmic dramas and mime shows (Stramm, Scheerbart) might be per- 
formed in the space behind, which extends to the full depth of the seventh niche of the 
star. All the walls, ceilings, and floors are of glass. The load-bearing framework is of rein- 
forced concrete, and a space one meter deep between the inner and outer skins of glass 
serves to equalize the heat. Flying buttresses vary the abruptly terminating surfaces of the 
stellar vault. 

Between the inner and outer skins of glass is the lighting. This can be switched from 
shining inward to shining outward, for happenings within and for effect without, and 
shines both inward and outward through many walls of colored glass. If one arrives at the 
house in an airplane by night, it shines from afar like a star. And it rings like a bell. 


The roof is built up of prisms of electrolytically bonded glass, the inner walls of cast 
prisms. Given a highly stable construction, the prisms in the roof too might be cast. In 
low relief, angular, and clear-cut, the roof and walls are to repeat the crystalline form of 
the exterior and will provide a rich and glittering setting for the deep glow of the stained- 
glass windows. These are not really windows in any real sense, for the roof and walls 
themselves will be not only colorful but also filled with light. The windows must therefore 
look more like brightly colored tapestries, somewhat darker and far more colorful still 
than the walls and ceilings. 

""Die Windeisen zacken 
wuchtigc Fiihrung." I am grate- 
ful to lain Boyd Whyte for his 
assistance with this translation. 
— ED. 


All the forms rise, aspire, grow upward, drawn aloft by the star of the roof. Steep and 
hard, soft and tender, in manifold shifts of form. Seemingly endless in incessant motion. 
The colors are deep and luminous, mysteriously glowing: every point of the star is attuned 
to a single color of the rainbow. The angular wind bracing follows the powerful contours.* 
The verticals of the pillars bind the whole together and lend repose. Sunlight makes the 
colors shower sparks, a gray day speaks earnestly and weightily through them, and the stars 
chime their light like little silver bells through the colored glass. 




The Pillars of Suffering and Prayer begin at ground level in gloomy black (shading into 
intense blue) and terminate above in a blaze of gold. With the exception of the gold, all 
the colors are shot through with flecks and stripes of blood red. 

(3laserne Kctte C 



Disillusioned with the Arbeits- 
rat filr Kunst, Bruno Taut 
formed the Cldsernc Kettc 
(Crystal chain) in November 
1919 as a closed brotherhood 
of architects and artists, most 
of whom were drawn from the 
ranks of the Arbeitsrat. Desir- 
ing secrecy, they employed such 
pseudonyms as Glas ("glass," 
Taut), Prometh ("Prometheus," 
Hermann Finsterlin), and 
Anfang ("beginning," Carl 
Krayl). Taut's initial letter con- 
veys both his dismay over the 

widespread lack of commissions 
and his enthusiasm for an 
exchange of letters and draw- 
ings. In Taut's letter of Decem- 
ber 23 and Hans Scharoun's 
undated letter, drawing plays 
an especially significant role. 
Wenzel Hablik's letter suggests 
the scope of the discourse, 
which ranged from philosophi- 
cal speculation on the relation- 
ship between architecture and 
nature to communal projects 
for buildings, cities, schools, 
films, and a Bible-like "Book." 

While the exchange continued 
for a full year, Taut's letter 
of October ;, 1920, evidences 
a desire for a new realism and 
directness as an alternative to 
the fantasy images of the past. 

From Iain Boyd Whyte, ed. 
and trans., The Crystal Chain 
Letters: Architectural Fantasies 
by Bruno Taut and His Circle 
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985); 
reprinted by permission of the 


Dear Friends, 

I want to make this proposal to you: Today there is almost nothing to build, and if we 
can build anywhere, then we do it in order to live. Or are you lucky enough to be working 
on a nice commission? My daily routine almost makes me ill, and it is basically the same 
for all of you. As a matter of fact, it is a good thing that nothing is being built today. 
Things will have time to ripen, we shall gather our strength, and when building begins 
again we shall know our objectives and be strong enough to protect our movement against 
botching and degeneration. 

Let us consciously be "imaginary architects"! We believe that only a total resolution 
can guide us in our task. Our fellow citizens, even our colleagues quite rightly suspect in 
us the forces of revolution. Break up and undermine all former principles! Dung! And 
we are the bud in fresh humus. 

The individual personality will disappear with commitment to a higher task— if archi- 
tecture reappears then the master builder will be anonymous. 

I can see the beginning of this in our tendency to join and fuse together as a first cell, 
without asking— who did it? Instead, the idea exists in the realm of endless joy, remote 
and autonomous. The purpose of my proposal is to strengthen this existing unity. It is as 

Quite informally and according to inclination, each of us will draw or write down at 

From Whvte, Letters, p. 19. 



regular intervals those of his ideas that he wants to share with our circle, and will then 
send a copy to each member. In this way an exchange of ideas, questions, answers, and 
criticism will be established. Above each contribution will be a pseudonym. The mutual 
sympathy within the circle and the use of terse language will make it difficult for outsiders 
to understand us. Nevertheless, we must agree not to reveal anything to uncomprehend- 
ing eyes. Any request to expand the circle or to expel a member of the group should 
emerge from the contributions themselves. A single vote will suffice for an expulsion, 
unless all the other members veto it in their next letters. 

Let it be a magnet, the snowy core of an avalanche! If nothing comes of the idea, if I am 
deluding myself, then at least it will be a beautiful memory for each of us. 

By the way: Whoever leaves the group before the whole thing comes to an end is obliged 
to return all the contributions he has accumulated either to me or another member, or to 
destroy them. 

If you agree, could you sign and return this to me as soon as possible, together with the 
desired pseudonym. I will let you have the result immediately and — the thing will be 
under way. 

With color and glass greetings, 

From Whyte, Letters, pp. 23-24. 

BRUNO TAUT ( G L A S ) , 23 DECEMBER lqig 



Bruno Taut 

Weinachts Griisse: "Monument 

des neuen Gesetzes," igio. 

(Christmas greeting: 

"Monument to the new law") 

Cat. no. 209 

"You may rob me of the earth, 
but not the heavens." 



"Storm, my companion, 

you call me! 

Still I can do nothing, 

still I am in chains! 

Yes, I am also the storm, 

part of you; 

and the day will come again 

when I shall break the chains. 

I shall rage anew, 

rage through the worlds, 

storm around the earth. 

Storm through the lands, 

storm mankind, 

his brain and heart, 

storm-wind, I am like you." 


SPRING 1917 

, Ehue-w 

:.■-■ ; y-NLOSt- • , 


\y -y f 

•":> • 

ll JWV* 1 

1 ,. ' '-. .L t—j.-Hi-ri'i .j.-Uf'-j**; ^■'<>',> 

rffW 1 ! 11 ..'', , I'J. I * 




"Wherever you may roam 

you will never reach the ultimate goal. 

Extol every world and the stars too. 

Everything you see here 

is nothing but an elegant play of light, 

an eternal magic lantern." 


Fear neither pain — nor death! 


Christmas Greetings 


We must of course over and over again let hot-blooded thrusting out of the primeval 
slime stream out through concentrated form into eternity. 

A thousand possibilities flow out of our fantasy. The one that remains will come into 
being overnight. Our ardent will should rage feverishly toward this night of unification 
with the primeval urge of the "Volk." Then once again will building have its function in 
the sensuality of mankind and its crown in the purity of the beyond. And once again we 
shall be rooted in reality. 


From Whyte, Letters, p. 61. 


Hans Scharoun 
Untitled (design for 
a glass house) 
Cat. no. 186 


From Whyte, Letters, pp. 152-54- WENZIL HABLIK (W. H.), "DIE NEUE STADT" (THE NEW CITY), PENCIL 


Through The Book and the captivating lectures of the cultural leaders (our new poets!) 
millions of people have been inspired to work 6 hours each day for the Idea. Six hours of 
conscientious work done voluntarily in the knowledge that only joyful work can produce 
great results. Many rich people have donated the greater part of their wealth. A place has 
been found where the city is to be developed. Everything has been taken into account- 
water, woodland, green space. The roads and railway tracks for the building materials 
meet at the appointed place, bringing steel and stone, tools, and food from all over the 
land, a land inflamed with one idea. A great nation that has roused itself from the dead in 
order to build for its children and for their children the free city — the symbol of the new 
life, the new spirit, of new and divine perceptions. Here, in future, the "Yes" of human 
existence will be proclaimed, the positive truth revealed, which will free all humanity 
from the poverty of earthly existence, from the curse of endless war, from the bane of 
boredom and fraternal discord. There will be room for everyone. Each worker emploj'ed 
on the great project will be given a piece of land and will have to prove his seriousness and 
ability by clearing and cultivating the land around the site of his future house. Workshops 
would be built and workers' hostels, each with room for r,ooo people. 

Keen, conscientious trade union leaders would supply the central authority with labor 
and would also have the power and responsibility to expel unworthy workers (idlers, 
thieves) from the community without mercy. The members of the community would have 
an identification mark and a password, without which no one would be able to enter the 
workshops and building sites. 

The site plan is fixed and final. It would be drawn up by the council often masters, 
approved by the one hundred and twenty senior journeymen, and ratified by the one mil- 
lion workers. Only on the completion of the hostels, tool stores, and storehouses for mate- 
rials would work begin on the project through which all are symbolically united, the task 
demanding the greatest devotion and the longest construction time. While the streets and 
squares for the whole city are being laid out and the foundations of the cityscape begun, 
the ground will be prepared for the central focus. On a site beside the water groups of trees 
will be planted, which will have reached maturity by the time the project is completed. 
The building itself will be of such dimensions that it could be achieved only by an army of 
workers fired by the joy of creation — unified by the Idea. 

A self-supporting dome will rise up, 300 meters in diameter and 500 meters high, over- 
shadowing everything that the inhabitants of the new city had regarded as noblest and most 
holy. After the foundations have been laid and the water and drainage, lighting, access, 
railway tunnels, and canals have been installed above and below ground level, the build- 
ing will rise up without scaffolding as a series of columns and infill rings, like an amphi- 
theater. Ring by ring the dome will be closed, regardless of ice and snow, sun and rain. 

Ring by ring the electric railway will also climb up, taking the army of workers to and 
from their work each day. The lifting gear will also be moved upward so that the parts that 
have already been completed below can be hoisted up on cables. 

Never will such a stable and enduring building have been constructed at such low cost 
and with such speed. The sons of those engaged on the project will already stand before 
the completed work when they are fifteen years old, although no worker had been younger 
than eighteen at the inception of the project. There will be no strikes, no disputes to be 
settled. Indeed, with the passing of the years and the increasing pleasure in the work, the 
majority of the workers will voluntarily suggest and achieve longer working hours. 



Now the final ring has been completed — the last cable drops unimpeded to the ground 
far below— and the victorious symbol of the unified will for peace, for the positive new 
world-spirit stands free in space. Never has there been a more striking, more unanimous 
statement of the new spirit of peace. 

Hundreds of thousands of men and women stream through the giant portals, lifting 
their eyes to the incredible glistening, sparkling spectacle, to the glowing colors and the 
radiant sunshine. In an ecstasy of joy their gaze soars upward into the heights, where 
heavenly tones are rejoicing. 

Planets made of precious metals and stones swing in space on beautiful chains and 
complete the impression of weightlessness through which wafts the breath of God. 

The breasts of the young swell more freely than ever before — the boys are conscious of 
the achievement, the girls see the work of real men — men worthy of their love, able to 
build a home for them, for their children, and for God. In the central space the people 
stream toward the sacrificial table and place there donations for the further development 
of the city, including the final embellishments of the apparently completed dome project. 
The donations will also go toward the welfare of the younger generation, who now have 
found their home, in appreciation of the older generation that created a new set of values. 

Free cities for free people. Centers of spirituality and intellect that in the future shall 
alone decide the destiny of the world. All the nations of the earth must be made aware of 
the idea of community, of belonging to each other. Admittedly, we must first do all the 
hard groundwork. But what's wrong with that? We are thinking of those who will come 
after us. 

BRUNO TAUT (GLAS), 5 OCTOBER ig20 From Whyte, Letters, pp. 154-56. 


Comrades in innovation! Our "glaserne Kette" [Crystal Chain], as its new link Cor 
(Alfred Brust) call it, needs tensile stress, even at the risk of an already flawed link break- 
ing. We shall then forge a new one, and the chain will stretch out shining and multi- 
colored into our sun, moon, and star-lit ether. . . . 

Enough! Let them recognize us by our drawings and by our somnambulistic certainty. 

Long live Utopia!— and long live that particular utopia that, to the great horror of the 
yapping critic, dares to reach right into the hornet's nest. The worst sort of troublemaker, 
we carry our light held high. In the realm of "pure" Utopia, the realm of the "Fantastic," 
it is a mere spark. Even the dear, upright and worthy fellow-citizen likes to gaze into 
the blue firmament. But when our torch is shone into the cozy, dark sulking-corner it 
becomes a terrible flame. Moths fly into it and burn their wings, vermin cower away, and 
the worthy citizen, blinded by the light, shrieks "Revolution!" 

Hurrah! ... In a word, I no longer want to draw Utopias "in principio," but absolutely 
palpable Utopias that "stand with both feet on the ground." I already indicated this in my 
last communication. Since then, the need for this change has led me to work out a specific 
project, about which I shall tell you later. Today in particular, the architect has three 
tasks. First: to build (there is little of that at present!); second: to create the new cultural 
image (the so-called pure Utopia); third: to awaken the demand for building (who should 
do this if not the architect?). . . . 

