Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Art History

Project Advisor 1

Laurie Dahlberg

Abstract/Artist's Statement

In the aftermath of World War II, as nations with shared pasts and polarized ideologies, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic imagined that the greatest means of recovery could be implemented through the construction of international alliances through ideology and aesthetics. This paper is an examination of the adaptation of socialist realism in the East German 1953 Third German Art Exhibition and the non-representational avant-garde in the West German 1955 Documenta, as well as within the 1957 MoMA exhibit on German Art of the Twentieth Century. As state-sanctioned exhibitions, these three collections sought to present an image of divided Germany in its progressive emancipation from the legacy of the National Socialist regime.

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Open Access

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