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In recent decades, scholars have reassessed earlier historical interpretations that argued German
art produced during the Nazi era was little more than kitsch. This reassessment has occurred in part
due to the increased accessibility to the various sources required to thoroughly research Nazi-era
art. The availability of the artistic oeuvre of the Third Reich has been enhanced by the 2012 launch of
the online database Grosse deutsche Kunstausstellung, 1937-1944. This database makes possible a
quantitative analysis of the artworks exhibited at Adolf Hitler’s annual art exhibition, the Grosse
deutsche Kunstausstellung (Great German Art Exhibition), from 1937 to 1944. Tabulating the
information found in this database indicates that landscapes and related works constituted the
dominant subject category. Portraits, nudes, and depictions of animals were also significant, but
overtly political art was uncommon. The subjects of Nazi-era art reflected the racial ideology of the
Third Reich, but several subject categories remain largely unexamined in this respect. This essay
provides statistical evidence that supports many of the scholarly interpretations concerning these
subject categories and suggests new directions for future research.
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