August 21st in German History: Christian Schad is Born

Christian Schad.

Although Germany is known more for its political figures and its scientists, it has also produced numerous artists. One was Christian Schad, a painter and photographer who was part of the Dada and New Objectivity movements. He was born on August 21st, 1894.

Schad was born in the town of Miesbach in Upper Bavaria. His father was a prosperous lawyer who paid for his studies at the Art Academy of Munich. He moved to Switzerland in 1915 to avoid military service and there he became a Dadaist. He began painting and developed his own version of the photo-gram in 1918. He moved to Italy in 1920 and began painting more realistic works. In 1927 he moved with his wife to Vienna and later to Berlin. Because his art seemed more conventional than that produced by other members of the New Objectivity movement, it was not condemned by the Nazis. In fact, it was part of The Great German Art Exhibition set up by the government in 1937. However, he was forced to stop painting in the 1930s because the Great Depression forced his father to stop supporting him and his work. His studios were destroyed by bombings multiple times during the war and he lived in relative obscurity until the 1960s. In that decade, his reputation increased as his works were shown several times and the Photo-realist movement increased in popularity. He died On February 25th, 1982.

Christian Schad made important contributions to art in the 20th century. Although not as significant as, say, Picasso, his works are important parts of the Dadist and New Objectivity movements. Even though he was not the most talented painter of his era, his name should not be forgotten as if he accomplished nothing.

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