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Inventur–Art in Germany, 1943–55,

Productive Disorder: Music, Film, and Art in Postwar Germany


March 28, 2018
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street Cambridge MA 02138, Menschel Hall, Lower Level, entrance on Broadway.
March 28, 2018
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street Cambridge MA 02138, Menschel Hall, Lower Level, entrance on Broadway.

Doors will open at 5:30pm. Free admission, but seating is limited. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 5:30pm at the Broadway entrance of the Museum. One ticket per person. Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.




About

Cultural production in postwar Germany was shaped by a variety of oppositions: memories of the war’s horrors competed with fragile optimism for the future; renewed artistic freedoms came up against material scarcity and widespread destruction; and a growing appetite for experimentation and invention met with a lingering Nazi-inflected suspicion of anything too modern.

On the occasion of the special exhibition Inventur–Art in Germany, 1943–55, this program will consider an expanded field of aesthetic production in Germany between the years 1943 and 1955, bringing together three scholars to consider the cultural resurgence that took place in a wide array of media amid these tensions.

Lynette Roth, the Daimler Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum and head of the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art, will offer insights on visual art production in the postwar period; Amy Beal, professor of music at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will examine how Germany became an international epicenter for the early development of electronic music as military sites were repurposed for radio production and broadcast; and Eric Rentschler, the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, will discuss how German films traced the physical and sometimes moral devastations of the postwar years in a cycle of “rubble films” (Trümmerfilme), while the popular “homeland” genre (Heimatfilm) reflected the desire to return to an untainted past or homeland, laying the groundwork for the New German Cinema of the 1960s and ’70s.

Following these short presentations, the three speakers will come together for a conversation about art, politics, and new technologies in postwar Germany.

Support for Inventur was provided by the German Friends of the Busch-Reisinger Museum (Verein der Freunde des Busch-Reisinger Museums) and by endowed funds, including the Daimler Curatorship of the Busch-Reisinger Museum Fund, the M. Victor Leventritt Fund, and the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund. In addition, modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.

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