Long live the eternal faith in the fire, 





Irom Oermanys Oreatness and Downfall; or, 1 he Fantastic Lite Jto 
or the Jnpreme Dada 


Johannes Bonder's humorous 
text was written to accompany 
his assemblage shown at the 
Erste internationale Dada- 
Messe (First international 
Dada fair) at the Kunsthand- 
lung Otto Burchard in Berlin 
from June 30 to August 25, 
1920, and then reprinted in 
Richard Huclscnbeck's compen- 
dium of Dada writings. The 
Dada-Messe parodied German 
culture at large, including the 

avant-garde (and Expression- 
ism in particular), while also 
advancing what the Dadaists 
saw as more promising new 
alliances between art and 
politics, technology, and the 
mass media. While lampooning 
the excesses of the Utopian 
architects, the Dadaists none- 
theless carried on their sweep- 
ing vision of social change by 
supplanting the cult of artistic 
genius with the more pragmatic 

personas of the engineer and the 
"monteur" (assembler). 

Originally published as 
"Deutschlands Grosse und 
Vntergang; oder. Die 
phantastische Lcbensgcschichtc 
des Oberdada," in Dada 
Almanach, ed. Richard 
Huelsenbeck (Berlin: E. Reiss, 
1920), pp. 91-94: translated 
by David Britt. 

A Dadaistic Monumental Architecture in 5 upper stories, 3 complexes, 1 tunnel, 
2 elevators, and 1 cylindrical superstructure. The first story, or the ground underfoot, 
is prenatal predestination and has nothing to do with the matter at hand. 

The Description of the Upper Stories: 
First Upper Story: The Preparation of the Supreme Dada. 
Second Upper Story: The Metaphysical Test. 
Third Upper Story: The Initiation. 
Fourth Upper Story: The World War. 
Fifth Upper Story: World Revolution. 

Superstructure: The cylinder screws itself into the heavens and proclaims the fame of 
Teacher Hagendorf s Desk. 


First Upper Story 

From the metaphysical plane (also known as the 'Children's Pond') there gently arises 
on June 21, 1S75, the day of the Supreme Dada's birth, the first hint of the pathological 
mentality that was a remnant from Pallas, the Dada Walrus (cf. Karl Hagenbeck's zoo), by 
way of the Asiatic Lion of the Pomeranian farmers without reference to any command 
economy (brass gold coins), adjacent to the demolished tower of the Kreuzkirche (Dresden) 
as a remnant of the competition for the new Dresden city hall. There are spent live 



Johannes Baacler with his 
assemblage Das grosse Plasto- 
Dio-Dada-Drama (The great 
plasto-dio-Dada-drama), 1920 

cartridges in the tobacco pouch of the demolished church. On the large powder keg that 
looms in the center of the scene, its architectural detailing sculpturally reinforced 
right up to the pendant carbide lamp in which the original architectural idea, the work 
of the Dresden Association of Artists for Monumental Funerary Architecture (Baader, 
Metzner, Rbssler, Hempel), was burned in Dresden in 1903-4. 

Around the powder keg, deluded by the false hope of a far-ranging future between 
Schiller's poems with the motto "Dada Triumphs" and the first edition of the Vierzehn 
Bnefe Christi, * there crawls the express train of Kaiser Wilhelm the Magnificent, which, 
symbolically circumscribed by the circular track, does nothing but circle the powder keg 
until it finally explodes. 

Second Upper Story 

But first, in the tunnel of the doomed empire, there emerges the whole epoch of unified 
artistic culture. A museum of the masterpieces of the centuries opens, as the ancient 
Teutonic mousetrap twitches. The church is split in two down the middle, and the third 
part was demolished in accordance with its purpose and now stands on Alexanderplatz 
as a jailhouse (for a comfortable stay on all week-, Sun-, holi- and putschdays). 

The green cloth beneath the mousetrap stands for unspoiled nature, while to one side 
the Wheel of Events (in order to continue the round tour of real life— still tied to the wheel) 
triumphantly passes the metaphysical test. The tunnel and the two devices are brimful 
of Platonic Ideas. When they grab, ravish, overpower the Supreme Dada, the phantom and 
the outcome of the world war appears, on January 19, 1908; April 8-9, 1910; September 
4, 1912; August 13 and September 26, 1913. The exclamation mark that already appears 
on the geometry of the first upper story has become the beanstalk of Herr von Miinch- 
hausen, and he uses its flag (the Supreme Dada in person holds its flagpole in the cosine 

^"Fourteen letters of Christ,' 
Baader's book published m 



of the isosceles angle of all square triangles) to swing above all illusive pathology to the 
level of the third upper story, that of initiation. 


Third Upper Story 

Goethe reaches Weimar, drops his Italienische Reise on Teacher Hagendorf 's Desk, and 
declares to the Swabian Pastor": Without this desk no literature can ever be understood. 
The Asiatic Lion offers the second half to the public gaze. The last vestiges of Architec- 
ture are stowed away in a broken basket. The Angel of the Annunciation speaks: Lo, 
I bring you tidings of great joy, for unto you this day old Hagenbeck hath appeared. Paul 
Scheerbart too arrives in a crystal glass coach and plants himself as a bomb next to the 
dusty architecture basket. Meanwhile at the front elevator Woman makes her first appear- 
ance and unveils the naked secrets (only a whole man can become President). The Mine 
Engineers' Professional Association and Deutsche Bank take a dive, retrieve the State- 
ment of August 2, 1914, from the depths of the Mother Mouth of the Vagina sanguinalis 
protastata, and thus emerges from the embryonic conception of the "W" (crowning glory 
and foundation of the cosmos; Cassiopeia; kaiser; airplane; streetcar line; the sum of all 
woe (Revelation 19.17 onward). Section Four, the world war. 


In I raise 01 the C 


Extolling art over fashion and 
scientific invention above artis- 
tic imagination, Hausmann 
carries on the legacy of Dadaist 
vitriol. Yet in its essential argu- 
ment that traditions be replaced 
with conventions, Hausmanns 
text marks a fundamental 
shift away from the historicist 

assumptions of the modernist 
avant-garde. In this text and in 
his contemporaneous writings 
on "presentism," he emphasizes 
the practicality and simplicity 
of the moment. 

Originally published as "Lob 
des Konvcntionellen," in Die 

Pille 3, no. 1-2 (1922): 4-7; 
reprinted in Raoul Haus- 
mann, Sieg Triumph Tabak mit 
Bohnen: Texte bis 1933, ed. 
Michel Erlhoff vol. 2 (Munich: 
Text und Kritik, 1982), pp. 48- 
50; translated by David Britt. 

Hey, neighbor, haven't you noticed you're living in a museum? You look at old pictures; 
you read old books, which you claim are better than those of today; you live opposite 
old churches; you regale yourself with history that is full of the errors and shortcomings of 
the past. You know, man has invented law, beauty, harmony, and he tries so hard to live 
up to them that they eat him up. Hey, neighbor, hello there, rouse yourself, cheer up, let's 
live in the present! Our houses are awful, you say? Sure, they're conventional, but I ask 
nothing better. I like conventional furniture, and it's what I have; it would be interesting 
to have other kinds, no doubt, but then, after all, not everything has to be interesting. 
Sometimes on my travels I step down from an express train in a city that is like a museum, 
and there are antiquities standing around all over— I am not going to stay in some beau- 
tiful old Gothic house, I take a room in a convenient hotel with electric light, a bright 
toilet, and a bath. Of course, in the old Gothic house it would be more unconventional. 
I would fall over and break my neck in the dark, I would sit on a barrel instead of a toilet, 
and it would be very little consolation to me to know that the barrel in question— the 
ramshackle construction of which would very probably drown me— was first used in the 


year 1374 and was a pure example of the style. I would certainly have nightmares and end 
up doing battle with ghosts. I am no lover of ghosts, and before I decide to stop over in any 
house I look at the toilet first. I am so conventional that I am quite spoiled for the Gothic. 
I am quite spoiled for anything that is interesting, because my first thought is of its practi- 
cal purpose. I am against the Werkbund, against Caligari, against the Golem, and against 
all attempts to make practical life into something interesting, to give it a spiritual polish. 
I am too conventional for Expressionism in any shape or form, old or new. If I want to make 
my life interesting or somber, I have to do it for myself, but I never use an Expressionist 
chamber pot. I am for the conventional imagination, that of the mason or the hairdresser, 
the truly influential, the patently obvious. What is a medieval saint to me? Our age needs 
the art that springs from hairdressers' models and tailors' mannequins and the pictures in 
the fashion magazines, all of which are entirely conventional and entirely contemporary! 
Is even one of your works of art more alive than a mannequin? What's that you say, neigh- 
bor? Spirituality in art? A dumb look in the eyes, to Hell with it. The imagination of the 
oxyacetylene torch, the hot-air hair dryer, and the electric iron is more necessary than the 
imagination of the artist — which irritates me because it is exceptional, because it is inter- 
esting, and because it seeks to seduce me away from my rightful place in modern life, 
away from the world of necessity, to a realm of abstraction and sheer debility where there 
are no railroads and none of the things we really need: things like electricity or motion- 
picture psychology, so universal and so utterly simple. The artistic imagination sabotages 
life; it is romantic, backward-looking, and stupid by comparison with the imagination of 
the technician or of the designer of machines or of the scientific experimenter — or even 
with the skill of a clock maker, welder, or locomotive engineer. No, take it away! If it's 
interesting, it's not for me. The word "interesting" stands for things like the magazine sec- 
tion of the Berliner Tageblatt or the novels in the Wfilmersdorfer Anzeiger or the Dada 
carnival newspaper, all of which are inept efforts to make the imagination transcend the 
conventional. Efforts that are boring and stale. Arts and crafts are interesting, and there- 
fore bad; take your fumbling hands off movies, fashion, and the manual trades! Why is the 
art of our time wretched? Why are exhibitions an abomination? Because gentlemen artists 
want to be a cut above sign painters or photographers; they all take such terrific pains to be 
interesting and unconventional. Than which nothing could be more ludicrous. Artists 
ought to be conclusively expressing the various manifestations of the age; they ought to be 
formulating the new conventionalism of plain, ordinary life; not all this abstruse philos- 
ophy and half-baked, soulful Romanticism! What is beautiful, really beautiful, huh, 
neighbor? Not your Bocklin postcard of Rugen in a Lake Hertha mood: an express train is 
beautiful; the locomotive roaring, steaming down the track is beautiful; the subway is 
beautiful; an ironworks is beautiful: all things conventional are wonderful! But then, my 

dear Puffke, * no doubt you flatter yourself that I think you beautiful too, because you are "Hausmann's bourgeois 

conventional! Relax, dear man, you are nothing of the sort. You try too hard to be some- alter ego. — ed. 

thing special, to have at least a little wooden plaque with interesting pyrography on it, or 
some other venial sin of unconventionality; no, I don't mean you. You don't appeal to me. 
You are thoroughly corrupted. I mean the genuinely conventional person, who can afford 
to be conventional because he does not need anything interesting: no arts and crafts, no 
oil painting, no plaster Venus de Milo, no Berliner Tageblatt, or any of the whatnots that 
you have so laboriously endowed with interest. A truly conventional person is one who 
does things quite simply for their own sake, without diversions or digressions. And so let us 
cultivate the soil, ride the subway, admire the beauty shops, and go to the telegraph office. 
Just spare me your interesting horse manure! 



lilm and Jtag< 


I he Universal Master Builder. /\n /xrchitcctural Drama tor 
jympnonie Music 

Taut intended his theatrical 
production to be performed to 
music composed by Heinz 
Tiessen (1887-1971) on the 
occasion of an exhibition of a 
Darmstadt group of architects 
he was attempting to establish 
under the name Bauwandlung 
(Building transformation). 
Although neither the group nor 
the performance ever material- 

ized, Tout's text and accom- 
panying sequence of spectacular 
images of a cosmic architecture 
in continual transformation 
(see figs. 122, 123) conveyed 
the hope for a Gesamtkunst- 
werk (total work of art) shared 
by many of his colleagues in the 
Arbeitsrat filr Kunst and the 
Glaserne Kette. The text re- 
printed here was also presented 

in the Arbeitsrat's book 
Ruf zum Bauen (see above). 
The epilogue appeared in the 
illustrated book published in 
the same year. 

Originally published as Der 
Weltbaumeister: Architektur- 
Schauspiel fiir symphonische 
Musik (Hagen: Folkwang, 1920); 
translated by David Britt. 

The curtain rises. 


Nothing else — no floor, no ceiling, no walls 


no swelling, just a ringing in space- 
long bright yellow brilliant ringing . . . 

from below forms emerge and with them figures in the music— with the forms the musical 
figures become richer more swelling more clamorous more colorful 

It slowly emerges from below— 

grows, forms an arch, other forms freely add themselves out of space — 

it grows more and more— lively jostling of forms — until — 

— it stands erect on the ground 

Foot of an immense building, with a portal. The portal slides open— the whole building 

opens up and — 

unfolds its halls — multicolored light— bells— 

closes — revolves — a tremor runs through it — it leans, threatens to fall — 

shatters— but the forms playfully detach themselves — 

dance apart in a descending whirl— splinter — 


become atoms and dissolve into the cosmos . . . 

