Confronting Identities in German Art: Myths, Reactions, Reflections

What does it mean to be German?

Recent answers to this question have ranged from the general ("Germans are always the other") to the analytic ("They are a multiple identity with a constant wish for redefinition"). The catalogue for Confronting Identities in German Art turns to art works, artists, and their audiences to explore how Germans of the past two centuries have confronted issues of identity, both individual and collective.

Focusing on the Smart Museum's rich holdings of German art and a significant selection of important loans, it examines the complex interweaving of subjective identities from the period of Caspar David Friedrich to that of Anselm Kiefer. Thematic essays come together with a select number of object entries to place individual works of art within a larger historical context, and the whole is lavishly illustrated with one hundred images from the exhibition itself.


Reinhold Heller with essays by Naomi Hume, Allison Morehead, Celka Straughn, and Sabine Wieber

Publication date

October 2002


Paper, 179 pages, 20 color plates, 80 halftones, 8 x 11" 



Purchase this catalogue

Available for $28 online through the University of Chicago Press or in person at the Smart Museum Shop