ICD's Blind Spot: The Fine Arts

in Capturing the German Eye

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226301693
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226301716 | DOI:
ICD's Blind Spot: The Fine Arts

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This chapter addresses the potential of fine arts in propaganda. The Information Control Division (ICD) failed to appreciate the propaganda potential of the fine arts and did not participate actively in the German fine arts scene. The American military government's indifference to the fine arts in Germany had become a political liability by 1946. Officers of the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives Section (MFA&A) managed to incorporate the fine arts into the American reorientation program and facilitated the reemergence of modern art in Germany. The rejection of modern art was the most reliable indicator of reactionary nationalism. Dr. Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt and Captain Edith A. Standen succeeded in their efforts to incorporate the fine arts into the American cultural propaganda agenda. From then on, MFA&A dealt directly with cultural policy—its tasks included both the restitution of stolen art and intervention in the contemporary German art scene.

Keywords: fine arts; Information Control Division; Germany; MFA&A; Dr. Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt; Captain Edith A. Standen; American cultural propaganda; American military government

Chapter.  8359 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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