The light has grown darker— from light yellow to orange to moss-green — 

and deep blue-green the void of space — music in distant space 

The space becomes deepest blue and stars begin to glimmer — 

From the far distance two stars approach in a twirling dance — 

— one disappears — 

— the cathedral star comes closer— spins— dances- 
dances— alters its form and light— 

and soars away — a meteor — and once more dark blue space — without stars — for a long 


Empty space becomes purple-red— green leaf forms and flowers float down from above 
and from the sides — 

The globe arches up— is decked by them in radiant green — 
the sky grows oppressively violet— thunder— 

— heavv rain — 

—blue-yellow, red, green bow against azure blue- 
summer sunlight — the bright green face of the earth rises up — from it human cabins 
grow — many-colored — like flowers — 

— away as far as the horizon — the primeval green has turned into trees and gardens- 
afternoon light— 


On the hill the house grows upward in the warm, yellow light — 

— the radiant crystal house — in stage light, evening red — 

— it opens up— shows its inner marvels — radiant cascades and fountains — glass flashing 
everywhere— against a deep red background- 
Opening— unfolding of the building— movement and flow of all its elements- 
Flashing and sparkling — all colors — in light turning to violet 

Unfolding complete — stars glimmer through the crystal panels- 
Architecture— Night— Cosmos— a Unity— 
No more movement— the image stands still— the music hangs on one endless tone— 

—the curtain slowlv falls 




From On Stage and Music: An Epilogue to trie Architectural Drama 

Originally published as in Der Weltbaumeister: (Hagen: Folkwang, 1920); 

"{JbcrBuhneundMusik:Nach- Architektur-Schauspiel fur translated by David Britt 

wort zum Architekturspiet ," symphonische Musik 

Color rings, forms ring— colors and forms as pure, unadulterated elements of the universe 
sustain tone. From them the musical work has an unforced birth, and equally unforced 
is the birth of forms and colors from the musical work. Not a forced conjunction of things 
related only by analogy: the color and form of the audible world sustains and creates, 
through a reciprocal action, the form and color of the visible world. Of the world! . . . of an 
all-embracing realm that abolishes all isolated, isolating, ego-separating and divisive feel- 
ings and thoughts. Audible, visible, and tangible forms unite freely and simply in the 
sphere of the cosmic element; they contract an alliance that knows no boundaries, internal 
or external: a mingling of the most intimate kind ... a faithful image of the elements in 
the real world: earth, air, water, fire, sun, stars. . . . 

The boundaries stand out clearly. When a grand musical intermezzo is played, even in 
a traditional opera, the stage is left vacant. The strains of music put all fauna to flight. 
But they summon up elemental processes. Darkening, lightening, changes of color, non- 
anecdotal metamorphoses, are positively invoked by music from the depths of the stage. 

This architectural play draws one logical conclusion from this observation. The effect 
may also be a purely dramatic one: an action with an inner logic of its own, based on cau- 
sality, which is sustained not by one human being but by the whole stage itself. Of course 
anything that is done by human beings remains anthropomorphic, and even an action 
that is conceived in wholly cosmic terms must derive from human imagination, human 
emotion, and human thought. A projection of our human existence into the universe 
with the desire to lose ourselves therein. Woe betide art if it seeks to project the instinc- 
tual, ephemeral side of human nature onto the starry heavens! . . . 

Art is the communication of emotions, and that defines its limits. Accordingly it has no 
place for any abstraction that does not lie within the nature of its own resources. Beyond 
this, any abstraction exceeds the limits of art, with the danger that it will appear as a prod- 
uct of intellect rather than of imagination. 

Accordingly this play uses all its elements— even to the point of illusion— strictly as 
they serve the dramatic idea. The impersonal principle that makes and breaks, behind the 
visible world, the "universal master builder" who works within the cosmos, is the 
protagonist. . . . 

. . . Space in its inexhaustible depth is the womb that gives birth to everything— forms, 
colors, light— like the floating tone of the measureless ringing from which music takes 
its origin. 



Film was among the media 
Taut, Wenzel Hablik, and 
others discussed in the Cldserne 
Kette correspondence. In this 
essay Taut acknowledges the 

cinematic possibilities of his 
Der Weltbaumeister and 
also touches on abstract film 
and experimentation with 
color kaleidoscopic projection. 

Originally published as 
"Kiinstlerisches Filmpro- 
gramm," in Das hohe Ufer 2 
(1920); 86-88; translated by- 
David Britt. 

The achievements of film, those that it may be expected to contribute to art, can basically 
be divided into three categories. By the nature of the subject, these three overlap and 
complement one another: for example, an instructive film, imaginatively presented, 
always affords artistic enjoyment; similarly, the film as an autonomous artistic creation is 
also instructive. 

The three categories are as follows: (1) the generally stimulating film, which kindles the 
artistic imagination; (2) the instructive film, produced as an aid to the teaching of art, 
craft, or architecture; (3) the film as an autonomous work of art. 


For this, films from the whole field of the natural sciences, most of which have already 
been shot, should be selected and manufactured, not for their scientific or purely practical 
interest, but for that of the artistic beauty of natural forms, of their growth, etc., and of 
the image itself. 

Examples: Crystal formations in ice, snow, minerals, etc. Growth of plants as seen in 
seeds, leaves, and whole trees. Zoological films, with particular emphasis on the beauty of 
animal form and motion. Use of time-lapse cinematography. 


Films of the making of works of art, and of good craftsmanship. The hands of the good 
craft worker are filmed in the act of making a beautiful piece. 

Examples: The silversmith making a beautiful ring, the engraver at work, the pillow 
lace maker, the stained-glass artist, painting and inserting glass in cames, etc. We watch 
the pieces taking shape, they are turned around, etc., and then alongside them a piece is 
shown that merely imitates the good artistic forms and is badly made in itself. The differ- 
ence between genuine and imitation lace— between a good and a bad piece of work in 
ceramics, metalwork, or whatever— will become clearly apparent, leading the viewer to 
conclude that a good piece, in spite of its higher purchase price, is essentially cheaper 
than a bad piece (Werkbund work). The same principle may be applied to purely artistic 
work: woodcut, linocut, lithography, etc. 

Architecture: Films of buildings and groups of buildings, shot by moving the camera 
around them, coming closer to show the detail, and finally entering. The student 
of architecture, like the layman, will thus acquire a lively notion of the true essence of 
architecture. He will free himself of the pictorial notions fostered hitherto by perspectival 
renderings and will learn to comprehend the building as a unified organism that grows 
inevitably out of the determinant factors of function, location, and the rest. The signifi- 
cance of details and fittings, right down to the furniture, is made evident within their 
total context. 


/Artistic rilm 1 rogram 



from I he L)r 

Examples: A filmed sequence of a residential neighborhood: first a walk though the 
streets, then around the outsides of individual houses, and finally inside individual 
homes. Likewise factories working, schools in use, railroad stations, churches, cremato- 
ria, theaters, etc. In the case of theaters, filming during performances, both in front of 
and behind the scenes, would demonstrate the close relationship between the architecture 
of the building and the drama. Complemented by sectional drawings with animation. 
The same principle for whole cities: Danzig, Goslar, etc., first from the air, then driving 
around in an automobile, then individual buildings as above — in short, a sightseeing 
tour of the whole town. Also bad examples, such as tenement areas and squalid housing. 

Dance and Gymnastics: Films of dance schools to show the teaching method; use of 
slow-motion technique to evaluate various methods. Comparative sequences of animals 
filmed in slow motion, as in the first group. 


Film as art. 

(a) Dance with music, as product of school of dance and gymnastics. Extension into 
filmed mime. Important to exert an influence on the existing dramatic film, in which 
whole scenes are ruined by characters who are seen speaking and writing, because the 
word is a medium completely alien to film. 

(b) Mime without figures. Fantasy scenery in motion. Architectural drama and the like 
(cf. my own architectural drama, Der Weltbaumeister). Connection with symphonic 

(c) "The mobile image." Abstract painting transposed into film by showing an image in 
which the forms are constantly in motion. Made from drawings by artists, technically 
similar to the existing— mostly puerile— joke animations, as shown in the movie houses. 

(d) The kaleidoscope. Camera points directly into the kaleidoscope tube. A projector 
adapted to show the kaleidoscope directly has the advantage of reproducing colors accu- 
rately, but it is expensive, and beyond a certain size of projected image (1.2 meters), it is 
blurred and unclear. The lack of color should be made up by skillful coloring; the same 
goes for (b) and (c). But the black-and-white image is also adequate in itself. When the 
tube is loaded by artists, the kaleidoscope can produce extraordinary artistic effects. 
(Glass house at Werkbund exhibition, Cologne 1914.) 

This text was written while deeply mystical theory of the Originally published as "Das 

Schreyer was working as a Buhnenkunstwerk (theatrical Drama," in Der Sturm 7, no. 

producer and assistant stage work of art) drew on the tele- 10 (1917): 1 19: translated by 

manager for the Deutsches graphic style of Expressionist David Britt. 

Schauspiclhaus in Hamburg poet August Stramm as well as 

between 1911 and 1918. His the Wagnerian idea of the 







Lothar Schreyer 
Celiebte I Mutter, c. 1920 
{Lover /mother) 
Cat. no. 197 

The drama is dead. Long live the drama! 

Performance is for the dead. The new work is shaped. 

The new work is the theatrical work of art. It is the union and the shaping of the artistic 
media of form and color and movement and sound. 

The tone of discourse, in the new theatrical work of art, is set by the word. Shaping 
words is poetry. 

The new drama is the verbal shape taken by the vision of the theatrical work of art. 

The new drama is not action. Poetry presents no action. Man acts. The work of art is. 
The drama does not signify the world. It does not interpret the world. Art is the world. 
The work of art is the finite shape of the infinite world. The artist beholds the face of 
infinity. The artist proclaims the vision. 

The inner shape of drama is the cosmic experience. He who experiences this is not a 
human being. He and the cosmos are one. He has cosmic power. . . . 

The shape created by art is an organism. The work of art is organic and not abstract. 
There are no abstract organisms. The organism of the work of art proclaims the world of 
the spirit. The work of art is not an abstraction of the natural world. The concept within 
the work of art is a reality of the spirit. The concept has the form of its shaping. Once 
shaped, the concept is elusive, infinite. It is rhythmic. 

The shape of the drama is not harmonic but rhythmic. Every shaped word, every 
shaped sentence, has its own rhythm. Every verbal shape is a rhythmic component of the 
rhythm of the work. Every verbal shape is a rhythmic unit. 

The rhythmic verbal sequence of the drama is a rhythmic tone series. 

The speech tone of the word is sonority and noise. The spoken vowels are sonority, the 
spoken consonants are noise. 

The power of speech tone is governed by word tone. Every word has a specific tone that 
depends on the sonority of the vowels and the noise of the consonants. 

The artistic power of vowels is the artistic power of their sounds. 

The consonants transform the power of the vowels. The consonants are composite 
sounds, in which the partials combine not into sonorities but into noises. 

Noises operate through the power of associations. Associations emerge from the 
similaritv between natural sounds and those of the consonants. Associations derive from 




the content of the word and from its emotional implications. Associations between one 
verbal form and another are means to art only when they are also associations in terms of 
content. . . . 

The drama is the verbal shape of the theatrical work of art, which corresponds to its 
shape in terms of color and form. It is the verbal shape of the theatrical work of art, which 
corresponds to its shape in terms of movement and sound. 

The drama is a part of the theatrical work of art; it is also extrinsic to it. The word 
sequences of the shapes created in color and form are part of the theatrical work of art. 
The totality of the verbal work of art is autonomous poetry: it is drama. 

The drama cannot be played. It is recited. What is played is the theatrical work of art. 

The drama lives. 

The theatrical work of art lives. 

The work of man dies. 

The work of art never dies. 

I he I ainter and the Jtage 

Schlemmer was a widely influ- 
ential force in Baukaus stage 
activities from 1923 to 1929. 
His vision of a liberated stage 
was premised on the dissolution 
of the boundaries between 
painting, architecture, and 
dance. Although not published 

until much later, the following 
text was part of his campaign 
for the abandonment of the tra- 
ditional theatrical hierarchy. 

Originally titled "Der Maler 
und die Biihne," from the 
unpublished first version of the 

essay "Kunst und Biihne" for 
the Bauhaus-Biihneiibiich 
(1924); published in Oskar 
Schlemmer und die abstrakte 
Biihne, exh. cat. (Zurich: 
Kunstgewerbemuseum, 1961), 
p. 17; translated by David 


The painter, the longest enslaved in the theater of dramatists and actors, now vigorously 
claims his rights. He has long since transformed himself from a decorator and scene 
painter into an "artistic adviser." He declines to be a servant any longer, and he is setting 
out to conquer the stage. His demands are radical ones: just as the Futurists want to abol- 
ish museums and moonlight, he demands the demolition of all stagehouses. Such is the 
vitality and decisiveness with which borderline areas are being targeted in all the visual 
arts — and in painting above all— that the results are a blueprint for the theater as well. 

Script lor the / lay 0/ torm, Co/or, Light, ana Jcund 

Clemens produced his set of five 
stage designs entitled Spiel aus 
Form, Farbe, Licht und Ton 
(Play of form, color, light, and 
sound) for an exhibition at the 
Bauhaus in July 1929. Each 
design was set in motion to the 

accompaniment of music and 
lighting effects, as described in 
the following score. Included in 
the present exhibition is the 
gn for part 2 (sec fig. 140). 

