Famous political artist John Heartfield life story Dada Anti-Fascist Artist Activist

“A photograph can, by the addition of an unimportant spot of color, become a photomontage, a work of art…”

Famous Political Artist John Heartfield

This John Heartfield Life Chronology covers important years and events. It traces his evolution from a young painter of oil landscapes to one of the most influential and famous political artists in history.

The chronology of the life of famous political artist John Heartfield provides insight into why he was drawn to Dada and his seminal work with George Grosz. It helps explain why he risked his life to rise to number-five on The Gestapo’s Most Wanted List for his “art as a weapon” against the Nazis and fascist lies. It chronicles how communism, the political system that attracted him and so many other young idealist artists in the early twentieth century, turned on him in his final years.

The John Heartfield life story was cinematic in scope. He was a great friend and collaborator with many of the most famous artists of the twentieth century.

Art scholars, visitors, and this website’s editors have been invaluable in creating The John Heartfield Life Chronology.

The curator has grouped years in this chronology to provide visitors with a sense of the major stages in John Heartfield’s life and work. The John Heartfield Life Chronology always adds new material. So come back often. Please write to the curator if you wish to comment or add to it.

Helmut Herzfeld / John Heartfield Life & Times

The Chronology section will always grow.

1891 1899 1905 1908 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1923 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1945 1946 1947 1949 1950 1951 1952 1954 1956 1957 1958 1960 1962 1964 1968 1969 1983 1992 1993 2011 2013 2016

Professor John J Heartfield is John Heartfield’s paternal grandson. He gives live interactive presentations around the world that focus on his grandfather’s life and work and modern political art. Please write to him to request his presence at your event or ask any question. He is always pleased to hear from exhibition visitors.

Famous political artist John Heartfield Story born Helmut Herzfeld became famous political artist