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Munich Museum Alters Title of Painting Depicting Native Americans, Spurring Pushback

  

Category:  News & Politics

By:  kavika  •  3 weeks ago  •  25 comments

Munich Museum Alters Title of Painting Depicting Native Americans, Spurring Pushback

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The   Lenbachhaus   museum in Munich has redacted part of the title of a 112-year-old   August Macke   painting depicting Native Americans, a decision that has spurred controversy in Germany.

The Macke work, previously titled   Indians on Horseback Near a Tent   (1911), has been in Lenbachhaus’s collection since 1964, and has hung ever since with that name. But the museum recently changed it so that the word “Indians” now appears as “I******” in its English label, with a similarly styled version for its German counterpart.

The right-wing tabloid   Bild   accused the museum of “woke madness” in its display copy for   its story about the redaction .

Manuel Petzl, the parliamentary leader for the Christian Social Union, told   Bild , “Everyone should speak as they want. However, I am against adapting historical works to the current spirit of the times. Intervening in the work of an important artist who can no longer defend himself borders on censorship.”

On Monday, Lenbachhaus issued   a lengthy statement   denying that it had censored the Macke work’s title.

“As a public museum, we are obliged to critically reflect on the Blue Rider and his work in a historical context,” the institution wrote. “Dealing with the history and art of the early 20th century requires dealing with historical sources whose language and images can sometimes contain derogatory or even racist elements.”

The statement also clarified why the title had been restyled: “The work title given by Köhler is sometimes perceived as racist by our national and especially international guests, which is why we do not want to reproduce it on the title plate without comment. Replacing the letters of the so-called I-word with an asterisk (I*******) allows you to clearly identify which word it is. At the same time, people affected by the foreign name are not immediately offended by the word. In the booklet and the text next to the painting, we wrote out the word in quotation marks because the term is critically contextualized there.”

Macke was one of the artists involved in   Der Blaue Reiter , an early 20th-century avant-garde movement whose members sought to portray nature via colorful abstract forms. Lenbachhaus’s holdings related to the movement are particularly rich, and are set to constitute the bulk of a Tate Modern show devoted to Der Blaue Reiter this year.

In its statement, Lenbachhaus said that Macke had never titled the painting in question. Instead, its former owner, Bernhard Köhler, lent the work its name.

At the time that this painting entered the Lenbachhaus collection, the offending term in its title was utilized to refer to Native Americans and was widely used by the general public. Today, it has fallen out of favor and is generally viewed as racist when used by non-Indigenous people.

The retitled Macke work, a painting that shows figures with headdresses on horseback near a teepee, is not one of the artist’s most well-known pieces, but it is not the only one he painted depicting Native Americans. In an essay on these paintings, art historian Marie Watkins noted that   Indians on Horseback Near a Tent   contains “romanticized and stereotypical imagery” and that with it, Macke had “misread Native American society.”

LINK TO ARTICLE: https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/lenbachhaus-alters-august-macke-painting-title-native-americans-controversy-1234695079/


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Kavika
Professor Principal
1  author  Kavika     3 weeks ago

This isn't ''woke madness'' it people making decision that they don't know anything about. The term ''Indian'' is not derogatory at all and is used by Indian people everyday. Indian is interchangeable with Native American, American Indian, Indigenous, or Native. 

The Germans have this fetish with Indians and there are clubs in Germany that try and become Indians, having Pow Wows, and other ceremonies, it is the most bizarre thing that I've ever seen and I've seen it in person.

I'm sure that they are aware of the Smithsonian and 

National Museum of the American Indian

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
1.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Kavika @1    3 weeks ago
The Germans have this fetish with Indians and there are clubs in Germany that try and become Indians, having Pow Wows, and other ceremonies, it is the most bizarre thing that I've ever seen and I've seen it in person.

OK then... Now that is just straight up strange, but there is another way to look at this. 

I think this is part of German culture. They seem to take to things they find strange or alien and get into it. That is why there were a lot of "Avant-garde" clubs right before WWII. Think of the play "Cabaret" 

Indian Club,Willkommen!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
1.1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1    3 weeks ago

You’re right, that have had cowboy’s and Indian clubs for decades.  I always took it as a social clubs with a focus on a part of American history.  I don’t think any disrespect was ever intended.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.2  author  Kavika   replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1    3 weeks ago

I think it's well beyond that, some of them actually think that they are Indian on the inside. Some even tried to learn the Lakota language.

