1938

All over Europe, artists were on the run. Beckman left for the Netherlands the day after Hitler’s speech at the Haus der deutschen Kunst. He would spend the next ten years in Amsterdam, trying to get a visa for the United States. Kokoschka was in Prague, where he painted Self-Portrait of a Degenerate Artist, his response to Entartete Kunst, which showed him sitting with arms folded while a man and a deer lurked in the forest behind him: the artist as fugitive. Ernst remained in Paris, where he would later be picked up by the Gestapo before fleeing to America with the help of Peggy Guggenheim. Klee and Kirchner were in Switzerland, where Klee produced hundreds of pieces that dealt with his fate. Kirchner, depressed and fearful that German soldiers would eventually come for him, shot himself dead in the summer of 1938.

Those German modernists who hadn’t fled lived in a state of internal exile, working little or furtively, in some cases under surveillance.

The Gallery of Miracles and Madness, p. 152

Am picking up the pace. When Hitler starts his meteoric rise in politics, he becomes much, much less interesting.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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