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Title: A comparative study of state art policies : institutional practices and exhibition organisation in Britain and Germany c.1945-51 with particular attention to the cultural policies of the British-occupied zone of North West Germany during these years
Author: Davies, Veronica
ISNI:       0000 0001 3415 1825
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis is a comparative study of state policies and institutional practices relating to art in Britain and Germany in the period from 1945-5 1. This study examines the context for the production of visual art and considers its dissemination through art exhibitions and criticism in this important transitional period. It also assesses the contribution of the visual arts towards the process of cultural reconstruction and to the re-negotiation of national identities in both countries. Significantly, the cultural history of this period has been relatively under-examined and has not been the subject of extensive nor detailed research. Until now, mainstream art-historical accounts have tended to focus on the Paris-New York axis during these years, rendering Anglo-German art developments relatively peripheral. It is this marginalisation that this thesis seeks to counter. This study is divided into two main sections. The first focuses on the British Zone of occupation in postwar Germany. My research draws on a wide range of British and German archival and other sources to compare the experiences and perceptions of the British occupying forces with the different approaches adopted by German artists and arts administrators involved in reconstruction. The second section offers a detailed comparative case study of two regional art museums, Leeds City Art Gallery and the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld. A particular feature of this comparison is the detailed investigation of these museums' exhibition and acquisition policies, and how these relate to the wider political issues and cultural imperatives identified in the first section. My conclusion reinforces the broader view that the years 1945-51 form a turbulent transitional period in the cultural histories of both Germany and Britain. What is underlined is the often provisional and contingent nature of arts policies as they were aligned with and incorporated into wider aims of cultural reconstruction. What also emerges are the complex ways in which the visual arts contributed towards, and were subject to, the fluctuating and evolving political and cultural circumstances of both countries in the years leading up to the Cold War.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available