I talked to some of them and I thought I was in a parallel universe, they were kinda telling me they knew more about Indians then I did...LOL, anyhow the cognac was good.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1.3  devangelical  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1    3 weeks ago

20+ years ago in western colorado, I had 2 german tourists ask me where they should go to see some cowboys and indians. like the 60's black and white TV western variety... I'm sure I had some fun with that.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.4  author  Kavika   replied to  devangelical @1.1.3    3 weeks ago

The fascination began in the late 19th century with books written by a German author, I don't remember the name but they were quite successful.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1.5  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @1.1.4    3 weeks ago

it wasn't the first time I'd heard something along those lines from a visitor to the US.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1.6  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @1.1.5    3 weeks ago

my last job exposed me to a lot of foreign visitors and I enjoyed their different perspectives.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.7  author  Kavika   replied to  devangelical @1.1.6    3 weeks ago

That is alway interesting and it was one of my pleasure when business travel around the world, different cultures/languages from the FE to the Med, south and central America, I love it.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Participates
2  1stwarrior    3 weeks ago

This coming from Germany is really a surprise.  They've got the audacity to claim they "know" what offends and what doesn't to different cultures?

The work title given by Köhler is sometimes perceived as racist by our national and especially international guests, which is why we do not want to reproduce it on the title plate without comment. Replacing the letters of the so-called I-word with an asterisk (I*******) allows you to clearly identify which word it is. At the same time, people affected by the foreign name are not immediately offended by the word. In the booklet and the text next to the painting, we wrote out the word in quotation marks because the term is critically contextualized there.”

So, if the people "affected" by the foreign name are not offended??????

Who the hell are you to tell them they SHOULD BE OFFENDED?????

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1  author  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @2    3 weeks ago

It's someone who knows nothing about our culture making a decision based on their misconceptions of culture/language. It's called arrogance or privilege.

 
 
 
GregTx
PhD Guide
2.1.1  GregTx  replied to  Kavika @2.1    3 weeks ago
It's someone who knows nothing about our culture making a decision based on their misconceptions of culture/language. It's called arrogance or privilege.

I think that's a pretty good description of "woke madness".

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.2  author  Kavika   replied to  GregTx @2.1.1    3 weeks ago
I think that's a pretty good description of "woke madness".

Being from right of the political spectrum I'm sure that you would, but you have never had to deal with it so for you it's hypothetical and if you don't think that it comes from the right as well you are badly mistaken.

Waanakiwin

 
 
 
GregTx
PhD Guide
2.1.3  GregTx  replied to  Kavika @2.1.2    3 weeks ago
Being from right of the political spectrum I'm sure that you would,

What do politics have to do with this?

but you have never had to deal with it so for you it's hypothetical

How would you know anything about what I've dealt with or haven't?

and if you don't think that it comes from the right as well you are badly mistaken.

What? Bias?

Peace to you as well

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.4  author  Kavika   replied to  GregTx @2.1.3    3 weeks ago
What do politics have to do with this?

Where do you think the term ''woke'' came from it is used every day in political discourse, especially from the right.

How would you know anything about what I've dealt with or haven't?

I don't know everything that you've dealt with but I do know that you've never had to deal with what is discussed and presented in the article and my comments unless you are an Indian and that is what is being discussed.

What? Bias?

Arrogance and privilege

Baamaapii

 
 
 
GregTx
PhD Guide
2.1.5  GregTx  replied to  Kavika @2.1.4    3 weeks ago
Arrogance and privilege

Indeed

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
3  Perrie Halpern R.A.    3 weeks ago

I have to say, I was kind of shocked to hear Indian was an offensive word.

I've never been offended, LOL.

How utterly nutty.

signed,

An American I*****jrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1  author  Kavika   replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3    3 weeks ago
An American I*****

LOLOLOL

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Professor Quiet
3.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3    3 weeks ago

Why didn't they just use the term Native Americans?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3    3 weeks ago

you could fill in those stars with just about anything and that would make it worse

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3.3.1  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.3    3 weeks ago

ya think? like random or specific? example: ******* vs. **** *** ?

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
4  JBB    3 weeks ago

This is just another viewpoint which nobody here has mentioned, but Indians, the inhabitants of India in sub-continental Asia have never thought it appropriate that Native Americans were called "Indians".

I realize that is not the topic but think maybe it is most pertinent...

In total there are what? 1,000 "Indians" for every Native American?

Are their feelings irrelevant to Americans? Aren't they relevant too?

original

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4.1  author  Kavika   replied to  JBB @4    3 weeks ago

In 1492 there was no country named India, it was Hindustan the first known name of India was Bharat or Bharata.

In English people from ''India'' call it India but in the native languages it is known as Bharat, Bharata and Hindustan and that is also what India is called in their constitution.

India as we know it has changed its name more than once and currently Mondi is changing the names of towns from English back to native names. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.1.1  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @4.1    3 weeks ago

here out west I have no problem telling the ******* from the **********...

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
5  Buzz of the Orient    3 weeks ago

When I first started reading the article I thought that maybe they didn't want viewers to think that it could have meant EAST Indians, but then I saw the ridiculous "woke" bit.  This got me wondering if it's possible for the majority in Indiana to rename their State I******.

 
 

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