The author wishes to acknowledge the following individuals for their time, expertise and assistance: Peter Chametzky, Rae Ferren, Mark Friedberg, Andreas Hüneke, Steven Jacobs, Brigitte Peucker, Marshall Price, James Saslow, Lola Scarpitta, and Christoph Zuschlag.

1. Notably, in addition to Jacobs: Brigitte Peucker, Michael Walker and Tom Gunning. [return to text]

2. French painter Bonheur (1822-1899) was probably the most famous woman painter of the 19th century and her work is held in many major museum collections.

3. See David Ng, “Olivier Assayas’ new film about art uses authentic masterpieces,” Culture Monster blog, Los Angeles Times, May 25, 2009,

(accessed June 22, 2010); Eve M. Kahn, “Behind the Screen: A look at Summer Hours with François-Renaud Labarthe,” The Magazine Antiques, June 10, 2009,

(accessed June 22, 2010); and documentary film, Inventory (by Olivier Goinard), that is special feature on the Criterion Collection DVD edition of Summer Hours.

4. This is a synoptic version of the first part of a larger project called Real Objects in Unreal Situations: Modern Art in Fiction Films. In addition to these three case studies of art in films of the classic period, it will include more contemporary material, especially focusing on the following films: The Damned (Joseph Losey, 1963); An Unmarried Woman (Paul Mazursky, 1978) and other films set in the New York art world of the 1970s and 1980s; Pride & Prejudice (Joe Wright, 2005) and Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas, 2008).

5. As per Lola Scarpitta. [return to page 2]

6. Scarpitta was the father of noted post-war American sculptor, Salvatore Scarpitta (1919-2007) and the grandfather of painter Lola Scarpitta.

8. I should note, however, that the Scarpitta statue does share one salient attribute with Lorski’s Venus (1925): the figure stands on tiptoes. If Mamoulian was particularly impressed with his friend’s work, he may have urged this iconography upon Scarpitta, when he undertook the commission.

9. Both One Touch of Venus and The Barefoot Contessa do include other art works in their mise-en-scene, however. In the former, the supposed antiquity has been purchased for a department store art gallery that is furnished with an eclectic assortment of obvious reproductions. In the latter, a Renaissance period Italian palazzo is persuasively enough furnished. But in neither case do these furnishings create an entirely persuasive context for the central sculpture.

10. The censors’ decision of 14 March 1934 is available at
http://www.deutsches-filminstitut.de/filme/f035202.htm (August 9, 2007); it is discussed in “Deutsche Zensoren: ‘Das Hohe Lied’ verboten,” Film und Fernsehen, Vol. 8, No. 12 (1980): 45. [return to page 3]

11. Zerlett letters in the Deutsche Kinemathek, Schriftgutarchiv, as per Andreas Hüneke, “’Entartete Kunst’ in Einem NS-Film,” Recherche Film und Fernsehen, 4 (2008), p. 42.

12. See “Die Beschlagnahme der "Entarteten Kunst" 1937 und ihre Folgen,” at the website of the Forschungsstelle "Entartete Kunst,” Kunsthistorisches Institut, Freie Universität Berlin, 
(22 December 2010);
Stephanie Barron, ed.,  'Degenerate Art:' The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1991); and Christoph Zuschlag, “Entartete Kunst”: Ausstellungsstrategien im Nazi-Deutschland (Worms: Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft, 1995). The relationship between Zerlett and Hinkel, as well as—to my knowledge—the first scholarly indication that Venus vor Gericht featured actual seized works, is mentioned in Rolf Giesen, Nazi Propaganda Films: A History and Filmography (Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland, 2003), 265.

