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Glitter and Doom: German Portraits from the 1920s Hardcover – 31 Oct 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (31 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300117884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300117882
  • Product Dimensions: 28.8 x 22.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,414,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description


'If you missed the exhibition for Glitter and Doom... this
handsome hardback catalogue is a good armchair substitute.'
-- The Spectator, March 31st 2007

About the Author

Sabine Rewald is Jacques and Natasha Gelman Curator in the Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ian Buruma teaches at Bard College, Annandale, New York, and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. Matthias Eberle is Professor of Cultural History, Kunsthochscule, Berlin.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dr. R. Brandon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 April 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was produced to accompany an exhibition of the same name at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, between the 14th November 2006 and 19th February 2007. The book contains 135 full colour reproductions of paintings, watercolours and sketches and many archive photographs of the people represented in the works. A chronology of the Weimar Republic and three essays on the period are included. The reproductions in the catalogue are excellent and the accompanying commentary by Sabine Rewald is both concise and very informative, and provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the various sitters. Many portraits by Otto Dix and George Grosz are reproduced together with smaller numbers by Max Beckmann, Rudolf Schlichter and Christian Schad. A beautifully produced book that has a clarity and straightforwardness in stark contrast to the verbose nonsense that has packed the bulky catalogues of recent London exhibitions. A delight to own.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A Lively Look at the Decadence of the Weimar Republic Years 29 Nov. 2006
By Grady Harp - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Author Sabine Rewald has written a fascinating survey that integrates the German psyche of the period between the gloom of World War I with its decimation of hope for a revolution and the rise of Hitler who ended any fantasies about the dreams of glitter that infused the artists and wealthy people of Germany.

In this beautifully designed and lushly illustrated book are the works of the major artists of the time, the ones we immediately recognize such as Otto Dix, Georg Grosz and Max Beckmann, as well as names less familiar to the general reading audience. These artists captured the decadence and 'cabaret' atmosphere that permeated the denying culture, using as models not only fellow artists and actors but also the spectrum from prostitutes and crime bosses to doctors and lawyers, none being shown in a very flattering light.

The many illustrations in the book are true to the original color and seem to capture the delusional elegance and grime that mixed the time so well. The portraits are veneer-like in that they depicted the doomed generation of people on the brink of destruction. If ever there existed a book that reveals the 'decay' and decadence against which Hitler railed this is it. The author wisely elected to employ essayists Ian Buruma and Matthias Eberle whose contributions to the flavor of the times and the influence of the disintegration of morals and taste make the texts readable and very informative.

Yale University Press has once again produced an art volume that focuses on a certain period of time that influenced the development of art in the history of a change - in visual art, in literature (from German writers as well as those who flocked to Berlin such as Christopher Isherwood), in music, and in film. It is a book of great importance and one that encourages repeated readings. Grady Harp, November 06
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Glitter and Doom 22 Mar. 2007
By Renee Recker - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Twice viewed the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum here in New York. German art in the 20s is raw, obscene and decadent. A raucus reflection on hard times there. They had just suffered WW1, in the midst of fascism, insane inflation, etc.

Highlight: Otto Dix is a wild artist, forever a favorite now. Also a DaDa artist.

I am a frequent art museum visitor. Therefore, in my opinion, this catalogue did the show great justice which is not aways the case.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
More DOOM than glitter 7 Dec. 2006
By Christopher E. Bivona - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing art book about the German underworld in the 1920s before the reign of Hitler during the fall of the Weimar Republic after World War I. This book contains mainly dark and disturbing art pieces that are featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through February 2007. Very interesting to read about and it basically sums up the entire collection and more that are featured at the MET. Great book... not for the squimish. This book is really very dark and it does tell the true story of Germany during the 20s.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A beautiful exhibition 7 April 2007
By Reich Claude - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the catalogue for a beautiful exhibition held at the Met last year. The paintings reproduced here are among the best examples of the New Objectivity, a movement that was able to depict the atmosphere, the soul, the world of the Weimar Republic, that brief time span when pre-war Germany enjoyed freedom in the arts and in the minds. These gripping paintings show how ultimately doomed that world was and how the artists were the first to sense the tragic developments that were to succeed it. The front cover, a detail of one of Christian Schad's best known paintings, is a perfect illustration of a society that seems to have enjoyed life knowing that death would come too soon, with the end of that joyful and poetic decadence that was the Berlin of the 1920's.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
You can't go wrong with German Expressionism 28 Jan. 2007
By cirrocumulus - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How can you say "no" to Otto Dix?? can't! The actual exhibit at the Met was good (although I thought it'd be bigger) and relatively informative, but the book gets into depths the exhibit couldn't. Ideally you should see the exhibit and thoroughly read the book. You can't quite get the experience of seeing the works within the book, and you can't exactly get the knowledge of just reading the little blurbs that are glued beside each piece in the exhibit.

The book explores the themes of German life before the world turned on itself and the second world war exploded. For the money it's worth the dive into the celebrated, vastly entertaining, stunningly morbid and little studied area of German Expressionism. It's not too late...go out and there and see the exhibit. And then buy the book, since that's what the Met would like you to do.
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