pilot study: art exhibition catalogues in nazi germany

During the past months we conducted a pilot study on 378 catalogues of art exhibitions in Nazi Germany. We have used cluster and collocation analysis in order to identify groups of artists depending on how often their works were jointly included in exhibitions.

To measure the effects of Nazi art politics, we devided the catalogues into two periods (1933-37 and 1938-1945) with the exhibition "Entartete Kunst" and the "Große Deutsche Kunstausstellung" (both in 1937) as a watershed. The following collocation graphs visualize the tendency towards a more centralized art politics after 1937:


Kollokationsanalyse Ausstellungskataloge 1933-1937


Cluster analyses were used to get a more precise picture of which artists could be considerd a group according to their inclusion in exhibitions. The following sample of a dendrogram of period 1 proves, that the artists branded as 'degenerate' were still able to show their works publicly in period 1, but formed a group of their own:


Kollokationsanalyse Ausstellungskataloge 1933-1937


For a more concise description of data, methods and outcome please consult our papers:
> Papenbrock, Martin / Joachim Scharloth (2011): Datengeleitete Analyse kunsthistorischer Daten am Beispiel von Ausstellungskatalogen aus der NS-Zeit: Musteridentifizierung und Visualisierung. In: Kunstgeschichte. Open Peer Reviewed Journal. online
> Papenbrock, Martin / Joachim Scharloth (2011): Kunstausstellungen im Nationalsozialismus: Musteridentifizierung und Visualisierung. In: Anna Greve (Hrsg.): Museum und Politik. Allianzen und Konflikte. Göttingen 2011 (= Kunst und Politik. Jahrbuch der Guernica-Gesellschaft, 13/2011), S. 153-68.
> Papenbrock, Martin / Joachim Scharloth (2011): Kunstausstellungen im Exil. Perspektiven einer datengeleiteten Analyse. In: Burcu Dogramaci / Karin Wimmer (Hg.): Netzwerke des Exils. Künstlerische Verflechtungen, Austausch und Patronage nach 1933. Berlin: Gebr. Mann. S. 297-311.
> In the media: has an article about a conference we attended.
> for further graph drawing applications by the same authors visit the blog on