Published in Dirk Schepcr. 

Oskar Schlemmer: Das triad- 
ische Ballett und die Bauhaus- 
biihne, exh. cat., Schriftcn- 
reihe der Akademie der Kiinste, 
no. 20 (Berlin: Akademie der 
Kiinste, 19SS), p. 214: trans- 
lated bv David Britt. 




Movement 1 

Vertical stripes on from left 

Movement 2 
Intersection of stripes 

Movement 3 

Blue stripes down from above 

Movement 4 

Red disk from below 

Movement 5 

Pink wall on from right / End 

Climax at 1 

Music: Foxtrot in E flat major. Full jazz orchestra with 

piano solo 

part 2: play of circles (Russian) 

Vigorous movement of the various disks with 

complementary color shift. Projection of a light bulb. 

Powerful light. Big movements. 


Climax at end 

Music: The Russian in D minor. Piano, banjo, drums 

part 3: tango 

Movement 1 

4 black stripes on horizontally and off again 

Movement 2 

4 black stripes on horizontally and 7 wavy lines down 

from above 

Movement 3 
Intersection of horizontals 

Movement 4 

Motion of horizontals from center to top, then down, 

over the wavy lines 

Movement 5 

Left of stage rather dark. Red circle (projected) gently 

rotating in direction of arrow 

Movement 6 

Disk grows brighter and three vigorous revolutions 

Movement 7 

Disk off, left-hand part lights up. Upward movement of 

wavy lines. Then off 

Movement 8 

4 horizontals to left. Then off. End 

1st climax at 4 

2nd climax at 6 

Music: Tango in A minor. Piano, violin, drums, banjo 

part 4: matchstick game 

Movement 1 

Row on at bottom left and back 

Movement 2 

Row on at top right and [back] with series at bottom left 

Movement 3 

Wheel on from below and revolves in direction of arrow 

Movement 4 

From top left and bottom right, meeting above center / 


Climax at end 

Music: Hobgoblins Mounting Guard. Clarinet, piano, 

and drums 

part 5: finale 

Movement 1 

Red stripe on from left 

Movement 2 
Blue-yellow from above 

Movement 3 

Pink wall from right 

Movement 4 

Red-yellow from top to bottom / End 

Music: Slow foxtrot in C minor, full jazz orchestra 




I noughts on I heatrical jpace 

Scharoun's essay echoes his 
exaltation of an architecture 
rooted in the senses in the 
Claserne Kette correspondence 
He finally received an oppor- 

tunity to design a performance 
space with the commission 
of the Philharmonic Berlin 
in 1963. 

Originally published as 
"Gedanken zum Theatcrraum," 
in Ruf zum Bauen (Berlin: 
E. Wasmuth, 1920); translated 
by David Britt. 

Turning our backs on the confines of conventional theatrical space — in which "the" 
person sits here, between walls decorated for his benefit, and events take place there, 
in a vision too spatially false and too pictorial ever to become a significant experience— 
we boldly put both space and spectacle over and into the person. 

Form, collective consciousness, and collective experience — in building, object, and 
person— are the single reflection of our present-day yearning to unite art and life. 

"One" person in sight of another, arrayed in circles, in a vast, curving arc around 
upthrusting crystal pyramids. Space, plunging out of black and blue through a thousand 
spurts of color, swinging aloft to a silver-yellow star, in arch and ribs, in swelling and 
hollow of dark mass probing upward to winged purity, marking for itself— and for the 
expectant crowd — both the upward path and the crowning glory. 

Thus the space expands into nonspatial infinity and prepares the ground to receive the 
mysteries of color, word, and tone. 

Space darkens; light from an unseen source floats aloft to coalesce within the dome. 
A flash of light within the crystal block, color and form, now breaking free of earthly 
gloom, now showering down from the dome of light, now licking tongues of red, now 
drops of silver-blue. 

Form and color in the rhythm of the musical sounds that issue from somewhere 
unknown to fill the expanse of space. Punctuated, drowned, or accompanied by the sung 
or spoken words of unseen single performers or choral groups. 

Orchestra, organ, and speakers are arrayed behind openings artfully disposed in the 
surrounding wall. 



Utopian 1 heory and 
I nilosopny 


from /V K,il lying C ry lor Jociali: 

Landauer (1870-1919) was 
among the primary sources of 
the social idealism of Taut and 
his circle. Landauer had been a 
member of the Friedrichshagen 
group, a colony of poets advo- 
cating decentralized commu- 
nities along the lines of the 
British Garden Cities Associa- 
tion, and had founded the Neue 
Gemeinschaft (New society) in 

1900 and the Sozialistischcr 
Bund I Socialist group) in 1908. 
His Aufruf zum Sozialismus 
(A rallying cry for socialism) 
attacked the centralized state 
and presented his plans for the 
Sozialistischcr Bund as an ideal 
communalist alternative to 
capitalism. His murder in 
connection with the military 
suppression of the Bavarian 

Socialist Councils Republic 
in Munich in 1919 made him 
a martyr among those m the 
avant-garde seeking radical 
alternatives to party politics. 

Originally published as Aufruf 
zum Sozialismus, zded. 
(Cologne: F ]. Marcan, 1925), 
pp. 2-3; translated by David 

It is not that the ideal is becoming reality, but in these times of ours it is through the ideal, 
and through the ideal alone, that our reality will take shape. Before us stands something 
beyond which we can discern nothing further or better; we behold the ultimate, and 
we say, That is what I want! And then everything— but everything— is done to make it 
happen. The individual, to whom the ideal has come as a moment of revelation, seeks out 
companions; he finds that there are others to whom it has already come as an cataclysm, 
a tempest of the mind and heart; for him, and for all like-minded persons, it is in the air. 
He finds yet others who have been sleeping, but sleeping lightly, whose understanding is 
veiled only by the thinnest of membranes, whose energy is but slightly blunted, and now 
that they have come together, these companions find ways of their own and talk to many 
others, to the masses in the great cities, in the smaller towns, in the countryside. An out- 
ward crisis helps to arouse the inward need; a divine discontent stirs and rouses itself; 
something like a spirit — spirit is common spirit, spirit is community and freedom, spirit 
is the human bond, as we shall soon see even more clearly— a spirit takes possession of 
people. Where spirit is, there is a nation; where a nation is, there is a wedge that presses 
forward; there is a will. Where there's a will, there's a way: the saying is quite true. But this 
is also the only way. And the light grows stronger, and the compulsion ever deeper; the 
veil, the net, the matted roots of the swamp of dullness are cast further aside; a nation 
joins together, a nation awakens: deeds are done, action takes place; imagined obstacles 
are recognized for what they are, something to leap over; other obstacles are eliminated by 
the use of united strength. For spirit is gladness and power; it is a motion that nothing, 
nothing in the world can hold back. Thither will I! 




from jpirit cl Utopia 

Although Bloch (1885-1077) 
was not a member of the same 
circle as Taut and the Utopian 
architects, his views were 
known through their publica- 
tion in Die weissen Blatter 
(The white papers), which 
represented the Expressionist 
generation of poets, critics, 
dramatists, and artists. His 

Geist der Utopie (Spirit of Uto- 
pia), written in the effusive 
style common to much Expres- 
sionist prose, represents the 
initial response of a highly 
educated intellectual to an 
awareness of social inequality 
indebted to Marxist material- 
ism. Bloch's search for "that 
principle. . . the thing worth 

living for" would culminate 
in his three-volume treatise 
Das Prinzip Hoffnung (The 
principle of hope, 1954,). 

Originally published as Geist 
der Utopie (Munich: Duncker 
und Humblot, 1918), pp. 9, 
47—48; translated by David 


And now? 

Enough. Now we have to make a start. Life is given into our hands. In itself it has long 
since become an empty thing. Life stumbles aimlessly to and fro, but we stand firm, and 
so let us be life's fist and its aims. 

What has just happened will probably soon be forgotten. Only an empty, hideous 
memory still hangs in the air. Who was being defended? The idle, the contemptible, the 
usurers were being defended. The young were killed; the ignoble were saved and now sit 
by their own warm firesides. Not a single one of them has been lost; those who upheld 
other banners are dead. The painters have fought to defend the middlemen and have kept 
the hinterland warm for the stay-at-homes. There is no longer any point in speaking of it. 
A stifling compulsion, imposed by the mediocre, endured by the mediocre; the triumph 
of stupidity, protected by the gendarme, glorified by intellectuals who lacked even the 
brains for phrase making. 

The one thing that counts is this. He who pays the piper calls the tune, but this abdica- 
tion at the sound of a drum was surprising all the same. It means we have not one socialist 
idea in our heads. We have grown poorer than warm beasts: everyone worships either his 
own belly or the state, and everything beyond that has cheapened into fun and entertain- 
ment. We can give society no idea of what it ought to be for, and therefore we cannot 
build society. We have longings and a little knowledge but little by way of deeds and — a 
partial explanation for this lack— no breadth, no outlook, no goals, no inner boundary 
to be intuitively perceived and crossed, no Utopian concept of principle. To find that 
principle, to find the right, the thing worth living for, to be organized, to have time: it is 
for this that we blaze the trails of the imagination, invoke the nonexistent, build out into 
the blue, build ourselves out into the blue; where the merely factual vanishes, let us seek 
the true and the real — incipit vita nova. . . . 

But is it still possible to "build"? It is here that the interpolation of an overriding craft 
mentality must justify itself. It is probable that the extraordinary pursuit of expressiveness 
will cause certain artisanal— and, in due course, sculptural and architectural — interpre- 
tations to exalt themselves over traditional pictorialism on the grounds that its reference is 
predominantly naturalistic. Which means that, seen in a future perspective— transcending 


craft in the narrow, socially conditioned, stylistic sense and thereby transcending orna- 
ment in the unilinear, nontranscendental sense — there is more aesthetic content in a 
Sheraton chair than in the sweetest Perugino or in some yet more celebrated piece of art- 
historical illusionism. There is already much that points in this direction, and things long 
lost or never understood are coming to light: dance masks, totems, carved balconies, frieze 
ornaments, altar tabernacles; the idea of a sculpture carved from the inside outward, 
whether Negroid, Nordic, Gothic, or Baroque; the nameless body of a sculpture as archi- 
tecture. There consequently emerges the concept of a third, more abstract quality, beyond 
relief and beyond the various forms of sculpture in the round, which represents not merely 
the shell or vague antechamber of the physical, human, psychic entity but the best loca- 
tion for its paradoxically lifelike, metaphysical abstraction. We are therefore in a position 
to give "building" its due, without any sacrifice of psychic qualities. 


from On I rcconscious Knowledge 

Originally published as "Uber Wissen," Die vveissen Blatter 6 translated by David Britt. 

das noch nieht bewusste (January-March 1919): 355-66; 

We live above and beyond ourselves. This is what makes us human; the body no longer 
forces the head down to ground level. If our own emptiness pains us, and if this makes us 
all the more aware of the emptiness that is outside ourselves, then — even in the pain — 
a red glow burns. Even the most despairing individual still has the strength to feel that he 
is in despair. That at least he does feel, and so his state is not a simple one: through it 
he perceives— he infers from it by reversal— the existence of the Other, without which he 
would not be aware of his own continued existence: this is the sense of knowing some- 
thing better, the intuition that things might be better. In some way, somewhere, we are 
pristine]}' good, untouched, unknown, young. Whatever we may achieve in this world 
turns out not to be what we meant, and yet, however shattered by the wasted effort, we 
cannot completely succumb. There is a core within us that shines and reflects the light 
cast by things that have yet to be, things that already affect us although they have never 
yet entered our consciousness. 

At this stage it is important to eliminate a few misconceptions from the concept of the 
unconscious in general in order to concentrate on the preconscious. I can never take 
possession of myself as the person who is experiencing. Not even the fact that I am now 
smoking and writing — this least of all— is consciously known to me in itself. I cannot rep- 
resent such a thing to myself until immediately afterward, and so only the immediate past 
is present to me; this is what we ostensibly experience as the present. Again the willed, 
attentive gaze itself constantly shifts; all the things it observes sink from view, and I can no 
longer possess them as current information. They can no longer be willed, sensed, or felt, 
but only summoned up in my memory or— still more vividly— known about. Neverthe- 
less past will and past experience do not cease to exist and to have effects, even when lost 
from the present field of view. In dreams, above all, the will that has vanished from wak- 
ing life returns and, though devoid of muscular power, takes command of visualized 
memories, using them "symbolically" in pursuit of some desire that is forgotten or unre- 
solved or discountenanced by the moral, waking, grown-up consciousness. . . . 



. . . Above all, it is in days of expectation, when we feel the influence not of things past 
but of things to come, in severe suffering, in the violent force of happiness, in the vision of 
love, in perhaps the most receptive state of all, through music, which invariably addresses 
the latent part of our psyche and seeks to give it utterance— but above all it is in creative 
work itself that we cross the awesome frontier into preconscious knowledge. It is a dawn- 
ing, a growing light within, effort, darkness, the cracking of the ice, an awakening, an 
approaching perception: it is a state and a concept that (just as Leibniz showed the psychic 
roots and thus revealed to the Sturm und Drang movement the dark side of nature, the 
fundus animalis of the petites perceptions) makes accessible to the higher, aspiring mode 
of thought— to the soul bathed in the inchoate, in mystic trajectories, and in the swelling 
fires of futurity— the "unconscious" aspect of the organizational processes and makes 
accessible to the fundus intimus the creative unconscious of the crowning inner self. 

