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Gregory Hamilton Williams
Boston University (Boston, MA 02215-1300)
Practical Aesthetics: The Object of Postwar Art and Design in West Germany

Research for a book on the impact of training in the practical arts on the development of the work of artists in post-World War II Germany.

My current book project explores the changing relationship between art and design in West Germany during the 1950s and 1960s. Previous scholarship has not sufficiently acknowledged the extent to which practical training had a visible impact on the work of West German sculptors, painters, and printmakers, including Thomas Bayrle, KP Brehmer, Imi Knoebel, Charlotte Posenenske, Peter Roehr, and Franz Erhard Walther. Vocational programs offered a starting point for a surprisingly large number of influential artists, who are recognized today for pursuing material experimentation, formal innovation, and technological exploration. The widespread postwar pedagogical transformations simultaneously looked back to the Bauhaus and projected forward as West Germany entered a period of rapid economic recovery and growth.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2020 – 7/31/2021