• Steven Heller

The Daily Heller: Merrill Berman, From Weimar to Us

Merrill C. Berman, the master graphic design connoisseur/collector/archivist, has joined the ranks of the generous in making available the fruits of his acquisitions during these COVID-shut-in times. In 2018–2019, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard Art Museums presented a gallery rotation titled “Who Owns the World? Art and Politics in the Weimar Republic,” combining Berman’s incredible collection with their own. That installation, organized by cities in Germany that were hotbeds of Expressionist, ISOTYPE and New Objectivist art (Berlin, Cologne, Dresden, Hanover and Karlsruhe), prompted him to publish a book/catalog, which includes an insightful essay by Lynnette Roth of the Busch-Reisinger Museum.

Peter Alma. “Social Portraits,” 1929–1931.

Art and Politics in the Weimar Republic: Works From the Merrill C. Berman Collection is available in its entirety here. And if you have the sense that your mother gave you, you’ll download it right now. Even the knowledgeable Weimar art and design scholar will find a trove of rarities that not only exemplify the range of pre-Nazi republicanism, but serve a warning from history that politics is continually shifting, and art and design are weapons in the struggle against tyranny.

Peter Alma. “Social Portraits,” 1929–1931.

Peter Alma. “Social Portraits,” 1929–1931.

Gerd Arntz. “Shot for Nothing,” 1924.

Gerd Arntz. “American,” 1924.

Gerd Arntz. “White Terror,” 1932.

Gerd Arntz. “Election Wheel,” 1932.

Franz Wihelm Seiwert. Book cover, c. 1924.

Augustin Tschinkel. “Election Promises,” 1932.

Georg Scholz. “Newspaper Carriers,” 1921.

#Weimarpolitics #MerrillCBerman #WeimarArtandDesign #StevenHeller #thedailyheller


The Daily Heller: An American Design Style All Its Own

About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →