Weimar's 'Others': Art History, Alterity and Regionalism in Inter-War Germany

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


This proposed Special Issue of Art History, like the 2015 Association of Art Historian’s conference session on which it is based, sets out to analyse the role of art and visual culture in the formation, understanding and reception of Weimar Germany within the discourses of art history. What has the wealth of scholarship from the last two and half decades on Weimar culture contributed to the discipline of art history (as opposed to Germanistik, performance studies, political history or film studies for example) and vice versa; and where is it heading now, almost one years after its foundation? Furthermore, what are legacies and impacts of Weimar visual culture transnationally, well beyond the immediacy of its origins in 1920s and 1930s Germany? How might a focus on the margins (Weimar’s Others) change our thinking about what Weimar Germany was, or even confirm dominant narratives of decadent excess, moral decay and imminent political danger? These will be among some of the key questions that this Special Issue will address both in its introduction and in its range of essays on specific aspects of Weimar Germany’s rich visual heritage both within and without Berlin. In recent years, there has been a significant growth in scholarship investigating both the visual and wider cultural production of Weimar, most often centred in Berlin. However, there were other centres of cultural production besides Berlin as well as other, untold experiences of Weimar linked to rural communities, provincial cities, parallel cities and urban minorities. This Special Issue explores the cultural practice, production and reception of neglected populations both from the Republic’s cities, the parallel city of Vienna and the rural provinces, particularly in relation to the themes of sexuality, ethnicity, able-bodiedness and gender, which have become central to our understanding of Weimar culture but also in relation to themes of materiality that are of concern to art history more generally. Articles in this issue ask how Weimar visual studies should address the cultural activities of the regions, particularly given the scholarly emphasis to date on sexuality, gender and race as characteristic of Weimar culture’s metropolitan urban character. They explore how relationships between the rural and the urban, and the national and the provincial, shaped artistic and cultural constructions of sex and gender in Germany after 1918. They ask how debates on sex and gender as well as on the materiality of objects, informed artistic centres, practices, institutions and collecting practices both in and outside Berlin in cities like Hanover, Cologne, Dresden, Hamburg and Vienna and suburbs like Potsdam. In turn, they also consider how provincial cultural developments impacted upon the narratives constructed around Weimar’s capital and how these diverse forms of identity - sexuality, gender, race and social class – were culturally experienced and recorded outside Berlin.Contents list with contributorsSpecial Issue: Weimar’s ‘Others’: Art History, Visual Culture and Germany after 1918Edited by Dorothy Price and Camilla SmithAbstracts and Author’s BiographiesWeimar’s ‘Others’: Art History, Visual Culture and Germany after 1918: An IntroductionDorothy Price and Camilla SmithMaking Lemonade out of Lemons: Merz and Material PovertyMaria MakelaMoney and/as Material: Notgeld and the German Experience of InflationErin Sullivan MaynesA Prosthetic Economy: Heinrich Hoerle’s Krüppelmappe Dorothy PriceGela Forster’s Radical New Sculpture: Feminism, War and RevolutionNina LübbrenThe art of domesticity? Regional women artists and the KünstlerehepaarElinor BeavenSex Sells! The Gurlitt Empire, erotic print culture and women artists in the Weimar RepublicCamilla SmithTempo, Tempo! One Last SupperKristin Schroeder
Original languageEnglish
JournalArt History
Publication statusPublished - Aug 12 2019


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