Posted: September 6th, 2023
Post-1900 and pre-WWII artwork from the SFMOMA collection
For this discussion, you will select a post 1900 and pre-WWII or pre-1939 work of art from the SFMOMA and explain how your selected work reflects a specific political or social agenda/ideology from that time. You can use the search icon in the upper right to lookup a specific artist or you can search their online collections. Answer the questions below and share with us your thoughts in 70+ words. Make sure to embed an image of your selected work that supports your example along with a citation. If you’re really stuck and can’t find a unique work of art at the SFMOMA, then you’re welcome to check out and use New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) Collection instead. Use the MOMA only as a last resort, as I really want you to become familiar with the SFMOMA collection. Have you ever visited either museum in person? If so, which object left an impression on you? If you haven’t been in person, which object did you select to share? Describe your selected object in your own words based on the information provided on the museum website. Why did you chose this object to share with us?
Post-1900 and pre-WWII artwork from the SFMOMA collection.
One work of art that reflects a specific political or social agenda/ideology from that time is “Street Berlin” by German artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, created in 1913. Kirchner was a member of the Die Brücke group, which sought to break away from traditional art forms and develop a new visual language. “Street Berlin” depicts a bustling street scene in Berlin, with crowds of people, buildings, and vehicles all jumbled together in a chaotic, almost dizzying composition.
The artwork reflects the social and political changes happening in Germany at the time. It was a time of urbanization, industrialization, and modernization, with Berlin at the center of these changes. Kirchner’s work captures the energy and excitement of the city, but also the fragmentation and dislocation that came with these changes. The figures in the painting are isolated, disconnected from one another, and seem to be struggling to navigate the modern world around them.
I chose this artwork because I think it captures the tension and complexity of the period. Kirchner’s use of bold colors and dynamic lines creates a sense of movement and vitality, but also a sense of unease and fragmentation. It is a powerful reflection of the social and political changes happening in Germany at the time.
Image citation: “Street Berlin” by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/98.308/