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Max Liebermann and International Modernism: An Artist's Career from Empire to Third Reich

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Volume 14

Studies in German History

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Max Liebermann and International Modernism

An Artist's Career from Empire to Third Reich

Edited by Marion Deshmukh†, Françoise Forster-Hahn and Barbara Gaehtgens

266 pages, 8.5in x 11in, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-662-7 $69.95/£55.95 Pb Published (May 2011)

Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


Published in Association with the German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C. and the Centre Allemand d'histoire de l'art/Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte, Paris


Although Max Liebermann (1847–1935) began his career as a realist painter depicting scenes of rural labor, Dutch village life, and the countryside, by the turn of the century, his paintings had evolved into colorful images of bourgeois life and leisure that critics associated with French impressionism. During a time of increasing German nationalism, his paintings and cultural politics sparked numerous aesthetic and political controversies. His eminent career and his reputation intersected with the dramatic and violent events of modern German history from the Empire to the Third Reich. The Nazis’ persecution of modern and Jewish artists led to the obliteration of Liebermann from the narratives of modern art, but this volume contributes to the recent wave of scholarly literature that works to recover his role and his oeuvre from an international perspective.

Marion Deshmukh† was the Robert T. Hawkes Professor of History at George Mason University where she served as Department Chair from 1984 to 1995 and from 2006 to 2007. Her publications include works and exhibition catalog essays on Max Liebermann, on German academies and art unions, on Berlin’s National Gallery of Art since 1945 and on East German painters since 1990. She curated a Max Liebermann graphics show at the Goethe-Institut, Washington, D.C., (Max Liebermann, Works on Paper, 2006) and an exhibit, co-curated with the Wende Museum, also at the Goethe Institut, (Iconoclash! Political Imagery from the Berlin Wall to German Unification, 2009–10).

Françoise Forster-Hahn is Distinguished Professor of the History of Art at the University of California, Riverside. She is the editor of Imagining Modern German Culture, 1889–1910 (1996) and the author of Max Beckmann in Kalifornien: Exil, Erinnerung und Erneuerung (2007). Her publications include numerous essays and contributions to books and exhibition catalogues on issues of nineteenth and twentieth century art and the role of institutions and exhibition displays in the formation of national and cultural identity. She is currently preparing a publication on the role of Berlin’s Jahrhundertausstellung (1906) and Julius Meier-Graefe’s Entwicklungsgeschichte der modernen Kunst (1904) in the construction of the history of modern art.

Barbara Gaehtgens specializes in 17th Century Dutch and French art, 18th Century art theory and 19th Century German and American art. She has taught at the Technische Universität Berlin and Princeton University and has been affiliated as a scholar with CASVA, Washington, National Gallery of Art, and the Centre Allemand d’histoire de l’art in Paris. Her publications include Adriaen van der Werff , 1659-1722 (1987), Max Liebermann. Holland als Vorbild in exh. cat. Max Liebermann-Jahrhundertwende, Nationalgalerie Berlin (1997), Genremalerei. Theorie der klassischen Bildgattungen (2003), and Richelieu patron des arts (2009). Her present research centers on 17th Century French political iconography.

Subject: General History General Cultural Studies
Area: Germany


List of Illustrations



Chapter 1. Internationalism for the Nation: Max Liebermann as a Cultural Politician
Peter Paret

Chapter 2. Weimar Beginnings: Liebermann and Munkacsy
Hendrik Ziegler

Chapter 3. Liebermann’s Holland
Holly Richardson


Chapter 4. German Impressionism?
Thomas Gaehtgens

Chapter 5. Liebermann and Millet
Andrea Meyer

Chapter 6. Liebermann and his French Critics: Art and Politics from the 1870s to the 1930s
Mathilde Arnoux

Chapter 7. Max Liebermann’s Art Collection: A Reconstruction from Letters and Documents
Annegret Janda

Chapter 8. History and Modernity: Liebermann’s Late Garden Paintings
Barbara Gaehtgens


Chapter 9. Criticism, Conflict and Controversy
Matthias Eberle

Chapter 10. How Modern is Modern? Max Liebermann and the Discourses of Modernism in 1906
Françoise Forster-Hahn

Chapter 11. Who’s Afraid of Delilah? Liebermann Portraying Women
Margreet Nouwen

Chapter 12. Kreigszeit and the Discourse of War Imagery
Timothy Benson


Chapter 13. Max Liebermann’s Role in  Russia
Marina Dmietreva-Einhorn

Chapter 14. Paintings and Drawings by Max Liebermann: A British Intervention against European Fascism
Susan M. King

Chapter 15. The Art of the Deal, Collecting Max Liebermann in America
Christopher With

Chapter 16. Sonderwege Historical and Art Historical:  The Case of Max Liebermann
Marion Deshmukh

Chronological Timeline
Notes on Contributors


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