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der Morgenthau Plan

© Anselm Kiefer. Photo: Charles Duprat.

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Anselm Kiefer

German, born 1945

der Morgenthau Plan, 2012

acrylic, emulsion, oil, and shellac on photograph mounted on canvas

each panel: 110 x 74 5/8 inches (279.4 x 189.55 cm); overall: 110 x 224 inches (279.4 x 568.96 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Sarah Norton Goodyear Fund, George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, by exchange and George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, 2013


Currently On View

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inscription / front, upper left / der Morgenthau Plan


from the artist to Gagosian Gallery, New York;
sold to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, May 14, 2013


Paintings (visual works)

Work Type

Acrylic painting (visual work)
Oil painting (visual work)
Painting (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

This vibrant landscape takes its title from—and is inscribed with—the name of a controversial proposal for post–World War II Germany that was conceived by US Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr. The Morgenthau Plan, as it became known, called for the complete deindustrialization of Germany and its return to an agricultural economy, which some estimated would result in the deaths of tens of millions of Germans. Through reference to the Morgenthau Plan, Anselm Kiefer here commingles the beauty of nature—specifically, a photograph of the landscape near his studio in Barjac, France—with the darker, ominous implications of a political program. The work suggests that land is never just a landscape. It is, rather, a composite of human history—of the aspirations, beliefs, actions, and events that have taken place there. Not simply natural, the landscape is a construction, constantly in flux as history unfolds.

Label from We the People: New Art from the Collection, October 23, 2018–July 21, 2019

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