But, to whatever heights this intuitive state may point, it encounters on the way— not 
only in its "unconscious" intention but also in its "adequation," on its object side— all 
manner of deceptive solutions that stop it short, that constantly breed static forms, 
discarding the Utopian excess of this existence of ours and leveling it— stylistically — to 
a routine. . . . 

Philosophical knowing, in the sense that is meant here, is the lamp that can transmute 
objects into precious stones; it is the arrival of the minister in the prison of the demiurge 
Pizarro; it is the action of the great work, of the water of life, of the way of metal, of the 
word of redemption. It is magic idealism, from the depths of the prophetic dream that 
resides at the universal fountainhead, of the unconstruable question, of the thing in itself 
[Ding an sick}: it is what does not yet exist, the ultimate future, the ultimate and true 
present, the problem of identity manifesting itself within existence, the still-unknown, 
inchoate utopia. Once again philosophical thinking is revealed as turning toward myth: 
not myth as known before, but the final myth before the great corner is turned, the myth 
of utopia, which of its essence has preoccupied the Jews as well as the philosophers since 
time immemorial— and which makes both groups, as unquiet worshipers of the invisible 
God, of the utter absolute, suspect to all those theologians who preach that a halfway state 
is a finished image. 

30 7 

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ismus bis zur Gegenwart . Stuttgart: Reclam, 1973. 

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2. Berlin: E. Wasmuth, 1920. 


I B L I □ G R A P h 


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Archiv, Museum fiir Gestaltung, 1988. 



Just as Utopias are inherently expansive and communal 
visions, an exhibition on this theme could succeed only with 
the cooperation of many individuals and institutions. The 
enthusiastic support of the museum's director, Michael E. 
Shapiro, and the encouragement of his predecessor, Earl A. 
Powell III, made this collaboration possible. I am grateful to 
them and to the museums board of trustees, under the direc- 
tion of Daniel N. Belin and, subsequently, Robert F. Maguire 
III, for their sustained support. Crucial funding for the exhibi- 
tion was received from the National Endowment for the Arts, 
the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Design 
Arts division of the National Endowment for the Arts. This 
support was augmented by a generous grant from the Federal 
Republic of Germany, and I am indebted to Dr. Cornell Met- 
ternich, consul general; Dr. Stefan Schliiter, deputy consul; 
and his predecessor, Tius Fischer, for their efforts in securing 
this funding. I am also grateful to the Harry and Yvonne Lenart 
Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation 
for providing additional support. 

From its inception the project benefited from the resources 
of the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities— 
not only its splendid research collections but also its visiting 
scholars program, which brought together an unparalleled 
assembly of distinguished experts on Expressionist art, architec- 
ture, music, and theater, among them Hartmut Frank, Peter 
Jelavich, Anton Kaes, Fritz Neumeyer, and Iain Boyd Whyte. 
Thanks in part to the interdisciplinary exchange at the Getty 
Center, this catalogue includes contributions by film historian 
Kaes and architectural historian Whyte as fitting complements 
to the perspectives offered by sociologist David Frisby and art 
historian Reinhold Heller. Nor could the detailed research for 
this project have been undertaken without the encouragement 
of Getty scholar Tilmann Buddensieg, who was my host while 

I was a visiting Humboldt scholar at the Kunsthistorisches Insti- 
tut in Bonn. I am deeply grateful to him and to the Alexander 
von Humboldt-Stiftung for making my months of initial 
research and consultation in Germany possible. 

My research for this exhibition was conducted at institutions 
in both Europe and the United States, and I am indebted to 
many colleagues who helped me find materials and often facili- 
tated loans for the exhibition as well. My research in Berlin was 
aided by Dominick Bartmann, Berlin Museum; Alexander 
Duckers, Kupferstichkabinett; Bernd Evers, Kunstbibliothek; 
Helmut Geisert and Freya Mulhaupt, Berlinische Galerie; 
Magdalena Moeller, Briicke-Museum; Dieter Radicke, Tech- 
nische Universitat; Werner Sudendorf, Stiftung Deutsche Kine- 
mathek; and Achim Wendschuh, Wolfgang Trautwein, and 
Matthias Schirren, Akademie der Kiinste. In Munich Annegret 
Hoberg, Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus; Eckehart Nolle, 
Deutsches Theatermuseum; Enno Patalas, Filmmuseum, 
Miinchner Stadtmuseum; and Gisela Scheffler, Staatliche 
Graphische Sammlung, were all very helpful. In other cities 
in Germany, Elmar Buck and Bernd Vogelsang, Theaterwis- 
senschaftliche Sammlung, Universitat zu Koln, Cologne; 
Katharina Lepper, Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisberg; 
Norbert Nobis, Sprengel Museum, Hannover; Peter Schmitt, 
Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe; Suzanne Klingeberg and 
Elisabeth Fuchs-Belhamri, Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe; 
Ulrike Gauss and Karin von Maur, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; and 
Erich Franz, Westfalisches Landesmuseum fur Kunst und 
Kulturgeschichte, Miinster, provided valuable assistance. Vir- 
ginia Sease, Freie Hochschule fur Geisteswissenschaft at the 
Gotheanum, Dornach; Gillian Hartnoll and Bridget Kinally, 
British Film Institute, London; Nicholas Olsberg, Canadian 
Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Russell Maylone, Special 
Collections, Northwestern University Library, Evanston; 

3 i6 


Magdalena Dabrowski and Matilda McQuaid, Museum of 
Modern Art, New York; Donald Anderle, Mel Edelstein, Irene 
Lotspeich-Phillips, Marcia Reed, and Brendt Sverdloff, Getty 
Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, Santa 
Monica; Cynthia Burlingham, Grunwald Center for the 
Graphic Arts, University-of California, Los Angeles; Alison 
Pinsler, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Los 
Angeles; and Peter Nisbet, Busch-Reismger Museum, Harvard 
University, Cambridge, furnished useful information. 

In conceiving this project, I drew on the advice of those in 
the many fields in which the elusive concept of Utopia manifests 
its myriad forms. I am especially indebted to Helen Atkins, 
Erhard Bahr, Rosemarie Haag Bletter, Uta Brandes, Ulrich 
Conrads, John Czaplicka, Ruth Irmgard Dalinghaus, Michael 
Erlhoff, Axel Feuss, Stephen C. Foster, Helmut Geisert, 
Maurice Gode, Peter Guenther, Charles W. Haxthausen, 
Michael Hayes, Berndt Heller, Marion von Hofacher, Klaus 
Itten, Annegreth Janda, Pamela Kort, Barbara Miller Lane, 
Heidi Lesemann, Karl Levin, Mario-Andreas von Liittichau, 
Ron Manheim, Thomas Messer, Winfred Nerdinger, Wolfgang 
Pehnt, Jonathan Petropolis, Barton Phelps, Julius Posener, 
Hans-Peter Reisse, Karl Riha, Rainer Rumold, Louisa Stude 
Sarofim, C. Raman Schlemmer, Arturo Schwarz, Dennis 
Sharp, Richard Sheppard, Manfred Speidel, Ann Stacy, Carmen 
Stonge, Heinrich Taut, Oswald Matthias Lingers, Eva Weininger, 
Joan Weinstein, John Willett, and Barbara D. Wright. 

At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art I have received 
much assistance and useful advice from curatorial colleagues 
Stephanie Barron, Victor Carlson, Bruce Davis, and Carol 
Eliel. I am also indebted to the staff of the Rifkind Study Cen- 
ter. Librarian Susan Trauger responded to many research 
requests, checked innumerable references, and helped prepare 
the bibliography for the exhibition catalogue. Assistant registrar 
Christine Vigiletti saw to the intricate details of loans, insur- 
ance, and shipping, while secretary Vicki Gambill cheerfully 
undertook endless tasks in connection with the exhibition 
preparations, including securing photographs for the catalogue. 
Additionally Eleanor Hartmann and the staff of the Mr. and 
Mrs. Allan C. Balch Research Library helped me find many 
research materials, with Anne Diederich obtaining countless 
interlibrary loans. 

This publication was designed by Robin Weiss, whose 
imaginative layouts capture the lively attitude toward the page 
of the Expressionists themselves. The editing and coordination 
of texts by various authors were masterfully handled by Karen 
Jacobson, whose sense of clarity and good judgment contributed 
greatly to the catalogue. The encouragement and advice of Mitch 
Tuchman, the museum's editor in chief, and Sandra Bell, head 
designer, have helped shape this volume from its inception 
to its final form. The museum's supervising photographer, Peter 
Brenner, and his staff supplied photographic material, often at 
a moment's notice. Virginia Haddad, Frauke von der Horst, and 
Annelisa Stephan researched and wrote most of the artists' biog- 
raphies, which often required diligent sleuthing. In preparing 
the documents section, I benefited from the thoughtful sugges- 
tions of Hans Morgenthaler and Iain Boyd Whyte. David Britt 
undertook the challenging task of translating many of these 
Expressionist texts. Naomi Weiss helped develop the necessary 
photography research files, while volunteers Grete Wolf and 
Maria Steinberg made certain our correspondence with Ger- 
man colleagues was conveyed with tact and refinement. 

As an intern during the early stages of the project, Nancy 
Perloff assisted me in developing an interdisciplinary bibliog- 
raphy on Utopias, and her musicological expertise was crucial to 
the development of the film and stage section of the exhibition. 
The exploration of theater and music was expanded through the 
suggestions of Leonard Stein, former director of the Schoen- 
berg Institute; Nancy and John Crawford of the University of 
California, Riverside; Peter Lackner of the University of Cali- 
fornia, Santa Barbara; as well as LACMA's own director 
of musical programs, Dorrance Stalvey. 

I was privileged to work on the exhibition's installation with 
Wolf Prix and Frank Stepper of Coop Himmelblau, whose 
visionary a'pproach rivals that of the Utopian architects of the 
Expressionist era. I am grateful to project architect Jennifer 
Rakow for her attention to the minutest details of this complex 
endeavor. Jim Drobka created an elegant graphic design to com- 
plement the architectural setting. The construction of this 
environment and the mounting of the works of art were over- 
seen by Art Owens, assistant director of operations, with the 
assistance of project manager Mee Mee Leong. Peggy Olson 
provided audiovisual expertise for the installation. 


In budgeting the exhibition and arranging for many of the 
details of shipping, I relied on Elizabeth Algermissen, assistant 
director of exhibitions, and John Passi, head of exhibitions pro- 
grams, as well as registrar Renee Montgomery. Careful attention 
to the proper handling of the often fragile materials in this show 
was provided by Victoria Blyth-Hill and Joanne Page of the 
conservation department, under the direction of Pieter Meyers. 

The educational component was ably managed by Lisa Vihos, 
who wrote the visitors brochure. With Virginia Haddad and 
Annelisa Stephan, she also participated in preparing the didactic 
texts used in the exhibition installation. David Inocencio and 
Minette Siegel created a lively slide-tape presentation to orient 
the visitor to the historical context of the Expressionist era. 

Christopher Ponce, director of development, and Tom Jacob- 
son, head of grants and foundation giving, administered the 
grant proposals that led to the successful funding of the project. 
Lynn Terelle, Talbot Welles, Dana Hutt, and designer Brent 
Saville were instrumental in the process of providing granting 
agencies with budget details, clear descriptions, and a coherent 
layout for the show. Sarah Gallop of the public information 
office effectively communicated the scope and purpose of the 
project to the public. 

Throughout the many stages of this project I have had the 
great privilege and pleasure of seven years' immersion in the 
extensive library and graphic collection of the museum's Robert 
Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies. To 
Robert Gore Rifkind I am especially grateful, not only for the 
building of this extraordinary resource but also for his willing 
augmentation of its holdings with several important objects 
acquired specifically for this exhibition. 

My family and friends have patiently endured my excessive 
preoccupation and occasional Utopian reveries. Most indulgent 
of all has been Susan Annett, whose pithy suggestions have 
added balance and perspective to this project. To my father, 
Donald R. Benson, a literary scholar who has brought many 
insights to our discussions of this topic, I dedicate this catalogue. 

3 i8 

Lenders to the Cxhibiti 


Akademie der Kiinste, Berlin 

Badisches Landesmuseum, Karlsruhe 

Berlinische Galerie, Museum fur Moderne Kunst, 

Photographie und Arehitektur, Berlin 

Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal 

Doheny Library, University of Southern California, 

Los Angeles 

Galerie Berinson, Berlin 

Gerhard Marcks Stiftung, Bremen 

The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 

Los Angeles 

The Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, University of 

California, Los Angeles 

Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague 

Helen Topping Architecture and Fine Arts Library, University 

of Southern California, Los Angeles 

Kunstmuseum, Basel 

Kunstmuseum, Bern 

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Department of Prints 

and Drawings 

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Robert Gore 

Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York 

The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 

The Oskar Schlemmer Theatre Estate, Oggebbio 

Plansammlung, Technische Universitat. Berlin 

Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn 

Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum, Schleswig 

Special Collections, Northwestern University, 

Evanston, Illinois 

Sprengel Museum, Hannover 

Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich 

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek 

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 

Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich 

Stadtische Kunstsammlungen, Darmstadt 

Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin 

Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung der Universitat, Cologne 

Wenzel-Hablik-Stiftung, Itzehoe 

Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisberg 

Arlan Coffman, Santa Monica, California 

Ruth and Jacob Kainen, Chevy Chase, Maryland 

Mrs. Loretto Molzahn, Munich 

H. Marc Moyens, Alexandria, Virginia 

Prof. Eckhard Neumann, Frankfurt am Main 

Gabriele Reisser-Finsterlin, Stuttgart 

Lawrence Schoenberg, Los Angeles 

Frau Dipl.-Ing. Maria Schwarz, Cologne 

Granvil and Marcia Specks, Evanston. Illinois 

Maria Elisabeth Stapp, Germany 

Prof. O. M. Ungers, Cologne 

Several private collections 


1 hoto Credits 

The works of art in this volume are subject to claims of 
copyright in the United States of America and throughout the 
world. None may be reproduced in any form without the 
written permission of the owners. 

