Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

9/1/2004 - 8/31/2005

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

The Last Taboo: The Rehabilitation of Nazi Artists in Postwar Germany

FAIN: FB-50529-04

Gregory Maertz
St. John's University, New York (Queens, NY 11439-9000)

In The Last Taboo I will provide the first discussion and analysis in any language of the prominent role played by former Nazi artists in the revival of German cultural life in the decades after World War II. The centerpiece of my study will be the previously unexamined transformation of the House of German Art, emblem of National Socialism, to the House of Art, postwar West Germany's most prestigious museum and host institution of the country's most prestigious contemporary art show. I will demonstrate how participation in the House of Art's "Great Art Exhibitions" rehabilitated and integrated Hitler's favorite artists into the legitimate German art world. I will place my discussion of postwar German cultural life in the larger context of the politics of de-Nazification and integration of former Nazis in other crucially important institutions of the newly sovereign Federal Republic.