On Thursday, January 24th, 2013, The Wolfsonian, FIU will present Race and Visual Culture under National Socialism, an exhibition that uses ordinary objects to reveal how the Nazi Party in Germany promoted the idea of a racially pure nation—a campaign that helped lead to the atrocities of the Second World War and the Holocaust.
The exhibition will take place at the Wolfsonian Teaching Gallery at the Frost Art Museum, and is intended as a complement to a course about the Holocaust taught by Oren Stier, guest curator of the exhibition, Director of the Jewish Studies Program, and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at FIU.
By displaying examples of graphic design, paintings, ceramics, publications, and many other items produced during the Third Reich, the exhibition demonstrates how the Nazi regime combined pictures of vigorous young athletes, soldiers, healthy families, and contented rural people with pastoral landscapes and scenes of modern infrastructure rising on the land.
Together, these images created a vision of the nation that was meant to be both inspiring and comforting, modern and traditional. Excluded from this vision were “others,” primarily Jews, identified as unhealthy, degenerate, and dangerous to German society.
The exhibition is about these messages embodying racial identity and, equally, about the media that conveyed them.
Art exhibitions, posters, publications, decorative arts objects, radio, and film all carried the message of racial purity into every corner of German society. The groundwork for the campaigns of domination and extermination that the regime would pursue was laid in the systematic establishment of the Nazi “brand” in every available medium—in the omnipresence of the propaganda state.
"National Socialist ideology was so ubiquitous, it is hard sometimes to notice its profound impact,” said Oren Stier, guest curator of the exhibition.
“Nothing can compare with the opportunity to show students actual everyday objects that dramatize the insidious extent of Nazi propaganda," added Stier.
The exhibition will be augmented by a lecture series, "Material and Visual Culture of the Holocaust," organized by FIU’s Jewish Studies Program.
All events will be free and open to the public, but registration is required. For information about the series, and to register, see http://fiuholocaustseries.eventbrite.com.