Diether Schmidt

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Diether Hans Werner Schmidt (born July 29, 1930 in Lubmin ; † February 7, 2012 in Retie , Belgium ) was a German art historian .


Schmidt grew up in a communist family . The father was a wall and the mother worked as a cleaning lady . Because of the poor employment situation, the family moved to Berlin, where the boy made his experiences with the working class in the Wedding district . By leaving his parents' home and attending a Catholic school, he was saved from political indoctrination by National Socialism .

In 1948, under the sponsorship of Will Grohmann, he led an art group for the “Humanitas” school community at RIAS school radio . He first began to study pedagogy and then studied art history at the Humboldt University in Berlin with Richard Hamann and Willy Kurth . His later professional colleagues Werner Schade and Elmar Jansen were his fellow students. After completing his studies, he went to Dresden , where he worked for a short time as an assistant at the State Art Collections . After his dissertation on David the Goliath winner. Urban hero and constitutional image of the Republic of Florence in the Renaissance (1960) he received a research assignment from the Ministry of Culture.

In 1977 his then wife Ulrike Schmidt founded the art gallery of the Kulturbund in Dresden Neustadt. He was responsible for the series of exhibitions “orbis pictus”.

As a curator, publicist and laudator, he campaigned for the work of contemporary artists such as Fritz Cremer , Ernst Lewinger , Hans Jüchser , Bernhard Kretzschmar , Friedrich Press , Curt Querner , Gerhard Kettner , Hans-Peter Hund and Jochen Fiedler .

After his expatriation to the Federal Republic, Schmidt initially lived in Eschborn near Frankfurt / M. before he moved to West Berlin in 1988 , where he met many of the old Dresden artist friends who had meanwhile also left the GDR. He was visiting professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main and at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin-Charlottenburg . From 1990 he teaches at the HfBK in Dresden, was appointed professor of art history and the office of rector in 1991, which he resigned the following year. In 1995 he retired .

Cultural-political attitude / persecution in the GDR

Schmidt was an intrepid critic of the SED's party doctrine . He used every leeway and did not shy away from expressing his displeasure with the intellectual paternalism and the undesirable developments in the GDR at public events. In January 1984 he was therefore imprisoned in the State Security Pretrial Detention Center in Dresden . With the prospect of several years in prison, his departure to the Federal Republic was blackmailed. Helmut Schmidt campaigned for the ransom . A book about the sculptor Friedrich Press was able to appear in the Evangelical Publishing House in Berlin even after his expatriation. After reunification he returned to Dresden for a few years.

Fonts (selection)

  • French printmaking since 1871 . Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1960
  • Writings of German Artists of the 20th Century , Volume II, In the Last Hour. 1933–1945, Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1964
  • Writings of German Artists of the 20th Century , Volume I, Manifeste, Manifeste. 1905–1933, Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1965
  • Michelangelo . Hand drawings . 48 colored panels. Selection and preface by Diether Schmidt. Insel, Leipzig 1965
  • Bauhaus . Weimar 1919 to 1925. Dessau 1925 to 1932. Berlin 1932 to 1933 . Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1966
  • I was, I am, I will be! Self-portraits of German artists of the 20th century . Henschelverlag Art and Society, Berlin 1968
  • Bernhardt Kretzschmar . Essay in the art booklet "Painter and Work". Verlag der Kunst, Dresden, 1970
  • Fritz Cremer , life. Works. Fonts. Opinions . Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1973
  • Karl Hubbuch . Limes Verlag, Munich 1976
  • Fritz Cremer , drawings . 48 panels. Edited by Diether Schmidt. Insel, Leipzig 1976
  • Picasso , world of art . Henschelverlag Art and Society, Berlin 1976
  • Otto Dix in self-portraits . Henschelverlag Art and Society, Berlin 1978
  • Hans Jüchser . Henschelverlag Art and Society, Berlin 1978
  • Friedrich Press , Church Design and Signs of Faith . Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Berlin 1984
  • Nuria Quevedo , Pictures Drawings Graphics . Exhibition catalog of the gallery above, Chemnitz 1991
  • Sky. Earth. Horizons. Monograph on the work of the painter, draftsman and etcher Hartwig Hamer . Edited by Detlef Hamer. Gerhard Wolf Janus press, Berlin 1999
  • Hans-Peter Hund - The paintings . City Gallery Wurzen 2002

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gunter Ziller: On the 80th birthday of Diether Schmidt. Elbhangkurier, July 1, 2010, accessed on November 12, 2019 .
  2. Hartmut Pätzke: On the death of the art historian Diether Schmidt. In: The paper. March 19, 2012, accessed November 12, 2019 .