FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 186 Woodstock Part A, Featured artist is Erich Heckel


CROSBY, STILLS, NASH Woodstock 1971

Francis Schaeffer

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009


August 15-18, 2009 marked the 40th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival. The first Woodstock festival was held from August 15-18, at Bethel, New York. There have been namesake Woodstock festivals since that time. Woodstock was a music festival playing psychedelic rock and roll and many rock bands came to play in that event. There was a crowd that exceeded over 500,000 those three days. Woodstock commemorated the lives of the hippies. It was a festival that was supposed to celebrate peace and love. It was supposed to celebrate the age of the Aquarias. It commemorated the drug culture of the hippie movement.

John P. Roberts and Michael Lang were the two men that organized the event and had it advertised. There were numerous rock groups that performed such as the Grateful Dead, Jimmie Hendrix, Joan Baez, and Janis Joplin, to name a few. Taking drugs was part and parcel of the hippie culture. As the late Francis Schaeffer said, they took drugs as an ideology.

The hippie movement took shape in America in the early 1960’s. If I was to pinpoint a certain event to mark the introduction of the hippie movement, it would probably be the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley, California in 1964. It later degenerated into the Dirty or Filthy Speech movement where some students said four letter words over a microphone. The hippies gained a lot of notoriety in the latter portion of the 60’s with the Vietnam War dragging on. They were a protest group that spoke out against the Establishment, racism, sexism, the Vietnam War, war in general, and the old-fashioned values many Americans had held dear at that time. They helped challenge the way America thought about life.

Francis Schaeffer had stated that the hippies were speaking out against the bankrupt values of “personal peace and affluence” that their parents embraced. Schaeffer had described those values as people that want to be left alone to do their own thing in life and not be bothered by anything or anybody’s problems. Affluence means to own wealth. Schaeffer was saying many middle class parents were concerned about making money and living their own life. However, many parents didn’t have a basis for their values. Families went to church because it was socially acceptable. Many of the hippies’ parents upheld the values that their parents and grandparents passed 0n before them but they didn’t have a basis for why those values were right. Many of the hippies’ parents didn’t have a relationship with the Lord. They just adopted the values they were taught growing up. Therefore, the hippie generation rebelled against that and they were trying to seek answers to questions in life. However, the hippies looked to drugs and protesting against the Establishment as the answer. However, the answer was the Word of God. What they needed was Jesus. But they looked in the wrong way.

Woodstock was an embodiment of the hippie counterculture. There was a movie made entitled “Woodstock” in 1970. They were promoting peace and love throughout the world. I remember an old Coke O’ Cola commerical made a number of years ago during the Christmas season. It was an old song (tune) the hippies would sing but the words to that song was changed to make it a Coke commericial. These are the words: “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, I like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.” The original version of the song goes like this: “I like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love. Grow apple trees and honey bees and snow-white turtle doves. I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I’d like to hold it in my arms and keep it company.” That symbolized the thinking of that generation. The Woodstock generation was into acid rock music and drugs. The Beatles revolutionized rock music. The Beatles changed their dress and appearance and many Americans patterned their appearance after the Beatles. It was cool to be hip during that time.

The hippies thought during the 60’s they could change society from without. They thought they could change society on the outside. However, the changes the hippie generation sought during that decade had went unfulfilled. Then they modified their appearance in the 70’s and 80’s and became yuppies (young urban professionals). The hippie generation today is older and they are represented by such people as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the list continues. They are trying to change the system within. That’s what they’re doing today. The hippie movement has changed their brand and method. We have government leaders with that mentality in the Obama administration. They trying to make us into a socialist utopia where we can all get along together in peace and love. They want to destroy all racial and sexual barriers. They’re trying to attain to the age of Aquarius.

It’s tragic that the hippies had bought into a false notion of peace and love. Real peace comes through the Lord Jesus. They wanted to create a better and fairer society. However, they never found a basis for truth. The Woodstock generation didn’t believe in absolute truth. Life is meaningless and not worth living if there are no absolutes. The only place to find absolute truth is the Word of God. Sadly, they were looking in the wrong direction.


Santana – Soul Sacrifice 1969 “Woodstock” Live Video HQ


Today’s feature is on the artist

Erich Heckel | A Serious Visionary

Erich Heckel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Erich Heckel
Kirchner - Erich Heckel an der Staffelei.jpg

Erich Heckel painting at the easel – portrait by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Born July 31, 1883
Died January 27, 1970 (aged 86)
Nationality German
Education Königliche Technische Hochschule
Known for Die Brücke
Style Woodcuts/printmaking, painting
Movement Expressionism

Weisses Haus in Dangast, oil painting by Erich Heckel, 1908.

Erich Heckel (31 July 1883 in Döbeln – 27 January 1970 in Radolfzell) was a German painter and printmaker, and a founding member of the group Die Brücke (“The Bridge”) which existed 1905-1913.


