<< HEARTFIELD CHRONOLOGY - ALL YEARS1916 1917 1918 1919 1920

“At that time, we became Dadaists. Naturally, this was almost a nihilistic attitude
on the part of us artists. It couldn’t have been anything else, because
most of us were from the middle class and didn’t have the connections
to the working class that we should have had. To begin with, we argued
vehemently, especially with our artist friends, in a Dadaist way. But
not only with them, but also with visitors at our Dada events.” 
Berlin Dada Collage Artist John Heartfield, 1966
Berlin Dada Collage Artist John Heartfield, 1966

“Dadaists fought fiercely against the barbaric state
that Germany had flung itself into
and in which it remained as a result of the war.” 
Berlin Dada Club Founder John Heartfield, 1966
Berlin Dada Club Founder John Heartfield, 1966

“It was our decided opinion that a Dadaist
was and had to be a radical opponent of exploitation
and that was what we always planned.” 
Dada Collage Artist John Heartfield, 1966
Dada Collage Artist John Heartfield, 1966

Berlin Club Dada. Founding Member John Heartfield Works With George Grosz, 1918.

In 1918, John Heartfield becomes a founding member of Berlin Club Dada.

On December 30, he joins the German Communist Party (KPD), together with his brother, Wieland, George Grosz, and Erwin Piscator.

The KPD was one of two communist parties in Germany. The KPD was the party that was the greatest opposition to the rise of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party. Hitler’s National Socialist Party would come to be known by its opponents as The Nazi Party.

The members of the KPD were in direct opposition to the other German communist party, the SPD. The KPD were convinced the SPD were closely aligned with Hitler’s National Socialists.

On May 13, 1918, Heartfield’s son, Tom George Heartfield, is born. As an adult, Tom Heartfield fought as an American Army soldier during World War II. After the war, he spent the remainder of his life in New York City, chasing the American Dream.

John Heartfield and Tom Heartfield always remain very close. Tom is a lifelong admirer and supporter of his father, both financially and emotionally.

Tom Heartfield and his wife, Lina (an Italian Partisan) were the parents of the exhibition’s curator, John Joseph Heartfield. It is because Tom treasure every memento of his father’s life that the John J Heartfield Collection exists today.

Berlin Club Founding Member John Heartfield and his son, Tom George Heartfield

(L-R) Helene Balzer, Tom Heartfield, John Heartfield

Heartfield family portrait. L-R: Helene Balzer, their son Tom George Heartfield (born 1918), and John Heartfield, Berlin 1920.


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.

Dada Political Artist John Heartfield grandson, John Heartfield, Curator Official John Heartfield Exhibition