Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dr. Gerd Gruber Presents Art to AU in Germany Students

As part of the AU in Germany 2012 program, Ashland University faculty and students attended a lecture by Dr. Gerd Gruber, a Wittenberg resident who is a collector of 20th century art.  Dr. Gruber received his doctorate in chemical engineering from the Technical University in Dresden, has more than 9,000 pieces in his collection, and has organized more than 100 exhibitions in Germany and abroad.  Dr. Gruber's collection is listed as the only private collection of Saxony-Anhalt in the "Register of Nationally Valuable Cultural Assets of Germany", and the presentation he gave our group was on the "Artistic Response to Fascism", where he presented works of many artists who were persecuted by the Nazis and/or imprisoned in German concentration camps in the 1930s and 1940s.  Shown below are two of the many pieces that Dr. Gruber presented to our group (copyright of the works by the relatives of the artists).

Feast of the Emigrants, water color, 1936 -- This was created in Prague where Margarete Klopfleisch-Grossner (1911-1982) emigrated in 1933, and demonstrates the poor living conditions of an emigrant.

Antifascist Leaflet, wood cut, 1944 -- Hanns Kralik (1900 - 1971) made several small leaflets against the Nazi rulers.  The leaflets were printed on cigarette paper, and he printed about 50 of these woodcuts and wrapped them into a small roll.  He fastened the paper roll with a tread and left the bundles on the tram.  The motion and shaking of the tram caused the thread to unwind, which would blow the leaflets through the street.  By the time this would happen, Kralik would have already left the tram.