Arno Breker was a German architect and sculptor who is best known for his public works in Nazi Germany, where they were endorsed by the authorities as the antithesis of degenerate art.
23 Facts About Arno Breker
Arno Breker was made official state sculptor, and exempted from military service.
Arno Breker began to study architecture, along with stone-carving and anatomy.
Arno Breker first visited Paris in 1924, shortly before finishing his studies.
Arno Breker was quickly accepted by the art dealer Alfred Flechtheim.
Arno Breker established close relationships with important figures in the art world, including Charles Despiau, Isamu Noguchi, Maurice de Vlaminck and Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac, all of whom he later portrayed.
Arno Breker travelled to North Africa, producing lithographs which he published under the title "Tunisian Journey".
Arno Breker visited Aristide Maillol, who was later to describe Breker as "Germany's Michelangelo".
However, Arno Breker was supported by many Nazi leaders, especially Adolf Hitler.
Arno Breker took commissions from the Nazis from 1933 through 1942, for example participating in a show of his work in occupied Paris in 1942, where he met Jean Cocteau, who appreciated his work.
Arno Breker maintained personal relationships with Albert Speer and with Hitler.
Arno Breker was on a list of 378 "Gottbegnadeten" artists exempted from wartime military duty by Hitler and chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
Until the fall of the Third Reich, Arno Breker was a professor of visual arts in Berlin.
In 1946, Arno Breker was offered a commission by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, but he refused, saying "One dictatorship is sufficient for me".
In 1948 Arno Breker was designated as a "fellow traveller" of the Nazis and fired, despite which he continued to thrive professionally.
Arno Breker returned to Dusseldorf, now in the new West Germany, which remained his base, with periods of residence in Paris.
Arno Breker's rehabilitation continued, culminating in the creation of a Arno Breker museum, funded by the Bodenstein family, who set aside Schloss Norvenich for the purpose.
The Arno Breker Museum was inaugurated in 1985, and still open in 2021.
Arno Breker's rehabilitation led to backlashes from anti-Nazi activists, including controversy in Paris when some of his works were exhibited at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1981.
Arno Breker's admirers insisted that he had never been a supporter of Nazi ideology, but had simply accepted their patronage.
Arno Breker's last major work was a monumental sculpture of Alexander the Great intended to be located in Greece.
Arno Breker's first wife, Demetra Messala, was a Greek model.
Arno Breker remained married to Kluge until his death in 1991.