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Marsha Morton
Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY 11205)
Between Darwin and Freud: Artist Max Klinger and the Construction of German Modernism

This project is to research material for the final (sixth) chapter of my book which explores the art of Max Klinger as a crucial prelude to the development of German Modernism. The book examines the construction of his pioneering work (prints and drawings from the 1870s and 80s) as a reconfiguring of inherited artistic traditions under the impact of transformations in Wilhelmine society (evolutionary theory, ethnology, studies of the unconscious, women’s rights movements, and socialism.) Chapter six deals with Klinger’s depictions of a troubled Berlin society at the dawn of national unification: murder, suicide, spousal abuse, adultery, prostitution, mob riots, and military force. His images are critiques of gender and class disparity, as well as exposures of universal human behavior driven by passion and violence. These topics will be considered within the context of middle-class reform efforts, the anti-Socialist laws, and the polemics of Darwinian Socialists, etc.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

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

Grant period:
8/1/2011 – 9/30/2011