Max Beckmann, Les artistes mit Gemüse (Artists with Vegetable), 1943.

Lecture: Frank Druffner

October 8, 2013
6p Reception, Kemper Art Museum; 6:30p Lecture, Kemper 103

Frank Druffner, head of the art collection at the German Literature Archive, will deliver a lecture titled Max Beckmann Paints a Poet in 1935: The Intellectual and Artistic Atmosphere in Early Nazi Berlin.

In 2007, the German Literature Archive in Marbach, Germany, received a donation of one of Max Beckmann's most significant mid-career paintings, a portrait of Rudolf G. Binding (1935), a conservative writer who lived from 1867 until 1938.

The portrait was only part of the author's donated estate, which also included manuscripts, letters, and diaries covering his life and literary production, including the small but significant correspondence between Binding and Beckmann. This correspondence reveals not only the origins of the painting but also Beckmann's attempt during his last years in Germany to connect with the conservative elite, hoping for official support as a genuinely German artist.

Druffner's talk will concentrate on the painting by Beckmann and the existing manuscripts related to it, considering the artist's ambivalent position from the time of his dismissal from the Staedel Art School in Nazi-dominated Frankfurt in 1933 to the beginning of his exile in 1937.

This program is cosponsored by the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures in Arts & Sciences.

Image credit

Max Beckmann, Les artistes mit Gemüse (Artists with Vegetable), 1943. Oil on canvas, 58 15/16 x 45 3/16". Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis. University purchase, Kende Sale Fund, 1946. © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.