1993 2011 2013 2016

The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

Heartfield Official Internet Archive. The 2011 Start Of The John Heartfield Exhibition, An Online Museum For Art and Artists with Integrity and Courage

By 2011, John Heartfield’s grandson, John J Heartfield, has taught over twenty-five university courses in Digital Media Programming and Design. He has served as a professor for years at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has a rewarding career as a wide-spectrum Internet consultant. He prefers to help small businesses succeed, rather than work for large corporations.

From 1993 to 2011, he has less success attempting to change the strict policies of the Heartfield Archiv, Akademie Der Künste, regarding access to his grandfather’s art. Professor Heartfield is certain these policies have severely impacted the recognition and renown of John Heartfield, the artist that scholars consider one of the most important and influential artists of the twentieth century. His grandson knows his grandfather is one of the bravest artists in history.

Google search engine results are a reliable method of finding the most reliable answers to any question. The fact John Heartfield does not appear in Google results for the search term “photomontage” was the reason his grandson virtually abandoned his career to work full-time working to recover his grandfather’s legacy. In 2011, Heartfield also did not appear in Google results for  “dada” or “dada artist” or “german dada art” or “political art” (the list goes on and on).

This lack of recognition for Heartfield is not because Google ignored Heartfield. It is because those in charge of Heartfield’s artistic legacy at the Akademie Der Künste have treated his art as treasured relics of a past best forgotten. The Akademie Der Künste treats Heartfield’s art as their possession, not powerful relevant messages that warn of out-of-control nationalism, the kind of out-of-control nationalism that elected the “America First” president in 2016.

Even in the vibrant New York art community, a vast majority of individuals have never seen John Heartfield’s work. When John shows people his grandfather’s work on his mobile phone, they’re amazed. So often he hears, “It’s incredible. Why don’t more people know about him?”

One woman had an especially powerful effect on the curator. He showed her John Heartfield’s work. She thought for a moment and then she said, “Your grandfather’s art probably helped my parents decide to flee Nazi Germany. He might have saved their lives.”

In 2011, John J Heartfield decided he cannot let his grandfather or his work fade from memory. His wife, Michelle, agrees. Using only their financial resources and devoting untold hours of his time, John Heartfield’s grandson builds the first iteration of a website to honor his grandfather and all courageous artists with integrity: The John Heartfield, Dada Photomonteur: Official Internet Archive. It is a labor of love that quickly becomes an obsession.

Heartfield’s grandson understands the importance of a vast amount of material he can share with the world. John father and Heartfield’s son, Tom, never threw away anything that related to his beloved father. When Tom passes away in 1991, he leaves a huge collection of never-before-seen photos, videos, letters, postcards, and much more. This material becomes the heart of  The John J Heartfield Collection. Some of it is already available on the exhibition. More is coming soon.

The first iteration of the online John Heartfield Archive has evolved into The Official John Heartfield Exhibition. In 2017, the John Heartfield Exhibition changed again. It becomes an online museum for Art and Artists with Integrity and Courage. Brilliant contemporary artists influenced by John Heartfield’s work appear in several areas of this website, including  the Reveal Art section of the exhibition.

America’s presidential election and subsequent events show how relevant John Heartfield’s warnings of out-of-control nationalism and fascism are as relevant and powerful today as when he fought the rise of Adolf Hitler with his “art as a weapon.”

Political art inspires and energizes voters to vote.

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