History's Greatest Treasure Hunt

Censorship in Focus: Entarte Kunst/Degenerate Art

A popular series of art history lectures returns with "Censorship in Focus: Entarte Kunst/Degenerate Art." UA professor Paul Ivey will also discuss the relevance of a recent discovery of art in Munich and the recent film The Monuments Men. Learn about cultural treasures that have been lost and others that are still languishing in private hands.

German authorities last year revealed the discovery of about 1,500 artworks confiscated by the Nazis in the apartment of an elderly man in Munich.

The works, by artists including Picasso, Matisse and Chagall, are worth an estimated $1.35 billion, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.

Ivey will specifically look at "Degenerate Art" exhibitions that took place in Germany during the late 1930s.

"The Nazis looted artworks that they prized, mostly classical and Renaissance masterpieces, to be placed in what they projected to be the largest museum in the world, the Fuhrer Museum," Ivey said.

"Great German art" was idealized, unlike modern art, which the Nazis thought boosted racial degradation and degeneration, he said.

"Art can be used in specifically political ways to underpin a regime, and censorship often is the result," Ivey said. He will discuss the uses and abuses of extreme politics in art. "When the Nazis aestheticized politics, they bred fascism," he said.

The lecture series concludes Thursday, March 27, with "What Makes an Icon an Icon," which takes you through four works, from their creation to achieving icon status.

Admission to this week's lecture is $5 for MOCA members and $10 for nonmembers, and includes beer, wine and snacks.

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