Unless an acknowledgment appears below, the photographs 
in this volume have been provided by the owners of the works 
of art or by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

JorgP. Anders, Berlin: figs. 87, 118 

Foto-Fachlabor Bachor: fig. 42 

Fotoarchiv Bolliger-Ketterer: fig. 77 

Marc Dachy Archives: fig. 177 

Grossfoto, Berlin: p. 218 

Kai Falck: figs. 38, 39, 40, 44, 48, 104, r24, 128, 12Q, 133, 
134, 172; pp. 9, 194-96 

Markus Hawlik Fotografie: fig. 145 

Hermann Kiessling: fig. 53 

Bernd Kirtz BFF: figs. 7, 58, 170; p. 229 

JorgF. Klam: fig. 86 

Marburg /Art Resource, New York: fig. 62 

Stefan Miiller: figs. 107, 112, 117, 125; p. 182 

Knud Peter Petersen: figs. 34, 36, 106; p. 222 

Oskar Schlemmer Theatre Estate, Collection UJS, 
Badenweiler, Germany/Photo Archive C. Raman 
Schlemmer, Oggebbio. Italy: fig. 146, p. 240 

VAGA, New York: pp. 204, 205 (cat. no. 96), 211 (cat. no. 118 

Verlag am Goetheanum, Dornach: fig. 47 

VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn: fig. 102, p. 211 (cat. no. 114) 

Elke Walford: fig. 115 

Mechthild Wilhelmi: figs. 29, 31 




Numbers in italics refer to pages 
with illustrations. 


Abstrakte Bildidee (Hausmann), 

44. 197 
Adam undEva (Beckmann), 61, 

Adam und Eva (Campendonk), 

61, 178 
Adam und Eva (Mueller), 61, 230 
Addison, Joseph, 121, 123-24 
Adorno, Theodor W., 15, 146, 

Alpine Architektur: book (Bruno 

Taut), 259 
Alpine Architektur: illustrations 

from (Bruno Taut), 37, 118, 119 
Analysen alter Meister (Itten), 204 
Apokalyptische Landschaft 

(Meidner), 124 
Eine Arbeitsgememschaft (Bruno 

Taut), 133 
Arbeitsrat fur Kunst: cover for 

(attributed to Pechstein), 30, 

Arc/nrefcrurfFinsterlin), 112, 185 
Architekturentwiirfe (Finsterlin), 

34, 185 

45, 173 
Architektur— Kathedrale des 

Lichts (Finsterlin), 185 

(Mendelsohn), 115, 222 
Ein Architekturprogramm: 

pamphlet (Bruno Taut), 259 
Arntz, Gerd: biography of, 172- 

73; work by, 161, 172, 172 
Afe/ierszene(Kirchner), 80 
Arom-Zersfa'ufcer(Molzahn), 228 
Die Auflosung der Stddte: book 

(Bruno Taut), 259 
Die Auflosung der Stddte: 

illustrations from (Bruno Taut), 

13, 133, 134, 135 
Ausstellung fur unbekannte 

Architekten. pamphlet, 259 
Ausstellung von Kiinstlergruppe 

Briicke: illustration from 

(Heckel), 200 


Baader, Johannes: biography of, 
173; statement by, 290-92; 
work by, 45, 173, 291 

Badende (Mueller), 79, 230 

Badende am Teich (Heckel), 16, 

18, 200 
Ballspielende (Heckel), 74, 200 
Baudelaire, Charles, 88, 90, 93 
Der Bau der Luftkolonie (Hablik), 

193. 196 
Das Baugebiet, vom Monte 

Generoso gesehen (Bruno Taut), 

Beckmann, Max, 220; biography 

of, 174; work by, 61, 174 
Behne, Adolf, 32-33, 37, 40, 48, 

Behrens, Peter: biography of, 175; 

statements by, 29, 269; work by, 

3°. 175 

Benjamin, Walter, 111 nn. 68, 72 
Bergmann, Ella, 224: biography 
of, 176; work by, 145, 167, 176, 

"Berlin dagegen unsere Hochburg 
buchte jdhe Verzehnfachung 
seiner Burger" (Klee), 108, 210 
Berliner Expression (Moller), 25, 

26, 27, 228 
Berliner Strasse in Dresden 

(Schmidt-Rottluff), 64, 242 
Betonhallen (Max Taut), 39, 253 
Bewegungsspiel filrs Weimarer 

Bauhaus (Bruno Taut), 35, 251 
Bimbaum, Uriel: biography of, 

177; work by, 259 
Blechen, Carl: work by, 124 
Bleyl, Fritz, 65, 74 
Bloch, Ernst, 11, 15, 41, 43, 105, 

106, 107, 108, 111 nn. 58, 72 
Bohme, Jakob, 14, 244 
Brandt, Marianne: biography of. 

177-78; work by, 84, 160, 177 
Brecht, Bertolt, 158 
Bucht im Mondschein (Schmidt- 
Rottluff), 20, 22, 23, 242 
Die Biihne im Bauhaus: book 

(Schlemmer and Moholy- 

Nagy), 259 

(Klee), 141, 210 
Biihnenwerkstatt (Schmidt), 241 
Burke, Edmund, 124, 128, 130, 


Das Cabinet des Doktor Caligari: 
' scene from, 135, 136 

Das Cabinet des Doktor Caligari: 

set designs for, by Reimann, 

235, 237; by Warm with Rohrig 

and Reimann, 255, 256 
Campendonk, Heinrich: 

biography of, 178-79; work by, 

61, 17S 
Canonbauten (Hablik), 132, 193 
Carstens, Asmus Jakob, 65, 66 
Cassirer, Paul, 53 n. 53, 136 
Chaplin, Charlie, 158, 16511. 14 
Chronik KG Briicke: illustrated 

page from (Kirchner), 63 
Clemens, Roman: biography of, 

179-80; script by, 300-301; 

work by, 141, 179 
Crowther, Paul, 124, 130 


Dada Cmol Hausmann), 138, 197 
Dandanah (Bruno Taut), 44, 4;, 

Da wohnten Menschen auf 
kristall'nen Baumen (Hablik), 

135. 193 
Delaunay, Robert. 184, 221, 228 
Denkmal der Arbeit (Wassili 

Luckhardt), 218 
Deutsche Graphiker der 

Gegenwart: illustration from 

(Mueller), 230 
Dexel, Walter: biography of. 180; 

work by, 101, 180 
Diagona/symjD /ionic (Eggeling), 

140-41, 182 

geometrischer Korper 

(Finsterlin), 44, 46, 185 
Dix, Otto: biography of, 181; work 

by, 29, J54, 181 
Doesburg, Theo van, 180, 227, 

241. 256 
Der Dom (Thalman), 254 
Das drehbare Haus in den Sand 

Diinen der Cunschen Nehrung 

(Max Taut), 253 
Dreier, Katherine, 176, 224 
Drei geometrische Phantasien 

(Finsterlin), 114. 185 
3 x 3 dimensionales Glashaus 

(Scharoun), 238 
Dynamik der Metropol (Moholy- 

Nagy), 142, 227 

Ebeling, Siegfried: biography of, 

182; work by, 182, 259 
Eckhart, Meister, 14, 244 
Eggeling, Viking, 236, 237; 

biography of, 182-83; work by, 

140-41, 182, 183 
Einstein, Carl, 22, 28, 220 
Einsteinturm: building 

(Mendelsohn), 34, 35. 223 
Einsteinturm: sketch 

(Mendelsohn), 34, 35, 222 
Das Eismeer (Friedrich), 121 
Elasticum (Hausmann), 44, 169, 

Elektrische {Dix), 28,29, 181 
Endell, August, 24, 25, 27, 96, 

Entdecker-Siedlung (Hablik), 193, 

Entwurfzu einem Denkmal 

(Obrist), 231 
Eos: illustration from 

(Strohmeyer), 250 
Die erhabeneSeite (Klee), 210, 

2 1 1 
Erinnerung an New York (Grosz), 

160, 192 
Erlegung des Festbratens 

(Pechstein). 76, 232 
Ersfe internationale Dada-Messe: 

illustration from (Heartfield and 

Grosz), 199 

Fabrik (Arntz), 161, 172 
Feininger, Lyonel: biography of, 

184; work by, 31, 93, 184,273 
Felixmiiller, Conrad, 226, 245 
Felsgrotte mit loderndem Fluss 

(Obrist), 231 
Festbauten (Hablik), 36, 193 
Festspielhaus Salzburg, erste 

Fassung: Aussenansicht mit 

Treppenanlage (Poehig), 233, 

Festspielhaus Salzburg, erste 

Fassung: Zuschauerraum 

(Poelzig), 52, 233 
Finsterlin, Hermann: biography 

of, 185-86; work by, 7, 32, 34, 

46, 112, 114, 134, 185, 185-86 
Fliegende Siedlung (Hablik), 193, 



Ford, Henry, 160-61 
Foucault, Michel, 43 
Frauen am Potsdamer Platz 

(Kirchner), 25, 26, 27, 209 
Freitragende Konstruktion 

(Hablik), 113, 193 
Freud, Sigmund, 189 
Friedell, Egon, 9; 
Friedlander, Salomo, 28, 54 n. 71 
Friedrich, Caspar David. 120; 

work by, 121 
Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper (Mies), 

148. 149 
Frohlicher Au/sfieg (Kandinsky), 

19, 20, 207 
Fruhlicht, 259 
Fuge(Richter), 236 
Fiinf Kokotten (Kirchner), 27, 89, 

Fur das neue Deutschland, 30, 

Fiir Hans Godbard (Michel), 224 

G; cover for (Mies), 225 
Gangolf, Paul: biography of, 186; 

work by, 28, 102, 186 
Gauguin, Paul, 67 
Ceiurf der P/ercfe (Marc). 19, 21, 

Cedanken iiber Architektur 

(Kohtz), 259 
Ge/iefcfe/Murrer(Schreyer), 244, 

Genuine: set design for (Klein), 

14;, 212 
Geometrische Durchdringungen 

(Finsterlin), 7, 185 
Giedion, Sigfried, 120, 136 
Glashaus (Bruno Taut), 37, 127, 

"Glashausproblem " (Scharoun), 

122, 238 
Gloria (Schwarz), 39, 246 
Diegliickliche Hand: set design for 

(Schoenberg), 47, 50, 243 
Goebbels, Joseph, 154, 162 
Goetheanum (Steiner), 41 
Gogh, Vincent van, 24, 53 n. 53, 

67, 106, 232 
Goltz, Hans, 21 1 
Golyscheff, Jefim, 33-34; 

biography of, 187-88; work by, 

33-34.42. 187 

Gosch, Paul: biography of, 189; 

work by, 33, 117, 131, 188, 

Grabdenkmal der Marzgefallenen: 

building (Gropius), 41 
Grabdenkmal der Marzgefallenen: 

lithograph, 41, 191 
Graeff, Werner, 198 
Graf, Gottfried, 246; biography 

of, 190; work by, 190, 190 
Gropius, Walter; biography of, 

191; statements by, 12, 32, 33, 

187-88, 275-76; work by, 41, 

Diegrosse Blume (Bruno Taut), 

Dasgrosse Plasto-Dio-Dada- 

Drama (Baader), 43, 291 
Grosses Schauspielhaus (Poelzig), 

47.5L ^34 
Das grosse Tor von Kiev 

(Kandinsky), 142, 207 
Grosssradr(Levy), 98, 216 
Grosz, George: biography of, 192; 

work by, 24, 28, 43, 92, 160, 

Grundriss (Finsterlin), ^4, 185 
Grundriss der Mechanik und 

Festigkeitslehre (Mohahn), 228 
Gurlitt, Fritz, 22 


Hablik, Wenzel, 38; biography of, 

194; statement by, 37, 288-89; 

work by, 9, ^6. 38, 40, 42, 113, 

130, 132, 135, 170, 193, 194- 

Haeckel, Ernst, 37, 134 
Halfeld, Adolf, 159 
Hansen, Hans, 276-78 
Ha'ring, Hugo, 233, 238 
Hartlaub, Gustav, 246 
Hasler, Bernhard, 228 
Hauptmann, Gerhart, 269-70 
Hduser, Bdume, Menschen 

