The Third French Republic 1870-1940. Part 11 

Zoom lecture



30 March 2022


Wassily Kandinsky, Simple complexities, 1939, Paris, MNAM

The Art World in Occupied Paris, 1940-1944

With Anne Catherine Abecassis


French cultural life did not stop after the defeat of 1940. Soon, theaters, cinemas, galleries and nightclubs reopened to support artists and entertain a demoralized people. But what was cultural life like in Paris under the Occupation? What were the museums exhibiting? What became of the galleries, mainly owned by Jews, inestimable supporters of modern artists?


What did artists like Picasso, who remained in the occupied zone produce in their studios? And above all, how did modern art, attacked by the Nazis and the Vichy regime, resist? We will examine, among others, the courage and loyalty of gallery owner Jeanne Bucher who exhibited artists banned by the Germans and who focused her energy on protecting and promoting oppressed creators such as Lipchitz, Kandinsky and Miró.


We will look at the new currents of abstraction represented by Nicolas de Staël, Lanskoy and Bazaine, Braque’s exhibition at the 1943 Salon d’automne and the emergence of Jean Dubuffet and “art brut” before the liberation of Paris.

Gallerist Jeanne Bucher c. 1938

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