W23 Thurman - GERMAN 322 / HISTORY 322 - Origins of Nazism

Part One: Look through the Exchange Resource

Welcome! If this is your first time looking and thinking about art, don't be nervous! Everyone has something to add and talk about, you just don't know it yet! Below are some questions to consider when looking at art if you need help getting started. Also, you can click on any image to enlarge it, and even select the Object Record (for works from the UMMA Collection) to learn more about the piece (if we have the information).

As you look, consider:

  • What drew you to this work in particular?
  • How do you think it was made?
  • What feeling, mood, or thought does this work evoke for you?
  • Can you draw a comparison between what you have read or discussed in class to what you see? 

Visual artists use formal elements such as line, color, texture, and space to create and convey meaning:

  • Look at the form of the piece- how would you describe the colors? 
  • What words capture the quality of line in this work? 
  • What role does surface texture play, if any? 
  • How is space depicted?
  • Does the title of the work provide helpful information for this discussion?

1. Discuss together what you notice about this selection of art as a whole. 

2. What are some common themes or visuals that you see?

3. Which work of art or artist is your favorite? Why?

Part Two

1. Pick one of these works and do a detailed visual analysis:

  • Describe: What do you see (nothing is too obvious!). A good way to think about this process is that you are describing it in detail to someone over the phone, and they are trying to draw it from your description.
  • Interpretations: What is this piece trying to say? What emotions does it bring up for you? What is the artist trying to communicate? Emphasis on the plural, there might be multiple interpretations!
  • Connections: How does this work of art connect to themes in your class? Do you think the artist was pro or anti-nazism? Why?

A nude man and woman at center struggle with one another; a snake and a seated figure are visible in the background. The two central figures with intertwined limbs suggesting a struggle are positioned above a sharp-toothed mammal resembling a fox.
Max Pechstein
The Lord's Prayer, sheet 8 - And Lead Us Not into Temptation (Das Vaterunser - Und führe uns nicht in Versuchung)
woodcut with hand-coloring on paper
23 ½ in x 16 ¼ in (59.69 cm x 41.28 cm);28 ⅛ in x 22 in (71.44 cm x 55.88 cm)
Museum Purchase
Käthe Kollwitz
'Bauernkrieg' (Peasant War Cycle). Losbruch (Outbreak)
aquatint and etching on paper
22 1/16 in x 28 11/16 in (56.04 cm x 72.87 cm);27 15/16 in x 32 ⅛ in (70.96 cm x 81.6 cm)
Museum Purchase
5 men sitting, in various states of watching. 1 man in first "row," in hat, facing left with arms crossed. In 2nd row, three men - (l) head in hands, legs crossed; (c) man in suit and hat, looking at viewer, hand in groin; (r) slumped figure in hat and suit, spectacles, covers groin, looks at ground. 1 man in last row, in hat, looks to the left.
George Grosz
The Onlookers (Die Zuschauer)
ink on wove paper
12 ¾ in x 8 ¼ in (32.38 cm x 20.96 cm)
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection
George Grosz
The Family
brush and ink on cream-colored paper
23 3/8 in. x 18 1/8 in. ( 59.3 cm x 46 cm )
Museum Purchase
George Grosz
Religion of the Sword
ink on paper
25 5/16 in x 19 13/16 in (64.29 cm x 50.32 cm);30 in x 24 3/4 in (76.2 cm x 62.87 cm)
Gift of Helmut Stern
Erich Heckel
Before the Mirror
lithograph on paper
19 3/8 x 15 1/4 in. (49.2 x 38.6 cm);22 x 28 3/16 in. (55.88 x 71.44 cm);23 5/16 x 18 1/4 in. (59.2 x 46.2 cm)
Museum Purchase
Max Beckmann
Portrait of Artist's Brother-in-law
lithograph on laid paper
19 5/16 x 15 7/16 in. (49 x 39.2 cm);14 3/16 x 9 7/8 in. (36 x 25 cm)
Gift of Herbert Barrows
Max Beckmann
Hunger. No. 4 from the Series of Ten Prints, 'Die Hölle' (Hell).
lithograph on paper
33 ⅞ in x 24 7/16 in (86.04 cm x 62.07 cm);32 1/16 in x 26 1/16 in (81.44 cm x 66.2 cm);27 15/16 in x 26 in (70.96 cm x 66.04 cm);24 ¾ in x 19 ½ in (62.87 cm x 49.53 cm)
Museum Purchase
Portrait head with landscape in background.
Ernst Kirchner
Portrait of David Müller
woodcut on paper
18 in x 14 in (45.72 cm x 35.56 cm);13 ⅜ in x 11 ⅝ in (33.97 cm x 29.53 cm);22 ⅛ in x 18 ⅛ in (56.2 cm x 46.04 cm);18 15/16 in x 14 15/16 in (48.1 cm x 37.94 cm)
Museum Purchase
Ernst Kirchner
Bathing Girls
graphite on paper
15.9 x 19 1/2 in. (40.5 x 49.5 cm);22 1/8 x 28 1/8 in. (56.04 x 71.28 cm);15.9 x 19 1/2 in. (40.5 x 49.5 cm)
Gift of Herbert Barrows
Josef Eberz
Nächtlicher Circus
woodcut on paper
12 9/16 in x 9 ⅝ in (31.91 cm x 24.45 cm);19 ¼ in x 14 ¼ in (48.89 cm x 36.2 cm)
Gift of Jean Paul Slusser
A monumentally stylized head of a woman. Her head is tilted slighty to the viewer's right. Her eyes, nose, and lips are large and almost mask-like. She appears to be wearing a hat of a modern style. Shading is executed with powerful parallel lines and cross-hatching. The year of the work's execution, 1916, appears in the lower right.
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
Head of a Woman (Frauenkopf)
wood cut on paper
12 in x 9 in (30.48 cm x 22.86 cm);10 ⅛ in x 7 ⅛ in (25.72 cm x 18.1 cm);19 ⅜ in x 14 ⅜ in (49.21 cm x 36.51 cm);12 11/16 in x 9 ⅝ in (32.23 cm x 24.45 cm)
Museum Purchase


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Last Updated

January 11, 2023 8:35 a.m.


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