(Pliinnecke), 87, 233 
Hausmann, Raoul: biography of, 

197-98; statements by, 44, 

292—93; work by, 44, 49, 138, 

137, 169, 197, 197-98 
Heartfield, John: biography of, 

199; work by, 43, 199 
Heckel, Erich, 17-18, 20, 65, 

232, 242; biography of, 200- 

201; work by, 16, 18, 23, 56, 58, 

69, 74, 200, 200 
Heller, Reinhold, 90 
Herlth. Robert, 235. 256 
Hermand, Jost, 90 
Hermann, Georg, 24 
Herzfelde, Wieland, 186, 192, 

Hess, Rudolf, 246 
Hiller, Kurt, 15, 22, 27, 126 
Hindemith, Paul, 240 
Hitler, Adolf, 162, 186. 187,223 
Hbch, Hannah: biography of, 

201-2; work by, 43, 48, 143, 

166, 201 
Hochfinanz (Hoch), 166, 201 
Hochschulen fiir Mineralogie im 

Gebirge (Hablik), 193, 195 
Hoddis, Jacob van, 28, 220 
Hodler, Ferdinand, 192 
Hoetger, Bernhard, 247 
Hofman, Vlastislav: biography of, 

202; work by, 117, 202 
Hdhen-Lokomobilchen (Molzahn), 

Hollander, Felix, 270 
Holzel, Adolf, 190, 204. 239 
Das Holzscbnittbuch: illustration 

from (Heckel), 200 
Honzontal-vertikal Orchester 

(Eggeling), 182 
Horkheimer, Max. 162 
Hubbuch, Karl: biography of, 203; 

work by, $1, 203 
Huebner, Friedrich, 90, 97 
Huelsenbeck, Richard, 197 
Hunte, Otto, 208, 256 
Hygiene Museum (Finsterlin), 185 


Industrie-Denkmdler (Molzahn), 

Die Ingenieure (Hausmann), 47, 

Inteneur (Kirchner), 80 
Ip'erioum (Golyscheff), 42, 43 
Itten, Johannes: biography of, 

204-5; work by, 204, 204-5, 



James Watt (Molzahn), 229 
jansen, Franz Maria: biography 
of, 206; work by, 168, 206, 206 

Janthur, Richard, 220 

]a! Stimmen des Arbeitsrates fiir 

Kunst in Berlin: illustration 

from (Feiningcr), 184 
fawlensky, Alexej von, 18, 207, 

Jehodllomds (Hausmann), 197 
Jhering, Herbert, 158 
Jung, Franz, 28, 197 
Junger, Ernst, 151, 154 


KabarettBu/me (Hoch), 143, 201 
Kaiser, Georg, 164, 246 
Der Kaiser und der Architekt: 

book(Birnbaum), 259 
Kandinsky, Wassily, 47, 51 n. 31, 

211, 219, 243; biography of, 

207; statements by, 12, 18, 19, 

20; work by, 10, 20, 58, 60, 

142, 207 
Kann man das Gliick zeichnen? 

(Bruno Taut), 13 
Kanoldt, Alexander, 207, 246 
Kant, Immanuel, 120, 121-22, 

126, 128, 130 
Kathedrale (Feininger), 31, 184 
Die Kathedrale: illustration from 

(Schwitters), 249 
Kempen, Wilhelmvan, 179 
Kettelhut. Erich: biography of, 

208; work by, 139, 147, 208, 

Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig, 51 n. 22, 

62, 73, 75, 78, 80, 81, 201, 

242; biography of, 209-10; 

Dresden studio of, 68; 

statements by, 16, 27, 71-72. 

200, 209; work by, 26, 63, 70, 

76, 80, 86, 89, 209, 209 
Kldnge: illustration from 

(Kandinsky), 207 
Klee, Hans, 204 
Klee, Paul, 20, 53 n. 41; 

biography of, 210-11; work by, 

21, 108, 141, 210, 21 1 
Klein, Cesar: biography of, 212; 

statements by, 32, 274; work by, 

145. 212 
Kleine Welten X (Kandinsky), 20, 

Knabe zwischen Blattpflanzen 

(Mueller), 78, 230 


Kniende am Stein (Heckel), 18, 

22, 200 
Kohtz, Otto: biography of, 213; 

work by, 213, 259 
Kokoschka, Oskar, 22; biography 

of, 214; work by, 17, 214 
Kollwitz, Kathe, 270 
Komposition (Itten), 204, 205 
KonstTuktion eines Milchstrassen- 

E/evatorsfMolzahn), 228 
Konzert Saal (Hans Luckhardt), 

Kosmischer Bau (Krayl), 123, 215 
Kracauer, Siegfried, 103, 104-5, 

non. 56, 150, 164 n. 6, 255, 

Krayl, Carl: biography of, 215; 

work by, 45, 11$, 123, 215, 215 
Kreuzigung: illustration from 

(Schreyer), 244 
Das Kreuz im Kreise 

(Strohmeyer), n6 y 250 
Knse(Arntz), 172 
Kristallhaus in den Bergen (Bruno 

Taut), 119 
Knstalline Schlucht (Hablik), 193, 

Kristallschloss (Hablik), 38, 193 
Kubin, Alfred, 19, 207 
Das Kunstblatt: illustrations 

from, by Graf, 190; by 

Schmidt-Rottluff, 242; by 

Schrimpf, 245 
Das Kunstfenster: illustration 

from (Levy), 216 
Kyrie eleison (Schwarz), 116, 246 

Laban, Rudolf, 182 
Landauer, Gustav, 14, 303 

Landschaft mit Turmarchitekturen 

(Marcks), 31, 220 
Lang, Fritz, 146, 148, 150-51, 

157, 165 n. 29 
Langbehn, Julius, 68 
Leben undTreiben in Universal- 
City (Heartfield and Grosz), 43, 

Leger, Fernand, 151, 226, 245 
Lens wird mit Bomben belegt 

(Dix), 154, 181 
Levy, Fritz: work by, 98, 216 
Einen Licht Gruss aus meinem 

Sternenhaus (Krayl), 4^, 215 
Liebknecht, Wilhelm, 82 n. 18 
Lipps, Theodor, 27, 231 
Lissitzky, El: biography of, 216; 

work by, 216, 248 
Luckhardt, Hans: biography of, 

217; work by, 217, 217 
Luckhardt, Wassili: biography of, 

218; work by, 218, 218 
Ludwig, Ernst, 70, 175 
Lukacs, Georg, 27, 41, 105, 265 
Lyotard, Jean-Francois, 41, 121 


MA: illustration from, by 

Eggeling, 182; by Hausmann, 

Macke, August, 206, 219 
Mackensen, Fritz, 69, 254 
Das Madchen Li und ich 

(Kokoschka), 17, 214 
Maeterlinck, Maurice, 18, 19 
Mahler, Alma, 204, 214 
Malerei, Fotographie, Film: 

illustrated screenplay from 

(Moholy-Nagy), 227 
Mann, Heinrich, 270 
Mann, Thomas, 270 
Marc, Franz, 207; biography of, 

219; statements by, r8, 19, 120, 

128; work by, 19, 21, 57, 2r9 
Marcks, Gerhard: biography of, 

220; work by, 31, 220 
Marcus, Jacob Ernst, 198 
Marinetti, FilippoTommaso, 151, 

Marx, Karl, 14, 68, 100 
Material der Malerei, Plastik, 

Architektur: illustration from 

(Hausmann), 197-98 
Matisse, Henri, 24, 5; n. 53, 210 
May, Joe, 208 
Mechanische Buhnen-Revue 

(Weininger), 47, 140, 256, 257 
Mechanischer Garten (Hoch), 48, 

Mechanischer Kopf (Hausmann), 

44, 157, 158 
Meidner, Ludwig: biography of, 

220-21; statements by, 22, 25, 

90, 91; work by, 25, 86, 91, 107, 

124, 220 
Meier-Graefe, Julius, 271 
Meinert. Rudolf, 256 
Melies, Georges, 155 
Melzer, Moriz: biography of, 221; 

work by, 39, 221 
Mendelsohn, Erich: biography of, 

222-23; work by, 35. I2 5> 222 > 

Menschenpaar (Schmidt- 
Rottluff), 242 

Mense, Carlo: biography of, 223; 
work by, 85, 223, 223 

Merz, 248; illustration from 
(Lissitzky with Schwitters), 216 

Merzbau (Schwitters), 249 

Metropolis, 146-65; scenes from, 

M9-53. I56-59. 163, 241 
Metropolis: set designs for 

(Kettelhut), 47, 139, 147, 208 
Metropolis: Morgenddmmerung 

(Kettelhut), 147, 208 
Metropolis: Turm Babel 

(Kettelhut), 139, 208 
Metropolis: 11. Fassung 

(Kettelhut), 208 
Meyer, Adolf, 191 
Meyer, Hannes, 177, 225 
Michel, Robert: biography of, 

224; work by, 224, 224 

Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig: biog- 
raphy of, 225; work by, 149, 225 
Militarischer Film (Arntz), 172 
Mit Schilf "werfende Badende 

(Kirchner), 16, 70, 209 
Mitschke-Collande, Constantin 

von: biography of, 226; work by, 

Modell fiir erne Wegkapelle 

(Poelzig), 52, 233 
Modersohn, Otto, 69, 254 
Modigliani, Amedeo, 220 
Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo, 177; 

biography of, 227; work by, 

142, 227, 259 
Moller, Otto: biography of, 228; 

work by, 26, 228 
Molnar, Farkas, 241, 256 
Molzahn, Johannes: biography of, 

229; work by, 19, 48, 59, 168— 

69, 228-29, 22 9 
Mondnacht (Grosz), 92, 192 
Mondnan, Piet, 202 
Morder, Hoffnung der Frauen: set 

design for (Schlemmer), 239, 

More, Sir Thomas, 14, 79 
Morris, William, 67-68, 69, 70, 

82 n. 18 
Muche, Georg, 204, 256 
Mueller, Otto: biography of, 230; 

work by, 61, 78, 79, 230 
Miinchner Blatter fur Dichtung 

und Graphik: illustration from 

(Klee), 210 
Museen und Kristallhaus der 

neuen Schule (Bruno Taut), 

130, 251 
Museum im Hochgebirge t Hablik), 

37,4°. 193 


Die Nachtigall (Schlemmer), 144, 

2 39 
Neuronen-Menschen (Bergmann), 

145. 176 
Nietzsche, Friedrich, 15, 16, 38. 

103, 128, 131, 242 
Nolde, Emil, 81 n. 3, 249 
Das Nusch-Nuschi: Gerichtssaal 

beim Kaiser [/(Schlemmer), 

2 39. 2 4° 
Das Nusch-Nuschi: Gerichtssaal 
beim Kaiser IV (Schlemmer), 
239. 2 4° 


Obrist, Hermann, 17; biography 
of, 231; statements by, 29, 268, 
274; work by 231, 231 

Oppenheimer, Franz, 271 

Orientalisches (Kandinsky), 58, 

Original Skizze (Hablik), 132, 193 

Osthaus, Karl Ernst, 271 

Ostwald, Wilhelm, 271 

Overbeck, Johann Friedrich, 66 

Owen, Robert, 14 

Paradies (Kandinsky), 18, 60, 207 

Paradies (Seewald), 6i t 249 

Parksee (Heckel), 58, 200 

Pascin, Jules, 192 

Paul, Bruno, 24, 225 

Pechstein, Max, 81, 81 n. 3, 201; 
biography of, 232; statement by, 
75, 77; work by, 30,73, 76, 232 

Pevsner, Nikolaus, 120 

Pfister, Oskar, 16 

Phantastische Architektur mit dem 
Reifer(Klee), 210, 211 

Photomontage "Berlin" (Moholy- 
Nagy), 227 

Pictures at an Exhibition: stage 
design for (Kandinsky), 47, 142, 

Pinthus, Kurt, 14, 91, 97 

Das Plakat: cover for (Behrens), 

30, 175 
Plan des "Stilspiels" (Finsterlin), 

185, 186 
Pliinnecke, Wilhelm: biography 

of, 233; work by, 24 , 87, 233 
Poelzig, Hans, 47, 137 n. 37; 

biography of, 233-35; work by, 

51-52, 233,234-35 
Postkarte fiir die Bauhaus- 

Ausstellung (Kandinsky), 10, 

Potsdamer Platz (Con'mth), 259 
PotsdamerPlatz (Kirchner), 26, 27 
Potsdamer Platz: illustration from 

(Klee), 210 
Probe im Grossen Schauspielhaus 

(Hubbuch), 51, 203 
Programm des Staatlichen 

Bauhauses in Weimar. 

illustration from (Feininger), 

Projekt eines Frtedhofs bei Prag 

(Hofman), 117, 202 
Przybyszewski, Stanislaw, 17 
Pudor, Heinrich, 77, 83 n. 39 


Rathaus (Feininger), 184, 273 
Rathenau, Walther, 24, 9; 
Der Raum als Membran: 

pamphlet (Ebeling), 182, 259 
Raum fiirein Kabarett (Hoch), 4, 

Reichshaus am Konigsplatz 

(Kohtz), 213 
Reimann, Walter, 237; biography 

of, 235-36; work by, 144, 235 
Reuter, Gabriele, 271 
Rhvthmen (Itten), 204 
Richter, Hans, 182, 183, 225; 

biography of, 236-37; work by, 

Riefenstahl, Leni, 150 
Rilke, Rainer Maria, 20, 53 n. 46, 

2 54, 2 65 
Rohrig, Walter: biography of, 237; 
work by, 255 


Le wssignol: set design for 
(Schlemmer), 239, 240 
Rubiner, Ludwig, 27 
Ruf zum Bauen: book, 259 
Runge, PhilippOtto, 20 
"Russisches" (Clemens), 47, 141, 

