Degenerate Art Redux Stereoscopy as an aid to art restoration [EN]

Bob Tate

 

Many highly significant artworks were criminally destroyed after the notorious Degenerative Art
exhibitions of 1937, staged by the Nazi Party in pre-war Germany, in a futile attempt to
lampoon modern art.

Whilst monochrome photographs of some of the lost paintings exist, many sculptures were
lost, with apparently little visual record remaining.

One such artist was Margaret Moll (1884-1977), whose work was so “exhibited” and thought to
be subsequently lost. However, and during the excavation of a new underground station in
Berlin in 2010, (which were buried when a block of flats containing them collapsed during a
wartime bombing raid), and their subsequent restoration.

This paper explores the uses of stereoscopic photography as an enhanced mechanism of
cultural record and will argue for the extension of its use as a non-invasive and highly
economical adjunct to curation.

It will also investigate new archival evidence for the survival of a small number of
stereophotographs of lost sculpture, taken at such an exhibition, which may ofer assistance in
the future restoration of such works.

The paper also suggests possible innovations for stereoscopic photography to proactively
record and reproduce sculpture for research and restoration.

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