Collection 1880s–1940s


Weimar Citizens



Otto Dix. Dr. Mayer-Hermann. 1926. Oil and tempera on wood, 58 3/4 x 39" (149.2 x 99.1 cm). Gift of Philip Johnson. © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
  • MoMA, Floor 5, 514 The David Geffen Wing

After Germany was defeated at the end of World War I, a democratic government was installed for the first time in the territory’s history. The Weimar Republic, as it was known, lasted from 1919 to 1933, when Adolf Hitler rose to power. The Weimar era was marked by extreme political and economic turmoil as well as intense creative ferment. Hopes for social progress turned to cynicism as unemployment, hyperinflation, and political extremism set in.

Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz, and other artists responded by embracing a clinical, matter-of-fact realism that repudiated the abstract, spiritual ideals that had guided artists before the war. Traumatized by the conflict (all three had served in the German military) and disillusioned by its aftermath, they cast a cold eye on their fellow Germans. Looking through a war-impacted lens that, in Grosz’s words, “reflected man’s every virtue and every vice . . . with unusual clarity,” they created biting portraits of a restless, rapidly evolving society.

Organized by Starr Figura, Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, with Lydia Mullin, Curatorial Assistant, and Charlotte Barat, former Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

33 works online


Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].