The Faustian Bargain
The Art World in Nazi Germany
Reviews and Awards
An account of some of the great minds of the formidable German intelligentsia who nevertheless plummeted to the depths of complicity, profiteering, and racism.... His unprecedented interviews with members of the postwar Nazi network, as well as his thorough mining of the judicial records of the late 1940s, enable Petropoulos to reconstruct not just the individual experiences of these men, but also the gray moral universe in which they build their careers... The Faustian Bargain deserves careful study by anyone seeking to understand the rise of the Nazi art bureaucracy. - Hugh Eakin, ARTnews
This is a balanced, deft, and clear-eyed study of the way the art world functioned in Nazi Germany and of the people who operated in it. Petropoulos writes smoothly, and his assessment of the individuals he examines and the choices they made is consistently fair and to the point. In short, a highly readable and valuable book. - Peter Hayes, Professor of History at Northwestern University and the author of Lessons and Legacies: The Meaning of the Holocaust in a Changing World
Based on exhaustive archival research, The Faustian Bargain is the only book to reveal the complex web of complicity linking art world professionals and the Nazi elite. It is a fascinating look not just at how these individuals collaborated with the Third Reich, but at how they were denazified and rehabilitated after the war. - Stephanie Barron, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, curator of "Degenerate Art": The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany and Exiles and Emigres: The Flight of European Artists from Hitler".
Spotlighting five groups - art museums directors, art dealers, art journalists, art historians, and artists
Petropoulos's very interesting work examines, in considerable depth, some of the major personalities that were behind both extensive looting of art treasures and also the promotion of pronationalistic works. - Booklist