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Johanna Ey: a critical reappraisal

Hausmann, Michael

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Abstract

This study draws on and interprets an extensive corpus of archived materials, in particular from the Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf, to offer the first wide-ranging critical analysis of the written and visual images of the life and legend of Weimar Germany’s most important "modern" art dealers - Johanna Ey (1864-1947), commonly known as "Mutter Ey". Once feted by the press as the most portrayed woman in Germany, she contributed greatly to the careers of artists such as Max Ernst, Otto Dix, Gert Wollheim, Otto Pankok and many others and was a vital figure in the ‘modern’ Düsseldorf art scene until she was evicted from her gallery by the Nazis in 1934. This study opens with a factual overview of Ey’s biography. Chapters are then devoted to an analysis of the development, reception and prevalence of aspects of her legend: the use of the "Mutter Ey" image in the Weimar Period; an exploration of the notion of Ey’s modernity using the trope of the "Neue Frau"; an investigation into her attitude to politics in general and the Nazis in particular, in the first detailed reading of Ey’s 1936 memoirs and her correspondence from 1933-1947; and an analysis of the factors influencing the rise, fall and rise of her celebrity status and her memorialisation since her death.

Document type: Dissertation
Date: 2010
Version: Primary publication
Date of thesis defense: May 2010
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2013 15:19
Faculties / Institutes: University, Fakulty, Institute > Birmingham, University of , Department of German Studies , School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music , College of Arts and Law
DDC-classification: Organizations and museology
Arts
Controlled Subjects: Ey, Johanna
Subject (classification): Museology, Art Trade
Countries/Regions: Germany, Switzerland, Austria
Additional Information: Diese Online-Publikation erscheint ohne den Abbildungsteil.