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German Art Collections and Exhibits since 1989: the Legacy of the GDR

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This chapter examines several pivotal exhibitions of GDR art that took place within Germany around the turn of the twenty-first century. Unification has occasioned a thorough reappraisal of the German visual art tradition, partly because of the practical problems of reintegrating public collections, but also extending to broader questions about figurative and historical art. Naturally, this raises questions about the modes of presenting art in the twenty-first century, particularly in light of the two German dictatorships of the last century. Should the cultural products of a forty-year period – which had always maintained strong connections with their earlier German 'heritage' – be subsumed into longer-term narratives, set apart as historical curiosities of little aesthetic value, or removed altogether?

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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