Art: Eternal Tug of War

Night after night, the once renowned sculptor would wander about the streets of the North German town of Güstrow —"a short, slim, miserable man," one fellow townsman wrote, "with a sparse beard and clad in a coat that needed mending. But what eyes! I shall never forget those large, sad eyes."

The sad sculptor with the large eyes was Ernst Barlach, one of the artists whom the Nazis condemned as degenerate and set out to destroy. Today West Germany has restored these artists to their proper place, but few seem to have won such wide affection as Barlach. Not only are his...

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