As mentioned here recently, the Nazis didn’t like Modernism, pessimism or decadent urban themes in art. So in 1937 they sanitised German art museums, removing stuff they didn’t like. Between 1937 and 1941, a selection of the censored work formed a travelling exhibition under the title Entartete Kunst, “Degenerate art”. The intention was to teach the public what NOT to like. As you can imagine, artists since then haven’t minded much if you call them entartet.
Now something mind-boggling. During an excavation for an extension of Berlin’s subway in RathausstraÃe, archaeologists have found a cache of bronze and ceramic sculptures from the Entartete Kunst exhibition! It includes pieces by Edwin Scharff, Otto Baum, Marg Moll, Gustav Heinrich Wolff, Naum Slutzky, Karl Knappe, Otto Freundlich and Emy Roeder. Fans of H.R. Giger will recognise where he was coming from in the above piece.
Update 16 November: The sculpture was buried accidentally when the house it was stored in was hit by an Allied incendiary bomb. One of the tenants there was an anti-Nazi who was decorated after the war, which may explain the presence of the cache. More details at Lost in Berlin.
Thanks to Claes Pettersson and Peter N for tip-offs.