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German and Austrian Expressionism

David Gariff, senior lecturer, National Gallery of Art. At the turn of the 20th century Germany and Austria were full of volatile contradictions. They were modernizing rapidly yet maintained deeply conservative values. This was fertile ground for the birth of German and Austrian expressionism, represented by the paintings of Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Franz Marc, Emil Nolde, and Egon Schiele, among others. A gift from the Arnold and Joan Saltzman Collection has transformed the National Gallery of Art’s holdings of German and Austrian expressionist art. As part of the series Celebrating the East Building: 20th-Century Art, senior lecturer David Gariff explores the vital role that German and Austrian expressionism played in the opening decades of the 20th century. This lecture was presented on July 26, 2018, at the National Gallery of Art.