Luther & Gurlitt

Martin Luther’s 95 theses substantially changed the church but also society in Germany and all over Europe from 1517. “Brennen für den Glauben” offers and Austrian perspective of the landmark revolution which helped establishing Protestantism. Karl Vocelka, Walter Öhlinger and Rudolf Leeb recently organised an exhibition on the subject at Wien Museum in the city centre of Vienna. The historians also edited this 400-page publication which features immense amounts of background information but also old documents and paintings. In his foreword, Wien Museum director Matti Bunzl underlines the significance of conflicts nowadays concerning the fear from Turkish ghettos in Vienna and a spreading of radical Islam across the continent which also derive from fundamental religious mindset.

Brennen für den Glauben
By Rudolf Leeb, Walter Öhlinger & Karl Vocelka
Published by Residenz Verlag (

A highly controversial exhibition recently started in Bern and Bonn. Museums in the city decided to put works from the infamous Gurlitt collection on display as the debate about stolen art and compensating the victims of the Nazis’ reckless actions continues. Hildebrand Gurlitt, a museum director and art dealer, was ordered to acquire paintings for the galleries Third Reich leader Adolf Hitler had planned to create in Linz, a city of special importance to the dictator. It was a pivotal moment for the international art scene and restitution authorities when Gurlitt’s collection was discovered in 2013 during a routine tax fraud check. Now art historian Meike Hoffmann and Tagesspiegel journalist Nicola Kuhn present the result of their comprehensive research. “Hitlers Kunsthändler. Hildebrand Gurlitt 1895-1956” is a fascinatingly detailed biography which does not just inform about Gurlitt as a person but also about politics and the perception of art from the Prussian Empire to post-war Germany.

Hitlers Kunsthändler. Hildebrand Gurlitt 1895-1956
By Meike Hoffmann & Nicola Kuhn
Published by C.H. Beck (

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