Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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  • George Grosz
    born: Berlin, Germany ; died: West Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany (present-day Berlin, Germany) ; active: Germany, United States
  • Friedrichstrasse, 1918
  • Where object was made: Germany
  • photolithograph
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 475 x 315 mm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 18 11/16 x 12 3/8 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 665 x 533 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 26 1/8 x 21 in
    Mat Dimensions: 32 x 24 in
  • Museum purchase: Letha Churchill Walker Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0113
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Conversation XVIII: World War I," Jan-2014, Stephen Goddard
Grosz volunteered for military duty on November 11, 1914, but his experiences as a soldier quickly turned him against the war and ultimately contributed to his becoming a scathing satirist of militarism. This print expresses the tumultuous disarray in Berlin near the end of the war.

Exhibition Label:
"Machine in a Void: World War I & the Graphic Arts," Mar-2010, Steve Goddard
This is one of Grosz’ most commanding images of the metropolis, a theme that was to occupy him for much of his career, especially during his Berlin years immediately after World War I. This photolithograph (a process often used by Grosz) shows Friedrichsrasse, a major thoroughfare in Berlin that was known for its cabarets, brothels, and its surging masses of humanity from all walks of life. This image shows the melting pot of violently opposed political and cultural impulses that competed within the Weimar Republic between the end of the First World War and the Nazi period. It also provides a meaningful prelude to Berthold Brecht’s dramatic pieces, as well as to early cinematic works such as Fritz Lang's 1927 film, Metropolis.