Saturday, March 15, 2008
Welcome to Troy -- Home of Banned Art
Right up there with...OH, NO!!
The history of banned art is truly an ignoble one, ranging from silly gestures to monstrous forms of oppression. Most famous of all, was the banning of some of the greatest works of painting and sculpture in modern Europe during Hitler's reign of terror. The black and white picture above shows people lining up for a special showing of "Entartete Kunst," degenerate art, works that Hitler had confiscated and censored. This exhibition in Munich, July 1937, was emblematic of the waves of police state persecution that led directly to the Holocaust. From a web site on this period of history:
"Entartete Kunst portrayed the eclipse of an age of "decadence and chaos", while the Great German Art exhibit heralded the dawn of a new epoch of Governmental control of the Arts: sanitized, uninspired, and devoid of dissent.
Entartete kunst was just the tip of the iceberg: In 1937 alone more than sixteen thousand examples of modern art were confiscated as 'degenerate' by a committee headed by Joseph Goebbels, Hitlers second in command (and Minister for Public Enlightenement and Propaganda)
On March 20th, 1939, the Degenerate Art Commission ordered over one thousand paintings and almost four thousand watercolors and drawings burned in the courtyard of a fire station in Berlin. Other works were auctioned off to the highest bidder ...."
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Isn't it interesting to notice the company that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the City of Troy, New York are keeping in their efforts to sanitize both campus and city of controversial works of art?