Holz Reports on Moscow Colloquium

Keith Holz comments and poses a question during the colloquium. Conference languages were Russian, German & French. Participants and audience wore headsets to listen to simultaneous translations provided by some of Russia’s leading interpreters.

From June 23-24, 2011, Associate Professor Art, Keith Holz participated in an international colloquium How the Second Exile Causes the First to Speak: Moscow Archives and the Arts in Paris, 1933-1945, held in Moscow at the German Historical Institute and Russian State Military Archive. The colloquium was organized by Ines Rotermund-Reynard of the German Forum for Art History—Paris with cooperation and support from Nikolaus Katzer, Director, German Historical Institute—Moscow; and Andreas Beyer, Director, German Forum for Art History—Paris.

Holz presented a new paper based on research conducted over the past year in Moscow, London and Zurich, on Paul Westheim, Oskar Kokoschka, Charlotte Weidler and the 1938 Exhibition “20th Century German Art” in London.

The openness and cooperation of the Russian archive and its administration with western scholars marked a new level of openness with German, French and US art historians, literary historians, archivists and librarians.

“How did the watercolors get into Hitler’s Desk” by Kersten Holm, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany’s leading paper of record)

In the article “How did the Watercolors get into Hitler’s Desk” by Kersten Holm, in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany’s leading paper of record, July 16, 2011, Holm discussed the archive, its holdings, and this colloquium. A translation of the closing paragraph that addresses Holz’s paper reads as follows:

Using the Moscow files, the art historian Keith Holz from Western Illinois University reconstructed how Charlotte Weidler and [Paul] Westheim attempted to use the 1938 London exhibition “Twentieth Century German Art” to bring parts of Westheim’s Berlin art collection to England. Holz also says [painter] Oskar Kokoschka, then living in Prague, adamantly wanted to be in the exhibition as a protest against Great Britain’s appeasement politics and the censorship of his “Self-Portrait of a Degenerate Artist” as well as his erotic work “The Fountain.” The New Burlington Gallery, however, showed few provocative pictures. The German Historical Institute and the German Forum for Art History now wish to publish a few of the treasures out of the Moscow Westheim papers as an annotated documentary edition.

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