 13. Many of these identifications were made by Andreas Hüneke and Christoph Zuschlag, both at that time associated with the Forschungsstelle “Entartete Kunst,” of the Freie Universität Berlin, to whose attention the author and Peter Chametzky brought the movie in 2006. According to Chametzky, “the Kleinshmidt, Duett im Nord-Café, 1925, formerly Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, is visible in the 1937 Munich showing of “Degenerate Art” in Stephanie Barron, “Degenerate” Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany, 56, # 15988. It is also visible in a still, with the caption: “The receptionist (Empfangsdame) in Benjamin Hecht’s Salon presents ‘artworks’ that these days we have eliminated as ‘degenerate’.” Ellie Tschauner, “Benjamin Hecht macht in ‘Kunst’,” Filmwelt: Das Film- und Foto-Magazin (Berlin) Nr. 16 (18 April 1941): 410-411.The Empfangsdame wears a monocle and a necktie, identifying her as a Weimar period lesbian. The possible Grosz is also reproduced, captioned as “Das Erlebnis” (it is captioned “Die Begegnung” in the film itself), “a concoction of Jewish corruption.” The Kirchner is Das Paar, 1923/24, acquired 1930, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg.” See Peter Chametzky, Objects as History in Twentieth-Century German Art: Beckmann to Beuys (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010), 147.

14. Michael Kimmelman, “Art’s Survivors of Hitler’s War,” New York Times, November 30, 2010:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/arts/design/01abroad.html (22 December 2010).

15. Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, “Ausstellung: Der Berliner Skulpturenfund. ‘Entartete Kunst’ im Bombenschutt,” press release, 8 Nov. 2010, http://hv.spk-berlin.de/deutsch/

(23 December 2010).

16. Peter Chametzky. Op cit. cites Linda Schulte-Sasse, Entertaining the Third Reich: Illusions of Wholeness in Nazi Cinema and “Plastiken auf Celluloid: Frauen und Kunst im NS-Spielfilm,” as well as Ellie Tschauner, “Benjamin Hecht macht in ‘Kunst’,” Filmwelt: Das Film- und Foto-Magazin (Berlin) Nr. 16 (18 April 1941): 410-411.

17. A reproduction of Pablo Picasso’s Pitcher and Bowl of Fruit (1931), as identified in private correspondence, by Steven Jacobs. [return to page 4]

18. Ferren scholar Marshall Price believes the two probably met in California, however.

19. Roberta Smith, review of “John Ferren, the Formative Years: The 1930s in Paris and Spain,” The New York Times, August 27, 1993.

(accessed September 12, 2008).

20. Interview with Rae Ferren, June 22, 2009.

22. I have looked closely at the works in The Trouble with Harry with Marshall Price, foremost scholar of the work of John Ferren (his dissertation on the artist is near completion at the CUNY Graduate Center), and, although he cannot definitively identify any of the works seen in the film, he recognizes all, or virtually all, as being consistent with Ferren’s work of the late 1940s and 1950s. Conversation, 14 July 2010.

Works referenced

Andrew, Dudley, ed. The Image in Dispute: Art and Cinema in the Age of Photography. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1997.

Barber, Bruce Alistair. Trans/actions: Art, Film, Death. Ph.D. Dissertation. European Graduate School, 2005.

Barron, Stephanie, et. al. “Degenerate Art”: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1991.

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.”

Bernstein, Matthew, ed. Controlling Hollywood: Censorship and Regulation in the Studio Era. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1999.

Chametzky, Peter. Objects as History in Twentieth-Century German Art: Beckmann to Beuys. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010.

Dalle Vacche, Angela, “Cinema and Art History: Film has Two Eyes,” The Sage Handbook of Film Studies. Edited by James Donald and Michael Renov. Sage, 2008, 180-198.

_______. Cinema and Painting: How Art is Used in Film. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996.

Doherty, Thomas. Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema, 1930-1934. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

Edgerton, Gary R., ed. Film and the Arts in Symbiosis: A Resource Guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1988.

Felleman, Susan. Art in the Cinematic Imagination. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006.

_______. Botticelli in Hollywood: The Films of Albert Lewin. New York: Twayne, 1997.
Ferren, John. “Epitaph for an Avant-Garde,” Arts, Vol. 33, Nol 2 (November 1958): 24-26, 68.