Salon der "Genuine" (Klein), 145, 

S<3rt£fus(Schvvarz), 116, 246 
Scharoun, Hans, 40; biography 
of, 238-39; statements by, 287, 
302; work by, 122, 238, 238, 


Scheerbart, Paul, 37, 40, 44, 1 1 1 

n. 68, 213, 214, 278; 

statements by, 126, 127, 130, 

Scheffier, Karl, 24, 109 n. 9, 263 
Schelling, Friedrich, 20 
Schiefler, Gustav, 77 
Schiller, Friedrich von, 17, 72 
Schlegel, Friedrich, 20 
Schlemmer, Oskar, 179; 

biography of, 239-40; 

statements by, 47, 300; work by, 

2, 144, 239, 259 
Schlueht bei Amalfi (Blechen), 

Schmidt, Kurt: biography of, 241; 

work by, 241, 241 
Schmidt-Rottluff, Karl, 16, 20; 

biography of, 242-43; 

statement by, 274-75; work by, 

23,64, 242, 242 
Schoenberg, Arnold, 47; 

biography of, 243-44; work by, 

50, 243 
Schopfung (Molzahn), 44, 59, 

Schreyer, Lothar: biography of, 

244-45; statement by, 298- 

300; work by, 244, 299 
Schrimpf, Georg: biography of, 

245; work by, 245, 245 
Schwarz, Rudolf: biography of, 

246; work by, 39, 116, 246 
Der schwarze Turm: illustration 

from (Melzer), 221 
Schwichtenberg, Martel: biog- 
raphy of, 247; work by, 94, 247 
Schwitters, Kurt, 176, 224; 

biography of, 248-49; work by, 

216, 248, 248-49 
Seewald, Richard: biography of, 

249-50; work by 61, 249 
Seiltdnzerin (Gangolf), 28, 186 
Shapiro, Theda, 50 n. 5 
Die sieben Schalen des Zorns 

(Vogeler), 15, 44, 254 
Siedlungsanlage einer Familie 

(Hablik),42, 193 
SiedlungSchwarzwald (Hablik), 

193. J95 
Simmel, Georg, 18, 22, 27, 28, 
97, 99-103, nonn. 33-34. 38 

Skizze einer Dunenarchitektur 

(Mendelsohn), 222 
Skizze fiir ein Bahnhofsgebdude 

(Mendelsohn), 35, 222 
Skizze fiir eine Halle (?) 

(Mendelsohn), 222 
Skizze fiir ein Glashaus 

(Mendelsohn), 222 
Skizze zum Kino "Universum" 

(Mendelsohn), 222 
Sombart, Werner, 96 
Sonnenaufgang (Heckel), 20, 22, 

23, 200 
Spengler, Oswald, no n. 34 
Spielende nackte Menschen unter 

Bdumen (Kirchner), 76 
Springende Pferde (Molzahn), 

228, 229 
Staatlwhes Bauhaus in Weimar: 

illustration from (Schmidt), 241 
DieStadf (Finsterlin), 134, 185 
Stadt am Fluss (Mense), 223 
Stadtbahnbogen (Kirchner), 86, 

Die Stadtkrone: book (Bruno 

Taut), 259 
Die Stadtkrone: illustration from 

(Bruno Taut), 252 
Stehendes Kind (Heckel), $6, 200 
Steiner, Rudolf, 18, 37, 41, 189 
Sternbewegung (Molzahn), 228, 

Sternenbrucke (Dexel), 101, 180 
Sternendrohnen (Molzahn), 19, 

Das Stiftsfraulein im See 

(Kirchner), 209 
Das Stiftsfraulein und der Tod: 

illustration from (Kirchner), 

Das St ilspiel (FinstcrMn), 44, 46, 


Stramm, August, 28, 298 

Strasse (Grosz), 28, 192 

Strasse in WilmersdorfiMeidneT), 

25, 220 
Strasse mit Fahnen (Mense), 25, 

27, 85, 223 
Strassenszene (Gangolf), 28, 202, 

Strohmeyer, Ottheinrich: work by, 

116, 250 
Stuck, Franz von, 185, 207, 210 
Studie fiir "Diagonalsymphome /" 

(Ro//e 1, Blatt 7) (Eggeling), 

182, 183 
Studie fiir "Diagonalsymphonie I" 

(Rolle 1, Blatt 8) (Eggeling), 

182, 183 
Der Sturm: illustrations from, by 

Hoffman, 202; by Pechstein, 

Szene im Wa/o 1 (Heckel), 69, 200 
Szene mit verwandelbarer 

Architektur (Schlemmer), 239, 

Szenenentwurf fiir "Die gliickliche 

Hand" (Schoenberg), ^o, -43 


Tanzende und Badende am 

Waldteich (Pechstein), 73, 232 
Tappert, Georg, 22, 221, 232, 275 
Taut, Bruno, 8, 37, 47, 127, 128, 
130, 133, 134, 191, 215, 229, 
233-34, 275, 276; biography 
of, 251-52; statements by, 12, 
38, 40, 41, 130-31, 134, 278- 
80, 281-87, 289, 294-98; 
work by, 13, 35, 39, 45, 1 19, 
127, 129-30, 133, 13s, 251, 
251-52, 259, 286 
Taut, Max, 37; biography of, 253; 

work by, 39, 253, 253 
Thalman, Max: biography of, 254; 

work by, 254, 254 
Thom-Prikker, Jan, 178, 179 
Die Tiere der Insel: illustration 

from(Mitschke-Collande), 226 
Toller, Ernst, 132, 164 
Tonnies, Ferdinand, 92-93 
DasTor(Feininger), 93, 184 
Torsau/e (Schwichtenberg), 94, 

Traum aus Glas (Finsterlin), 32, 

33. 185 

Die trdumenden Knaben: 
illustration from (Kokoschka), 
Traumstadt (Krayl), 215 
Troeltsch, Ernst, 164, 271-72 
Der Turm (Itten), 204, 205 
Tzara, Tristan, 1S2 


Unsere irritierende Grossstadt 

(Brandt), 84, 177 
Untitled (Bergmann), 167, 176 
Untitled (Brandt), 160, 177 
Untitled (Golyscheff), 33-34, 187 
Untitled (Gosch), 33, 117, 131, 

1S8, 189 
Untitled (Graf), 190 
Untitled (Hablik), 9, 38, 193, 194 
Untitled (Hausmann), 197-98 
Untitled (Itten), 260 
Untitled (Jansen), 168, 206 
Untitled (Lissitzky with 

Schwitters), 216, 248 
Untitled (Meidner), 107, 220 
Untitled (Melzer), 39, 221 

Untitled (Pliinnecke), 24, 233 
Untitled (Poelzig), 233, 235 
Untitled (Reimann), 144, 235 
Untitled (Scharoun), 238, 287 
Untitled (Schrimpf), 245 
Untitled (Schwitters), 248, 249 
Untitled (Bruno Taut), 129, 133, 

Untitled (Max Taut), 253 
Untitled (Warm with Rohiig and 

Reimann), 255 
Utopia (Schlemmer), 2, 239 
Utopia: illustration from (Itten), 


Utopia: proposed cover for (Itten), 


Velde, Henry van de, 37, 176, 224 
Vers67inimg(Marc), 57, 219 
Der vierte Tag (Wolf), 257, 258 
Vision (Krayl), 115, 215 
Vivat Stella (Bruno Taut), 251 
Vogeler, Heinrich: biography of, 

254-55; work by, 15, 254 
Volk, Kunst and Bildung: 

proposed cover for (Hausmann), 


Vorsfdrif (Grosz), 24, 192 


Waldmiiller, Ferdinand Georg, 

Wannsee Bahnhof (Meidner), 86, 


Warm, Hermann, 237; biography 

of, 255-56; work by, 255 
Watz Paar Konzert (Bruno Taut), 

251, 252 
Weber, Max, 96, 97, 161 
Der Wegdes Genius (Hablik), 130, 

Wegener, Paul, 47, 137 n. 37, 234 
Weinachts Grusse (Bruno Taut), 

251, 286 
Weininger, Andor, 47, 240, 241; 

biography of, 256-57; work by, 

140, 256 
Wells, H. G., 155, 165 n, 27 
DerWeltbaumeister: book (Bruno 

Taut), 259 
Der Weltbaumeister: illustrations 

from (Bruno Taut), 40, 129, 130 
Westheim, Paul, 20, 22, 186, 

212, 247 
Wilde, Oscar, 62, 81 n. 1,83 

n. 45 
Wogende Menge (Meidner), 91, 

Wohnhaus und Atelier (Hablik), 

170, 193 
Wolf, Gustav: biography of, 257- 

58; work by, 257, 258 

Zahlenbaumlandschaft (Klee), 20, 

21, 210 
Zaubriger Moment (Marc), 19, 

Zeit-Taster: portfolio of etchings 

(Molzahn), 44, i68-6q 
Zeit-Taster: lithograph (Molzahn), 

48, 228 
"Ziele" fiir die fugend (Hablik), 

'35. 193 
Zweiam Meer (Heckel), 200, 182, 

bounty o\ Los /Angeles 
Board of Supervisors, 1993 

Edmund D. Edelman, Chairman 
Michael D. Antonovich 
Yvonne Brathwaite Burke 
Deane Dana 
Gloria Molina 

Acting Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Personnel 
Harry L. Hufford 

Los/vngeles bounty /Vuiseum or /\rt board or lrustees / 
Fiscal Year 1993-94 

Daniel N. Belin, Chairman 
Robert F. Maguire III, President 
Julian Ganz, Jr., Chairman of the 

Executive Committee 
James R. Young, Secretary /Treasurer 
Michael E. Shapiro, Director 

Mrs. Howard Ahmanson 

William H. Ahmanson 

Howard P Allen 

Robert O. Anderson 

Mrs. Lionel Bell 

Dr. George N. Boone 

Donald L. Bren 

Mrs. Willard Brown 

Mrs. B. Gerald Cantor 

Mrs. William M. Carpenter 

Mrs. Edward W Carter 

Hans Cohn 

Robert A. Day 

Michael R. Forman 

Mrs. Camilla Chandler Frost 

David Geffen 

Herbert M. Gelfand 

Arthur Gilbert 

Stanley Grinstein 

Robert H.Halff 

Felix Juda 

Mrs. DwightM. Kendall 

Cleon T. Knapp 

Mrs. Harry Lenart 

Eric Lidow 

Herbert L. Lucas, Jr. 

Steve Martin 

William A. Mingst 

Sergio Munoz 

Mrs. David Murdock 

Dr. Franklin D. Murphy 

Mrs. Barbara Pauley Pagen 

Mrs. Stewart Resnick 

Hiroyuki Saito 

Dr. Richard A. Simms 

Michael G. Smooke 

Ray Stark 

Frederick R. Weisman 

Walter L. Weisman 

David L. Wolper 

Julius L. Zelman 

Selim Zilkha 

Honorary Life Trustees 

Robert H. Ahmanson 

The Honorable Walter H. Annenberg 

Mrs. Anna Bing Arnold 

R. Stanton Avery 

B. Gerald Cantor 

Edward W. Carter 

Mrs. Freeman Gates 

Mrs. Nasli Heeramaneck 

Joseph B. Koepfli 

Mrs. Rudolph Liebig 

Mrs. Lucille Ellis Simon 

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Past Presidents 

Edward W Carter, 1961-66 

Sidney F Brody, 1966-70 

Dr. Franklin D. Murphy, 1970-74 

Richard E. Sherwood, 1974-78 

Mrs. F. Daniel Frost, 1978-82 

Julian Ganz, Jr., 1982-86 

Daniel N. Belin, 1986-90 

continued from front flap 

industrialization and in its confrontation with the unpor- 
trayable and unrepresentable, being joined with the 
concept of Utopia. The fate of Utopia in the fledgling mass 
media, as Anton Kaes suggests in his stud}' of Fritz Lang's 
renowned film Metropolis, was balanced precariously 
between the progressive and dangerously repressive ten- 
dencies of modernism. 

As an aesthetic encounter, art provided the best means 
of posing both a critical confrontation with reality and 
an alternative vision. In this Utopian function art could 
inform humanity about the future in terms entirely of the 
present, in a glimpse of destiny rooted in the immediacy 
of aesthetic experience. 

An appendix surveys the social exchange that took place 
in articles and manifestos and offers a sampling of the 
Crystal Chain's illustrated "utopian correspondence." A 
biography of each artist and architect in the exhibition and 

Given the avid interest in modernist Utopias, this 
volume and its contributions by specialists in related fields 
will be a lasting contribution to the understanding of 
twentieth-centurv German art. 

timothy d. bensdn is associate curator of the Robert 
Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies at 
the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

reinhold heller is professor of art history in the 
Department of Art, University of Chicago. 


iain boyd whyte is director of the Centre for 
Architectural History and Theory at the University 
of Edinburgh. 

anton kaes is professor of German and director of 
Film Studies atthe University of California, Berkeley. 

288 Illustrations including 57 plates in color 

Cover: Carl Krayl, Kosmischer Bau (Cosmic building, 
Graphite, ink, and watercolor, zi'/ix lS A in. (54. r 
Lingers collection