Object Biographies - The impact of Degenerate Classifications upon Edvard Munch's 'Embrace On the Beach (A Summers Day)' 1904 & 'Madonna' 1894.
Wilson Dyer Gough, Aurora
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This thesis examines the layers between art history, provenance research and contemporary collecting practices within the topic of restitution. This work aims to investigate the under-discussed study of the Norwegian expressionist artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944) and his iconic masterpieces affected by the National Socialist policy of 'Degenerate Art' between 1933-37. This thesis will unearth the journey his artwork went on from 1933 to the outcome of their homecoming sales in Oslo in 1939 onwards. Segmented into three key case studies, the thesis will first reflect on establishing his art & career in Germany before 1933, and second the displacement of two of the 83 degenerate works of 1937. Finally, the third segment explores how contemporary researchers retrace artworks and their biographies within the context of the art dealer Harald Ludvik Holst Halvorsen (1889- 1960), who impacted the recorded lineage of Munch’s artwork.