_______. “Symposium: The Human Figure,” Art Digest, Vol. 28, No. 4 (1953): 12-13, 32-33.

Gehler, F. “Das Lied der Lieder.” Film und Fernsehen, Vol. 12, No. 8 (1984): 13.

Gottlieb, Sidney, ed. Alfred Hitchcock: Interviews. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2003.

Gunning, Tom. “In and Out of the Frame: Paintings in Hitchcock,” Casting a Shadow: Creating the Alfred Hitchcock Film. Edited by Will Schmenner and Corinne Granof. Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 2007, pp. 29-47.

Hake, Sabine. Popular Cinema of the Third Reich. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001.

Hüneke, Andreas. “’Entartete Kunst’ in Einem NS-Film,” Recherche Film und Fernsehen: Zeitschrift der Deutschen Kinemathek 4 (2008), 42-45.

Iris, No. 14-15 (Fall 1992), Special number: “Le Portrait Peint au Cinéma/The Painted Portrait in Film.”

Jacobs, Steven. The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2007.

Koepnick, Lutz. The Dark Mirror: German Cinema Between Hitler and Hollywood. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002.

Milne, Tom. Rouben Mamoulian. Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1970.

Minturn, Kent. “Peinture Noire: Abstract Expressionism and Film Noir,” In Film Noir Reader 2. Edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini. New York: Limelight, 1999.

Morgan, Robert C. John Ferren: The New York Paintings, 1950s-1960s. New York: Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, 1998.

Païni, Dominique and Guy Cogeval. Hitchcock and Art: Fatal Coincidences. Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 2001.

Peucker, Brigitte. “The Cut of Representation: Painting and Sculpture in Hitchcock.” In Alfred Hitchcock: Centenary Essays,141-156.

_______. Incorporating Images: Film and the Rival Arts. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Raubicheck, Walter and Walter Srebnick, eds. Hitchcock’s Rereleased Films: From Rope to Vertigo. Detroit: Wayne State, 1991.

Saslow, James M. My Wonderful Adventure: The Art and Life of Stanley Marc Wright: American Contemporary Artist, 1911-1996. Stowe, VT: Estate of Stanley Marc Wright.

Schulte-Sasse, Linda. Entertaining the Third Reich: Illusions of Wholeness in Nazi Cinema. Durham, N.C. and London: Duke University Press, 1996.

_______. “Plastiken auf Celluloid: Frauen und Kunst im NS-Spielfilm.” Mediale Mobilmachung I: Das Dritte Reich und der Film. Edited by Harro Segeberg. Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2004, pp. 181-202.

Spergel, Mark. Reinventing Reality—The Art and Life of Rouben Mamoulian. Metuchen, N.J. and London: Scarecrow Press, 1993.

Stoichita, Victor I. The Pygmalion Effect: From Ovid to Hitchcock, trans. Alison Anderson. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Truffaut, François. Hitchcock. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1967.

Tschauner, Ellie. “Benjamin Hecht macht in ‘Kunst’,” Filmwelt (Berlin), No. 16 (18 April 1941): 410-411.

 “Venus vor Gericht,” Illustrierter Film-Kurier, No. 3214 (1941).

Waldman, Diane. “The Childish, the Insane and the Ugly: The Representation of Modern Art in Popular Film and Fiction of the Forties.” Wide Angle, Vol. 5, No. 2 (1982): 52-65.

Walker, John. Art and Artists on Screen. Manchester and New York: Manchester Univ. Press, 1993.

Walker, Michael. Hitchcock’s Motifs. Amsterdam University Press, 2005.

Wemhoff, Matthias. Der Berliner Skulpturenfund: “Entartete Kunst” im Bombenschutt. Berlin: Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin- Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz), 2011.

Wood, Robin. Hitchcock’s Films Revisited. New York: Columbia University Press, 1989.

Zuschlag, Christoph. “Entartete Kunst”: Ausstellungsstrategien im Nazi-Deutschland. Worms: Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft, 1995.

To topPrint versionJC 53 Jump Cut home

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.