Art During WWII: Persecution And Patronage

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Gabrielle Knight (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Jim Toub

Abstract: The Nazi use of the term “degenerate” was inconsistently applied. It was often used as a label for which Nazi financial advancement was the foremost motive. The application of the label “degenerate” was often used as a rationale to persecute patrons of the arts, when in practice it served to advance the financial and personal goals of the Nazi party. By studying the Nazi label “degeneracy” and persecution of the patrons who owned the works of Vincent van Gogh’s To my Friend Paul Gauguin, and Gustav Klimt’s Woman in Gold, a pattern is revealed that supports ways in which the patron is persecuted through avenues of “degenerate” labeling. Furthermore, inconsistency in applying the term “degenerate” art in the persecution of patrons, artists, and artwork highlights the irony, hypocrisy, and inconsistency of how the Nazis often used the ideology of “degeneracy” for purposes of financial gain rather than for advancing racial politics.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Knight, G. (2020). Art During WWII: Persecution And Patronage. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2020
persecution, patronage, Gustav Klimt, Woman in Gold, To my Friend Paul Gauguin

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