A German painter born in 1884, Max Beckmann’s career transcends categorization. He worked in many mediums, tried many styles, and influenced art history across multiple continents, and from October 2016 to February 2017 The Metropolitan Museum of Art will highlight his work in the exhibition Max Beckmann in New York. Strangely enough, Beckmann died while walking to The Met in 1950 to view one of his own paintings, and this exhibition will commemorate his connection to this city. And in conjunction with this exhibition, we thought we’d look back at Max Beckmann and the artistic movements of his time.
Although Beckmann is often associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement, in reality he rejected the movement entirely. He was a more prominent leader in the New Objectivity movement: a small offshoot that was in fact seen as a reaction against Expressionism. New Objectivity grew out of Germany in the 1920s in response to the dramatic and emotional sensibility of Expressionism.
In early-20th-century Germany, Expressionism was the leading trend in painting, theatre, film, and music. It was characterized as a style that aimed to expose inner, unseeable human emotions. In painting, it often used bold colors and large, unrestrained brushstrokes to express extreme emotions, and it favored moods and feelings over concrete reality. Angst and turmoil of the human spirit were frequent subjects, illustrated through aggressive techniques.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
New Objectivity was, in a way, the opposite of Expressionism. The name comes from the German phrase Neue Sachlichkeit, which can also be translated as ‘New Matter-of-Factness’, ‘New Sobriety’, or ‘New Dispassion’, highlighting its departure from the emotional sense of Expressionism. New Objectivity was instead all about the concrete, the ‘real’, and, of course, the objective. One reason it came about to counter the Expressionist movement was that Expressionism was all about the individual, and in the years approaching WWI, artists gained a sense that their work needed to be more politically charged. The Western world was on the brink of war, and the Expressionist emphasis on identity would do nothing to help it.
Many artists sought a return to order in the years after WWI and the destruction it wrought. New Objectivity was a direct answer to this, favoring the practical, the external and observable, as opposed to the vexed interior of humans. New Objectivity was often described as having two schools of thought: the verists, who painted the external physical world as it existed at that moment, and the classicists, who searched for timelessness in the physical world. Beckmann would have been a verist,as his work is often considered satirical, ‘ugly’, and far from Classical.
Though Beckmann was at the top of his career in the 1920s, everything changed when the Nazis came into power. Adolf Hitler despised modern art and condemned New Objectivity as ‘degenerate’, prohibiting most New Objectivist artists from exhibiting their work. Desperate to find a way to keep working, Beckmann spent 10 years in Amsterdam, where he painted some of his most dramatic triptychs while attempting to gain a Visa to the United States.
When he finally obtained a Visa, Beckmann moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and began teaching. He then relocated to New York City in 1949 where he spent the final year of his life. The story goes that he was, in fact, on his way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to view his painting ‘Self-Portrait in Blue Jacket’ when he suffered a fatal heart attack.
Beckmann’s death and connection to New York City inspired the exhibition at The Met, for even though Beckmann himself didn’t arrive in NYC until 1949, his work was already loved here. Beckmann had excellent relationships with NYC-based art dealers and collectors, and his works were already in private NYC collections as well as in the Museum of Modern Art. This exhibition will focus on his prominence in New York and feature 14 paintings that he created during his 16 months in this city as well as 25 earlier works from private NYC collections.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.