Dartmouth Events

An American in Berlin: What Kept Lyonel Feininger in Berlin?

Andreas Platthaus - Author and Literary Critic (Thomas Mann Fellow, VATMH, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (newspaper)

Thursday, April 25, 2019
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Leslie Center Seminar Room - 246 Haldeman
Intended Audience(s): Public
American artist Lyonel Feininger lived for 50 years in Germany without ever returning to his homeland.  Although he was renowned in Weimar and Dessau as the Bauhaus-Meister, his most decisive work phases were in Berlin. He lived in Berlin during WWI, after the United States joined the Allies against Germany, and in the first years of the NS-Regime. It seems surprising that Feininger took so long to turn his back on Germany and to return to America in 1937, since his wife was of Jewish descent and his three sons were like him American citizens.  
What kept Feininger in Berlin? Documents reveal that the problems plaguing the artist were not only artistic, but also emotional. After the politically motivated closure of the Bauhaus in both Dessau and Berlin, Feininger lost all hope. Only then did he dare to head back home to America. But to do so successfully, he relied on the groundwork of other emigrants. 


Sponsored by the Department of German Studies; The Leslie Center for the Humanities, VIlla Aurora, and The Thomas Mann House.




For more information, contact:
Wadeane Kunz

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.