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Nolde Colloquium: “Unresolved?” 16–18 May 2019 at Hamburger Bahnhof and the Brücke-Museum

Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart

The international colloquium Unbewältigt? Ästhetische Moderne und Nationalsozialismus. Kunst, Kunsthandel, Ausstellungspraxis (Unresolved? Aesthetic Modernism and National Socialism. Art, Art Dealing, Exhibition Practices) brings together experts working on subjects related to National Socialism and art propaganda to present and critically discuss the latest findings in research and exhibition practice.

A major focus is placed on the motivations at that time of artists, art historians and art dealers who attempted to combine Modern forms of expression with National Socialism. The colloquium also deals with present-day mechanisms of art historical canonisation and the return of ideologically-charged concepts and patterns of argumentation. Individual sections of the colloquium are concerned with discussions about innovative exhibition formats, responsibilities and perspectives. For instance, how can the institutional framework of an art museum today most tellingly present the multifaceted and contradictory image of the German art world between 1933 and 1945?

Correlation to Current Exhibitions

Two exhibitions ‒ “Emil Nolde – Eine deutsche Legende. Der Künstler im Nationalsozialismus” at Hamburger Bahnhof and “Flucht in die Bilder? Die Künstler der Brücke im Nationalsozialismus” at the Brücke-Museum and the Kunsthaus Dahlem ‒ are the current reference points for this colloquium. It aims to sensitise public perception and provide an impetus that will sharpen future research and how to communicate this period of history.


  • Thursday, 16 May 2019: Brücke-Museum Berlin, Bussardsteig 9, 14195 Berlin
  • Friday, 17 May and Saturday, 18 May 2019: Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, Invalidenstraße 50-51, 10557 Berlin
  • Please register by email.
  • Free of charge

Short Version of the Programme

Thursday, 16 May: Introduction

  • Guided tour with the curators: “Flucht in die Bilder? Die Künstler der Brücke im Nationalsozialismus” (Escape into the Images? The Brücke Artists under National Socialism)
  • Keynote lecture
  • Reception

Friday, 17 May:

  • Section I: Die Klassische Moderne im Ausstellungsraum: Kuratorische Erfahrungen (Classical Modernism in an Exhibition Space: Curatorial Experiences)  
  • Section II: Kunst im Nationalsozialismus: Handlungsspielräume, Inszenierung, Erzählungen (Art under National Socialism: Maneuverability, Presentation Options, Narratives)  
  • Section III: Kunsthandel im Nationalsozialismus: Business as Usual? (Art Dealing under National Socialism: Business as Usual?)  
  • Section IV: Kategorisierung und Kanonisierung der Kunst in Nationalsozialismus und Nachkriegszeit (Categorisation and Canonisation of Art under National Socialism and the Post-War Period)  

Saturday, 18 May:

  • Section V: Kunst, Nationalsozialismus & Öffentlichkeit (Art, National Socialism & the Public Sphere)  
  • Section VI: Verfolgungs-Narrative und Heldengeschichten der Moderne im Nachkriegsdeutschland (Persecution Narratives and Stories of Modern Heroes in Post-War Germany)  
  • Section VII: NS, Kunst, Kunstmuseum: Institutionelle Perspektiven? (National Socialism, Art, Art Museums: Institutional Perspectives?)  
  • Guided tour with the curators: “Emil Nolde ‒ A German Legend"

Current lecture times, the moderators, speakers, as well as more in-depth references to the topics, are listed in the Detailed Programme for the Special Event.

A special event of the Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the “Degenerate Art” Research Centre at the Freie Universität Berlin. The event was initiated and funded by the Ferdinand Möller Foundation.