Myths, Legends, and Cultural Renewal: Wagner's Sources

Ahmanson Building, Level 2
April 15, 2010–September 26, 2010

Reinvented and passed on by each generation, myths, legends, and fables have continued to fascinate artists into the modern era. Many of the operatic works of Richard Wagner are deeply rooted in the German and Nordic traditions of folk tales and legends, Goethe drew upon German folklore for his description of the Walpurgisnacht, and the Brothers Grimm drew upon folk traditions in their retelling of popular fairy tales. This exhibition, organized by Timothy O. Benson, curator of LACMA’s Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies, explores Germanic myths and legends in various embodiments in the modern era.

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Carl Otto Czeschka, Austria, 1878–1960, Untitled (Dream of Falcons), circa 1905 (detail), from the book Die Nibelungen: dem deutschen Volke wiedererzählt (The Nibelungen legend: Retold to the German people), lithograph printed in blue, black, and gold on wove paper, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies, purchased with funds provided by Anna Bing Arnold, Museum Associates Acquisition Fund, and deaccession funds. Achim Freyer, Germany, born 1934, Untitled (Loge) from Six Production Design Sketches for The Ring Cycle, 2006, watercolor, pencil, and black crayon on paper, courtesy of the Los Angeles Opera.