06/24/2015, Lecture: Paul Michael Lützeler – The Emperor’s Matter of Priority? German Art at the 1904 World Fair in St. Louis (Des Kaisers Chefsache? Deutsche Kunst bei der Weltausstellung von 1904 in St. Louis), Potsdam

Paul Michael Lützeler

Rosa May Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities
at the Washington University in St. Louis, USA

Des Kaisers Chefsache? Deutsche Kunst bei der Weltausstellung von 1904 in St. Louis.

Wednesday 24 June 2015, 2:00 PM.

Location: Universität Potsdam, Campus am Neuen Palais, Haus 9, Raum 102.

The Lecture will be presented in German language.

Content of the paper:

The World Expo 1904 was organized to commemorate the purchase of the Louisiana territory by Jefferson in 1803. Kaiser Wilhelm was keen to maintain good relations with the US, and vice versa, the United States were interested in the presence of a Central European Great Power. The emperor perceived himself as a patron of the arts and wanted to make sure that German painting would be well represented. The artists wanted to be represented by a many-sided “Art Parliament”. When Kaiser Wilhelm, who despised newer styles like Impressionism and Art Nouveau, found out about it, he dictated the terms: only the academic art with their images of a glorified Prussian or German history, with its landscapes or religious motives, should be sent to St. Louis. These resctrictions provoked some uproar in Germany and led to new secessions. The Imperial Commissioner at the World Exhibition, Theodor Lewald, had to place some favored images at the Palace of Art  (today St. Louis Art Museum), which were officially selected by Anton von Werner (court painter to the Emperor). However, Lewald succeeded to accommodate examples of modern trends in architecture, decoration and plastic in the exhibition building “Varied Industries”. The paper will show many of the exhibited paintings and works of art in order to emphasize the importance of the relationship between politics and art.

Die Weltausstellung von 1904 wurde zur Erinnerung an den Kauf des Louisiana Territoriums durch Jefferson im Jahr 1803 veranstaltet. Kaiser Wilhelm war darauf bedacht, gute Beziehungen zu den USA zu pflegen, und umgekehrt waren die USA an der Präsenz dieser mitteleuropäischen Großmacht interessiert. Der Kaiser verstand sich als Förderer der Künste und wollte sicherstellen, dass die deutsche Malerei prominent vertreten sein würde. Die Künstler selbst wollten durch eine Art Kunstparlament mit möglichst vielen Richtungen vertreten sein. Als Kaiser Wilhelm, der neuere Richtungen wie Impressionismus und Jugendstil verachtete, davon erfuhr, diktierte er die Bedingungen: nur die akademische Kunst mit ihren Bildern der Verherrlichung preussischer oder deutscher Geschichte, mit ihren Landschaften oder religiösen Motiven sollte nach St. Louis geschickt werden. Darüber kam es zum Eklat in Deutschland und zu neuer Sezession. Der kaiserliche Kommissar bei der Weltausstellung, Theodor Lewald, musste im Palace of Art (heute St. Louis Art Museum) die offiziell gewünschten und von Anton von Werner (Hofmaler des Kaisers) ausgesuchten Bilder platzieren. Allerdings gelang es Lewald, Beispiele moderner Tendenzen in Architektur, Dekoration und Plastik im Ausstellungsgebäude “Varied Industries” unterzubringen. Der Vortrag zeigt viele der ausgestellten Bilder und Kunstwerke und stellt die Beziehungen zwischen Politik und Kunst in den Vordergrund.

Paul Michael Lützeler

is the Rosa May Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis. He studied German and English Literature, Philosophy, and History in Berlin, Edinburgh, Vienna, Munich and Indiana University where he received his Ph.D. in 1972.

Professor Lützeler is the author of Hermann Broch. A Biography, a book that appeared in German, English, Spanish, and Japanese, and received the DAAD Prize of the German Studies Association. He is the editor of the Collected Works of Hermann Broch. He wrote three books on the idea of Europe in German and European literature, as well as seven other books on topics of 19th and 20th century German literature and edited many volumes in his areas of research. He is the editor in chief of the yearbook, Gegenwartsliteratur (2002 ff), and serves on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals.  He is the director of the Max Kade Center for Contemporary German Literature at Washington University’s German Department. He received Washington University’s Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award twice. He is also the recipient of Washington University`s Arthur Holly Compton Faculty Achievement Award.

He teaches both in the German Department as well as in European Studies and the Comparative Literature Program. His research and teaching interests include German and European Romanticism, German/Austrian-Jewish exile literature, contemporary German literature, German American cultural relations, contemporary scholarly discourses (postmodernism, postcolonialism, globalization), and cultural studies in general. He received many fellowships (e.g., Fulbright, Woodrow Wilson, ACLS, Guggenheim) and awards both for his research and his teaching; he is an honorary member of the AATG and received the AATG’s Outstanding Educator Award; he received the German Cross of Merit 1st class and the Austrian Cross of Honor in Arts and Sciences 1st class, the Goethe Medal, and the Humboldt-Forschungspreis; he is a member of two German academies; President of the International Hermann Broch Society; on the Executive Committee of the Gesellschaft fuer interkulturelle Germanistik; as well as President of the American Friends of the German Literary Archive in Marbach.

Research Interests

Contemporary Discourses in the Humanities, Contemporary German Literature, Transatlantic cultural relations, Exile Literature 1933-45, German and European Romanticism, Literature and Culture of the 1920s.

Selected Publications

Kontinentalisierung: Das Europa der Schriftsteller. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2007.

Bürgerkrieg global. Menschenrechtsethos und deutschsprachiger Gegenwartsroman (2009).

Transatlantische Germanistik : Kontakt, Transfer, Dialogik (2013).

Publizistische Germanistik: Essays und Kritiken (2015).

Information on the official Flyer.

More information on Paul Michael Lützler.

A cooperation with the Department of French and Spanish Literatures at the University of Potsdam and POINTS – Potsdam International Network for TransArea Studies.

 

 

 

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