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East German poster collection art exhibits series

 Series
Identifier: C0207

Scope and Content

This series contains posters relating to art exhibits, individual artists, art galleries, and museums from the Deutsche Demokratische Republik. The series contains 1820 posters of various sizes. The posters range in size from 68 x 97 cm to 29 x 40 cm. The average poster size is 57 x 81 cm.

Artists depicted in portraits or photographs in this series include Thomas Münster, Johannes Becher, Bruno Bernitz, Joseph Beuys, Leonhard Frank, Wolfgang Frankenstein, Caspar Friedrich, Paul Holz, Otta Pankok, Karl Schinkel, and Heinrich Zille. Other notable figures depicted in portraits are Adolf Hitler, Albert Einstein, and Marilyn Monroe. Most of the posters in the series are for art exhibitions held in East Germany at galleries and museums. They may contain the artists, date, venue information and visual images of the art. Also in this series are art posters from the DDR collection of “Best Posters of the Year” for particular years.

In addition to art exhibits, the series features collections of posters by four individual artists encompassing a range of subjects: Bolker Phuller, Manfred Batzman, Wolfgang Janish, and Hubert Riedel. Many of these posters are signed by the artist. In all other posters, the designing artist and the print year are documented unless neither are available.

The range of artistic styles depicted in the series is broad, with examples of social realism, abstract art, surrealism, folk art, and neo-expressionism.

Dates

  • 1955-1994

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There may be restrictions on reproduction - SCRC staff will evaluate on a case by case basis.

Historical Information

Following the formation of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) under the governance of the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands (SED), art was widely censored. This lasted throughout the existence of the DDR from 1949 to 1990.

In the art community, all public venues were subject to censorship. Posters and advertisements for any event, as well as all art itself, were to be submitted to government officials for review and approval. The content of the art was judged on its adherence to the communist ideologies of the SED. Criticism of the communist party and its current regimes were not tolerated by the officials and was often censored. Also, any art that portrayed a sympathetic view of capitalism was not allowed. Other topics that were subject to censorship were homosexuality, pornography, violence, and alcoholism.

In addition to reviewing content, the DDR censored forms that were not viewed as proper art. This ranged from free verse poetry to avant-garde and abstract art. Artists could be sent warnings for art not fitting into these standards, and subsequent penalties included public bannings, arrest, and deportation. During the declining years of the GDR, from the early 1980s to 1990, this censorship lessened as the control of the East German population began to loosen from the grips of the SED.

Extent

1820 posters

Language of Materials

German

Abstract

This series contains posters relating to art exhibits, individual artists, art galleries, and museums from the Deutsche Demokratische Republik. The series contains 1820 posters of various sizes. The posters range in size from 68 x 97 cm to 29 x 40 cm. The average poster size is 57 x 81 cm.

Arrangement

Arranged by subject and a numbering system.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Thomas Hill in 2009.

Related Material

The East German poster collection contains other series, including the political series, performing arts series, culture and science series, and film series.

Processing Information

Processed by Matthew Salyers in 2011. EAD markup completed by Matthew Salyers in 2011. Finding aid updated by Amanda Brent in July 2022.

Processing supported by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Source

Title
East German poster collection art exhibitions series
Subtitle
Guide to East German poster collection art exhibitions series
Status
Completed
Author
Jordan Patty
Date
March 12, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English
Sponsor
Funded in part by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources

Repository Details

Part of the George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections Research Center Repository

Contact:
Fenwick Library, MS2FL
4400 University Dr.
Fairfax Virginia 22030 United States
703-993-2220
703-993-8911 (Fax)