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Haftmann, Werner

    Image Credit: Deutsches Historiches Museum

    Full Name: Haftmann, Werner

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1912

    Date Died: 1999

    Place Born: Poland

    Place Died: Waakirchen, Bavaria, Germany

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Subject Area(s): Modern (style or period) and twentieth century (dates CE)


    Museum director and author of major 20th-century art survey. He was born in Glowno, Prussia which is present day Poland. Haftmann studied art history, philosophy and archeology at the universities in Göttingen and Berlin between 1932-36. In 1935 he began contributing to the journal Art and Nation. These publications were soon banned by the Nazis, however, and Haftmann worked from 1936 onward at the Kunsthistorisches Insitut (Art History Institute) in Florence where studied the cultural history of the early Italian Renaissance. During World War II he served in the German army from 1940 until he was captured and interred. Between 1950-55 he was a lecturer at the Staatlichen Hochschule für Bildende Kunst in Hamburg. In 1950 he published a book on Paul Klee, Paul Klee: Wege bildnerischen Denkens, appearing in English in 1958 as Paul Klee: The Inward Vision: Watercolors, Drawings, Writings. His most famous work was the two-volume Malerei im 20. Jahrhunderts in 1954 appearing in English as in 1960 as Painting in the Twentieth Century. He served as a committee member for the first three Documenta exhibitions. Haftmann was the director of the National Gallery in Berlin in 1967. He retired in 1974.

    Selected Bibliography

    Abstract Art Since 1945. London: Thames and Hudson, 1971, [published in the United States as, Art Since Mid-Century. Greenwich, CT: New York Graphic Society, 1971; and Gohr, Siegfried. E. W. Nay, a Retrospective. Cologne: DuMont, 1990; Emil Nolde. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1959; Emil Nolde: ungemalte Bilder, Aquarelle und ‘Worte am Rande.’ Cologne: M. DuMont Schauberg 1963, English, Emil Nolde: Unpainted Pictures. New York: Praeger, 1965; and Hentzen, Alfred and Lieberman, William S, and Ritchie, Andrew Carnduff. German Art of the Twentieth Century. New York: Museum of Modern Art/City Art Museum of St. Louis, Missouri/Simon and Schuster, 1957; [Chagall, Marc:] Gouachen, Zeichnungen, Aquarelle. Cologne: Verlag M. DuMont Schauberg, 1975, English, Gouaches, Drawings, Watercolors. New York: Abrams, 1984; Paul Klee: Wege bildnerischen Denkens. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1950, English, [Paul Klee:] The Inward Vision: Watercolors, Drawings, Writings. London: Thames and Hudson, 1958; Jacques Lipchitz: Skulpturen und Zeichnungen, 1911-1961. Baden-Baden: Staatliche Kunsthalle, 1970; Malerei im 20. Jahrhundert. Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 1954, English, Painting in the Twentieth Century. 2 vols. New York : Praeger, 1960; and Sartre, Jean-Paul, and Roché, Henri-Pierre. Wols: Watercolors, Drawings, Writings. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1965; and Roland, Berthold. Verfemte Kunst: bildende Künstler der inneren und äusseren Emigration in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus. Cologne: DuMont, 1986.


    Haftmann, Werner. Die Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin. Berlin: Presse- und Informationsamt des Landes Berlin, 1969; Stonard, John Paul. Art and National Reconstruction in Germany 1945-55. Ph.D. dissertation, University of London, 2004, p. 262.


    "Haftmann, Werner." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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