In: KulturPoetik 2007, Heft 2


Stephen Pielhoff


Schwierige Geschenke. Anerkennungskonflikte zwischen Avantgardekünstlern, Vermittlern und Mäzenen im wilhelminischen Kaiserreich




This paper combines the classic gift-exchange theories of Georg Simmel and Marcel Mauss with the theories of recognition from Axel Honneth and Paul Ricœur. Accordingly, just as the success of gift-exchange relationships are subject to the imperative of intersubjective recognition, so too, inversely, problematic gift-exchange relationships should be seen as struggles for recognition. Where art patrons in the early 20th century were acting as personal commissioners and collaborators, they were by no means immune from considering themselves cultural underdogs, once the moral grammar of exchange was eclipsed by cultural postulates of the romantic notion of genius. This cultural interference repeatedly propelled patrons into serious conflicts of role and recognition.