The Age of Anna Amalia: Collecting and Patronage in Eighteenth-Century Weimar
AuthorLindeman, Christina K
AdvisorPlax, Julie A
Committee ChairPlax, Julie A
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoDissertation Not Available (per Author's Request)
AbstractOn December 2, 1998, the World Heritage committee of UNESCO added the German city of Weimar to its World Heritage List, acknowledging Weimar's important eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth-century collections of art and architecture. The foundations for Weimar's cultural production are based on the city's monumental prominent leading eighteenth-century literary figures, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johann Gottfried Herder, and Fredrick Schiller. However, as recent German scholarship has shown "classical" Weimar reached its height in the late-eighteenth century because of the intellectual society cultivated by Anna Amalia, Duchess of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1739-1807). Upon the death of her husband Duke Ernst August Konstantin in 1758, Anna Amalia became regent, ruling for sixteen years until her eldest son, Karl August, assumed rulership. Under Anna Amalia's guidance the small principality with its marginal economic and political resources was transformed into one of the most important literary and artistic centers of its day. However, historians still refer to this period in Central European and German history as the "Age of Goethe," but does this not overshadow the impact of Anna Amalia's patronage of German artists and consumption of culture?This dissertation investigates Anna Amalia's role as patron and collector, after her regency between 1775-1807, within the context of eighteenth-century Weimar society and within cosmopolitan Europe. Written documentation such as account books, receipts, and letters during her regency between 1759 -1774 were lost during the palace fire of 1774. However, textual evidence after Anna Amalia's reign gives us new insight into how aristocratic women dictated their cultural ambitions once they fulfilled their public duties as wives, mothers and rulers. In an analysis of portraits, drawings and prints this dissertation investigates several overarching themes bound within the construction of a social identity such as widowhood, gender and aging, friendship and sociability, and collective memory.
Degree ProgramHistory & Theory of Art