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Related: start of the streamline style - Art Deco - rise of Nazism, end of Weimar republic - degenerate art exhibitions - Surrealism - swing music - effects of the great depression

Films: M (1931) - Extase - (1932) - Freaks - (1932) - The Black Cat (1934) - Reefer Madness (1936) - Modern Times (1936) - Things to Come (1936)

By year 1930 - 1931 - 1932 - 1933 - 1934 - 1935 - 1936 - 1937 - 1938 - 1939

Modern Times (1936) - Charlie Chaplin

Catalog to the 1937 degenerate art exhibition

Key work of art: Guernica (1937) - Pablo Picasso


  • 1930 L'Age d'Or (1930) - Luis Bunuel
  • 1931 Solar Anus (1927/1931) - Georges Bataille
  • 1932 Journey to the End of the Night (1932) - by Louis-Ferdinand D. CÚline
  • 1933 Nazis Rise to Power (1933-1945)
  • 1934 The Ethics of Sexual Acts (1934) - Rene Guyon
  • 1935 The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction - Walter Benjamin
  • 1936 Modern Times (1936) - Charlie Chaplin
  • 1937 Germany, Degenerate Art exhibition
  • 1938 Hitler man of the year in Time Magazine
  • 1939 Avant-Garde and Kitsch - Clement Greenberg

    Subcultures of the 1920s and 30s

    In the 1920s American Jazz music and motor cars were at the centre of a European subculture of freedom and wild living which began to break the rules of social etiquette and the class system. Meanwhile, in America, the same flaming youth subculture was "running wild" but with the added complication of alcohol prohibition. Canada had prohibition in some local areas but the areas where alcohol was permitted provided an oasis for thirsty Americans coming over the border. Some smuggling was done and this escalated as the crime gangs became organised. In the southern states of the USA Mexico or Cuba were other possible destinations for drinkers. Thus a drinking subculture grew in size and a crime subculture grew along with it. Other drugs existed which could be used as alternatives to alcohol. When prohibition ended the subculture of drink, drugs and jazz didn't go away. Neither did the gangsters.

    The nudist movement gained prominence in Germany in the 1920s, but was suppressed during the Nazi Gleichschaltung after Adolf Hitler came to power. Social nudism in the form of private clubs and campgrounds first appeared in the United States in the 1930s. In Canada it first appeared in British Columbia about 1939 and in Ontario nine years later.

    In the art world, the spritual home of most subcultures, the surrealist movement was attempting to shock the world with their games and bizarre behaviour. The surrealists were at one and the same time a serious art movement and a parody of other artforms and political movements. Surrealism had been developed by Andre Breton and others from the thinking in the Dada movement. Based in several European countries, surrealism was going to run into serious trouble when the Nazis began to take over. Subcultures and "degenerate art" were almost completely stamped out and replaced by the Hitler Youth.

    In North America the depression caused widespread unemployment and poverty, causing many young people to feel like dead end kids. The phenomenon of the dead end kid was taken into fiction and put on the stage and screen where it proved an enormously popular image with which people could identify. Films featuring The Dead End Kids, The Bowery Boys, Little Tough Guys etc were popular from the 1930s to the 1950s. See external link: The (Unofficial) Bowery Boys' Page (http://boweryboys.bobfinnan.com/).

    The Dust bowl disaster forced large numbers of rural Americans from Oklahoma and elsewhere to move their entire families to look for some alternative way to continue living. This got them labelled as "Okies" and treated very poorly by the authorities in other states they moved to. The refugee situation was recorded in folk songs (many of them by Woody Guthrie) and in a novel, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and a subsequent movie of the book. The movie starred Henry Fonda. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_subcultures_in_the_20th_century [Dec 2004]

    Journey to the End of the Night (1932) - by Louis-Ferdinand D. C line

  • Journey to the End of the Night (1932) - by Louis-Ferdinand D. C line [Amazon.com]

    See entry under CÚline

    1930s Style

  • Decorative Arts 1930s & 1940s - Charlotte Fiell, Peter Fiell [Amazon.com]
    TASCHEN's Decorative Art series spans the 20th century through the 1970s and carefully reproduces the best of Studio Magazine's Decorative Art yearbooks. Published annually from 1906 until 1980, the yearbook was dedicated to the latest currents in architecture, interiors, furniture, lighting, glassware, textiles, metalware, and ceramics, and remained on the cutting edge throughout its nearly eight-decade run. Since going out of print, the now hard-to-find yearbooks have been highly prized by collectors and dealers. Preserving the yearbooks' original page layouts, TASCHEN's Decorative Art books bring you an authentic experience of each decade's design trends and styles. The now complete ["00s and 10s", 20s, "30s and 40s",50s, 60s, and the 70s] six-volume set is an essential addition to the comprehensive design library and the devoted collector will want them all.
    Decorative Art 1930s ~ 1940s - Decorative art in the 1930s and 40s experienced a great shift from the opulent Art Deco style to pared-down, pragmatic Modernism championed most notably by Le Corbusier and Richard Neutra. Modernism's economy and simplicity became more accepted as a rational response to a time of great economic hardship. From the end of the 1930s through the postwar period, cool Modernism was gradually replaced by the warmer and more human characteristics in, for example, the design work of Charles Eames and Alvar Aalto. natalierinkenbach for amazon.com [...]


  • Vampyr (1932) - Carl Theodor Dreyer [Amazon.com]

    See entry under Carl Dreyer

  • M - (1931) - Fritz Lang [Amazon US]

    See entry under M (1931)

  • Duck Soup (1933) - Leo McCarey [1 DVD, Amazon US]

    See entry under 1933

  • Charlie Chaplin (1936) - Modern Times [1 VHS, Amazon US]

    See entry under Modern Times (1936)

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