Cut from an ethnographic museum:
Kosberg, Abigail Aschwege
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From 1924 to 1934, Hannah Höch created a series, From an Ethnographic Museum, which features photomontages that collage together images of modern figures with so-called ‘primitive’ objects from Western ethnographic collections. Scholarship on the series has focused on Höch’s biographical relationship to her imagery, arguing for her critique of the ostracized placement of the New Woman in Weimar Germany and her similar standing to the black body in postcolonial Germany. This thesis forwards the postcolonial discussion of the Ethnographic Museum series by contextualizing through identifying its source material to analyze the unique context in which she first came across the imagery, which in turn reveals a distinct historical moment in German culture. I look to the specific journals from which Höch pulled images and the newly postcolonial climate in Germany after WWI to read Höch’s keen use of the ethnographic object.