Heckel was born in Döbeln, Saxony, the son of a railway engineer. Between 1897 and 1904 he attended the Realgymnasium in Chemnitz, before studying architecture in Dresden. He left after three terms, shortly after the foundation of Die Brücke, an artists’ group of which he was secretary and treasurer.[1] The other founder-members, also architectural students, were Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rotluff and Fritz Bleyl.[2] He worked in the office of the architect Wilhelm Kreis until July 1907, when he resigned to become a full-time artist.[1]


Heckel met the other founding members of Die Brücke, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rotluff, and Fritz Bleyl, while studying architecture in Dresden. The foursome equally regarded pursuing a degree in architecture as a compromise with their respectable middle-class parents who would have never supported them, had they wanted to study art.[3] Heckel attended the Dresden Polytechnic Institute for only eighteen months, after which time he accepted a job as a draughtsman at Wilhem Kreis’s architectural studio. He was able to use the position for the benefit of the Brücke. When the firm was asked to design an exhibition room for the lamp manufacturer Max Seifert, Heckel was able to persuade the industrialist that it was worthwhile giving wall space and displays to the Brucke for an exhibition.[4]


As a member of Die Brücke, Heckel often filled the role of business manager, which allowed the collective to network with other upcoming artists at the time, such as the Munich-based Franz Marc. This subsequently led to greater publicity for the collective, such as their mention in the almanac of Franz Marc’s own artistic coalition, the Blaue Reiter.[3]


It is worthwhile to note that with the exception of one favorable review by Paul Fetcher in the leading Dresden newspaper Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, the exhibition in Löbtau at the factory of the lamp manufacturer Max Seifert was considered to be a flop. In addition, Heckel’s poster, no longer extant, had been barred from public display by the Dresden police.[5] In 1906 and 1907 the Die Brücke had another exhibition in Löbtau, devoted exclusively to graphics and including a group of woodcuts by Wassily Kandinsky. Unfortunately, the group once again failed to strike a chord with the public.[5] However, much more noteworthy and ironically also notorious, were the next three annual shows by the Die Brücke, this time held in the fashionable Emil Richter Gallery. In large, silent rooms, expensively furnished and smothered with lush carpets, the group’s unconventional paintings and prints struck a foreseeably strident chord, amongst them notably a nude poster of a woman that ruffled many a complacent Dresdener.[5]

Heckel and other members of Die Brücke greatly admired the work of Edvard Munch, and aimed to make a “bridge” between traditional neo-romantic German painting and modern expressionist painting. The four founding members made much use of the print as a cheap and quick medium with which to produce affordable art.

Primitive art was also an inspiration to the members of the Die Brücke. It was Heckel’s brother who introduced the group to African sculpture, and it is noted that their acceptance of primitive art, which was to fortify decisively the expressive yearnings of European artists- Was unequivocal. It is through this style that they found a source of strength in the barbaric figures.[3]

World War I and II[edit]

In December 1911, Erich Heckel moved from Dresden to Berlin. Die Brücke was dissolved in 1913. He was classified as unfit for active service during the First World War, but volunteered to serve in an ambulance unit stationed in Belgium.[1] He managed to continue to produce work throughout the war.[1]

In 1937 the Nazi Party declared his work “degenerate“; it forbade him to show his work in public, and more than 700 items of his art were confiscated from German museums. By 1944 all of his woodcut blocks and print plates had been destroyed. After World War II Heckel lived at Gaienhofen near Lake Constance, teaching at the Karlsruhe Academy until 1955. He continued painting until his death at Radolfzell in 1970.

Plaque commemorating Heckel in Berlin


Like most members of Die Brücke, he was a prolific printmaker: Dube’s catalogues raisonné describe with 465 woodcuts, 375 etchings, and 400 lithographs. More than 200 of them, mostly etchings, are from the last seven years of his life.

A major retrospective exhibition, Erich Heckel – His Work in the 1920s, was held October 2004 – February 2005 at the Brücke Museum in Berlin.

In 2000, Heckel’s Dangaster Dorflandschaft (Dangast village landscape) (1909) was sold for £1.21 million at Sotheby’s in London.[6]

David Bowie based the cover of his 1977 album “Heroes” on Heckel’s painting Roquairol.[7][8] The same painting also provided the basis for the cover of Iggy Pop’s 1977 album The Idiot.[9]

Criticial reception[edit]

The critic James Auer has said that Heckel’s Franzi Standing

…in many ways encapsulates the principal virtues of the entire Expressionist movement. At once frank and respectful, daring and compassionate, it depicts a girl-woman on the cusp of adolescence, innocent and free yet, at the same time, curious and knowing.


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Carey, Frances; Griffiths, Anthony (1984). “Erich Heckel”. The Print in Germany 1880–1933. London: British Museum Publications. p. 116. ISBN 0-7141-1621-1.
  2. Jump up^ “German Expressionist Chronology”. Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c Roh, Franz (1958). German Art in the 20th Century. Munich: F. Bruckmann KG.
  4. Jump up^ Elger, Dietmar (1998). Expressionism. Taschen.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Uhr, Horst (1982). Masterpieces of German Expressionism at the Detroit Institute of Arts. New York: Hudson Hills Press.
  6. Jump up^ Souren Melikian (October 28, 2000), Brokerages May Alter the Art Game : Earthquakes in the Auction World International Herald Tribune.
  7. Jump up^ “”Heroes””. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  8. Jump up^ Cascone, Sarah (12 January 2016). “Take a Peek at David Bowie’s Idiosyncratic Art Collection”. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  9. Jump up^ Raul (22 December 2011). “Iggy Pop’s “The Idiot” & David Bowie’s “Heroes” Album Cover Photos Were Inspired By The Same Painting”. Retrieved 27 January 2017.

External links[edit]


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