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Adolf Ziegler
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    (October 16, 1892-September 18, 1959)
    Born in Bremen, Germany
    Painted ‘The Judgment of Paris’ (1937) and ‘The Four Elements’ (1937)
    Named President of the Reich Chamber of Art (1936)
    Organized the Degenerate Art Exhibition (1937)
    He was Hitler’s favorite artist.
    His emphasis on pseudo-classical nudes led his detractors to call him the ‘Master of German Pubic Hair.’
    He accidentally included works by German sculptor Ernst Barlach in both the Degenerate Art Exhibition and a collection of Nazi-approved art, Great German Art.
    He headed a committee that removed over 20,000 modernist paintings from German museums and had them sold off or destroyed.
    He forced artists working in modern styles (surrealism, expressionism, cubism, Dadaism, the Bauhaus, etc.) into retirement.
    Ironically, museum director Alois Schardt noted that before joining the Nazis, Ziegler ‘was one of the most extreme modern painters, but one of inferior rank.’
    ’The New Yorker’ described him as ‘the least bad aesthetically of the Nazi painters, but one of the most vicious spokesmen among them.’
    After he expressed doubts about Germany’s chances in World War II, he was arrested by the Gestapo for ‘defeatism’ and imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp.
    After six weeks, Hitler personally intervened to order him set free, but also forced him to retire.
    Due to his links with the Nazis, he was unable to revive his career after the war.

Credit: C. Fishel

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